MEXICO: An official count shows at least 26,121 people were reported missing during the term of president Felipe Calderon, who launched the country's offensive against drug cartels.
The data was collected from local prosecutors across Mexico and includes people reported missing for any reason during the previous administration.
MALDIVES: A 15-year-old rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes and eight months under house arrest for engaging in premarital sex.
The girl admitted to having consensual sex with a man in an incident unrelated to the rape.
Despite condemnation from the UN and Amnesty International, court officials say the flogging will be carried out once the girl turns 18.
THAILAND: Human Rights Watch urged the government today to investigate the slaying of an environmentalist who exposed the dumping of toxic waste.
Village headman Prajob Nao-opas was shot dead on Monday after campaigning for the past year against dumping by factories.
It also demanded that the government do more to protect activists.
RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin has called on the country's top brass to upgrade the armed forces in the next three years.
He told defence ministry and top military officials today about "insistent attempts" from abroad to tip the balance and complained about US attempts to set up a new missile defence system.
SPAIN: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has conceded that the government failed to reduce its budget deficit to the level it promised European authorities.
He said the 2012 deficit fell to 6.7 per cent of the country's annual GDP from 9 per cent in 2011.
Despite a raft of spending cuts and tax increases, the reduction misses the 6.3 per cent Spain promised.
PM Rajoy's deficit figure does not include the €40 billion (£35m) bailout to ailing Spanish banks.
IRISH REPUBLIC: High-ranking civil servants are being advised to vote against a €1 billion (£860 million) state pay cuts plan.
The 2,700 members of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) have been urged by their executive to vote No to cuts.
General secretary Dave Thomas said: "AHCPS members have already suffered pay reductions of between 15 and 17 per cent before tax, in addition to extra working hours."
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