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Public-sector strike paralyzes cities

JOHANNESBURG — Tens of thousands of public-sector workers marched yesterday to government offices across the country, escalating a 12-day-old strike and bringing South Africa's largest cities to a standstill.

The action staged by public-sector unions disrupted schooling, health care and transportation services. Municipal workers also heeded the call to halt work in a show of solidarity, and several other unions took part in lunchtime protests.

With a heavy police presence in all cities, the protests were peaceful and there were no reports of violence as workers rallied for higher wages.

About 1 million teachers, nurses and other civil servants have been on strike since June 1, leaving hospitals struggling.


Amnesty urges probe of sect killings

NAIROBI — Amnesty International on Tuesday urged the Kenyan government to probe the killings of dozens of presumed members of a banned sect blamed for a string of beheadings and other types of slayings in recent months.

The London-based rights panel "strongly condemned" a police crackdown that led to the deaths of at least 38 presumed members of the Mungiki sect, including last week's raid of a Nairobi slum where police killed 34 persons in two days. Authorities have vowed to vanquish the politically linked Mungiki, a banned sect, which has claimed responsibility for at least 30 deaths since March.


Tutu's home in Soweto burglarized

JOHANNESBURG — The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Archbishop Desmond Tutu was stolen in a burglary at the clergyman's Soweto home but later recovered, police said Monday.

Another award of significant value recovered was a "golden key" to the city of Sacramento, Calif., Gauteng police spokeswoman Superintendent Thembi Nkwashu told the South African Press Association.

Superintendent Nkwashu said various personal items were taken during a break-in at the archbishop's house in Orlando West Sunday morning.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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