World news briefs: 1/12/13

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Palestinians 'occupy' land

JERUSALEM -- Adopting a tactic more commonly employed by Jewish settlers who establish wildcat outposts in the West Bank, scores of Palestinian activists and international supporters erected tents Friday in a hotly contested piece of Israeli-occupied West Bank territory known as E1, and said they intended to stay put.

The Palestinians claim E1, just east of Jerusalem, as part of a future state. The protest comes six weeks after Israel announced that it was moving forward with plans for thousands of settlement homes in E1, stirring international outrage.

Israeli military authorities arrived Friday and handed the protesters notices warning them that they were illegally trespassing and that they had to leave, according to a police spokesman.

But the protesters said that they had anticipated such action and that their lawyers had already gone to court in Israel to argue for a delay in any evacuation until the state details the grounds for such a move. Protest leaders said the court had given the state six days to respond.

BBC sex-abuse scandal

LONDON -- The late entertainer Jimmy Savile sexually abused children on an unprecedented scale in Britain over half a century, using his fame and charitable work to deflect accusations of misconduct and to find vulnerable victims, particularly youngsters in hospitals, police said Friday.

A report by Scotland Yard after weeks of investigation painted a sickening portrait of a pedophile who molested hundreds of young people across the country between 1955 and 2009.

Since launching their investigation late last year, police have identified 214 alleged criminal offenses by Savile, including 34 possible cases of rape.

Dozens protest Shiite killings

ISLAMABAD -- Protesters and distraught family members of 86 Shiites from the Hazara ethnic group killed in two bomb blasts Thursday in the southwestern city of Quetta braved biting cold to stage a sit-in Friday, refusing to bury their dead until the Pakistani Army took control of the city to provide them with security.

There was no immediate response from the country's powerful army or its chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, has been ravaged by a vicious cycle of sectarian violence in recent years.

Gender imbalance rising

MUMBAI, India -- This nation's child-gender ratio -- the number of girls to boys -- is at its most lopsided in 50 years, as a growing number of couples opt to abort female fetuses or neglect infant girls in their desperation for sons.

While it is often assumed that uneducated, rural Indians are the most likely to shun daughters, researchers say the practice is quickly rising in the urban enclaves where incomes are rising.

Nationwide, there are just 914 girls age 6 and younger to every 1,000 boys, according to the 2011 census, down from 927 a decade before.

Coalition to rule CAR

JOHANNESBURG -- Opposition forces in the Central African Republic who took control of a large swath of the country in recent weeks have succeeded in forcing President Francois Bozize's government to share power, officials said Friday.

In a deal averting a battle for control of Bangui, the capital, Mr. Bozize and the opposition agreed to a coalition government during peace talks in Libreville, the Gabon capital. Under that deal, a prime minister would be appointed from the opposition and Mr. Bozize would complete his term in 2016.



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