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Indian couple sued after locking maid in home

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Child welfare officials filed a suit on March 30 against a couple whose 13-year-old domestic worker was found locked in their house for several days without food, according to the L.A. Times.

According to the Times, the girl, who was not identified, told local television reporters her food ran out soon after the family left for a vacation in Bangkok. The doors and windows of the house were sealed and difficult to pry open. The girl eventually opened a window and called for help, which got the attention of neighbors, the Times said.

The Times said she was rescued from the third floor of the home, taken in for a medical examination and then to a shelter.

The girl said her employers, who are both doctors, cut her and pulled out clumps of her hair as punishment according to the Times.

A.K. Ojha, deputy police commissioner for southwest Delhi, confirmed that the girl had several bruises that suggested she had been beaten regularly, the Times said. He said the police were starting an investigation and that the whereabouts of the employers were unknown.

According to police and charity workers, the girl was brought to Delhi and sold to a placement agency, which sent her to the couple's house a year ago, the Times said.

According to the TImes, "statistics on the number of underage domestic workers in India are unavailable, but in a recent survey, Save The Children India found 50,000 in Kolkata alone and estimated that there are 2 million to 3 million nationwide."

Activists and labor experts say the exploitation of domestic workers is often driven less by money than by issues of caste or a desire to feel powerful, according to the Times.

Yemen base attacked by militants

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Militants linked to Al Qaeda made a surprise attack on an army base in southern Yemen on Saturday, military officials said, according to the New York Times.

The clashes that were set off left 30 dead before airstrikes forced the militants to retreat, according to the Times.

The Times said army officials said the militants attacked a base in the town of Al Milah in Lahj Province. The town is close to Abyan Province, a Qaeda stronghold.

The army fought back, and by the time fighter jets were called in and forced the militants to retreat, 17 soldiers and 13 militants were dead, according to the Times.

The Times said Al Qaeda's branch in Yemen has exploited the political and security turmoil related to the country's yearlong uprising, managing to take control of large areas in the south and staging increasingly bold attacks on the military.

The United States appears to be getting more and more involved in fighting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni branch is known, the Times said. The group is believed to have plotted two failed attacks on American soil.

Boat lost in Tsunami spotted

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A Japanese fishing ship that was swept to sea during last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami was spotted this week floating off the coast of British Columbia, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

The Intelligencer said an aircraft crew noticed the 150-foot-long vessel drifting roughly 150 nautical miles off the southern coast of Haida Gwaii on Tuesday, according to the Canada Department of Defence.

Transport Canada is currently monitoring the the ship for marine pollution and to see if it becomes an obstruction to the public right of navigation, according to the Intelligencer. On its current trajectory and speed, the empty ship wouldn't make landfall for approximately 50 days.

The Intelligencer said debris from the tsunami is already washing up on Washington beaches, and much more is expected.

Oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbsmeyer said chunks of wood and plastic and other pieces of flotsam from the tsunami will continue to show up on local beaches for years or even decades.

A representative of the main anthropology agency in Mexico says the remains found in a southern cave were part of a cemetery from 1300 years ago, according to the Washington Post.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Chiapas state prosecutor's office said authorities found the remains of 167 people on Friday on the Nuevo Ojo de Agua ranch, which is a region where Central American migrants pass through while heading north. Local farmers had come across the cave last week and had alerted the authorities, according to the Post.

Emilio Gallaga of the national anthropology institute says the first test results show the remains come from a still-unspecified pre-Hispanic community dating to the eighth century, according to the Post. He says clay artwork that could have come from a pre-Hispanic group was also found in the cave, the Chronicle said.

Rio police arrest drug trafficker in shantytown

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Rio de Janeiro police said they arrested a former chief drug dealer of an infamous slum located five miles from the iconic Maracana stadium, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A police press release said Everton Mesquita was arrested Saturday inside the Morro dos Macacos slum, according to the Inquirer. The shantytown is southwest of the stadium, where some of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games events will be held.

The Inquirer said drug gangs in Morro dos Macacos shot down a police helicopter in October 2009, two weeks after the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to Rio. Three police officersz were killed, and 21 people also died in a related shootout between gangs and the police.

The police news release says Mesquita had fled the slum but was caught when he returned for his niece's birthday party, the Inquirer also said.

Swedish airport reopens after security incident

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Air traffic at Sweden's second largest airport was suspended for several hours Sunday while bomb technicians investigated a suspicious bag that in the end, turned out to be harmless, according to the Washington Post.

According to the Houston Chronicle, all incoming and outgoing flights were stopped at Landvetter airport in Goteborg after police said a bag with suspected dangerous content was discovered in the security check area at the international terminal in the afternoon. The terminal was evacuated.

Airport officials said in a statement later Sunday the content was identified as harmless and the airport had reopened to traffic.

Earlier that day, airport operator Swedavia's spokesman Jan Lindqvist said about 2,000 passengers were affected by this incident.

After six centuries of use, the former French currency will finally be laid to rest, according to the New York Times.

Friday was the deadline for francs to be turned into the Bank of France, the central bank, in exchange for the common European currency, the euro.

According to the Washington Post, the euro replaced the francs in January 2002, however the central bank, has continued to to accept francs in exchange for euros until now.

Although it has been a decade since this currency transition, lines of procrastinators turned out to make the last-minute swap all week long. The Bank of France was the last possible place to make the exchange at a rate of 6.55957 francs for one euro, a rate that has been locked since France started using the euro in 1999, according to the Post.

The central bank estimated that even after the deadline, around half a billion euros worth of old franc notes will remain unexchanged and worthless. According to the Times, these worthless francs will be registered as revenue for the French state.

U.S. to cut staff at Iraq Embassy

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The State Department is planning to cut the size of its Iraq Embassy in half, U.S. officials aid Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. This decision has been made less than two months after American troops left the country.

Officials in Baghdad and Washington said that the size and scope of the embassy, which has grown to a staff of nearly 16,000, mostly contractors, needs to be reconsidered.

Although the expansive diplomatic operation and the $750 million embassy building were deemed necessary to nurture a postwar Iraq, Americans have become frustrated by the inability to interact with the Iraqi people and being confined to the embassy because of security concerns, according to the New York Times.

A small amount of U.S. personnel remain in the country to help with training and arms sales for Iraqi forces, according to the Tribune.

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