LONDON - A British soldier has been shot dead while on patrol in southern Afghanistan, becoming the 416th to be killed since military operations started in 2001. The soldier from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, was on a foot patrol in Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand province. The patrol came under small-arms fire on Friday. Despite immediate medical attention, he could not be saved, Britains Defence Ministry said in a statement yesterday. Britain has about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based in Helmand where they are battling a Taliban insurgency. Britain intends to pull out all its combat troops by 2015.
ADELAIDE - A four-year old cancer patients parents will be forced to allow her to receive a blood transfusion despite their religious objections. Supreme Court Justice Richard White ordered yesterday that the girl receive life-saving treatment for her leukaemia, News Limited reports. The SA girls parents are strict Jehovahs Witnesses and had objected to the blood transfusion. News Ltd reports that paediatric oncologist Petra Ritchie warned the girl would die within weeks without it.
PHILADELPHIA - Jury deliberations are set to start in the landmark US trial of a Catholic church official charged with conspiring to hide complaints of priest sex abuse and endangering children by keeping predators in ministry. Monsignor William Lynn is the first US church official charged for his handling of child sex abuse complaints. Jurors have heard from more than a dozen alleged victims, including a nun, a former priest and young adults. Lynn says he tried to get the Philadelphia archdiocese to address the problem, only to be rebuffed by the archbishop, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Prosecutors say Lynn could have quit or called police.
SPOKANE, Washington - US military officials say two nursing mothers were wrong to be photographed in uniform breastfeeding their babies. The photos were posted on the internet by a group on the base that supports breastfeeding mothers. Mom2Mom says the photos were meant to promote World Breastfeeding Week in August. But Washington state National Guard captain Keith Kosik says its a violation of regulations to use the uniform to promote a cause. He says the guard members likely will not be disciplined but that it would be used as an opportunity for education. Fairchild Air Force Base spokesman Major Randy Bailey says theres no issue with mothers in the military breastfeeding, but campaigning in uniform is not allowed.
JAKARTA, Indonesia - An environmentalist says three endangered Sumatran elephants have been poisoned and found dead within a palm oil plantation in western Indonesia. Rono Wiranata from the FAKTA nongovernment group said workers at the state-run plantation were believed to have placed the poison on palm fruits. The dead three and five-year old elephants were found on Thursday in two separate locations in East Aceh district. Wiranata yesterday cited plantation workers in saying more elephants may die from the poison. Five of the endangered Sumatran elephants have been found poisoned in Aceh province since April.