World broefs: Obama awards Saudi woman

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- President Barack Obama ended his weeklong trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning with a brief private ceremony in which he offered an International Women of Courage award to a Saudi woman who works to prevent domestic violence in the kingdom.

The brief event, just hours before Mr. Obama boarded Air Force One to return home, came a day after the president chose not to raise the issue of human rights during a two-hour discussion with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The award, which is given by the secretary of state every year, honors women around the world "who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women's empowerment, often at great personal risk," according to the U.S. State Department's website.

Ebola outbreak kills 70

CONAKRY, Guinea -- The deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus in seven years has killed 70 people and infected as many as 111 in Guinea, causing neighboring Senegal to close its border with the country.

Senegal's Ministry of Interior has ordered all movements of people through the southern boundary to Guinea suspended indefinitely to prevent the spread of the disease, according to a statement published Saturday by the state-run press agency, APS.

Most of the cases detected in Guinea since January have been in the towns of Guekedou, Macenta, Kissidougou and Dabola, the country's Health Ministry said in an emailed statement on Friday. There has been one death among eight cases of the infectious disease in the capital, Conakry, it said.

It marks the deadliest outbreak since 2007, when 187 people died of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the World Health Organization's website.

Missing jet debris still lost

PERTH, Australia -- A day after the search for the Malaysian jetliner shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet. None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.

Meanwhile, a Chinese military plane scanning part of the search zone, which is roughly the size of Poland, spotted several objects floating in the sea, including two bearing colors of the missing jet.

It was not immediately clear whether those objects were related to the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and officials said the second day of searching in the new area ended with no evidence found of the jet.

Court to rule on whaling

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The International Court of Justice in the Hague will hand down a ruling on Monday over Australia's demand that Japan stop research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean on the grounds that it violates international law.

Japanese people who regard whales as part of their lives are closely watching how the ICJ will rule, as regions with a deep-rooted whaling culture will be devastated if research whaling is judged as an infringement of international law.

In May 2010, Australia filed a lawsuit with the ICJ, saying Japanese whaling was effectively commercial in nature -- not for scientific purposes, as its ceiling for catching whales between fiscal 2005 and 2010 was about 1,000, which it views as too high.

-- Compiled from news services


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