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New bird flu kills more

BEIJING -- A middle-aged man who transported poultry for a living and another unidentified person have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing the death toll to five among 14 confirmed cases in China, the government and state media reported Thursday.

The 48-year-old man, who died in Shanghai, is one of several among the infected believed to have had direct contact with fowl. Until recently, the virus, called H7N9, was not known to infect humans.

The official Xinhua News Agency did not identify the fifth fatality, but said that person also died in Shanghai on Wednesday.

It said the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed on Thursday the H7N9 virus had been detected in pigeons at a market selling agricultural products in Shanghai.

Craigslist killer to die

AKRON, Ohio -- A self-styled street preacher was sentenced to death Thursday in the killings of three down-and-out men lured by bogus job offers posted on Craigslist.

The jury that convicted Richard Beasley of murder recommended he face execution. The judge had the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison.

Beasley, 53, was convicted of teaming up with a teenager in 2011 to use the promise of jobs on an Ohio farm to lure them into robberies. Three men were killed and a fourth who was wounded testified at Beasley's trial.

The judge read the three death sentences in a hushed courtroom crowded with victims' relatives, some of them holding back tears.

Massacre in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan officials released harrowing new details on Thursday about an attack in a western province where assailants shot everyone in their path, sending terrified people jumping from windows trying to escape the assailants who killed at least 46 civilians and security forces.

Civilians have frequently been caught up in the fighting between militants and Afghan and U.S.-led combat forces, but the UN condemned Wednesday's attack, saying civilians were deliberately targeted at the courthouse and other government offices in Farah province. Two judges, six prosecutors, administration officers and cleaners working at the site were among the dead, the UN said.

Brit library to capture Net

LONDON -- Capturing the unruly, ever-changing Internet is like trying to pin down a raging river.

But the British Library is going to try.

For centuries, the library has kept a copy of every book, pamphlet, magazine and newspaper published in Britain. Starting Saturday, it will also be bound to record every British website, e-book, online newsletter and blog in a bid to preserve the nation's "digital memory."

As if that's not a big enough task, the library also has to make this digital archive available to future researchers -- come time, tide or technological change.

The library says the work is urgent. Ever since people began switching from paper and ink to computers and mobile phones, material that would fascinate future historians has been disappearing into a digital black hole.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 5, 2013 A15

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