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CHINA

Report charges 'brutality' at protest

Chinese security forces used "disproportionate force" and acted with "deliberate brutality" in crushing a protest in Tibet in 2008, according to an international human rights group.

In a 73-page report titled " 'I Saw It with My Own Eyes': Abuses by Security Forces in Tibet, 2008-2010," Human Rights Watch said China continues to violate the rights of Tibetans suspected of sympathizing with the protest.

The report is based on more than 200 interviews with Tibetan refugees and official Chinese sources.

Beijing repeatedly has rejected charges that its security forces acted in a brutal manner to crush the protests in Tibet.

IRAQ

Four terrorists escape from prison

BAGHDAD | Four al Qaeda-linked detainees have escaped from a Baghdad-area prison that was handed over by the U.S. to Iraqi authorities a week ago, Iraq's justice minister said Thursday.

Dara Noureddin said the four, who were awaiting trial on terrorism charges, escaped from the prison formerly known as Camp Cropper.

The escape could be a major embarrassment for Iraq, which took over control of the prison from U.S. forces on July 15.

The U.S. military could not immediately be reached for comment.

UNITED NATIONS

Memo shows Ban as wanting secrecy

A portrait of Ban Ki-moon as a secrecy-obsessed U.N. chief seeking to wrest control of internal investigations emerges from a blistering 50-page confidential memo by his former oversight chief.

The unusual memo by Inga-Britt Ahlenius, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, describes Mr. Ban as more concerned with preventing news leaks than with releasing possible criminal evidence to prosecutors.

It also details how she fought Mr. Ban's efforts to set up a competing "new investigative capacity" within the United Nations.

The U.N.'s ability to police itself for major fraud and corruption is of concern to the United States and other major donors to the world organization, who worry whether the billions of dollars they contribute to improve the lives of the world's poorest actually reach those most in need.

HAITI

IMF cancels Haiti's debt

PARIS | The International Monetary Fund says it has canceled Haiti's $268 million debt and will lend the earthquake-devastated country another $60 million to help it with reconstruction plans.

The IMF said the decision is part of a plan for long-term reconstruction after the Jan. 12 magnitude 7 quake, which killed as many as 300,000 people.

The three-year loan carries a zero interest rate until 2011, which then rises to no more than 0.5 percent.

BRITAIN

Lawmakers to revamp jurisdiction rule

LONDON | Britain will introduce new rules to make it harder for its courts to arrest foreigners accused of serious human rights violations, the Ministry of Justice said Thursday.

Britain subscribes to the doctrine of "universal jurisdiction," which allows the prosecution of suspected war criminals in countries that have no direct connection with the events.

Activists have used the rule to seek arrest warrants for foreign dignitaries visiting Britain, leading to complaints by Gordon Brown, when he was prime minister, that the rule was jeopardizing the country's foreign relations.

EGYPT

Mubarak makes economy a priority

CAIRO | Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday improving economic growth and dealing with social disparities are top priorities for the Arab world's most populous nation, challenging his political opponents to take them on.

Near daily protests in Egypt have brought attention to rising living costs and other economic problems, giving opponents of Mr. Mubarak's three-decade rule a rallying point.

Reformists also have demanded greater political freedoms, including legal changes that would allow for freer elections and serious competition to Mr. Mubarak in next year's presidential elections.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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