WORLD NEWS AT A GLANCE

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Associated Press

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 2:30 AM

c.2013 New York Times News Service

MORE THAN 100 DIE IN FIRE AT CHINESE POULTRY PLANT

Explosions and fire tore through parts of a poultry processing plant in northeast China on Monday, killing at least 119 people in one of the country’s worst factory disasters in years. Chinese news reports said many of the workers who died were hindered from leaving the factory, the Baoyuanfeng Poultry Plant, because the exits were blocked or inadequate. The disaster comes at a time of growing international concern over factory safety in Asia, after accidents that have taken more than a thousand lives. The worst was a collapse of a garment factory complex in Bangladesh on April 24 that killed more than 1,120 people.

TURKISH PREMIER BLAMES EXTREMISTS FOR PROTESTS AS TWO ARE KILLED

As protests continued for a fourth day in major Turkish cities Monday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the demonstrations were the work of extremists led by political opponents trying to overthrow his government. But President Abdullah Gul called for calm from all sides and said protests and demonstrations were a natural part of democracy. Protesters gathered again in Istanbul and other cities Monday evening. For the first time, deaths were reported at two demonstrations: one protester died in Ankara late Sunday, The Associated Press reported. And in Antakya, a 22-year-old man was struck in the head by at least one of four bullets fired from an armored police vehicle.

YOUNG AFGHANS AND NATO TROOPS KILLED IN TALIBAN ATTACKS

Taliban attacks in eastern Afghanistan on Monday killed two U.S. soldiers and 17 Afghans, including at least 11 children, adding to a particularly deadly season for civilians this year. Early Monday morning, a roadside bomb destroyed a small truck, killing a family of seven — including two children — on their way home from collecting firewood in Meturlam, the capital of Laghman province, officials said. A second attack, apparently aimed at U.S. forces in a remote district of Paktia province, killed two soldiers, an Afghan policeman and at least nine children when a suicide attacker on a motorcycle set off his bomb near a boys school.

KERRY SAYS U.S. CAME LATE TO SYRIAN PEACE EFFORT

The United States came “late” to efforts to find a political settlement to the war in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday. Kerry said that an international conference — which he and his Russian counterpart proposed nearly a month ago — remained the best approach for ending the fighting, but his remarks carried the implication that the Obama administration had moved too slowly in its first term to seek a negotiated political solution for Syria. “This is a very difficult process, which we come to late,” Kerry said after meeting at the State Department with Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

U.S. ADDS TO ITS LIST OF SANCTIONS ON IRAN

The Obama administration escalated sanctions pressure against Iran on Monday for the third time in a week, taking actions that could further weaken the country’s already-devalued currency and seriously disrupt its automotive industry, a significant domestic employer and revenue generator for the Iranian government. The latest actions, contained in an executive order effective July 1, were a response to what a White House statement called Iran’s “continued failure to meet its international obligations,” a reference to its disputed nuclear energy program, which Iran has called peaceful and Western nations call a guise to achieve the ability to make atomic bombs.

JORDAN BLOCKS ACCESS TO 300 NEWS WEBSITES

The Jordanian government has blocked local access to 300 news websites under a new law that the sites’ editors and international journalism experts have derided as dangerous censorship aimed at quelling criticism of King Abdullah II. The law, enacted in September, requires news sites in the country to register with the government, pay $1,400 in licensing fees and hire unionized journalists as editors, steps the site operators say they cannot afford. Hundreds of news sites have sprung up in recent years in Jordan. Many of them include commentaries critical of the government, and some have published documents detailing the activities and spending of the royal family.

LEADERS IN BRITAIN TACKLE RADICALIZATION

Two men accused of hacking an off-duty British soldier to death on a south London street last month appeared in separate courts for hearings on Monday as politicians met to seek ways of thwarting what the government has termed the “poisonous narrative” of militant Islamic radicalization. The men, Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, both of Nigerian descent, face murder charges in the May 22 death of the soldier, Lee Rigby, 25, a military drummer and machine-gunner who had served with British forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. After the soldier’s killing, both suspects were shot and wounded by the police.

CHINA HEADS TO SPACE AGAIN THIS MONTH

China’s next space mission begins this month when a capsule carrying three astronauts will dock with an orbiting module, a spokesman for the space program said Monday. The astronauts will be on board a Shenzhou 10 capsule, which will be launched on a rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the spokesman, whom the agency did not name. It will be China’s fifth space mission with astronauts. The spokesman told Xinhua that the astronauts this time will again dock with the module and perform experiments while there.

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