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Teen sailor plans to depart today

A 14-year-old Dutch girl will set off today on a controversial attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, her representatives said. Laura Dekker's ambition of completing the yearlong trip has fueled a global debate over the wisdom of allowing young sailors to take on the tremendous risks of sailing the high seas alone.

Thais to extradite alleged weapons merchant • A Thai court on Friday ordered the extradition to the U.S. of Viktor Bout, a Russian businessman suspected of running a large-scale arms trafficking organization that provided weapons to governments, rebels and insurgents around the globe. The decision, which overturns a lower court's ruling from August 2009, is a victory for the administration of President Barack Obama, which this week summoned the Thai ambassador in Washington to the State Department to "emphasize that this is of the highest priority to the United States," a spokesman said.

Korean pastor arrested • A South Korean Christian pastor who has fueled a bitter debate by visiting North Korea without government permission was arrested Friday during his trip home across the heavily guarded border between the countries. The Rev. Han Sang-ryol, a self-styled "unification activist," was waving a "one-Korea" flag that showed an undivided Korean Peninsula as he stepped across the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom, government officials said. He was immediately whisked away by South Korean authorities for interrogation.

13 killed in Yemen • A clash Friday between troops and civilians at a market in Yemen's restive south left 13 people dead, including 10 soldiers, a security official said.

Police arrested in Mexican murder • Six city police officers were arrested Friday in connection with the killing of a mayor in northern Mexico. The suspects included the officer who guarded the house where Santiago Mayor Edelmiro Cavazos was seized on Sunday.

Blackwater fined $42 million • The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of U.S. export control regulations. The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers.

Gas deposits found off Israel's coast • Enormous deposits of natural gas have been detected off Israel's northern coast. Last year, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that more than 120 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves lie beneath the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, most of it within Israeli territory. Several months after the report, another field of 8.7 trillion cubic feet was found off Israel and a second, twice that size, was detected.

Men caught with 3,756 turtle eggs • Police in Mexico said six suspects were detained Friday on the southern Pacific coast with 3,756 illegally harvested eggs from protected sea turtles.

Falling fear • The fear of falling may be enough to make elderly people more likely to fall, regardless of their actual risk, according to a study published online Friday in the medical journal BMJ.

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