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U.S. envoy confident as embassy reopens

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- The American ambassador to Libya expressed confidence in the country's new rulers Thursday as the U.S. Embassy reopened here months after it closed down during the fighting to oust Moammar Gadhafi.

Ambassador Gene A. Cretz acknowledged that Libya faces many challenges as Gadhafi remains on the run and the fighting with his loyalists continues on three fronts.

"The next few months will be critical as Libyans lay the groundwork for a pluralistic democracy that respects the rights of all of its citizens," Cretz said in remarks before the flag was raised in front of his Tripoli residence, which will serve as the interim embassy. "The United States and the international community are ready to help in any way we can."

The ceremony occurred on the same day that Tunisian authorities jailed former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi on charges of illegal entry after he was found without a visa as he was trying to flee across the border to Algeria.


New book on Assange cites warning of trap

LONDON (AP) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is quoted in a new biography as saying that he did not sexually assault two women who have accused him of rape and that he was warned the U.S government was trying to entrap him.

"Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography" went on sale here Thursday -- against the wishes of Assange, who condemned his publisher for releasing it.

In the ghostwritten book, based on 50 hours of interviews with the WikiLeaks chief, Assange says, "I may be a chauvinist pig of some sort but I am no rapist."

Assange, 40, contends that a Western intelligence contact warned him the American government, angered by WikiLeaks' release of secret documents, was considering dealing with him "illegally" through rigged drug or sex allegations.

He says his two accusers "each had sex with me willingly and were happy to hang out with me afterwards." The book traces Assange's life from his Australian childhood as the son of roving puppeteers through his time as a teenage computer hacker to the founding of the anti-secrecy website.


Video of boy wrestlers stirs outrage, probe

LONDON (AP) -- Footage of two slender boys wrestling in a cage in front of a cheering crowd in a social club drew harsh condemnation Thursday from government officials and children's advocates who blasted the match as barbaric. The 8- and 9-year-olds wore no protective padding or headgear, and at one point, one was crying.

Politicians and medical experts expressed alarm and police began an investigation after video emerged of the Sept. 10 fight at Greenlands Labour Club, a bar and social club in Preston, northwest England.

Video posted on the Internet showed the boys grappling in a cage, watched by dozens of adults. The government's culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is responsible for sports, said he found the images shocking. "Getting more young people doing sport is great, but I do ask myself whether it really does have to be in a cage," Hunt told the BBC on Thursday.

Club manager Michelle Anderson said the boys were never in any danger during the brief demonstration bout, which preceded a slate of adult fights.

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