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Raid frees four Colombia hostages

BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombian authorities Monday found a policeman who was held hostage in the jungle for nearly 12 years, a day after he had fled for his life during a firefight between his rebel captors and soldiers staging a surprise rescue.

Police Lt. Col. William Donato, 41, was in good health after taking refuge among trees more than 260 feet tall, Gen. Freddy Padilla said.

Donato is the fourth hostage rescued in the military raid, along with two high-ranking police officers and an army sergeant. All were kidnapped in 1998 and among the longest-held captives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

One of the four, Gen. Luis Mendieta, said the captives were preparing to "celebrate" his birthday Sunday when the raid suddenly started. Donato was separated from the others.

- AP

WWII-era ship believed found

TIRANA, Albania - Using undersea scanning devices, archaeologists from the United States and Albania believe they have found the wreckage of an Italian ship that British forces torpedoed during World War II when Albania was occupied by Mussolini's Fascists.

The remnants, found just off Albania's coast over the weekend, probably were part of the 8,000-ton Rosandra freighter, which was hit by a British submarine June 14, 1943, the team said Monday, the 67th anniversary of the sinking.

The vessel was located 260 feet beneath the surface of the Ionian Sea, 90 miles southwest of Tirana, the capital.

Six people died in the attack on the Axis vessel, which was carrying 400 tons of food and military supplies to Italian occupation forces in Greece, but 173 were safely evacuated to land. - AP

Barcelona bars wearing of veils

MADRID, Spain - Barcelona has become the first major Spanish city to bar the use of face-covering Islamic veils in municipal buildings.

Mayor Jordi Hereu announced the measure Monday but insisted it was not religious. He said it was aimed at all dress that impedes identification, including ski masks and some motorcycle helmets.

Lleida, also in the Spanish region of Catalonia, last month became the first Spanish city to regulate use of body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments. Other European countries have been debating regulating the use of burqas in recent months.

Barcelona town hall said the measure was largely symbolic given that it is unusual to see women wearing burqas or niqabs in the city, which has a population of 1.5 million.

- AP


Ten Mexican police officers were killed after being attacked by unidentified gunmen near a high school in Michoacan state. Drug-gang violence has swept Michoacan, where the La Familia cartel has a stronghold.

Egypt's new museum for antiquities now has a power plant, a fire station, and its own conservation center, and in the next two years it will become home to some 100,000 artifacts, officials said. A partial opening for the museum, which will house King Tut's mummy, is set for 2012.

At least 24 people drowned and 11 were missing after a boat capsized on the Ganges River in northern India early Monday.