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Islanders flee possible eruption

Ambae Island, Vanuatu A volcano pumping a huge plume of gas, steam and ash into the atmosphere from a crater ringed with dead trees is unlikely to explode in a devastating eruption, a vulcanologist said Thursday, bringing applause from anxious islanders.

About half of Ambae Island’s 10,000 inhabitants have fled their huts built on Mount Manaro’s jungle-covered slopes, and four ships are anchored offshore ready to evacuate the rest if necessary.

But as he watched seismological readings on the Pacific island – inspiration for the idyllic Bali Hai in James Michener’s book “Tales of the South Pacific” – the vulcanologist, Brad Scott, said his data suggested it is unlikely the volcano will blow.

Latest bombing kills six in Bangladesh

Netrokona, Bangladesh A suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up on a crowded street Thursday, killing six others and wounding dozens in the latest attack authorities blame on extremists who want to create an Islamic state in Bangladesh.

Among the wounded was another bomber police said failed to detonate his explosives.

There was no claim of responsibility, but officials blamed the attack on Jumatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, a banned Islamic group believed to be behind a wave of blasts that have killed 21 people in the past two weeks.

Israeli airstrike targets Palestinian militants

Jerusalem Two Palestinian militants were killed by an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip and an Israeli soldier was fatally stabbed at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Thursday amid flaring tensions following a suicide bombing in Israel earlier this week.

The Palestinian men, identified by Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades as members, were killed by missile fire at a house on the eastern fringe of the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

Separately, the Israeli soldier, 20-year-old Nir Khana, was stabbed in the neck by a Palestinian man who pulled out a knife after arriving at the often-tense Kalandiya checkpoint between the northern end of Jerusalem from the West Bank city of Ramallah. The attacker was arrested; the motive was not immediately clear.

Britain rules out evidence from torture

London Britain’s highest court ruled Thursday that evidence that might have been obtained through torture in other countries cannot be used in British courts.

A panel of British Law Lords, this country’s highest appellate authority, upheld an appeal brought by a group of foreigners in England who were detained on suspicions of involvement in terrorism. The basis of their detention was secret testimony that came from abroad through foreign intelligence services, according to lawyers for the men.

Gareth Peirce, a well-known human rights lawyer representing the detainees, said in an interview that the men were never told of the evidence against them but she suspected it was “a cocktail of international information” that could have included testimony from prisoners held in U.S. military bases in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Bagram, Afghanistan.


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