World Briefs: Study focuses on child abuse

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UNITED NATIONS — One in 10 girls worldwide have been forced into a sexual act, and 6 in 10 children aged 2 to 14 are regularly beaten by parents and caregivers, according to a report issued Thursday by the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF.

The report, drawing on data from 190 countries, paints a picture of endemic physical and emotional violence inflicted daily on children, mostly at home and in peacetime rather than on the streets or in war.

Homicide is especially common in some of the Latin American countries from which children are fleeing by the tens of thousands into the United States..

Overall, war accounts for a small share of violence against children. But during times of conflict and other humanitarian crises, domestic violence against adult women and children rises measurably, the study said.

Taliban attack intel base

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 14 Afghans, 12 of them security personnel, were killed Thursday in a Taliban attack in the southeastern city of Ghazni, Afghan officials said.

For the second time in less than a week, the insurgents struck at a provincial headquarters of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s domestic intelligence service, detonating a bomb in a vehicle at the facility’s gates and following up with a ground assault by suicide attackers.

Kurds postpone key vote

IRBIL, Iraq — Kurdish leaders, acceding to U.S. demands, are postponing plans for a referendum on independence and say they instead will devote their efforts to forging a new Iraqi government.

Years of tangling with outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, made Kurds skeptical about their future in an Iraq of squabbling Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs. Doubts rose in June after Islamic State extremists, supported by local Sunnis, took over northern Iraq, and the Shiite-dominated national army collapsed.

Bus swept away

SRINAGAR, India — A bus carrying more than 50 wedding guests was swept away by a flooded stream Thursday in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir, and all but five of the passengers were missing, officials said.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the bride and bridegroom were among the missing people who were returning home from a wedding ceremony in a village in the Rajouri region, about 110 miles southwest of Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir.

Gaza rebuilding costs

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday, in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from a seven-week war with Israel during which whole neighborhoods and vital infrastructure were flattened.

The cost of rebuilding 17,000 Gazan homes razed by Israeli bombings would be $2.5 billion, the Authority said, and the energy sector needed $250 million after the Strip's only power plant was destroyed by Israeli missiles.

Power outage in Egypt

CAIRO — An hourslong power outage in the Egyptian capital and elsewhere in the country on Thursday stranded commuters, disrupted TV broadcasts and trapped a small but unlucky cohort in elevators as daytime temperatures topped 100 degrees.

Compounding the misery, the outage shut down water supplies in some parts of the country as only water plants with generators continued to operate. Many factories and bakeries also stopped working, leading to long lines of unhappy people waiting for their daily bread subsidy.

— Compiled from wire reports



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