Australia: 'Sex slaves' rescued

SYDNEY — Police have rescued 10 South Korean women who were forced to work in a Sydney brothel by a sex slavery syndicate that lured them to Australia with promises of legitimate jobs, officials said Friday.

Four Australian men and women and a South Korean woman were arrested early today and charged with multiple offenses relating to a sex trafficking business that was making $2.8 million a year, Australian Federal Police and the Immigration Department said in a joint statement.

The victims, who were rescued by police Thursday, were receiving counseling and government support, immigration official Lyn O'Connell said. She said no decision had been made on whether they would remain in Australia as prosecution witnesses.

Brazil: Boy, 8, tries law school

SAO PAULO — An 8-year-old boy with dreams of becoming a judge has passed a law school entrance exam — shocking Brazil's legal profession and prompting a federal investigation.

The Universidade Paulista, a multicampus private university, issued a statement acknowledging that Joao Victor Portellinha de Oliveira had passed the entrance exam and that it initially enrolled him. But he was turned away from classes when he showed up on Thursday with his father.

The school said that the fifth-grader has to graduate from high school before he can enter the university.

Germany: Bravery medal

BERLIN — Germany appears set to introduce a military decoration for bravery for the first time since World War II.

President Horst Koehler has "approved in principle" a request from the defense minister to introduce the new honor, presidential spokesman Martin Kothe said Thursday.

Discussion of the new honor comes as the German military's role has expanded in recent years, putting more soldiers in the line of fire in global hot spots.

Germany emerged slowly from its post-World War II military shell after reunification in 1990.

Today, Germany has about 6,800 soldiers abroad — including more than 3,000 in Afghanistan and nearly 2,200 in Kosovo.

Netherlands: Threat level high

THE HAGUE — The Dutch government raised the national threat level Thursday because of what it said was greater activity in Europe by professional terrorists from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Tjibbe Joustra, said the Netherlands also had become a more likely target after a legislator announced plans to release a film harshly critical of the Quran.

The alert rose to "substantial," the second-highest of four possible levels, said an announcement from the coordinator's office. "There is a real chance that the Netherlands will face a terror attack," it said.

Turkey: 700 children sickened

ANKARA — About 700 Turkish school children were hospitalized Thursday for apparent food poisoning, health authorities said.

The children were taken to hospitals in the western Turkish province of Balikesir when they began vomiting after a lunch that included chicken, said Mehmet Caliskan, the highest local health authority in Balikesir. None of the students were in critical condition, media reports said.