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Four killed in rebels clash

FIGHTERS in the largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines have clashed with a breakaway faction in fierce fighting that killed four people and wounded five.

Rebel spokesman Von Al Haq of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front says its men were ambushed by followers of radical commander Ameril Umbra Kato, who broke away from the main group over its peace talks with the government.

Philippine officials have expressed concern over the rebel infighting. They say it could affect ongoing peace talks brokered by Malaysia if it spirals out of control.

Factory lead poison claims

FAMILIES living in one of Shanghai's industrial suburbs say their children are suffering from lead poisoning from nearby battery and recycling factories.

Officials did not comment after families in Kanghua New Village complained that many of their children were suffering from blood lead levels up to 10 times the legal limit.

The village was built about 15 years ago to house families moved off farm land to make way for an industrial zone.

Haiti protests over UN troops

PROTESTERS calling for the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers from Haiti have clashed with police.

The protesters hurled rocks at police in riot gear as they called for a withdrawal of the UN troops who have helped keep order in Haiti since 2004. The officers responded by firing volleys of tear gas.

Protesters said they were angry over the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old Haitian man by UN peacekeepers from Uruguay.

Panama radar tracking drugs

PANAMA is installing a radar system along its coastline to alert it and three other countries, including the United States, to drug trafficking activity.

Panama's Public Safety Ministry said the Central American country had bought 19 radars and began installing them this month.

US officials will train Panamanian police to operate the system, which they will share with Mexico, Colombia and the US.