World briefs: Chemical weapons sites destroyed in Syria

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LONDON -- International chemical weapons inspectors reported further progress on Thursday in eliminating Syria's stockpile, saying they had verified the destruction of 22 of the 23 sites that the Syrian government declared had been used for production and mixing of the banned munitions.

The inspectors, deployed in a joint operation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said they had used special cameras to determine that the 22nd site, in the northern Aleppo region, had been destroyed.

Twenty-one Syrian sites had been declared neutralized by the inspectors last week, along with all of the mixing equipment the Syrians had declared, but the final two sites had been considered too dangerous to visit because of the war. The inspectors must still verify the destruction of the last remaining site.

Spy chiefs fault Snowden

LONDON -- Britain's intelligence chiefs, in unprecedented public testimony before Parliament, said Thursday that the published leaks of secret documents stolen by Edward J. Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence analyst, had damaged their ability to keep Britain safe.

"The leaks from Mr. Snowden have been very damaging, and they've put our operations at risk," said John Sawers, the head of the foreign intelligence service, MI6. "It's clear that our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee. Al-Qaida is lapping it up."

Teen's rape sparks anger

TINGOLO, Kenya -- A wave of outrage has grown in Kenya since word has spread that a 16-year-old girl was gang raped and thrown into a pit latrine in this western Kenyan town, with the alleged attackers told to cut grass at a police post, and then let go.

Nearly 1.4 million people have signed an online petition put up by the activist group Avaaz calling for prosecution of the young men and an investigation of the police who freed the suspects.

M23 rebels surrender

KAMPALA, Uganda -- The top commander of Congo's M23 rebel movement and about 1,700 of his fighters surrendered to Ugandan authorities following defeat by Congolese troops, a Ugandan military official said Thursday.

The move raised hopes the rebels might sign a peace settlement after 19 months of a brutal insurgency that displaced thousands of people in eastern Congo's North Kivu area.

Colombia, rebels set deal

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Negotiators for the Colombian government and the country's largest guerrilla group announced Wednesday that they had agreed on a framework for the rebels to take part in the political process, a crucial step forward in peace talks aimed at ending nearly 50 years of fighting between the government and the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The deal was announced in Havana, where the talks are taking place.

Mayor caught in video rant

TORONTO -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had to explain another video Thursday where he is heard threatening to kill someone, two days after his red-faced apology for smoking crack cocaine "in one of my drunken stupors."

The 77-second video was released Thursday by the Toronto Star newspaper, which obtained it from an unidentified source for $5,000 Canadian.

Mr. Ford said he had been "extremely, extremely" drunk during the rant.


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