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North Korea Sentences 2 US Journalists to 12 Years


N KOREA-US JOURNALISTS: North Korea's state news agency says a court has sentenced two female American journalists to 12 years of hard labor.
The Korean Central News Agency said Monday that the court found the two women guilty of committing an unspecified "grave crime" and illegally crossing into North Korea. Last Thursday, North Korean state media announced the start of the trial of Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters for the U.S. media company Current TV. North Korean authorities arrested Lee and Ling in March while they were working on a story near the Chinese-North Korean border.

NORTH KOREA: The Obama administration said Sunday North Korea could be put back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism following its recent nuclear and missile tests. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the tests were "very provocative" and are forcing Washington to reconsider the decision it made last October to take North Korea off the terrorism list.
North Korea was removed from the list after it agreed to verification measures at its nuclear facilities. Secretary Clinton said the U.S. is working in the United Nations on a resolution that would create a mechanism for interdicting North Korean arms shipments.

LEBANON-ELECTION: Lebanon's pro-Western coalition has claimed victory in Sunday's parliamentary election.
In a speech to supporters, the majority leader in Lebanon's parliament, Saad al-Hariri, declared victory over a Hezbollah-led alliance backed by Syria and Iran. Hariri called it a big day for democracy in Lebanon. Representatives of Hezbollah's main Christian ally acknowledged the party's defeat.
It is not clear how many seats each coalition won because official returns have not been released.

PAKISTAN: Officials in northwest Pakistan say more than 1,000 villagers are attacking suspected Taliban militants in the Upper Dir district, in a third day of violence aimed at avenging Friday's deadly suicide bombing at a local mosque.
Local officials said Monday at least 1,200 villagers from the area have joined a citizens' militia (known as a "lashkar"), which has killed at least nine militants and has set fire to 20 homes of Taliban fighters.
Officials say militia members have pushed the Taliban out of at least three villages and are surrounding two other villages known as Taliban strongholds.

SWINE FLU-US-CHINA: The mayor of the southern U.S. city of New Orleans has been placed under quarantine in China after a fellow passenger on his flight to the country exhibited flu-like symptoms. Mayor Ray Nagin, his wife, and one member of his staff are now being held in Shanghai.
Nagin's office announced Sunday that the trio was quarantined as a precaution after a passenger on their flight fell ill with a suspected case of swine influenza, A-H1N1. A spokesperson in the mayor's office says no one in Nagin's party has displayed symptoms of the flu. Nagin traveled to China to discuss economic development opportunities, and he also was scheduled to visit Australia.

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