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March 18th, 2009
World Links: Sharia Courts Open in Swat, FARC Releases Last Foreign Hostage

Sharia courts open and regular courts are forced to close in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, as a ceasefire agreement between the provincial government and local Taliban leaders goes into effect.

The World Bank lowers expectations for China’s growth to 6.5 percent for 2009, as Chinese exports plummet due to the global financial crisis.

Colombia’s FARC rebels free their last known foreign hostage, 69-year-old Swedish national Erik Roland Larsson.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir calls on rebels to lay down their arms in his second visit to Darfur since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest two weeks ago.

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