World briefs – August 9

North Korean authorities seized a South Korean fishing boat Sunday in waters off the divided peninsula’s eastern coast, the South’s coast guard said amid heightened tensions over the sinking of a southern navy ship.

NKorea seizes SKorean fishing boat

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean authorities seized a South Korean fishing boat Sunday in waters off the divided peninsula’s eastern coast, the South’s coast guard said amid heightened tensions over the sinking of a southern navy ship.

Four South Korean and three Chinese fishermen were questioned Sunday for an alleged violation of the North’s exclusive economic zone, South Korea’s coast guard said in a statement. It said the fishing boat was being taken toward the North Korea’s eastern port of Songjin.

The coast guard said it was not clear where exactly the fishing boat was operating when it was seized.

South Korea called on the North to quickly return the fishing boat and its crew. However, the prospect of their quick return is being complicated because of tension over the March sinking of a South Korean warship off the western coast blamed on North Korea.

Duchess of York says she’s trying to avoid bankruptcy

LONDON — Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, says she is doing everything she can to avoid declaring bankruptcy over business debts.

The former wife of Prince Andrew said in a statement Sunday that she has paid off all her personal debts. The statement was issued in a response to a front-page report in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper citing unidentified royal sources discussing the dire state of her finances.

Ferguson publicly admitted being in serious debt after she was secretly recorded by the News of the World tabloid offering to sell press access to her ex-husband for cash.

Iraqi police say car bomb kills 7, wounds 21

BAGHDAD — Iraqi police and hospital officials say a car bomb has killed seven people and wounded 21 others west of Baghdad.

The officials said the blast took place Sunday between a petrol station and an abandoned cinema in the centre of Ramadi, about 115 kilometres west of the Iraqi capital. Violence has dropped dramatically dropped in Iraq since 2008, but insurgent attacks remain a daily occurrence.

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