FRANCE

French troops planned

France promised Tuesday to send 1,000 troops to Central African Republic amid warnings about the potential for genocide in the former French colony. Whether the French forces will save lives largely depends on how far the foreign soldiers venture outside the capital, Bangui, to the lawless provinces where mostly Muslim rebels have been attacking Christian villages, and Christian militias have recently launched retaliatory attacks. The French move comes less than a week after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned “the country is on the verge of genocide” and marks the second time this year that France has sent troops to a former colony in Africa. In January, soldiers launched an offensive to free Mali towns from the control of al-Qaida-linked militants.

MEXICO

Hitman back in U.S.

A 17-year-old U.S. citizen who acknowledged being a killer for a Mexican drug cartel finished his three-year juvenile-offender term for homicide, kidnapping and drug and weapons possession and returned to the United States. The interior secretary of southern Morelos state, Jorge Messeguer, said Edgar Jimenez Lugo had been released, adding it wasn’t clear if the teen had been rehabilitated. He said Jimenez went to San Antonio, Texas, where he has family and apparently will go to a residential support facility. It does not appear Jimenez faces charges in the U.S. The U.S. Embassy said it would not publicly discuss the case.

Nepal

Ancient shrine found

Archaeologists in Nepal say they have discovered traces of a wooden structure dating from the sixth century B.C. that they believe is the world’s oldest Buddhist shrine. Kosh Prasad Acharya, who teamed with archaeologists from Britain’s Durham University, said Tuesday that the structure was unearthed inside the sacred Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini. Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, is generally thought to have been born in about the sixth century B.C. at the temple site. The findings were published in the December issue of the journal Antiquity.

Compiled from wire reports.