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Saudi woman who drove is detained

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Authorities detained a Saudi woman on Saturday after she launched a campaign against the driving ban for women in the ultraconservative kingdom and posted a video of herself behind the wheel on Facebook and YouTube to encourage others to copy her.

Manal al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself" that urges authorities to lift the driving ban. She went on a test drive in the eastern city of Khobar and later posted a video of the experience.

"This is a volunteer campaign to help the girls of this country" learn to drive, Sherif says in the video. "At least for times of emergency, God forbid. What if whoever is driving them gets a heart attack?"

Human-rights activist Walid Abou el-Kheir said Sherif was detained by the country's religion police. Al-Sherif was released hours later, according to the campaign's Twitter account. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to ban women from driving. - AP

Vietnamese party boat sinks; 15 die

BINH NHAM, Vietnam - A tour boat cruising on a river to celebrate a 3-year-old's birthday capsized during a violent storm in southern Vietnam, killing the boy, four other children, and 10 adults, officials said Saturday.

Divers recovered the bodies from the Saigon River on Saturday afternoon, but one passenger remained missing, said Trieu Van Giau, head of the Binh Duong provincial waterway police.

Several people managed to swim to safety after the double-deck, restaurant-style boat capsized Friday night about 100 yards from the terminal, said Le Van Hieu, chief of Binh Nham village, 19 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. "It's horrible to see the birthday party for that 3-year-old boy turn into a tragedy," he said. - AP

Icelandic volcano shuts airspace

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland's most active volcano has started erupting, scientists said Saturday - just over a year after another eruption on the North Atlantic island shut down European air traffic for days.

Iceland's Meteorological Office confirmed that an eruption had begun at the Grimsvotn volcano, accompanied by a series of small earthquakes. Smoke could be seen rising from the volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland. Grimsvotn last erupted in 2004.

A no-fly zone has been designated for 120 nautical miles in all directions. Isavia, the company that operates and develops all airport facilities and air-navigation services in Iceland, said that was standard procedure around eruptions. - AP


Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated Saturday as Ivory Coast's president in the stately ceremony he should have enjoyed six months ago but was prevented from holding by the entrenched ruler who refused to accept election defeat. Ouattara used the occasion to underscore the return to constitutional order, but also to reach out to those who had voted for his rival.