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Chatter: More bodies found after Algeria hostage crisis

The death toll rises in Algeria, Barack Obama prepares to take the oath, and India chases justice for the Delhi gang rape victim.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

After the crisis, the counting. With the siege in Algeria finally over, authorities have begun recovering the bodies it left behind. Yesterday, 25 dead hostages had been found; today, the tally is closer to 50.

That figure will most likely rise as the Algerian army completes its search of the In Amenas gas plant. Some 20 hostages are still unaccounted for, including British, Norwegian, Japanese and Malaysian citizens.

On the hostage-takers' side, meanwhile, around 30 deaths are confirmed. Six attackers have reportedly been arrested. Where did they come from? Whose orders do they follow? We'll know more when Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal gives a press conference later today.

WANT TO KNOW

Four more years start today. (Or rather they started yesterday, but hey, who's counting.) Barack Obama will be publicly sworn in as US president on the steps of the Capitol this afternoon.

Second time round, it's a less pizzazzy affair – if two black-tie balls, Stevie Wonder and Beyonce can fairly be described as less pizzazzy – and expected to draw "just" 800,000 spectactors compared to the 1.8 million who turned out in 2009. We're still excited. Check out the preparations with us here.

India wants justice for the Delhi gang rape victim, fast. The trial of five of the six men accused of abducting, raping and ultimately killing a 23-year-old woman last month began today in one of the country's new and dedicated "fast-track" courts.

The case has been presented as open-and-shut by the prosecution, which says it has compelling forensic evidence against the suspects. Yet defense lawyers indicate they will argue the evidence was fabricated and the investigation rushed in the scramble for speedy convictions. The trial continues. But have they already been found guilty?

Where's the world's worst place for abortions? It's been 40 years since the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal everywhere in the US. Not so elsewhere. From Cairo to Caracas, GlobalPost correspondents assess abortion rights where they are.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

When is a Canadian maple leaf not a Canadian maple leaf? When it's from Norway, and on Canada's newest bank notes. Botanists claim that the image printed on Canadian $20, $50 and $100 bills shows not the country's native sugar maple but its Norwegian cousin – which does indeed exist in North America, but as a fast-growing invasive species that threatens home-grown plants.

The Bank of Canada insists the leaf pictured is deliberately stylized and "what it ought to be." Just not, er, what everyone thinks it is.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-more-bodies-found-after-algeria-hostage-crisis

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