World briefs: Cruise ship being righted

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GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy -- Using a vast system of steel cables and pulleys, maritime engineers Monday gingerly winched the massive hull of the Costa Concordia off the reef where the cruise ship capsized.

But progress in pulling the heavily listing luxury liner to an upright position was going much slower than expected. Delays meant the delicate operation was not expected to be completed before this morning.

Never before has such an enormous cruise ship been righted. Salvage workers struggled to overcome obstacle after obstacle as they slowly inched toward their goal of raising the crippled ship 65 degrees to the upright position.

Thirty-two people died on Jan. 13, 2012, when the Concordia slammed into a reef and toppled half-submerged on its side after coming too close to Giglio Island.

Troops advance on rebels

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines -- Philippine troops have recaptured 70 percent of the coastal areas near a southern city that were occupied by Muslim rebels, the military said, adding helicopter gunships were deployed for the first time Monday as a hostage standoff dragged to its second week.

Troops and special police forces have killed or arrested more than 100 Moro National Liberation Front rebels, who occupied five villages, after government forces foiled what officials said was an attempt by the heavily armed insurgents to take control of Zamboanga city hall Sept. 8.

About 100 rebels remained holed up with more than 100 hostages.

56 arrested in Egypt

CAIRO -- In what could presage a broader strike against Islamists who have been attacking Coptic Christians in the Nile Valley, Egyptian security forces Monday swept into a community where supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi had effectively seized control.

The Christian minority in Dalga, about 190 miles south of Cairo, reported a harsh campaign of intimidation by militants who burned churches and shook down individuals, demanding protection money in the form of an archaic "tax" on non-Muslims. About one-sixth of the town's 120,000 residents are Christians.

An Interior Ministry official described the operation as targeting "wanted criminals" and reported the arrests of 56 people and the seizure of several weapons caches.

Female police officer dies

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An outspoken female police commander in southern Helmand province died Monday, a day after being shot by gunmen, authorities said. It was the third such deadly attack on a female officer since July.

Second Lt. Nigara died in a hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital,. She had been shot in the neck.

Lt. Nigara, who went by one name, had just left her home Sunday when two gunmen on a motorcycle shot her. No one has claimed responsibility, but the authorities blamed drug traffickers or Taliban insurgents.

Storms drench Mexico

MIAMI -- Hurricane Ingrid weakened to a tropical depression as it moved into Mexico with heavy rain, causing at least 33 deaths, while Humberto regained tropical-storm strength in the central Atlantic.

Ingrid, along with the remains of Pacific storm Manuel, may leave 10 to 15 inches of rain in some areas of Mexico, with others receiving as much as 25 inches, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Humberto was about 1,210 miles west-southwest of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It's moving west-northwest at 6 mph and isn't an immediate threat to land.

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