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Drifting boats found to contain bodies

Japanese authorities are investigating nearly a dozen wooden boats carrying decomposing bodies found drifting off the northwestern coast over the last month.

Coast Guard officials said Tuesday they have found at least 11 shoddy boats carrying the bodies of unknown nationality since late October. They have also found fishing equipment and nets on board and signs written in Korean, suggesting they came from North Korea.

Officials say dozens of wrecked boats drift toward Japan's northwestern coasts facing the Sea of Japan every year.

This year, officials have found 34 mystery boats so far, including the 11 found between late October and November. Last year, Japan found 65 of them, and 80 more in 2013, according to the Coast Guard.    - AP


U.S. travel advisory

The State Department is warning U.S. citizens against traveling to Mali and is authorizing the voluntary departure of eligible family members and nonemergency personnel from the U.S. Embassy. The advisory issued Tuesday advises U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and "avoid public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners." Last month, Islamic extremists attacked a luxury hotel in Mali's capital, Bamako, killing 20 people. - AP

New travel limit

The Cuban government said Tuesday that it is reimposing a hated travel permit requirement on many doctors, requiring them to get permission to leave the country in an attempt to counter a brain drain that it blames on the United States. It is the first major reversal in Cuba's policy of allowing unrestricted travel.   - AP