Stolen donations worth $2M recovered
TORONTO - Police say they have recovered a massive cache of toys and other donated goods worth about $2 million that were stolen from a Salvation Army warehouse and being sold for profit.
Police said Saturday that they had to use three tractor-trailers to haul the items, which were found a day earlier when officers searched a commercial warehouse in Brampton, northwest of Toronto.
Police say they discovered 146 wooden platforms stacked with items including toys, baby cribs, strollers and food.
It's alleged that up to 100,000 items worth $2 million were stolen from a Salvation Army warehouse in north-end Toronto over nearly two years.
The Toronto facility's executive director, David Rennie, has been fired. No criminal charges have been filed.
Wounded president returns from France
NOUAKCHOTT - Thousands of Mauritanians lined the road from the airport Saturday to welcome back President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who went to France for five weeks of medical treatment after being accidentally shot in a friendly-fire incident.
His return puts an end to speculation over the state of his health, as well as over the future of Mauritania. Analysts had warned that his extended departure could create the instability needed for another coup in this desert nation, which has suffered six since the 1970s.
"At no moment did I fear a coup d'etat by the army … because (our army) has better things to do," Aziz told the French radio station Radio France International on Saturday morning. "I have total confidence in the Mauritanian military."
Formerly a general in the army, Aziz came to power himself in a 2008 coup, ousting the country's first, and only, democratically elected leader.
Foster kids' removal stirs political dispute
LONDON - Britain's education secretary says he will investigate how local officials removed three children from their foster family because of concerns about the parents' political beliefs.
The Rotherham borough council sparked criticism Saturday when it was revealed that its social workers removed the children, who are European migrants, because their foster parents are members of the right-wing U.K. Independence Party.
The party wants Britain to withdraw from the EU and favors immigration curbs. Social workers said they were concerned that the children's "cultural and ethnic needs" may not be met in the foster family.
Education Secretary Michael Gove condemned the decision as arbitrary and indefensible, saying that political beliefs should not stop anyone from fostering children.
Rotherham is near Manchester.
Opposition print plant raided by gov't agents
CARACAS - Government intelligence agents have raided a business printing opposition political pamphlets ahead of next month's state elections.
Zulia state Gov. Pablo Perez says the raid by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service in the western city of Maracaibo is an attempt to intimidate opponents of President Hugo Chavez's government. He told reporters on Saturday that such actions are "abuses of power."
The intelligence agency's regional chief, Carlos Calderon told the Panorama newspaper that agents on Friday found pamphlets that aimed to "sabotage the candidacy" of Francisco Arias Cardenas, a Chavez ally running against Perez in the Dec. 16 elections.
Calderon didn't give details but said officials reported the propaganda to electoral authorities.
Cell sending jihadists to Mali is broken up
RABAT - Moroccan security forces dismantled a cell recruiting young men to fight with al-Qaida-linked groups in northern Mali, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.
The statement said a group operating across the country was inculcating young men with al-Qaida ideology and then smuggling them across the closed border with Algeria, from where they headed to Mali for military training.
The men would then join either al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb or its offshoot, The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, which have taken control over much of northern Mali.
Northern Mali fell to Islamist extremists in April, after coup leaders toppled the government in Bamako, Mali's capital. France has been pushing for a military intervention by Mali's army, bolstered by other African troops, to drive the Islamists from power.
Nobel laureate decries Mo Yan 'catastrophe'
STOCKHOLM - Herta Mueller, the 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, says the choice to give this year's award to Mo Yan is a "catastrophe" that never should have happened, and accuses the Chinese writer of praising the Asian country's tough censorship laws.
In an interview published in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Saturday, the Romanian-born author - whose struggle under Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship has influenced most of her works - says she wanted to cry when she learned of the 2012 laureate choice. She says she feels "it's a catastrophe," and an "incredibly upsetting" choice.
Mo, the first Chinese writer to win the literature award, has been criticized for compromising his artistic and intellectual independence by being a Communist Party member and vice president of the official writers association.
The Associated Press