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In brief

Shedding light on a guitar legend Mike Panella works on some lights at a Les Paul exhibit at Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin on Friday, in Milwaukee. Guitar legend and innovator Les Paul is credited with developing revolutionary engineering techniques like close miking, echo delay and multitracking.

MANILA, Philippines Hundreds on ferry missing

Rescuers battled huge waves and strong winds Sunday to reach a ferry that capsized during a deadly typhoon in the Philippines a day earlier, but found no immediate signs of the more than 740 passengers and crew.

Coast guard frogmen who managed to get to the stricken ship got no response when they rapped on the hull with metal instruments, then had to give up for the night due to the strong waves.

“They haven’t seen anyone. They’re scouring the area. They’re studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted,” a coast guard spokesman said.

Rescuers hoped to get inside today, likely with U.S. assistance requested by the Philippine Red Cross. Typhoon Fengshen has killed at least 137 people across the sprawling archipelago, setting off landslides and floods, and knocking out electricity.

HARARE, Zimbabwe Mugabe’s reign gets a boost

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of Zimbabwe’s violence-wracked presidential runoff Sunday, declaring that the election was no longer credible and the loss of life among his supporters was simply too high.

The announcement cleared the way for President Robert Mugabe to continue his 28-year rule, despite mounting condemnation from even loyal African allies that the former independence hero has become a despot who has bankrupted the country’s once thriving economy.

“We can’t ask the people to cast their vote on June 27 when that vote will cost their lives,” Tsvangirai said.

LAGOS, Nigeria Cease-fire plan announced

Nigeria’s main militant group says it is declaring a unilateral cease-fire.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in a statement Sunday that it would halt attacks starting midnight Tuesday and would launch no more attacks until further notice.

The group behind two years of crippling attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure said it was heeding calls by elders in the restive southern oil region for the militants to give peace efforts another try.

BEIRUT, Lebanon Government, foes clash

Fighting broke out in northern Lebanon on Sunday between pro- and anti-government factions leaving at least four people dead and 29 wounded, security and medical officials said.

Tensions have been on the rise for several days between government supporters in Tripoli’s Bab el-Tabaneh district and the opposition in neighboring Jabal Mohsen, according to the security officials.

Machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades were used in the clashes, which started around 4 a.m., according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the media.

The latest deaths raise the number of people killed in violence since last month to 87. More than 200 have been wounded.

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