CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

American envoy warns that violence must be halted

The American ambassador to the United Nations delivered a stern message on Thursday to the leaders of the strife-torn Central African Republic to stop the cycle of violence.

On her first official overseas trip, Samantha Power finds herself in an uncomfortable position: Before becoming a diplomat, she made her name as a vocal critic of Washington's response to past atrocities. Now, she is trying to spotlight the horror here, at the same time that she represents a government that has declined to join France in sending troops.

Instead, the United States will spend $100 million to equip and train the African troops sent in to stabilize the country, including providing trucks to get them into villages in the countryside where rival Christian and Muslim militias have been attacking civilians and each other.

The ambassador met with President Michel Djotodia, who swept to power with his mainly Muslim Seleka rebels in March and is now battling Christian militias, some made up of soldiers from the former regime. - AP

INDIA

It's a first for Christie's

Christie's held its first art auction in India on Thursday, aiming to tap into a budding market for prestige purchasing among the country's fast-growing ranks of millionaires despite an economic slowdown. The inaugural sale of 83 lots in the financial hub of Mumbai featured paintings from the private collection of one of India's first families of contemporary art as well as pieces from six of the nine Indian artists deemed "national treasures" whose works cannot leave the country. Total sales added up to $16.4 million, more than double the pre-auction estimates.

- AP
ITALY

Serial killer on the loose

Italy has launched a manhunt for a convicted serial killer who was allowed to leave a Genoa prison on a two-day, good-behavior pass to see his elderly mother but failed to return. Genoa police official Fausto Lamparelli said Thursday that Bartolomeo Gagliano is armed and "dangerous." Since Gagliano's initial imprisonment three decades ago, he has escaped six times. - AP