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He did not say which field, how much oil is being produced or when oil and gas exports, which were halted during the war, are expected to resume

NIAMEY, Niger — A convoy carrying ousted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son al-Saadi has crossed into neighboring Niger, a spokesman for Niger’s government said Sunday, one of the highest-profile former regime figure to flee to the landlocked African nation.

Al-Saadi, the fugitive ruler’s 37-year-old son, entered Niger in a convoy with nine other people, said Niger Justice Minister Amadou Morou. The vehicles were traveling south toward the outpost of Agadez, where other fleeing Libyan loyalists are believed to be holed up in a hotel.

«I wish to announce that one of Qaddafi’s sons — al-Saadi Gadhafi — was intercepted in the north of Niger by a patrol of the Nigerien military,» Morou told reporters late Sunday.

He said al-Saadi «has no status at all» in Niger, indicating that he has not been granted refugee status, which would guarantees him certain rights.

Since last week, several convoys carrying senior officials of the former Libyan regime as well as civilians and soldiers have made their way across the porous desert border into Niger. Among them were several of Qaddafi’s top military officers, including his chief of security and the head of his southern command.

Niger has faced increasing scrutiny for allowing the former regime members onto its soil, and al-Saadi’s arrival will likely intensify international pressure on the country to cooperate with Libya’s new rulers. They want all Qaddafi’s sons — and Qaddafi himself, who is on the run — to be turned over for trial.

Last week, the U.S. urged Niger to detain any individuals who may be subject to prosecution in Libya, as well as to confiscate their weapons and impound any state property, 정선출장안마 such as money or jewels, that were illegally taken out of the country.

While some senior former regime officials have managed to escape, Libya’s new leaders have arrested several former high ranking regime officials since then-rebel fighters swept into Tripoli on Aug. 21, effectively bring an end to Qaddafi’s nearly 42-year rule.

On Sunday, anti-Qaddafi forces in Tripoli captured the former head of the regime’s external intelligence service, Abu Zayd Dourda, said Anes Sharif, a spokesman for Tripoli’s military council. A longtime Qaddafi insider, Dourda also served as prime minister in the 1990s.

As Libya’s new leaders move to exert their authority in Tripoli, forces loyal to Qaddafi continue to hold out in three strongholds — Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, Sabha in the southern desert, and Bani Walid southeast of Tripoli.

Revolutionary forces battled their way back into Bani Walid Sunday, seizing control of the northern half of the town and fighting supporters of the fugitive dictator in the town center.

After a week of efforts to negotiate a peaceful surrender of Bani Walid, anti-regime fighters launched a two-pronged assault on the town that soon dissolved into street fighting. But Qaddafi supporters have put up fierce resistance, and forced former rebels to retreat Saturday amid a barrage of rocket and mortar fire.

Libyan fighters pushed back into the town Sunday, a day after retreating under heavy fire, said fighter Sobhi Warfali. He said revolutionary forces now control the northern half of the town and were battling regime loyalists in the center.

Resident Khalifa al-Talisi said «the rebels don’t control the center yet, but everything from the city center to this (northern) side is liberated.»

Around a mile from the town center, a cluster of abandoned houses in the desert showed signs of fierce fighting. The charred hulk of a car stood in front of a still-burning home that sent plumes of black smoke into the air.

Single gunshots, which appeared to be from snipers, occasionally echoed across the dusty town, and the thud of mortar fire shook the ground.

«The Qaddafi loyalists are throwing mortars and snipers are shooting at us from the center of the city,» said Abdul-Bari al-Mitag, a 23-year-old fighter returning from the front line.

Abdullah Kenshil, a negotiator for the former rebels, said loyalist forces that withdrew from several cities after the fall of Tripoli have regrouped in Bani Walid.

«For them, it is a matter of life or death,» he said. «They don’t care if residents are killed in the middle.»

Kenshil also said Qaddafi forces killed two tribal leaders who had taken part in talks to end the standoff peacefully. That could not be independently verified. Despite the bloodshed, Kenshil said, «the door for peace is still open.»

