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World News: Updates-Philippines Typhoon; France Deployment; Syria; Iran; Bird Flu; Storms Wash Seals Off Beach

By: ap
By: ap
1 month later, progress in Philippine typhoon zone... Colombia: 9  killed in rebel attack... France increases its deployment in African nation... Iraqi FM warns of jihadi

FILE - This April 8, 2013 file photo shows a worker cleaning empty cages used for transporting chickens, to prevent an outbreak of H7N9 infections at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong. Scientists who sparked an outcry by creating easier-to-spread versions of the bird flu want to try such experiments again using a worrisome new strain. Since it broke out in China in March, the H7N9 bird flu has infected more than 130 people and killed 43. Leading flu researchers say that genetically engineering this virus in the lab could help track whether it�s changing in the wild to become a bigger threat. They announced the pending plans Wednesday in letters to the journals Science and Nature. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- One month since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines, there are signs of progress mixed with reminders of the scale of the disaster.
The government is back at work, and markets are laden with fruits, pork, fish and bread. The sounds of a city getting back on its feet fill the air: the roar of trucks hauling debris, the scrape of shovel along pavement, the ping of hammer on nails.
But bodies are still being uncovered from beneath the debris in the hardest hit city of Tacloban. Tens of thousands are living amid the ruins of their former lives, underneath shelters made from scavenged materials and handouts.
Haiyan plowed through Tacloban and other coastal areas, leaving over 5,700 dead and more than 1,700 missing. Some 4 million people were displaced.

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says nine people, including civilians, military and a police officer, died in an attack on a police post that's being blamed on rebels.
Santos says 23 civilians, 12 police and three troops were wounded in the attack in the community of Inza in Cauca department. He has offered a reward worth about $26,000 for information for leading to the capture of those responsible.
Lt. Col. Mauricio Cardenas said Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels threw artisanal mortars at the station from a truck on Saturday, destroying that and several other buildings. Five soldiers, three civilians and a police officer died.
Santos ratified the continuation of peace negotiations with the FARC but ruled out a ceasefire. The talks have been held in Cuba since late 2012.

PARIS (AP) -- An official says French troops are deploying in western and northern regions of the Central African Republic, a day after France stepped up its presence in its former colony to try to stem violence there.
Col. Gilles Jaron, a French defense ministry spokesman, said the French force reached its full deployment of 1,200 on Saturday, with some entering the west of the country from neighboring Cameroon.
Jaron said other French troops are leaving Bangui, the capital, on a reconnaissance mission to the north. He declined to provide specifics on their destination or how many were involved.
France had pledged to increase its presence well before Christian militias attacked Bangui at dawn Thursday. Clashes between Christian militias and mostly Muslim ex-rebels have left at least 281 people dead.

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- Iraq's top diplomat says the "toxic" proliferation of extremist groups among Syria's rebels raises the prospect of a jihadist-ruled territory at the heart of the region.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told attendees at a security conference in Bahrain on Saturday that the increase in radical fighters in the armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad is leading toward the creation of an ungovernable "Islamic emirate" that the world will have to deal with down the road.
Iraq is grappling with a months-long spike in bloodshed blamed largely on al-Qaeda's local franchise, which is also playing an active role inside Syria in the fight against Assad.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists say government troops backed by Hezbollah fighters are battling al-Qaida-linked rebels for control of a western town located along the country's main north-south highway.
The road holds strategic value for both sides, and serves as a crucial link between the capital Damascus and northern Syria as well as government strongholds along the Mediterranean coast.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said this week it would consider using the highway to transport Syria's chemical weapons to the port of Latakia before they are taken out of the country for destruction.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Saturday's clashes are concentrated around the town of Nabek. It says the section of the highway near the town has been closed for 18 days.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president has defended an interim nuclear deal reached with world powers last month that eases some sanctions in return for a halt to parts of the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment program, saying improving the economy is as important as maintaining a peaceful nuclear program.
Hassan Rouhani told students in Tehran Saturday that economic progress can't be achieved without interaction with the outside world. He said his government will continue his policy of moderation, in sharp contrast to the bombastic style of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The six-month interim nuclear deal includes greater access for U.N. inspectors to Iran and a cap on the level of uranium enrichment.
Rouhani faces the difficult task of selling the interim agreement to skeptics and hard-liners at home

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong has reported its second human case of H7N9 bird flu days after the first, raising fears that the virus is spreading beyond mainland China.
The Health Department said late Friday that an 80-year-old man being treated for a chronic illness was found to have the bird flu strain.
Hong Kong authorities have been monitoring H7N9 closely since it was first identified in April. Infectious diseases are a particular concern in Hong Kong, where a decade ago the Sars virus killed 299 people. Hundreds in other countries also died.
H7N9 has sickened about 140 people and killed 45, almost all of them in mainland China. Taiwan has had one case.
The virus appears to have stalled since Chinese authorities cracked down on live animal markets following the initial outbreak.

LONDON (AP) -- Conservation authorities say hundreds of seals may have fallen victim to this week's floods in eastern England, and are warning people not to try to help stranded pups.
The National Trust says gray seal pups have been washed from a beach at Horsey in the county of Norfolk.
Seals arrive on the beach each November to give birth, and the pups spend their first few weeks on the dunes.
The trust says the pups should be left alone so that their mothers can try to find them.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it has "serious concerns about seal colonies" along the coast.
Eastern England was swamped Thursday by the biggest tidal surge in 60 years, amid a powerful storm with hurricane-force gusts of wind.


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