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Sangay sworn in as prime minister

DHARMSALA, India (AP) -- A Harvard-trained legal scholar was sworn in Monday as new head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, taking over from the Dalai Lama as the official leader of his people's fight for freedom.

Lobsang Sangay is the first secular figure to lead the deeply religious Tibetan community. He was born in the eastern Indian town of Darjeeling and has never visited Tibet. China has rejected his legitimacy and refuses to negotiate with him.

Because he was chosen by the tiny fraction of Tibetans abroad during April elections, it is difficult for him to claim he represents all his people.

Sangay appeared unfazed.

"Tibetan leadership is far from fizzling out. We are here to stay," he said, adding that he would work to fulfill the Dalai Lama's vision to create a truly secular democratic society.

The Dalai Lama announced in March he would give up his political role as leader of the Tibetan exile movement but would remain the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.

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Officials fail to discuss report on U.S. agents

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The Mexican government is acknowledging that U.S. intelligence agents operate in Mexican territory to help combat drug cartels, but it refused to discuss a report that they have been posted to a base in northern Mexico and have helped in interrogations, wiretaps and running informant networks.

The participation of U.S. agents and the designation of a new U.S. ambassador, Anthony Wayne, whose last posting was Afghanistan, have raised concerns that America may view Mexico as an Afghan-style battleground.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that CIA agents and former U.S. military personnel are working at a Mexican military base and that officials have weighed the possibility of sending private military contractors.

The office of Mexico's federal security spokesman, Alejandro Poire, said late Sunday that U.S. agents do participate in analysis and exchange of information, but don't carry weapons or participate in operations like raids, or arrests.

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Message asks fighters to return to al-Qaida

CAIRO (AP) -- A new message posted online purportedly from al-Qaida in Iraq asks Sunni fighters who switched sides and joined forces with the U.S. and Iraqi government to return to the insurgent group, promising to forgive them and admitting that their departure had weakened the militants.

The begging-like tone and promises of forgiveness to members of the government-backed Sunni militia known as Awakening Councils would mark an abrupt shift for al-Qaida in Iraq if it is authentic.

Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, who identified himself as the official spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, also threatened to slaughter Awakening Council members if they insist on continuing to fight alongside the government.

"We call upon you to repent truly and come back to your religion, and he who returns will be accepted by us and his blood will be conserved even if he had killed a thousand Muslims," al-Adnani said.

The hourlong audio was posted Monday on militant websites linked to al-Qaida.

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Rebels dissolve executive committee

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) -- Libya's rebels sacked their executive committee Monday in a move aimed at easing tensions over the recent killing of their military chief.

The rebels' National Transitional Council dissolved the committee, which serves as a sort of government cabinet, after determining that "administrative mistakes" were made surrounding last month's slaying of Abdel-Fattah Younis, said council member Fathi Turbel.

Mahmoud Jibril, who was the head of the outgoing committee, has been asked to form a new board of ministers.

Younis' body was found dumped outside Benghazi on July 28 along with the bodies of two colonels who were his top aides. They had been shot and their bodies burned.

The rebel leadership says the slaying was the work of Gadhafi's regime, but witnesses have said Younis was killed by rebels.