Crowd measures readied for Palestinian demonstrations

Israeli security forces are importing horses, water cannons, tear-gas launchers and a nauseating noise machine to control crowds if they become violent at Palestinian protests planned next month to support their bid for U.N. endorsement of statehood. Israel hopes the measures will avoid casualties among demonstrators.

Palestinian authorities have made plans that aim to keep the protests peaceful and avoid confrontations with Israelis.

Palestinians are planning mass demonstrations across the West Bank and abroad to coincide with the September U.N. General Assembly session, which the Palestinians hope will give official endorsement for their state.

Police have doubled the size of their riot control forces to more than 2,000, according to an internal police newsletter obtained by The Associated Press.


FBI joins in investigation of missing Maryland woman

Aruba has turned to the FBI for help investigating the disappearance of 35-year-old Robyn Gardner of Maryland, an agency spokesman said Thursday as official doubts grew about the story told by the suspect in the case.

FBI Special Agent Richard Wolf told The Associated Press that the U.S. agency is conducting interviews and giving other assistance to Aruba.

Gardner was reported missing Aug. 2 by traveling companion Gary V. Giordano, who is also from Maryland. The 50-year-old man told police that Gardner disappeared while they were snorkeling off the southern tip of the Caribbean island.

Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein said earlier that police had detained Giordano because of seeming inconsistencies in his version of events. And on Thursday he said that if Gardner had drowned where Giordano had said, “We think that her body would have surfaced by now.


Police arrest seven in wild animal trafficking case

Brazilian police have arrested seven people and seized more than 2,600 animals in a crackdown on the illegal trafficking of wild animals.

A news release from the federal environmental agency says the suspects operated a website to sell animals captured in the wild or bred illegally.

The agency says that threatened and endangered animals such as the blue macaw fetched up to $33,500. The site also sold big cats: An ocelot went for about $8,000.

The crackdown kicked off Wednesday and continued Thursday, involving 150 police officers and 106 environmental agency representatives.

The watchdog group Renctas says about 15 percent of the $10 billion to $20 billion global illegal animal trade takes place in Brazil.


Remains believed to be of hiker missing for 54 years

An Austrian news agency has reported that police have found the remains of a man they believe went missing in the Alps 54 years ago.

Police have told the Austria Press Agency they located the partial skeleton Thursday after an alpinist gave them human bones and a hiking boot that he found near a glacier.

They say the find was made in the Tyrollean Alps, at a height of 2,500 meters – more than 8,200 feet.

Police believe the man is likely a climber from the town of Matre who was reported missing while hiking 54 years ago.

— From news service reports