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World news briefs — compiled on April 15

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South Korea

Ferry sends distress signal

A government office said a passenger ship carrying about 470 people sent a distress call off the southern coast after it began leaning to one side this morning. South Korean media, including Yonhap news agency, said passengers were asked to jump overboard with life vests as the ship was on the verge of sinking. Rescue efforts were underway and early reports said about 120 people were rescued. The ferry was sailing to the southern island of Jeju.

INDIA

Victory for transgendered people

India’s top court on Tuesday issued a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents. The Supreme Court directed the federal and state governments to include transgendered people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges. Previously, transgendered Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents. The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender.

Libya

Gunmen kidnap ambassador

Masked gunmen abducted the Jordanian ambassador in the Libyan capital early Tuesday, officials said, the latest in a wave of abductions in the nation still plagued by lawlessness more than two years after the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Assailants in two cars opened fire on Ambassador Fawaz al-Etan’s vehicle in central Tripoli near the Jordanian Embassy, wounding his driver before forcing the diplomat out at gunpoint, said Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Said al-Aswad.

Nigeria

Extremists abduct 100 girls

Suspected Muslim extremists kidnapped about 100 girls Tuesday from a school in northeastern Nigeria, less than a day after militants bombed a bus station and killed 75 people in the capital — a surge of violence that raised new doubts about the military’s ability to contain an Islamic uprising. Attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist network have killed more than 1,500 people in this year alone, compared with an estimated 3,600 dead between 2010 and 2014. In the latest attack, gunmen killed a soldier and a police officer guarding a school in Chibok on the edge of the Sambisa Forest and abducted the teenage girls after midnight, according to authorities. Some of the girls escaped by jumping off the open truck as it was moving slowly along a road, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. Islamic extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves.

Compiled from wire reports.


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