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In brief: Thousands protest Chile government

Santiago, Chile – Tens of thousands of Chileans marched peacefully Thursday, demanding profound changes in the country’s heavily centralized and privatized form of government, while smaller groups broke away to fight with police. More than 450 people were arrested and dozens injured.

Union members, students, government workers and center-left opposition parties took part in the final day of a nationwide two-day strike.

President Sebastian Pinera’s ministers sought to minimize the impact. Police estimated Santiago’s crowds at just 50,000 and said only 14 percent of government workers stayed off the job.

Union leaders claimed 600,000 people joined demonstrations nationwide. Raul de la Puente, president of the government employees union, said 80 percent of his members joined the strike.

River detected beneath Amazon

Sao Paulo – A huge underground river appears to be flowing thousands of feet beneath the Amazon River, Brazilian scientists said Thursday.

Valiya Hamza of Brazil’s National Observatory said researchers found indications the subterranean river is 3,700 miles long, about the same length as the Amazon on the surface.

Hamza said the discovery of the possible underground river came from studying temperature variations at 241 inactive oil wells.

He said the “thermal information” provided by Petrobras allowed his team of researchers to identify the movement of water 13,100 feet under the Amazon River.

Seoul mayor quits after referendum

Seoul, South Korea – Seoul’s mayor says he is stepping down after losing a referendum on free school lunches.

Oh Se-hoon’s resignation today comes two days after he lost a citywide referendum that drew less than a third of Seoul’s 8 million eligible voters. The turnout didn’t meet legal requirement for counting ballots.

Voters were asked whether Seoul should give free lunches to all elementary and middle school students or institute a plan supported by Oh to give lunches to 50 percent of all schoolchildren.


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