NATO, which has played a key role in hitting Qaddafi’s forces over the six-month civil war, said Sunday that its warplanes hit a series of targets near Bani Walid a day earlier — a tank, two armed vehicles and one multiple rocket launcher. Airstrikes also pounded targets around Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, and the towns of Waddan and Sabha in the southern desert.

Libya’s new leaders have also been trying to broker a deal for the surrender of Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown. But a deadline for the town’s surrender expired Saturday, and a revolutionary commander taking part in the negotiations, Mustafa al-Rubaie, said «now all options are open.»

Libyan fighters have advanced to within 20 miles west of Sirte, and in the east as far as the town of Harawa, some 35 miles from the city, according to al-Rubaie.

He said fighters from Harawa will lead the force into Sirte «because they are from the city and they are part of the Sirte people.»

«I think it will not be a 100 percent peaceful takeover of Sirte. There will be pockets of loyalists,» he said. «In general, the people of Sirte are all armed with light weapons, even youngsters.»

Al-Rubaie said that over the past months, Qaddafi’s forces which fled from all the eastern cities and from Misrata are all now concentrating in Sirte.

«We know that they are not going to give up easily,» he said. «For them, it will be a matter of life or death.»

In Tripoli, acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said Libya’s new leaders are making efforts to pay government salaries on time and would add unspecified bonuses to August salaries.

Jibril also said oil production has resumed at one field in Libya’s east. He did not say which field, how much oil is being produced or when oil and gas exports, which were halted during the war, are expected to resume.

Jibril said the former rebels have received more than $800 million dollars in Qaddafi-era frozen assets from Britain and were waiting for another payment of more than $500 million in the near future.

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«As nearly half the entire U.S

Over the weekend, Taco Bell officials said they determined that scallions were the likely source of the bacteria. But follow-up federal testing of those samples were negative for E. coli.

«In that context, we have not ruled out any food items,» said Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer for the FDA’s Center for 임실출장안마 Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Health officials in New York said a sample of white onions taken from a Taco Bell restaurant tested positive for E. coli. However, that strain of bacteria hasn’t been linked to any cases of illness in the United States anytime in the previous 30 days. The positive sample initially was mistakenly identified as being green onion, Acheson said.

«The bigger possibility is that these white onions were contaminated somewhere else, the supplier or the grower. We don’t know that,» Acheson said. «It does not match any strain of any illnesses in the past 30 days.»

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 64 E. coli cases in five states, most in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania plus two in Delaware and one in South Carolina. The South Carolina patient had eaten at a Pennsylvania Taco Bell.

A New York City resident fell ill after eating at Taco Bell and health officials confirmed that E. coli was the culprit. The victim, identified only as a Staten Island resident, has since made a full recovery. This was the first time the strain was found in the city.

Meanwhile, nearly three dozen people have fallen ill with symptoms consistent with E. coli infection after eating at a Taco John’s restaurant in Cedar Falls, Iowa. And authorities were investigating a case in which several people became ill after eating at a Taco John’s in Albert Lea, Minn.

Kirk Smith, with the Minnesota Department of Health, said tests were being conducted to determine whether the illnesses were related to illnesses in Iowa.

Three Minnesotans with the symptoms are ages 17, 35 and 57, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported on its Web site Monday. The oldest person has developed a kidney complication and is hospitalized, the newspaper said.

Paul Fisherkeller, president of the Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Taco John’s, said in a statement, «We hope for the speedy recovery of anyone who has fallen ill and are cooperating fully with health departments in both states, while also conducting our own investigation.»

There is no indication the outbreaks at the two taco chains are linked, but the CDC has not ruled out a connection, said Dr. Christopher Braden, a medical epidemiologist with the agency. Iowa officials suspect a sick restaurant worker could have spread the illness. The two restaurant chains are not related.

It could take until midweek to determine if the Taco Bell outbreak is over, Braden said. However, there have been no reports of anyone falling ill after Dec. 2, he added.

Taco Bell continued to exclude scallions from its ingredient list despite the FDA’s finding. «We won’t be considering any changes to our decision until the FDA and CDC conclude their investigation,» Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said.

