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Remains found at Mexico ranch

MONTERREY, Mexico — Mexico's army dug up human remains in 11 pits at an abandoned ranch in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, a state prosecutor's office official said Saturday.

Authorities believe the graves contain at least 11 bodies, the official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk.

State police investigating the site along with the army said there might be dozens of bodies buried at the ranch, but because only small bones were found it was difficult to determine the number, the official said.

Chinese dissident freed from prison

BEIJING — A prominent Chinese dissident who was jailed for sedition more than three years ago was released today, his wife said.

A major figure in China's dissident community, Hu Jia was active in a broad range of civil liberties issues before he was imprisoned in 2008. His 3 1/2-year prison sentence was set to end today.

He returned home before dawn, Hu's wife Zeng Jinyan said in an online message. "Safe, very happy. Needs to recuperate for a period of time," Zeng said in a Twitter message.

Russians protest ban on political party

MOSCOW — Hundreds of people turned out in Moscow's Pushkin Square on Saturday to protest the government's refusal to register a new party that seeks to unify Russia's fractured opposition.

The People's Freedom Party, known as PARNAS, was organized last winter by four of the country's most well-known opposition politicians, all former members of previous Russian governments.

The often-amended legislation on political parties is difficult to follow and easy for bureaucrats to interpret the way they see fit: In the last four years, nine liberal parties have been denied registration on various technicalities.

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