World briefs: Oil slick isn't from missing jet

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SYDNEY -- Australian authorities looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet said Thursday that an oil slick detected in the search zone and collected by the Australian vessel Ocean Shield was not engine oil or hydraulic fluid from an aircraft.

The sample was collected Sunday night more than 3 miles from the area where Ocean Shield had picked up underwater acoustic signals in the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 veered off course March 8 during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. To date, no wreckage has been found. The strongest leads so far are four acoustic signals from under water.

U.S. warns Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar -- American officials are warning that attacks on minority Muslims and foreign aid groups in Myanmar are threatening the nascent thaw in relations between Washington and this former pariah state.

The Obama administration counts Myanmar's transition from military rule as a major foreign policy success for the president and his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton. For Myanmar leaders, normalizing relations with the U.S. government was key to ending their dependency on China.

But allegations, disputed by the Myanmar government, that dozens of Rohingya Muslims were massacred by mobs of Buddhists in western Rakhine state in January have outraged human rights groups.

China purging Internet

BEIJING -- China has unfurled a vigorous new campaign to clean up the Internet, to purge it of everything from pornography to "rumors" that might undermine Communist Party rule, a crusade that critics say is a renewed attempt to silence grass-roots voices and stifle dissent.

Censorship of the media and Internet is routine in China, but controls on online freedom of expression have been steadily strengthened since Xi Jinping took over as president last year..

Algerian presidential vote

ALGIERS, Algeria -- Amid heavy security, Algerians went to the polls Thursday in a presidential election that the 77-year-old incumbent, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was considered likely to win despite his obviously failing health.

Discontent with high unemployment, a housing crunch and political stagnation expressed itself mainly in the form of an electoral boycott. Young voters dominate the 23 million-member electorate, but many stayed away or said they intended to cast a blank ballot.

S. Sudan civilians killed

JOHANNESBURG -- At least 12 people were killed when an armed mob overran a United Nations peacekeeping camp in Bor, South Sudan, in an attack targeting ethnic Nuer.

U.N. officials strongly condemned Thursday's attack by armed men, some wearing military uniforms, on the U.N. base in Bor where about 5,000 Nuer had sought refuge from ethnic violence.

Pistorius trial recessed

PRETORIA, South Africa -- An expert witness for the defense at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was supposed to help the athlete's assertion that he killed his girlfriend by mistake last year, but Roger Dixon, a former forensic scientist for the South African police ended his testimony on Thursday amid blistering attacks on his credibility by a prosecutor who accused him of slipshod analysis and fuzzy explanations.

The trial has been recessed until May 5.

-- Compiled from news services


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