World briefs: More Philippines' typhoon aid sought

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MANILA, Philippines -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the international community Sunday to ramp up aid for the Philippines' typhoon reconstruction, saying "we must not allow this to be another forgotten crisis."

Mr. Ban met with key ambassadors stationed in Manila at the end of his three-day visit and urged donor countries to provide more aid in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the central Philippines on Nov. 8, killing at least 6,100 people and leaving nearly 1,800 others missing.

The U.N. is raising $791 million for a year-long recovery plan. The Philippine government has separately launched an $8.17 billion reconstruction drive over four years.

Factory owners charged

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- The owners and managers of a garment factory were charged Sunday in connection with a fire that killed 112 people in Bangladesh last year, officials said.

Investigators submitted the charges of culpable homicide to a magistrate court against the owners, Delawar Hossain and his wife, Mahmuda Akter, and 11 managers of the Tazreen Fashin factory. The court set Dec. 31 as the date to hear the charges so it could decide whether to accept them for trial.

Tiffany ordered to pay

BERLIN -- Tiffany & Co. was ordered to pay Swatch Group AG about 402 million Swiss francs ($449 million) in compensation over a contractual dispute, the companies said Sunday.

The Netherlands Arbitration Institute also required Tiffany to pay more than $9 million for the Swiss watchmaker's legal fees and the cost of arbitration, according to a statement from the New York-based jeweler.

The dispute arose in 2011, when Swatch canceled its cooperation with Tiffany, with Swatch saying at the time the jeweler was in breach of contract because it was trying to "block and delay" a joint venture both companies had entered in 2007.

Vow to disrupt in Thailand

BANGKOK -- In one of the more provocative moves of Thailand's monthlong political crisis, anti-government protesters marching through Bangkok on Sunday vowed to disrupt the coming elections in their campaign to rid the country of its most influential political family.

As tens of thousands of protesters rallied at several points in Bangkok, the main protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, instructed his followers to gather outside the building where the governing party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and other smaller parties had planned to register for the Feb. 2 national elections.

"If you want to register, you will have to walk past our feet," said Mr. Suthep, who vowed to organize more protests if necessary. "We will shut down the country; we will block everyone casting ballots," he said.

Al-Qaida apology

CAIRO -- In a rare public apology, the militant leader of al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has said that one of his fighters disobeyed orders and attacked a hospital attached to the Defense Ministry during a December assault that killed 52 people.

Qassim al-Rimi, commander of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said in a video posted on militant websites that the attackers were warned in advance not to enter the hospital within the complex, nor a place for prayer there. But he said one fighter did.

"Now we acknowledge our mistake and guilt," al-Rimi said in a video released late Saturday by al-Qaida's media arm al-Mallahem.


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