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AROUND THE WORLD

> NIGERIA

Post-vote riots killed 500, rights group says

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) -- A civil rights group says at least 500 people died in rioting that followed Nigeria's presidential election.

The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria said Sunday that the worst hit area was Zonkwa, a town in rural Kaduna state, where more than 300 people died in rioting. The group says other killings took place in Zangon Kataf, Kafanchan and the state's capital of Kaduna.

The group has called for a federal investigation into the killings.

The violence erupted as election results showed Christian President Goodluck Jonathan had won the vote. Many in the predominantly Muslim north of Africa's most populous nation felt the next president should have been from their region because a Muslim president died last year before he could complete his term.

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> JAPAN

Mission to recover bodies set to begin

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan will send nearly 25,000 soldiers backed by boats and aircraft into its disaster zone today on an intensive land-and-sea mission to recover the bodies of those killed by last month's earthquake and tsunami, the military said.

Agriculture officials also plan to send a team of veterinarians into the evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant to check on hundreds of thousands of abandoned cows, pigs and chickens, many of which are believed to have died of starvation and neglect. The government is considering euthanizing some of the dying animals, officials said.

About 14,300 people have been confirmed dead in the catastrophic March 11 tsunami and earthquake. About 12,000 remain missing and are presumed killed. Some bodies were swept out to sea, while others were buried under rubble.

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> NORTH KOREA

Carter, former leaders to broach N-talks

BEIJING (AP) -- Ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter and three other former leaders arrived in Beijing on Sunday en route to North Korea to discuss the revival of nuclear disarmament talks.

Carter and the group of veteran statesmen known as the Elders are to travel to Pyongyang on Tuesday as part of international efforts to restart the negotiations on ending North Korea's nuclear program.

The group, which includes former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland and former Irish President Mary Robinson, said it also plans to discuss North Korea's chronic food shortages.

International disarmament talks with North Korea have been stalled for the past two years amid growing concerns over its nuclear programs.

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