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Forces rescue U.S. doctor

KABUL, Afghanistan - An American doctor abducted by the Taliban five days ago was rescued Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led military coalition said.

Dilip Joseph was captured by Taliban insurgents Wednesday outside the Afghan capital. He was rescued in an early-morning operation ordered after intelligence showed that he was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to a statement.

"This was a combined operation of U.S. and Afghan forces," said 1st Lt. Joseph Alonso, a spokesman for U.S. forces. "Information was collected through multiple intelligence sources, which allowed Afghan and coalition forces to identify the location of Joseph and the criminals responsible for his captivity." The statement did not say where Joseph is from, or whether he was harmed. - AP

Ambush kills 8 Yemeni soldiers

SAN'A, Yemen - Eight Yemeni soldiers were killed in an ambush by extremists while visiting a main oil pipeline that had been destroyed in an earlier attack, the defense ministry said Saturday.

In a statement, the ministry called the Saturday attack in Marib province a "terrorist ambush," confirming that the chief of staff for Yemen's central military region was killed.

Security officials said earlier that they believed the extremists in the attack were from al-Qaeda. The army began an offensive last week in the restive, oil-rich province east of the capital to target extremists who had repeatedly attacked the pipeline and power lines in recent weeks. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. - AP

N. Korea might delay rocket

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea said Sunday that scientists were "seriously examining" the possibility of changing a launch window for a rocket the country had planned to fire sometime after Monday.

The short statement by an unnamed spokesman for the North's Korean Committee of Space Technology provided few details.

The U.N., Washington, Seoul, and others say the launch of what the North calls a peaceful satellite is a cover for a test of technology for a missile. - AP


Pope Benedict XVI

has kept up a holiday tradition, praying at the foot of Rome's Spanish Steps in the heart of the city's posh shopping district, and warning against selfishness. The pontiff, 85, wore a red cloak, bundled up against the damp and chilly air early Saturday evening. The Dec. 8 annual appearance, on a holy day to honor the Virgin Mary, kicks off the city's holiday shopping season.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Saturday night that his cancer has returned and that he will undergo another surgery in Cuba. Chavez also said for the first time that should his health worsen, his successor would be Vice President Nicolas Maduro.