World briefs: EU to target Ukraine rebels

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BRUSSELS — Ambassadors of the European Union’s countries have agreed to add 11 new names to the list of people sanctioned for participating in the pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine’s east, an EU source said Wednesday.

The EU has already imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 61 people and two companies for participating in the armed rebellion against the Ukrainian government or Russia’s occupation and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which both the EU and the U.S. have condemned as illegal and refused to recognize.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to make public statements on the matter, said the decision would be implemented through formal written procedure by the end of this week. She did not disclose the names of any of the people targeted.

Indonesian vote disputed

JAKARTA— Both candidates claimed victory in Indonesia's presidential election on Wednesday.

Just a few hours after voting closed, Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he had won, based on quick counts of more than 90 percent of the votes. A victory for him would be seen as a triumph for a new breed of politician and increase the promise of desperately needed reform in government.

But ex-general Prabowo Subianto, the rival candidate viewed as representative of the old guard that flourished under decades of autocratic rule, said other, unnamed, quick counts of votes favored him.

Financial literacy lacking

PARIS — The financial literacy of American teenagers is no better than average compared with their peers in other countries, and nearly one in five lacks basic proficiency, according to a new study.

The report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development analyzed financial knowledge among 15-year-olds in 18 nations.

Teenagers in China, Belgium and Estonia fared the best. U.S. teens were ninth, with an overall numerical ranking that was slightly below average.

Financial literacy is crucial given that people are increasingly responsible for making their own decisions on complex topics such as student loans and retirement planning.

Afghan civilian deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan — Driven by increased ground combat between insurgents and government forces, civilian casualties in Afghanistan surged 24 percent through the first half of the year, reaching their highest levels since 2009, according to the United Nations.

The findings were released just as a Taliban attack unfolded in the densely populated center of Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan.

At least nine people were killed on Wednesday in the Kandahar assault and the ensuing gunbattle, including four civilians, Afghan officials said, violently illustrating how ground fighting, as opposed to improvised explosive devices, has emerged as the deadliest facet of the war.

The U.N. report said that the death toll this year was especially high for women and children.

The biannual U.N. updates on civilian deaths have regularly found the Taliban responsible for roughly three quarters of civilian casualties, and the latest report indicated that the trend held steady through the first six months of 2014.

Pro-government forces were responsible for less than 10 percent of the 1,564 civilians killed, the U.N. report said, and about 12 percent of the casualties could not be attributed to a specific party

— Compiled from wire services.

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