Indian commuters - among the 14 million people in that country who ride trains daily - travel in Kolkata. India's railroads use some 40.000 miles of track, much of it through some of the most densely populated cities. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal presented the country's rail budget for the next fiscal year in parliament on Tuesday.



Militants fire rocket after months of calm

JERUSALEM - Gaza militants on Tuesday fired a rocket into Israel for the first time in three months, rattling a cross-border truce that has held since Israel's military offensive against the Hamas-run territory.

Israel closed Gaza's main cargo crossing until further notice, an apparent warning to Gaza's Hamas rulers to clamp down on rocket squads.

Militants claiming affiliation with the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, took responsibility.

Gov't quietly returns migrants to Sudan

JERUSALEM - Israel has quietly repatriated hundreds of Sudanese migrants in recent months, drawing accusations from rights groups that it has coerced the Africans into potentially life-threatening situations and possibly violated international norms for treating refugees.

Israel says the departures have been voluntary, but they follow mass arrests of migrants and vows by Israeli leaders to halt the influx.

Over the past eight years, as many as 60,000 African migrants, mostly Sudanese and Eritrean, have sneaked across Israel's border with Egypt's lawless Sinai desert, some fleeing repressive regimes and others looking for work and better conditions.

Israel initially tolerated their arrival but has since grown jittery as their numbers swelled, turning some neighborhoods into immigrant slums.


France says it won't negotiate for citizens

LAGOS - The stakes are high for France: the lives of four French children, their parents, a relative and nine other French hostages being held by al-Qaida-linked militants in Nigeria and Mali.

But France, entrenched in a war in Mali to drive out several violent Islamist militias, refused to blink Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French radio his government would not negotiate for the release of a French family of tourists.

His remarks came after a shocking video surfaced Monday on YouTube, showing masked gunmen in camouflage standing over their captives: four boys, their parents and the boys' uncle.

The gunmen threatened to kill the family if the group's demands were not met. It was not clear when the video was made.


Anti-vaccine violence claims policeman

ISLAMABAD - Gunmen shot and killed a police officer assigned to safeguard a polio vaccination team in the northwest city of Mardan on Tuesday, the latest in a pattern of attacks that have jeopardized efforts to rein in the disease in the South Asian nation.

The officer, Said Muhammad, was providing security for a husband-and-wife team carrying out vaccinations in Mardan's Sheikh Maltoon neighborhood when two attackers on a motorcycle rode up and opened fire, local officials said.

The vaccination workers were unhurt, but Muhammad died instantly.

At least 11 polio vaccination workers have been killed in Pakistan since December.

South Africa

Buffalo, donkey, goat in beef products

JOHANNESBURG - Worried about horse meat in your beef? Try water buffalo, donkey and goat.

South African food scientists said they have found all three in mislabeled foods including beef burgers, ground beef and sausages.

A study published by three professors at Stellenbosch University found that 68 percent of 139 samples contained species not declared in the product label, with the highest incidence in sausages, burger patties and deli meats.

The study found soya and gluten were not labeled in 28 percent of products tested, and it found undeclared pork in 37 percent and chicken in 23 percent.

Wire reports