South Africa

    South Africa's murder rate has dropped slightly, but the country faces a distressing rise in rapes, robberies and hijackings, South African police said Sept. 22. The number of murders decreased 3.4 percent to 18,148 between April 2008 and March 2009. That still leaves 50 murders a day in the country of some 50 million people. Sexual offenses increased 10.1 percent, with a total of 71,500 reported offenses. Robberies at homes and businesses increased more dramatically, up 27.3 and 41.5 percent respectively. South Africa has one of the worst crime rates in the world, putting the government under pressure to show that safety is improving ahead of next year's soccer World Cup. (AP)

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