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World in brief: Lion cubs test sanctuary life

Lions greet nine cubs released into an adjacent  enclosure. Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Lions greet nine cubs released into an adjacent enclosure. Associated Press (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

The wide-eyed lion cub inched slowly to the edge of the wooden crate and stared around him. Then, prompted by a growl from the older cub behind him, he leaped out onto the grass.

Nine cubs took their first tentative steps into their new home Saturday at a South African wildlife sanctuary, a stark departure from bleak zoos in Europe where they suffered from malnutrition and neglect.

“The new habitat is a really perfect place for them to live out their lives with the peace and dignity they deserve,” said Amir Khalil, director of Lionsrock, which was established by Vier Pfoten (Four Paws), an Austria-based international animal welfare organization.

The cubs were removed from their mothers at a run-down, financially crippled zoo in Romania.

The arrivals bring to 46 the number of lions at the sanctuary, once a game lodge where lions were bred for “canned” hunting.


Journalist shot, killed in port city

Gunmen in southern Somalia fatally shot a local journalist who had been a contributor to news organizations including the Associated Press, his wife and a doctor said Saturday.

Nasteex Dahir Farah, 26, was shot several times in the chest in the southern port city of Kismayo, said Dr. Mohamed Aden Dheel of Kismayo Hospital. He died at the hospital, Dheel said.

Farah’s wife, Idil Farey, told the AP she is six months pregnant with the couple’s second child. Their oldest child, a son, is 10 months old.

Somalia is among the most dangerous countries for journalists. At least nine others have been killed in Somalia since February 2007, according to Amnesty International.

Farah was the vice chairman of the National Union of Somali Journalists.

CAIRO, Egypt

Sudan protects 2 accused of crimes

Sudan rejected demands Saturday to hand over a Cabinet minister and a militia commander indicted on charges of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

State Minister of Information Kamal Obeid was responding to a new call by the International Criminal Court prosecutor for Sudan to hand over Ahmed Harun, a Cabinet minister, and Ali Kushayb, a militia commander. They face 51 charges including murder, rape and forced expulsions in 2003 and 2004.


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U.S. Gulf Coast prepares as Alberto brings wind, rain north

UPDATED: 9:03 p.m.

Florida and Mississippi launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend.