More countries adding graphic warnings to cigarette packs

MARGIE MASON Associated Press Published:

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia became the newest country to mandate graphic photo warnings on cigarette packs this week, joining more than 40 other nations or territories that have adopted similar regulations in recent years.

The warnings, which showcase gruesome close-up images ranging from rotting teeth and cancerous lungs to open tracheotomy holes and corpses, are an effort to highlight the risks of health problems related to smoking.

Research suggests these images have prompted people to quit, but the World Health Organization estimates nearly 6 million people continue to die globally each year from smoking-related causes. The tobacco industry has fought government efforts to introduce or increase the size of graphic warnings in some countries.

Iraq killings: Iraqi insurgents executed at least 160 captives earlier this month in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch said today, citing an analysis of satellite imagery and grisly photos released by the militants. The U.S.-based rights group said militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant killed between 160-190 men in two locations in Tikrit between June 11-14. "The number of victims may well be much higher, but the difficulty of locating bodies and accessing the area has prevented a full investigation," it said.

Tension in Koreas: North Korea said today that leader Kim Jong Un has guided the test launches of its newly developed precision guided missiles, in a possible reference to three short-range projectiles South Korean officials say the North fired toward its waters a day earlier. South Korean defense officials said the projectiles fired from an eastern port city Thursday flew about 120 miles before harmlessly landing into the waters off its east coast. The exact type of those projectiles and the North's intentions weren't immediately known. The North's state media said Friday that the country tested what it calls "cutting-edge ultra-precision tactical guided missiles" and Kim watched the tests with top deputies and was satisfied with the results.

Pipeline blast: A state-owned gas pipeline exploded early today in Nagaram, India, killing at least 14 people and sparking a massive fire that destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of neighboring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, authorities said. Vandana Chanana, a top official of the state-run Gas Authority of India Ltd, said 14 people died and 15 others were injured in the fire following the explosion in the pipeline in Nagaram village in the state's East Godavari district. "The fire has been extinguished now and rescue operations are on," Chanana said.

Tiger attack: An Indian fisherman says a tiger has snatched his father off a fishing boat and dragged him away into a mangrove swamp. Jyotish Majhi says he was fishing for crabs with his father and sister Thursday when the tiger leaped onto their boat. He says he and his sister beat the tiger with sticks, but their 60-year-old father was still thrashing in the animal's jaws when they disappeared into the swamp. This was the fourth deadly attack by a tiger in the region in the last four months.

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