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In Brief: Face-attack victim better

A HOMELESS man whose face was mostly chewed off in a bizarre attack in Miami is in good spirits, talking and walking with the help of hospital staff, doctors said.

Ronald Poppo's left eye was removed, but doctors are trying to find a way to restore vision in his right eye. He will likely remain at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Centre for several more weeks and will need more surgeries before he can explore the options for reconstructing his face.

Reporter and son missing

A POLICE beat reporter at a newspaper in northern Mexico and her infant son are missing and they are feared kidnapped, a newspaper official said.

Reporter Stephania Cardoso works for the El Zocalo newspaper in the city of Saltillo, about 320 kilometres from the US border. She has been missing since Friday, said Eduardo Mendoza, El Zocalo's editor.

Cardoso is the 16th journalist in the country to be disappeared, according to the Mexican Human Rights Commission.

Al-Qa'ida gave Arab fight call

BEFORE he was killed in a US drone strike last week, al-Qa'ida's second-in-command urged Arabs to take up arms to assist Syrian rebels in their uprising against President Bashar Assad.

The call came in a nearly 15-minute-long video message by Abu Yahya al-Libi. A jihadist website said it was produced in November.

According to the site monitoring group, Al-Libi called on Syrians to abandon any "illusions of peacefulness" and fight Mr Assad and what he called US conspiracies against the revolution.

WikiLeaks trial man says thanks

A US army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified government documents is thanking supporters for their dedication.

Bradley Manning said in a statement: "I am very grateful for your support and humbled by your ongoing efforts."

Manning is facing court-martial after being accused of aiding the enemy by causing government secrets to be published on the WikiLeaks website.