Released French hostage Daniel Larribe, right, hugs his wife and two daughters upon his arrival at the Villacoublay military airbase, outside Paris, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Four French held hostage by al-Qaida militants landed in France on Wednesday after three years in captivity in the punishing African Sahel. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
NYC votes to raise tobacco-buying age to 21
Smokers younger than 21 in the nation’s biggest city will soon be barred from buying cigarettes after the New York City Council voted overwhelming to raise the tobacco-purchasing age to higher than all but a few other places in the United States. City lawmakers approved the bill — which raises from 18 to 21 the purchasing age for cigarettes, certain tobacco products and even electronic-vapor smokes — and another that sets a minimum $10.50-a-pack price for tobacco cigarettes and steps up law enforcement on illegal tobacco sales. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 30 days to sign the bills into law. The bill would take effect 180 days after enactment.
Government reduces estimates of drone deaths
In a surprise move, Pakistan’s government sharply revised downward its official estimate of civilian casualties caused by U.S. drone strikes in the tribal belt, highlighting again the contentious nature of statistics about the CIA campaign. The Ministry of Defense released figures saying that 67 civilians were among 2,227 people killed in 317 drone strikes since 2008. The remainder of those killed were Islamist militants, the ministry said. It represented a civilian casualty rate of about 3 percent; earlier estimates reported a rate of 6 percent and higher over the same period.
Prominent Brotherhood leader seized
Egyptian security forces captured Essam el-Erian, one of the last few prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood still at large after a crackdown that began with the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. The seizure of Erian, a Morsi adviser, appears to complete the incarceration of the organization’s most visible leaders.