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The world today

Plane skids off runway in Russia, killing four

Russia

Plane skids off runway, killing 4

MOSCOW — A passenger plane ran off the runway at Russia’s third-busiest airport and partly onto a highway while landing Saturday, broke into pieces, and caught fire, killing at least four people. Officials said there were eight people aboard the Tu-204 belonging to Russian airline Red Wings. It was returning from the Czech Republic without passengers to Vnukovo Airport. Officials also said four people were severely injured. (AP)

France

Council rejects 75 percent tax rate

PARIS — France’s Constitutional Council on Saturday struck down the Socialist government’s plan to impose a 75 percent marginal income tax rate on the wealthy, a measure that figured prominently among the campaign promises of President Francois Hollande and that had become a divisive emblem of his approach to cutting the budget deficit. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would reintroduce a revised version of the tax for next year to address the criticisms of the council, which ruled that the measure did not tax affected households equally. (New York Times)

Philippines

President signs law promoting sex ed

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MANILA — The Philippine president has signed a law that will promote contraception, sexual education, and family planning programs opposed by the country’s Roman Catholic Church. President Benigno Aquino III signed the law Dec. 21 and his administration announced it Saturday. (AP)

Pakistan

Kidnapped police found shot to death

PESHAWAR — Government officials said that 21 tribal police believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban have been found shot to death in northwest Pakistan. Naveed Akbar Khan, a senior political official in the area, said the bodies were found after midnight Sunday after officials were notified by a police officer who had escaped. Another officer was found seriously wounded. The police disappeared before dawn Thursday when armed militants attacked two posts in Frontier Region Peshawar. Two officers were also killed in the attacks. (AP)

Myanmar

Suu Kyi knits for party fund-raiser

YANGON — Myanmar’s cash-strapped opposition party is tapping into the prestige of its leader: two sweaters hand-knit by Aung San Suu Kyi have been auctioned for $123,000. One was sold Friday to an anonymous bidder for about $74,120. On Thursday, a Myanmar-based radio station won a bidding war for a multicolored V-neck that fetched $49,000. (AP)

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