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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Nintendo president dies of bile duct tumor at 55

From Wire Reports

TOKYO – Satoru Iwata, who led Japanese video game company Nintendo Co. through years of growth with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises, died Saturday of a bile duct tumor, the company said today. He was 55.

Iwata, president from 2002, died in a Kyoto University hospital. He had not been seen recently at game events, such as E3 in Los Angeles, where he was usually a participant.

Iwata led Nintendo’s development into a global company, with its hit Wii home console and DS handheld, and also through its recent woes caused by the popularity of smartphones. Iwata had been poised to lead Nintendo through another stage after it recently did an about-face and said it will start making games for smartphones.

His replacement was not immediately announced, but the company said star game designer Shigeru Miyamaoto will remain in the leadership team along with Genyo Takeda.

Protesters urge marine park to set its dolphins free

ANTIBES, France – Several hundred people protested Sunday at a popular marine animal park on the French Riviera, urging it to free the dolphins kept in its pools.

The Marineland park management said the dolphins are a crucial educational tool, and that releasing them into the wild could risk their lives because most were born in captivity and are accustomed to human companionship.

The animal rights activists waved picket signs in English and French at the entrance to the parking lot of the Marineland park in Antibes, trying to persuade visitors to sign petitions or go home.

Visitors at the park, popular with tourists from around Europe throughout the summer season, can swim with dolphins and see penguins, polar bears and the endangered Steller sea lion.

Among the protesters was Richard O’Barry, a marine activist who trained dolphins for the 1960s TV series “Flipper.”

Suicide car bomber kills 17 near Afghan military base

KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide car bombing near a military base in eastern Afghanistan that once hosted CIA employees killed at least 17 civilians Sunday, local officials said, the latest insurgent attack after foreign forces ended their combat mission there.

The bombing hit a checkpoint manned by members of the Khost Provincial Force, an Afghan unit that guards Camp Chapman. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the bomber was trying to get onto the base or what led to his attack. A U.S. defense official said Chapman is an Afghan base with some American special operations forces there.

Camp Chapman was the site where seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed in a Pakistani Taliban suicide bombing in December 2009. It’s not clear whether the CIA still operates out of Camp Chapman.

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