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In brief: Fears grow for missing hikers

THREE days of searching has found no trace of three European tourists who went missing while hiking in Chile.

Teams led by special police and the Andean Aid Team have been sweeping the area around the Villarica volcano in Chile's central valley since last Thursday.

The missing Europeans are identified as Dmitry Sivenkov (32), from Russia; Gillhem Bellon (25), from France; and Luca Ogliengo (25), from Italy. Ogliengo's family has rented a private helicopter to join the search.

11 drowned in Haiti floods

Haiti's government says heavy rainfall in the north has killed 11 people and displaced thousands.

A detailed preliminary report from the Civil Protection Office says rains last Thursday and Friday in the northern city of Cap-Haitien flooded more than 2,300 homes and more than 3,400 people had been put up in emergency shelters.

The report said that all but one of the 11 dead were either children or teenagers. One person is missing.

Troops poised for Mali battle

West African nations are to send 3,000 troops to help Mali wrest back control of its northern half, which was seized by al-Qa'ida-linked fighters more than six months ago.

The decision came at the end of an emergency summit in Nigeria of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). They were joined by military experts from the United Nations, Europe as well as ministers from Algeria, Mali's neighbour to the north which has previously been against the military intervention. The plan needs final UN approval.

China goes all romantic

China has been celebrating a quirky holiday dubbed Singles Day that has grown into China's -- and possibly the world's -- busiest online shopping day.

Begun by Chinese college students in the 1990s as a version of Valentine's Day for people without partners, the timing was based on the date November 11, or "11.11" -- four singles. Unattached young people would treat each other to dinner or give gifts to woo that special someone.


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