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153 workers trapped after flood in mine

BEIJING (AP) -- Rescuers were scrambling early today to save 153 workers trapped after a flood swept through a coal mine in northern China, the country's work safety agency said.

Authorities had said Sunday night that 123 workers were missing after the Wangjialing Coal Mine in Shanxi province flooded Sunday afternoon. It wasn't immediately clear why the number jumped to 153 overnight.

The State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on its Web site early today that 261 workers were in the mine when it flooded and 108 were lifted to safety. Provincial work safety officials were at the site and directing rescue efforts, it said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that President Hu Jintao ordered local authorities to "spare no effort" in saving the trapped workers.

Although China's mine safety record has improved in recent years, the mining industry there is still the deadliest in the world, with blasts and other accidents common.

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FARC releases soldier, plans to free another

VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia (AP) -- Colombian rebels handed over a 23-year-old soldier to the International Red Cross on Sunday in their first release of a captive in more than a year.

Pvt. Josue Calvo had been held since April 2009.

He walked out of a loaned Brazilian helicopter emblazoned with the Red Cross logo and into the long embrace of his father and sister after being picked up in the jungle and flown to this provincial capital at the eastern foot of the Andes.

Calvo is the first of two soldiers the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, says it is freeing this week in what the insurgents call their last goodwill unilateral release.

The other is Sgt. Pablo Emilio Moncayo, who has been held for more than 12 of his 32 years and whose father gained fame for walking halfway across Colombia to press for his release.

The FARC says it will now demand a swap of jailed rebels in exchange for the 20 police and soldiers it still holds, most for more than a decade.

Plans call for FARC to release Moncayo on Tuesday.

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Dutch warship disarms pirates off Somali coast

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The Dutch navy said it has disarmed 12 more pirates off the coast of Somalia after luring them into a foolhardy attack on a warship.

The Netherlands' Defense Ministry said a German patrol plane detected the pirates' position and HNLMS Tromp was dispatched to the spot as part of an EU mission.

Two pirate skiffs sped toward it, apparently thinking the Tromp was a commercial vessel. When they realized it was well-armed they tried to flee, dumping their weapons and boarding ladders.

The warship stopped them by firing warning shots.

Sailors destroyed the two fast skiffs and released the pirates with enough food, water and gas to reach shore.

The Tromp has caught 32 pirates in the past week, according to the statement Sunday.

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Angry relatives tour site of ship explosion

BAENGNYEONG ISLAND, South Korea (AP) -- Weeping, angry relatives of 46 crew members missing after a mysterious explosion sank a South Korean navy ship sailed around the site Sunday while others criticized the government for lack of results as rescue teams struggled to search for survivors.

No one has been found since an initial rescue of 58 sailors from the 1,200-ton Cheonan that sank early Saturday near the tense border with North Korea. No bodies have been discovered either.

The exact cause of the explosion remained unclear and officials said it could take weeks to determine. Fierce waves and high winds have hampered the search.

A U.S. military ship would join rescue operations today, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.

At a naval base in Pyeongtaek, near Seoul, where other family members awaited news, wails of worry and anguish turned into shouts and screams from relatives demanding answers and results as Defense Minister Kim Tae-young and ruling party chief Chung Mong-joon visited to console them.

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