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American Family Believes Missing Son Held in North Korea

The parents of an American college student, who went missing in China nearly eight years ago, are now certain he is being held in North Korea. But authorities in Washington and Beijing say there is no evidence about the fate of David Sneddon.

Families of Japanese abducted by North Korea over the decades met with U.S. government officials in Washington this week, as well as several members of Congress.

Stand With Allen West And Download The Report: Who Are The 76 Socialists In Congress

Congressman Allen West Is Right. There Are Presently 76 Open Communists, Socialists And Socialist Sympathizers In The United States Congress. And Congressman West Needs To Know That You Stand With Him Right Now.

When Congressman Allen West bravely exposed this open secret, we waited patiently. We waited for our Republican leaders in Congress to stand behind this war hero and join him in exposing this open secret.

China, Philippines Intensify War of Words Over S. China Sea

A recent flare-up between China and the Philippines about a disputed island has renewed tensions surrounding South China Sea territories. The spat has also highlighted a July deadline for agreement on a code of conduct in the sea between China and Southeast Asian nations.

On Thursday, China’s state media said most Chinese travel agencies suspended trips to the Philippines in an escalating and nationalistic war of words over a disputed island chain. China also issued a safety warning to its citizens in the Philippines because of anti-China protests expected this weekend.

Court Orders S. African Prosecutors to Investigate Torture in Zimbabwe

South Africa's high court has ordered prosecutors to investigate Zimbabwean officials who alleged committed torture and human rights abuses in the run-up to Zimbabwe's violent and disputed 2008 elections. The decision has important practical, political and diplomatic implications for South Africa.

Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng: 'Thugs' Beat Nephew

Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has expressed concern for his nephew Chen Kegui, telling Voice of America that "thugs with wooden sticks" went to his house and beat him.

Speaking to VOA Monday, he called for the media and public to take note of his nephew's situation, calling it an "extremely unjust case."

The town chief and other officials reportedly went to Chen Kegui's house in Shandong on April 27 to look for Chen Guangcheng, who had fled house arrest.

Mexican Journalists Hold Solidarity March

Journalists have led a solidarity protest march in Mexico City for three photojournalists killed in the gulf state of Veracruz.

Reporters and supporters of the media held photos of the slain journalists during Friday's march.

Journalist Epigmenio Ibarra says crime organizations target reporters with no fear of consequences.

"The medium of information in Mexico has turned into a high risk activity with impunity for organized criminal groups and authorities and institutions penetrate and sometimes virtually run by these criminals," Ibarra noted.

Burmese State Media: Dozens of Rebels Dead in Clashes in Kachin State

Burmese state media said Friday that heavy fighting in northern Kachin state has killed 29 ethnic rebels and two government troops during the past week.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar said the clashes began on April 27 when government troops responded to an attack on a military post by members of the Kachin Independence Army in a northern border town. It said one KIA member was captured alive and that the military is in "hot pursuit" of fleeing members of the group.

Chinese Dissident Changes Mind, Now Wants US Asylum

Questions hang over the fate of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who is now appealing for asylum in the United States.

A few hours after Chen’s departure from the U.S. embassy, the story about his release began to unravel.

The key question of whether Chen wanted to stay in China or leave for the United States overshadowed Thursday’s high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in Beijing.

American ambassador to China Gary Locke told reporters Thursday that he had no doubts one day earlier, when U.S. officials escorted Chen from the embassy to a Beijing hospital.

New Efforts to Recruit Child Soldiers Reported in DRC

Rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo have reportedly stepped up efforts to recruit child soldiers, as fighting in North Kivu continued Wednesday between the Congolese army and defecting soldiers.

Armed men entered at least one secondary school last week in the eastern DRC town of Kitchanga, intent on recruiting new fighters, officials at the National Endowment for Democracy learned Wednesday. At that school, “the kids would have been no older than 16 years old,” said Josh Marks, who manages the organization’s Central Africa program.

Security Council Calls on Sudans to Stop Fighting

The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution calling on Sudan and South Sudan to stop fighting and resolve their issues, or face possible sanctions.

The 15-nation Council voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of the resolution, which demands both sides "immediately cease all hostilities" and reach an agreement on oil, border and citizenship issues.

The document stresses the need to restore a "comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Sudan and South Sudan."

Chinese Dissident Leaves US Embassy After Six Days

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, days after he stunned the world by escaping from house arrest and taking refuge with U.S. diplomats. China is demanding an apology from the United States over the incident.

Neither the U.S. nor Chinese governments would confirm that blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was in the embassy last week, but both sides confirmed Wednesday that he had left.

Counter-Coup Attempt Fails in Mali

Rebel troops who toppled the country's democratically elected president in March have defeated a counter-coup attempt, and the military coup leader says a transitional government remains in place.

Junta officials said Tuesday the main camp of guards loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure had fallen and the remaining soldiers attempting to reverse the coup had fled.

The U.S. embassy in the capital, Bamako, also said the “counter-effort” by forces loyal to the ousted president appeared to have failed.

Bolivia Government Seizes Spanish-Owned Power Company

Bolivian President Evo Morales says the government is taking over the Spanish-owned power company and he ordered the army to seize control of the electricity grid.

Mr. Morales said Tuesday Spain's Red Electrica company's investment in Bolivia was inadequate. He also said the government should be responsible for generating electricity.

Mr. Morales did not say how the Bolivian government would compensate the Spanish company. Its Bolivian assets were responsible for less than 3 percent of its 2011 revenue.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN: FIRST IMPRESSIONS

For several years, the greatest desire in my professional life has been to put my boots on the ground in Afghanistan. I have been a reader of SOF magazine for more than 30 years. During that time, there have been innumerable stories about Afghanistan and the various adventures of hearty men who have traversed its mountain passes. I always wanted to see it for myself.

Analysts Say North Korea Faked New Missiles

Two German analysts say ballistic missiles unveiled in a North Korean military parade earlier this month were clumsy fakes.

In a paper titled, "A Dog And Pony Show," Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker of Germany's Schmucker Technologie wrote that the six intercontinental ballistic missiles carried on mobile launchers in the April 15 parade were all bad mock-ups.