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Human Rights panel reports on Ukraine protests...Kidnappings in Afghanistan, Libya

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GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations report points to corruption, the lack of an independent judiciary and a lack of free elections as being among the root causes of major protests in Ukraine going back to last November. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also reports that in Crimea, it found credible allegations of harassment, arbitrary arrests and torture targeting those who did not support the March 16 secession referendum.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's deputy public works minister is a captive after being abducted in the capital, Kabul today. Ahmad Shah Wahid was on his way to work when five gunmen ran his car off the road, dragged him into their 4-wheel-drive vehicle and sped away. Abductions are common but Wahid is the highest-ranking government official abducted in years. It's not known who did it.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — There's been a high-profile kidnapping in Libya, where an official says gunmen snatched Jordan's ambassador. A Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman says several masked gunmen attacked the car of Ambassador Fawaz al-Etan this morning in Tripoli. A spokeswoman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry says there are no further details.

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The sparring continues for a fifth day today between Oscar Pistorius and the chief prosecutor who continues to challenge the athlete's account of how he killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home last year. The prosecutor at Pistorius' murder trial says the Olympic double amputee runner has lied on the stand. Pistorius claims the killing was accidental.

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Supreme Court created a third gender category today, ruling that transgendered people can now identify themselves that way on official documents. Activists say it will give relief to millions of people who face discrimination in India's deeply conservative society.

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