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Britain urged to help ID soldiers' remains

USHUAIA, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's president said Monday she has asked the International Red Cross to persuade Britain to let its DNA experts identify unknown soldiers buried in the Falkland Islands.

Thirty years after Argentina and Britain went to war over the remote South Atlantic archipelago, Cristina Fernandez said universal human rights demand that both countries work together to give those remains to their families.

Her speech on the anniversary of Argentina's April 2, 1982, invasion of the islands was focused on promoting dialogue and understanding. She vowed to "respect the interests of the islanders" as Argentina seeks to peacefully regain control.

Despite attention-grabbing images of protesters burning a Union Jack flag and a soldier in effigy outside the British Embassy on Monday, polls show zero appetite among Argentines for a military solution.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in London earlier Monday that Britain had to come to the islanders' defense in 1982 and will do so again if anyone tries to deprive them of their liberty.

The 74-day occupation ended when British troops routed the ill-prepared Argentines. In all, 255 British soldiers, 649 Argentines and three islanders were killed.


Technical failure cited in deadly plane crash

MOSCOW (AP) -- A plane that crashed Monday into a field in Siberia, killing 31 people, appears to have been improperly de-iced, but there was no indication that negligence caused the crash, Russia's civil aviation chief said. Investigators said evidence suggests a technical failure as the cause.

The twin-engine turboprop belonging to UTair crashed shortly after takeoff from the snowy western Siberian city of Tyumen with 43 people aboard. Twelve people were hospitalized in serious condition.

The state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted aviation chief Alexander Neradko as saying there was evidence "that the treatment of the plane with de-icing agents was not done at the necessary level," while adding there was no basis yet "to connect this with the causes of the crash."

The French-Italian made plane took off at 7:40 a.m. from Tyumen, 1,000 miles east of Moscow, heading for the oil town of Surgut, 400 miles away. It came down in a field about two miles from the Tyumen airport as it tried to return there.

Investigators said witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from its engines.


Prime minister says she feels Obama's pain

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard enjoys joking with President Obama that she faces more prejudices as a childless, unmarried, atheist woman than he does as an African-American, a newspaper and a government colleague said Monday.

Gillard revealed the joke in a speech at a private fundraising dinner in Sydney last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing unnamed guests.

"I'm good mates with Barack Obama," Gillard was quoted as saying at the dinner attended by most of her ministers, business leaders and representatives of interest groups.

"I tell him, 'You think it's tough being African-American? Try being me. Try being an atheist, childless, single woman as prime minister.' "

Gillard, 50, is Australia's first female prime minister, the first prime minister to take an affirmation of office instead of swearing on a Bible and the first to share the official residence with a common-law partner.

Her opponents have accused her failing to understand the concerns of families because of her decision not to have children. She has also been criticized for failing to marry her partner, former hair dresser Tim Mathieson.