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WORLD IN BRIEF: Swiss designer creates watch from dino dung

GENEVA -- A Swiss watchmaker is hoping to raise a stink with an expensive timepiece that eschews the trade's standard gold, diamond or titanium fittings for a more earthy substance -- dinosaur dung.

Vesenaz, Switzerland-based company Artya said the watch set in fossilized feces will sell for $11,290 and comes with a strap made with skin from an American cane toad.

Designer Yvan Arpa said Monday the coprolite came from a plant-eater that died about 100 million years ago in what is now the U.S.

US wants Israel to halt touchy building plan

JERUSALEM -- The Obama administration is demanding that Israel call off a contentious building project in east Jerusalem and make a public gesture toward the Palestinians to help defuse one of the worst U.S.-Israeli feuds in memory, officials on both sides said Monday.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed little sign of yielding, saying Jewish construction in east Jerusalem ''in no way'' hurts Palestinians. A Jerusalem city spokesman suggested Jewish building there would continue.

Announcement of the plan to build 1,600 apartments for Jews in the Ramot Shlomo neighborhood came during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week, embarrassing him and the Obama administration, angering Palestinians and endangering the start of indirect peace negotiations that are to be mediated by a U.S. envoy.

US military hands over prison to Iraq

TAJI, Iraq -- The U.S. military handed over control of a prison holding some 2,900 detainees to Iraqi authorities on Monday as the Americans move ahead with preparations for a full withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Most of the Taji prison's detainees are low and midlevel insurgents who were arrested by American troops, said Maj. Gen. David Quantock, commander of detainee operations. A small number have been convicted of crimes, he said.

Control of prisons is a sensitive issue for many Iraqis. Torture was widespread in Iraqi prisons under the regime for former dictator Saddam Hussein before his fall in the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. And the scandal following the release of photos showing American troops mistreating detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison sparked outrage across Iraq and the Arab world.