World briefs 11/17/03

Monday, November 17, 2003

Skin cancer often linked with more serious cancers

CHICAGO -- Women with common, usually nonfatal forms of skin cancer face double the risk of developing unrelated cancers, according to the study's lead author Dr. Carol Rosenberg of Evanston-Northwestern Healthcare, part of Northwestern University's medical schoo, suggesting that the initial diagnosis may be more worrisome than previously thought.

The skin cancer link was found for several malignancies, including cancer of the brain, breasts, ovaries and uterus. It was even stronger for liver cancer, which had a five times higher risk, and lung cancer, which had triple the risk.

Bogota nightclub district attacks kill one, injure 72

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian flags hung outside the Bogota Beer Garden Company in mourning and defiance Sunday, hours after suspected rebels exploded grenades at two bars frequented by Americans, killing a Colombian woman and injuring at least 72 other people.

Police blamed the nation's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for the Saturday night attacks in the Zona Rosa -- the first insurgent assaults on this popular nightclub district.

French U.N. employee killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan -- One of two Afghan men on a motorcycle opened fire Sunday on a marked United Nations car, killing a French aid worker, the first international U.N. staff member slain in postwar Afghanistan. Police identified the captured assailants as Taliban militants.

Bettina Goislard, 29, an employee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, was shot at close range at a shopping bazaar in Ghazni, the capital of Ghazni province in central Afghanistan. Her Afghan driver was wounded.

Serbian elections fail for third time in a year

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro -- Serbians failed for the third time in a year Sunday to elect a president because of low voter turnout, triggering a political crisis in the Balkan republic.

An ultranationalist with close ties to Slobodan Milosevic led the ballot, underlining Serbians' discontent with the pro-Western government that ousted the dictator in 2000 and the republic's drift back to Milosevic's nationalism, which triggered the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

About 39 percent of registered voters cast ballots, exit polls showed, less than the 50 percent needed to validate the vote, said the independent Center for Free Elections and Democracy.

Sex offenders less likely to be arrested after release

WASHINGTON -- Sex offenders are less likely to be rearrested after their release from prison than other criminals, a government study released Sunday finds.

The Justice Department study of 9,691 men convicted of rape, sexual assault and child molestation who were released in 1994 found 43 percent were arrested for any type of crime within three years, compared with 68 percent for all other former inmates.

Ryan King, researcher at The Sentencing Project, suggested the difference may be because the most serious rapists, sexual assaulters and child molesters do not get released in the first place. Those studied served an average of 3 1/2 years, indicating they had committed less severe crimes.

Al-Qaida claims recent Istanbul attacks

CAIRO, Egypt -- An Arabic-language newspaper received a claim of responsibility from the al-Qaida terrorist movement for the car bomb attacks that killed 23 people in two Istanbul synagogues Saturday, the paper's editor said Sunday.

The statement received by the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, said the group carried out the attack because it learned that agents of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad were in the synagogues.

-- From wire reports

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