World News: New Leads in 6-year old Case of Missing 3-yr-old British Girl

By: AP
By: AP
UK police announce new leads in missing girl case... Suspected US drone in Yemen kills 4 militants... Attacks kill 16 in Iraq; 8 police kidnapped... Blasts rock Libya

This undated composite image shows photos of then 3-year-old missing child Madeleine McCann and a projected computer generated image of her at 9 years old. (Credit: AP Photo/London Metropolitan Police/Teri Blythe)

LONDON (AP) -- British police say they are investigating new leads in the case of Madeleine McCann, the Briton who disappeared six years ago in Portugal at the age of three.
Scotland Yard said it has identified several "persons of interest" and "both investigative and forensic opportunities" in the case. The force said Friday its work is under way to support police in Portugal, even though they have closed their investigation into the disappearance.
McCann vanished from her family's vacation home in Portugal's Algarve region on May 3, 2007, days before her fourth birthday. The case has generated intense media interest in Britain.
British police launched Operation Grange in 2011, to try to solve the puzzle.
Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said Friday officers have been encouraged by the progress made so far.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- A suspected U.S. drone strike killed four al-Qaida militants Saturday in a southern Yemeni province once overrun by the group, according to security officials.
The officials said the attack took place around dawn in an area called Deyqa in Abyan province. Officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Yemeni forces battled al-Qaida in Abyan province last year, routing militants from major cities that al-Qaida had briefly ruled during the country's 2011 political turmoil. The militants fled to surrounding mountainous areas after Yemen's military, assisted by the United States, forced them to retreat.
According to several research groups and The Associated Press's own reporting, there has been a dramatic rise in such drone strikes in Yemen since the country's new U.S.-backed president assumed power early last year.
Washington says al-Qaida in Yemen is among the group's most dangerous and active branches worldwide.
The U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein, met Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Saturday. Earlier this week, President Barack Obama extended an executive decision warning supporters of the country's former longtime ruler -- ousted after more than three decades in power by protests -- to stop hampering the political process or face having their assets frozen.
Hadi also told Yemeni state TV Saturday that tampering of the country's military jets over the past year is the work of either al-Qaida or those wanting to sabotage the army, a reference to supporters of Saleh still in government and security posts.
He vowed an investigation into the incidents.
Seven military aircraft have been sabotaged while still on the ground, including at least two that were torched.
Additionally, just five days ago a military plane on a training exercise exploded in midair over the country's capital, killing the pilot. It was the third such jet crash since Hadi took power.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Shootings and bombings have killed at least 16 people in Iraq today. And gunmen abducted eight policemen guarding a post on the country's main highway to Jordan and Syria.
The events follow three days of attacks that killed 130 people in both Shiite and Sunni areas.
A spike in bloodshed in recent weeks has raised fears the country may be heading toward a new round of sectarian conflict.
In the deadliest of today's attacks, gunmen broke into the house of an anti-terrorism police captain in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, killing the officer, his wife and two children in their sleep. The attackers fled the scene, and killed another policeman who tried to stop them at a nearby checkpoint.
The kidnappings occurred in the western Sunni province of Anbar. Two police officials say gunmen abducted eight policemen who were guarding a post on the main highway linking Iraq to both Jordan and Syria. Earlier in the day, security forces and gunmen clashed in the area after police tried to arrest a Sunni tribal sheik suspected of involvement in the killing of three army intelligence soldiers last month.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Libyan officials say explosions went off in the capital Tripoli and the restive eastern city of Benghazi, but no casualties were reported.
A security official says one bombing targeted an abandoned church in Benghazi that had been previously damaged by fire. The explosion damaged only a car parked outside.
The official says two other explosions targeted parked security vehicles elsewhere in the city. A soldier was lightly wounded from flying debris.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
Tripoli's security spokesman, Essam el-Naas, says two suspects have been arrested for an explosion near the Saudi, Greek and Palestinian embassies. A second went off near a security building.
He did not give further details about the suspects.
All explosions took place Saturday.

CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian security forces have fired tear gas at protesters hurling firebombs at them in central Cairo, hours after hundreds of opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi rallied peacefully in the streets denouncing his rule and demanding early presidential elections.
The Friday protests witnessed low turnout but come on the heels of a campaign dubbed "Rebel," which aims at collecting 15 million signatures on a petition to oust Morsi and hold early elections. Coordinators said they have collected 2 million signatures.
The demonstrators earlier marched through Cairo before converging on Tahrir Square, chanting: "Down with the rule of the Guide," in reference to the leader of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi's opponents say he only serves the interest of the Brotherhood. The group says it has won legitimacy through the ballot box.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan legislator says conservative lawmakers have blocked a law that aims to protect women's freedoms, saying parts of it violate Islamic principles.
The failure highlights how tenuous women's rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.
The law has actually been in effect since 2009 by presidential decree. Lawmaker Fawzia Kofi wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its future reversal.
Among its provisions are bans on child marriage and the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes.
Kofi said the law was introduced in parliament Saturday but met such fierce opposition that it was withdrawn. It wasn't immediately clear to which parts they objected.

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chilean officials are investigating the death of hundreds of penguins, pelicans and other animals that are washing up on the county's shores.
Authorities say they suspect that fishermen using explosives may have killed the animals found at the town of Punta de Choros on Chile's north-central coast.
Chile's National Fishing Service and the Navy are inspecting vessels around the area.
Environmental group Oceana is urging officials to find and punish those responsible for the deaths.
Chile has more than 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) of coastline and fishing is among its top industries.

TIMIKA, Indonesia (AP) -- Rescuers searching for 23 trapped workers at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in Indonesia spotted six bodies Saturday but weren't able to immediately retrieve them because of falling debris, a company official said.
The collapse at the Big Gossan underground training facility at the PT Freeport Indonesia mine happened last Tuesday when 38 workers were undergoing safety training.
Ten miners were rescued and five bodies have been recovered since then.
"Rescuers have spotted six bodies, but sudden falling debris prevented them from taking them," said Rozik B. Soetjipto, president director of PT Freeport Indonesia. "Hopefully they could be picked up tonight."
Nurhadi Sabirin, head of the company's emergency response team, said vibrations have been detected that could be a human heartbeat, but they could also have resulted from a number of other causes.
"We have not detected any other potential signs of life in the past 72 hours," Sabirin said in a statement. He said rocks falling down from above were slowing the progress of rescuers.
"We continue to carry out these efforts nonstop, 24 hours a day as quickly as can be done safely to do everything possible to save lives, but as more time passes the possibility of there being any survivors becomes less likely," Sabirin said.
Mining operations at the Grasberg mine in remote Mimika district in the easternmost province of Papua have been suspended since Tuesday to pay respects to the victims and to concentrate on rescue operations. The company said the accident was expected to have no significant impact on its operations.
Around 1,000 workers are still blocking a main road about two miles (three kilometers) from the accident site in solidarity with the victims, and also to seek a guarantee of safety in working underground.
Ronald Waromi, an action organizer, said they also wanted to make sure that mining activities would continue to be halted so the company would focus on rescue efforts.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered Freeport and government agencies to thoroughly investigate the accident.
More than 20,000 workers are employed at the mine owned by Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. in the restive province, which holds some of the world's largest gold and copper reserves.


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