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Police rescue Red Cross worker

Officials in the Philippines say police have rescued a Red Cross worker from his al-Qaida-linked kidnappers three months after he and two colleagues were kidnapped on a southern island.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said that according to “verified reports,” Andreas Notter from Switzerland was rescued in Indanan township on Jolo Island early today.

A military report earlier said that Notter had been released by Abu Sayyaf militants.

Sulu provincial police chief Jlasirim Kasim said police and civilian volunteers in Indanan rescued Notter from a group of militants who were trying to breach a security cordon around their stronghold. He refused to give other details.

Notter’s release leaves Italian Eugenio Vagni still in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf militants. Filipino volunteer Mary Jean Lacada was released earlier.


Gunmen attack protest leader

A brazen attack by gunmen Friday wounded the protest leader who helped topple Thailand’s government in 2006 and paralyzed the capital last year, reheating political temperatures that had started to cool after several days of rioting by opposing forces.

Bangkok remained under a state of emergency and security was tightened around Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who said the shooting should not be used as an excuse for more political conflict.

The attack was a new strain in long-standing tensions between backers of Abhisit’s government and supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup three years ago.

Sondhi Limthongkul, an outspoken media tycoon and founder of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, was ambushed early Friday on his way to work. At least two men in a pickup truck opened fire on his car with M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles, police spokesman Suporn Pansua said.

Sondhi was in stable condition after surgery removed “small pieces of bullet” from his skull, said Vajira Hospital’s director, Chaiwan Charoenchoktawee.


Hitler-signed paintings for sale

A pair of watercolor paintings depicting farm scenes and signed “Adolf Hitler” are up for auction in the German city of Nuremberg this month.

The Weidler Auction House said Friday that paintings titled “Farmstead” and “Farm Buildings on the River” and listed in its online catalog are attributed to the Nazi dictator.

Auction house owner Herbert Weidler described the paintings as “average” quality and said they were being offered by a Polish owner, whom he declined to identify.

As a young man, Hitler sought to earn his living as an artist. He is believed to have painted hundreds of works, several of which have come up for sale over the years.

Weidler said he sold one four years ago for $14,364. Another collection of Hitler’s artwork was sold in England in 2006.

From wire reports


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