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UNICEF: Children face beatings, rape, death trying to reach Europe

GENEVA — Migrant children making the perilous journey to Europe to escape war and poverty face possible beatings, rape and forced labor in addition to risk of drowning in the Mediterranean, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

U.S. plans billions in Afghan funding until 2020

KABUL — The United States is asking its allies helping with security in Afghanistan to maintain funding for Afghan forces at a cost of nearly $5 billion a year until at least 2020, a top U.S. military commander said on Monday.

Trudeau believes Canadian hostage killed in Philippines

TORONTO — Canadian hostage Robert Hall is believed to have been killed by his captors in the Philippines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday, in what appears to be the second execution of a Canadian hostage by the militant group Abu Sayyaf in the area in recent months.

Baltics fear war as NATO deters Russia

VILNIUS — Leaders in the Baltic countries and Poland fear the force NATO plans to deploy on their territory is too small and symbolic to deter an attack by Russia, whose 2014 annexation of Crimea is fresh in the memories of the former Soviet-bloc states.

Syrian, Russian warplanes hit market in east, kill 17

BEIRUT — Syrian and Russian warplanes killed at least 17 people in an air raid on a market in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported.

Britain’s EU Out campaign takes 4-5 percentage lead

LONDON — The campaign for Britain to leave the European Union has taken a 4-5 percentage point lead ahead of a June 23 referendum, according to online polls by ICM and YouGov, sending sterling towards three-week lows against the U.S. dollar.

German music festival halted after lightning strikes injure 71

MENDIG, Germany — A rock music festival in Germany was halted for five hours on Saturday with organizers urging more than 90,000 fans to seek shelter in cars and tents as another thunderstorm approached hours after lightning strikes injured 71 people.

Nine soldiers died in Fort Hood incident

SINGAPORE — Nine U.S. soldiers are now known to have died when a troop carrier overturned this week during a training exercise at the U.S. Army base of Food Hood in Texas, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said on Saturday.

French PM Valls says Seine river stable after floods kill four

PARIS — Floods that inundated parts of France this week, killing four and forcing thousands from their homes, could start easing as the Seine river stabilized after reaching a peak on Saturday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

France declares flood emergency

PARIS — Torrential rain forced thousands of people from their homes south of Paris while the Seine River surged to its highest level for over 30 years in the French capital, shutting down the famed Louvre and Orsay museums and a metro line. In Evry-Gregy-sur-Yerre, south of Paris, a man on horseback drowned on Thursday, the prefecture said in a statement. Le Parisien newspaper said the 74-year-old had been trying to cross a flooded field. The horse survived with minor injuries.

WHO advises safe sex after return from Zika areas

GENEVA — People returning from areas where the Zika virus is found should follow safe sex practices or abstain from sex for at least eight weeks rather than just four, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Almost 46 million people trapped in slavery

LONDON — Almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally with the greatest number in India but the highest prevalence in North Korea, according to the third Global Slavery Index launched on Tuesday with Australian actor Russell Crowe.

Antarctic seas defy global warming thanks to chill from the deep

OSLO — A persistent chill in the ocean off Antarctica that defies the global warming blamed for melting Arctic ice at the other end of the planet is caused by cold waters welling up from the depths after hundreds of years, scientists said on Monday.

Iraqi army storms to edge of Islamic State-held city

FALLUJA, Iraq — The Iraqi army stormed to the southern edge of Falluja under U.S. air support on Monday and captured a police station inside the city limits, launching a direct assault to retake one of the main strongholds of Islamic State militants.

Coral bleaching casts shadow over future of Great Barrier Reef

SYDNEY — Mass coral bleaching has destroyed at least 35 percent of the northern and central Great Barrier Reef, Australian scientists said on Monday, a major blow to the World Heritage Site that attracts about $3.59 billion in tourism each year.

Cold War-era ally gets life in prison

DAKAR — Former Chad president Hissene Habre, a Cold War ally of the West, was convicted Monday of war crimes and crimes against humanity for ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents during his eight-year rule.

Tigers removed from temple

KANCHANABURI, Thailand — Wildlife authorities in Thailand on Monday raided a Buddhist temple where tigers are kept, taking away three of the animals and vowing to confiscate scores more in response to global pressure over wildlife trafficking.