Israel gears up to battle possible war-crimes probe

TEL AVIV, Israel — A jittery Israeli military is gearing up for what could become its next big battle: dealing with U.N. investigations that could result in war-crimes allegations.

The army has beefed up its legal staff, is conducting internal investigations of its wartime actions and has prepared a detailed PR campaign — hoping to persuade the world that its war against Hamas was justified.

"We take our business seriously, and as such we operate within the rules and regulations under the laws of war," said Lt. Col. Peter Lemer, a military spokesman. — AP

Outage takes 50 percent of Egypt's power generation

CAIRO - Egypt suffered a massive power outage that halted parts of the Cairo subway, took TV stations off the air and ground much of the country to a halt for several hours Thursday. Top officials offered no clear explanation for how the country suddenly lost 50 percent of its power generation.

Two senior security and electricity officials said the crisis erupted when one of the country's main power generating stations in Cairo went out of service either because of human error or technical failure.

That led to the collapse of the rest of the main power stations, since Egypt's stations are all connected in one network. — AP

U.N. says a fifth of homicide victims are under age 20

UNITED NATIONS-About 120 million girls worldwide have been forced to have sex and one-fifth of homicide victims globally are under 20 years old, according to a U.N. report released Thursday.

Drawing on data from 190 countries, the report from the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, notes that children around the world are routinely exposed to physical, sexual and emotional violence ranging from homicide and forced sexual acts to bullying and abusive discipline.

The violence "cuts across boundaries of age, geography, religion, ethnicity and income brackets," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said. "It occurs in places where children should be safe, their homes, schools and communities. Increasingly, it happens over the Internet, and it's perpetrated by family members, teachers, strangers and other children."

A separate UNICEF report, also released on Thursday, lays out strategies to prevent and respond to violence against children. The steps include providing support for families and caregivers in hopes of reducing the risk of violence within the home. — AP

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