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Associated Press

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Relief efforts urged for N. Korean refugeesTOKYO – The United Nations should spearhead relief efforts for North Korean refugees in China and Russia, delegates said Sunday on the final day of an international conference on human rights in North Korea.

Defectors who flee oppression and famine in North Korea often face new problems once they sneak across the border into neighboring countries. Denied legal status as immigrants or refugees, many struggle to make a living and fear being sent home, where they are often put in prison or sometimes executed as traitors.

Led by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the international community should pressure China and Russia to allow independent relief groups into border regions to help the refugees, activists said at the closing session of the two-day International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees.

“Along the border with China, tens of thousands of North Korean refugees live in hunger and in fear of forced return,” said Jack Rendler, vice chairman of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. “News from increasing numbers of refugees is consistently horrible.”

Up to 150,000 North Korean migrants live in China, according to activist estimates.S. African goes on killing rampage CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Outraged at being dumped by his girlfriend, a South African man shot and killed her and nine other people before turning the gun on himself, police said Sunday.

Seven others were seriously wounded in the shooting spree by 29-year-old security guard Bulelani Vukwana on Saturday night in the Mdantsane suburb of East London, about 560 miles east of Cape Town.

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Earlier Saturday, Vukwana and his girlfriend, Nulovuyo Mbenya, had a fight and she had ended their relationship, said police spokesman Stephen Marais.Firecracker lighted; Chinese die in fireBEIJING – A blaze that started when a customer at a fireworks stand lighted a firecracker killed at least nine people and wrecked a shopping center in central China, a government news agency said Sunday.

The fire burned two stories of the mall in Xingyang, a city in Henan province, the China News Service said. It said many other people were injured and that the total death toll wasn’t known yet.

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