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Boy of 9 becomes youngest to scale Argentina's Mount Aconcagua

Buenos Aires, Dec 27 (EFE).- A 9-year-old U.S. boy has become the youngest person to reach the summit of Argentina's Mount Aconcagua, the tallest peak in the Americas, Clarin newspaper said Friday. Tyler Armstrong and his father climbed the 6,959-meter (22,816-foot) mountain, part of the Andes range, with the help of local guides. The party reached the summit at around 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. All of the members of the climbing expedition are in good condition and have already begun their descent, Clarin said.

Chilean miracle miners back in spotlight -- on film

At the bottom of a dank salt mine in Colombia, a 200-strong film crew featuring Spanish actor Antonio Banderas is reconstructing the incredible tale of 33 miners buried alive for 69 days in Chile in 2010. Actors from multiple countries work in suffocating heat on "The 33," which traces the unlikely survival of the men trapped deep underground after a collapse at the San Jose copper mine in the Atacama desert.

Mali vote turnout weak following Islamist suicide bombing

Malians voted on Sunday in the second round of parliamentary elections intended to cap the nation's return to democracy but overshadowed by the deaths of two UN peacekeepers in an Islamist attack. The polls marked the troubled west African nation's first steps to recovery after it was upended by a military coup in March last year, finalising a process begun with the election of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August.

American Football benefits from Brazil World Cup

By Mike Collett CUIABA, Brazil (Reuters) - At the heart of every debate about modern sporting tournaments is legacy and one unlikely beneficiary of next year's soccer World Cup will be American Football in Brazil. For, as well as the 12 host cities enjoying improved transport systems, airports and new stadiums, the Cuiaba Arsenal football team hope to share in the spoils bequeathed to their city by a rival code. Paulo Cesar, a 32-year-old lawyer, could not be happier.

Mali attack 'response to African support' for French mission

A Malian jihadist leader said a suicide attack on UN forces that killed two Senegalese troops Saturday in northern Mali was a response to African countries' support for the French army's fight against Islamist militants there. "I speak in the name of all the mujahedeen (fighters) in Azawad (northern Mali): this operation is a response to African countries that have sent soldiers to support (French President) Francois Hollande's battle in the land of Islam," said Sultan Ould Badi, a well-known Islamist who has been part of several armed extremist groups. sd/jhb/rmb

Ricky Martin: "If I were going to marry, I'd love to do it in Spain"

Madrid, Dec 14 (EFE).- When Ricky Martin obtained Spanish citizenship two years ago, it was speculated to be his first step toward an imminent wedding with partner Carlos Gonzalez, a rumor that went nowhere as the months went by and he expressly denied it in all his interviews...up to now.

At least two UN troops dead in suicide attack in north Mali

At least two UN troops were killed on Saturday in a suicide attack in Mali's northeaster rebel bastion of Kidal, which came a day before the country holds a second round of legislative polls, a UN source said. The soldiers were part of the UN peacekeeping force known as MINUSMA and died when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosive-laden car into a bank that they were guarding. "For the moment, we have at least two dead and several wounded among the MINUSMA African troops," the source said on condition of anonymity.

UN chief Ban concerned over stalled Mali negotiations

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday voiced concern over a delay in talks between Mali's government and armed Tuareg rebels amid ongoing unrest in the country. Speaking three days before the second round of legislative elections in Mali, Ban noted that the strife-torn country had "made progress toward re-establishing constitutional order," praising the "orderly" first round of voting last month.

Bolivia's Morales wants plant completed ahead of schedule

La Paz, Dec 11 (EFE).- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday urged Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas to finish construction of the Gran Chaco liquids separation plant one month ahead of schedule. Morales said after inspecting the project that the country was "entering the era of industrialization" and urged companies building plants in the South American country to push their projects through to completion.

Urgent: French soldiers kill 19 rebels in northern Mali

Urgent: French soldiers kill 19 rebels in northern Mali BAMAKO, Dec 10 (Xinhua) -- French soldiers killed 19 rebels during operations in Mali's northern region of Timbuktu, the French military said on Tuesday.
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