Taco Bell President Greg Creed said that independent testing on ingredients served in the chain’s restaurants did not indicate the presence of E. coli bacteria.

«As nearly half the entire U.S. adult population eats at a Taco Bell at least once a month, it’s easy to understand how we might be considered associated with this illness,» Creed said in a statement issued from Irvine, Calif., where the subsidiary of Yum Brands Inc. is located.

«Based on this testing and all that we know today, I can reassure you that all Taco Bell food is safe and strict standards are being upheld at all of our restaurants,» he said.

E. coli is a common and ordinarily harmless bacteria, but certain strains can cause abdominal cramps, fever, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, blindness, paralysis, even death.

It is found in the feces of humans and livestock. E. coli infections are associated with undercooked meat. The bacteria also can be found on sprouts and leafy vegetables. The germs can be spread by people if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom.

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«Robert isn’t that man on the tape.» Adam also told jurors the female that prosecutors claim is depicted on the video «is not a victim because she is not the girl on that tape.» Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for the gospel-tinged «I Believe I Can Fly,» and is also known for songs such as «Bump N’ Grind,» «Ignition» and «Trapped in the Closet,» a multipart saga about the sexual secrets of a lively and ever-expanding cast of characters

北«A child doesn’t choose to be violated and placed on a videotape, a videotape that will live on forever — long after this child becomes an adult,» Cook County prosecutor Shauna Boliker told jurors as opening statements got under way in his long-delayed trial.

Kelly, 41, is accused of videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl who prosecutors maintain was as young as 13 when the tape was made between Jan. 1, 1998, and Nov. 1, 2000.

Defense attorneys, however, told jurors in their opening statements that Kelly isn’t the man on the tape and called the video’s origins into question. The defense also told jurors that the female that authorities allege is depicted on the tape isn’t that person at all.

That’s a claim that’s also been made by the 23-year-old woman prosecutors say was a minor at the time of the taping. She denies she’s the girl on the video.

Kelly sat grim-faced during the proceedings, intently studying the jurors across the courtroom as he hunched forward in a leather-backed chair.

The trial has been delayed repeatedly since the tape was mailed to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002. The newspaper turned it over to authorities, and Kelly was indicted later that year.

The R&B singer, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 15 years if convicted.

Boliker repeatedly referred to the female depicted in the tape as a «child» and referred to Kelly by his birth name of Robert Kelly. She alleged the singer took advantage of the inherent trust children place in adults, and that the female on the tape performed acts that Kelly «commanded» her to perform.

The videotape, she said, is «child pornography that was created, staged, produced and starred in by the defendant that sits before you, Robert Kelly.»

Boliker’s opening statement lasted more than 30 minutes. Jurors then listened to one of Kelly’s defense attorneys, Sam Adam Jr.

Adam told jurors that the videotape is «at best a copy of a copy of a copy» and that Kelly isn’t the man on the tape.

«Not a single witness can tell you that is him on the tape,» Adam said. He also said the FBI could not identify the man on the tape as Kelly.

What’s more, he said, Kelly has a «significant» mole in the middle of his lower back that has been there since childhood. But he said the man on the tape did not have the mole.

«There is no mole on his back,» Adam said. «Robert isn’t that man on the tape.»

Adam also told jurors the female that prosecutors claim is depicted on the video «is not a victim because she is not the girl on that tape.»

Kelly won a Grammy in 1997 for the gospel-tinged «I Believe I Can Fly,» and 함평출장안마 is also known for songs such as «Bump N’ Grind,» «Ignition» and «Trapped in the Closet,» a multipart saga about the sexual secrets of a lively and ever-expanding cast of characters.

Jury selection finished last week with prosecutors and defense attorneys accusing each other of trying to stack the panel along racial lines. Eight of the seated jurors were white and four were black.

However, the jury’s racial makeup wasn’t immediately clear after one juror was replaced Tuesday morning by one of four alternates.

The juror who was replaced told Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan that sitting on the panel would leave her unable to pay her bills.

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