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World in brief: Military allegedly recruiting children

Wed., Oct. 31, 2007, midnight

Myanmar’s military government, already under criticism, is recruiting children as young as 10 into its armed forces, a U.S. group says in a report released today.

“Military recruiters and civilian brokers receive cash payments and other incentives for each new recruit, even if the recruit clearly violates minimum age or health standards,” the 135-page report by New York-based Human Rights Watch said.

Ye Htut, deputy director general of Myanmar’s Information Ministry, said the charges were “another example of biased reporting by this organization, which based its report on the baseless accusations and exaggerated lies of insurgent groups.”

The report also charged that ethnic guerrilla groups in Myanmar use child soldiers, though on a much smaller scale than the government.

ANKARA, Turkey

Attacks on Kurds called inevitable

Turkey’s prime minister said Tuesday increased military action against separatist Kurdish rebels was “unavoidable” and pressed the United States for a crackdown on guerrilla bases in northern Iraq.

Turkish helicopters pounded rebel positions near the border with rockets for a second day and Turkey brought in troops by the truckload.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party in parliament “it is now unavoidable that Turkey will have to go through a more intensive military process.”

But he also suggested he was not seeking an immediate cross-border offensive.


Painting found inside old couch

A student who bought a pullout couch for $215 at a Berlin flea market found a painting worth 100 times that amount hidden inside.

The 10- by 15-inch oil painting sold for $27,630 at a Hamburg art auction last weekend, Auction House Kunst Kettler said.

The work was painted by an unknown artist close to Venetian painter Carlo Saraceni between 1605 and 1620, the auction house said.


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