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In Brief: 3,000 French cafes forced to close

Rising food and fuel prices have forced 3,000 French cafes and restaurants out of business this year.

In a country where eating out is an important part of everyday life, there is growing evidence that the French are skipping starters and coffee or simply staying at home to cope with food and fuel price increases.

Boss 'beaten to death' by workers

Corporate India is in shock after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who sacked them from a factory in Delhi.

Lalit Kishore Choudhary (47), the head of operations of Graziano Transmissioni, a manufacturer of car parts, died of severe head wounds after the attack by staff.

Shootout sparks Mafia crackdown

Italy's government is sending 900 soldiers and police to Mafia strongholds in the south after six African immigrants were murdered there last week in what the authorities believe was a show of force by the crime syndicates.

The six victims were shot dead on Thursday at a tailor's shop near Naples.

Location of Egypt hostages known

Authorities know the whereabouts of kidnappers who seized 19 hostages in the Egyptian desert, but have no plans for any rescue operation that could harm the captives, a Sudanese Foreign Ministry official said yesterday.

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Masked kidnappers snatched the hostages -- five Italians, five Germans, a Romanian and eight Egyptians -- from a desert safari near Egypt's southern border

Four killed by heavy rains

HEAVY rains have drenched Puerto Rico a killing four people, flooding streets and neighbourhoods and forcing public schools to close.

The tempest is in not in danger of turning into a hurricane.Firefighters and rescue crews were helping people cope with floding.

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