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Obama Muslim rumour grows

US President Barack Obama said he is not worried about a recent poll showing that nearly a fifth of Americans believe he is a Muslim -- up from just a tenth who believed the same thing in March 2009.

"The facts are the facts," said Mr Obama, who is a Christian.

The president blamed the confusion on "a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly".

Asked about persistent accusations that he was not born in the United States, the president responded: "I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."

Mayor killed in Mexico dispute

Gunmen have killed the mayor of a town in the drug-plagued Mexican border state of Tamaulipas.

Hidalgo Mayor Marco Antonio Leal Garcia was the second mayor to be assassinated in the past two weeks in the area, which has become a battleground between the Gulf cartel and the brutal Zetas gang of hitmen.

Hidalgo has about 25,000 inhabitants, and is located southwest of the area where 72 bodies were found last week.

370 arrested in immigrant hunt

US federal officials arrested 370 immigrants who were in the US illegally or convicted of other crimes as part of a three-day roundup in the Midwest.

Those arrested were legal immigrants with convictions that made them eligible for deportation, illegal immigrants who had been convicted of other crimes, immigration fugitives wanted for being in the country illegally or people who had been deported and come back.

John Morton, director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency said: "These are not people we want freely roaming our streets."

Court escapee arrested again

A Russian citizen who abandoned a courtroom in Puerto Rico while he waited for a judge to review a negligent homicide charge pending against him has been detained at the island's main airport.

Dodik Siyunov was arrested shortly before he was due to board a plane.

Prosecutor Ines Escobar said that Mr Siyunov's attorney told the judge his client was leaving for New York.