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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's crackdown on Islamists has jailed 16,000 people over the past eight months in the country's biggest round-up in nearly two decades, according to previously unreleased figures from security officials. Rights activists say reports of abuses in prisons are mounting, with prisoners describing systematic beatings and miserable conditions for dozens packed into tiny cells.
China is planning a major expansion of its transport networks and urban infrastructure as it seeks to increase migration from rural to urban areas, lifting incomes and demand to drive continued economic growth. The 2014-20 urbanization plan released on Sunday aims to boost domestic consumption by increasing the proportion of urban residents among China's population of almost 1.4 billion to 60 percent by 2020, up from 53.7 percent now. Among the biggest obstacles to the planned relocation of several hundred million rural residents is the huge infrastructure development needed to accommodate the new wave of city dwellers as well as reform of the country's "hukou" registration system. China's leaders, however, will make it easier for rural migrants to obtain residency status in smaller cities, with the intention of helping to unlock the nation's huge potential domestic demand.
Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - 17:06 GMT - KERRY URGES UKRAINE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS, RUSSIA PULLBACK - US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Moscow to pull back Russian forces to their bases in Crimea in return for constitutional reforms in Ukraine to protect minority rights, a US official said according to our correspondents in Washington. "The secretary made clear that this crisis can only be resolved politically and that as Ukrainians take the necessary political measures going forward, Russia must reciprocate by pulling forces back to base, and addressing the tensions and concerns about military engagement," the senior State Department official said.