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Nigeria on alert as U.S. warns of new attacks

Nigeria was on high alert Monday after the United States warned of fresh attacks following a wave of deadly blasts claimed by Islamists killed 150 people in the northeast of the country. Friday’s attacks in the city of Damaturu were among the deadliest ever carried out by Boko Haram, an Islamist sect…

Roadside bomb kills Afghan police chief

A roadside bomb ripped through a police vehicle in southernAfghanistan, killing a district police chief and two of his bodyguards, authorities said on Monday. The blast happened late Sunday as the group drove from Lashkar Gah, the capital of troubled Helmand province, to Garmser district. “Mohammad Saifullah, the police chief of Garmser district in Helmand province,…

Stranded Mount Everest trekkers criticize Nepal officials

Foreign tourists trapped by heavy fog for six days in the foothills ofMount Everest told Monday of their ordeal as they waited to be rescued. Authorities were forced on Wednesday last week to close the only airstrip in Lukla, the gateway for climbers heading to Everest and surrounding mountains, grounding all flights in…

Four-hour general strike begins in Israel

A general strike got under way in Israel on Monday, shutting down hospitals, banks and the country’s main international airport, but was to last only four hours, Israel’s army radio reported. The decision to let the strike go ahead on a limited basis from 6:00 am (0400 GMT) was taken…

Sex zone plan leaves Taiwanese cold

Taiwan has legalised the creation of red light districts in a bid to regulate the sex industry, but prostitutes themselves say the new law could actually worsen their plight. Under the law passed by parliament Friday, local governments are allowed to set up special penalty-free sex trade zones, but outside…

North Korean soldiers shoot refugee in China: activist

A refugee was shot dead by North Korean border guards last month after reaching Chinese soil in a strengthened crackdown on escapees, according to a South Korean activist. “During my trip to a border area on October 22, I witnessed a man shot to death after arriving in China,” Kim…

Ex-general claims presidency in Guatemala

Retired general Otto Perez Molina claimed victory in Guatemala’s presidential runoff election, calling for unity in the desperately poor and violent Central American nation. “I thank all Guatemalans who trusted in me,” the white-haired ex-general said on local radio Sonora, as almost 90 percent of votes gave him a lead…

Iran mastered critical steps to build nuke: report

The Iranian government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon after receiving assistance from foreign scientists, The Washington Post reported. Citing unnamed Western diplomats and nuclear experts familiar with new intelligence to be released to the United Nations, the newspaper said a former Soviet weapons scientist…

Parties agree on early Greek elections date

The two main Greek political parties have agreed on February 19 as the best date for early elections in the debt-strapped eurozone country, the finance ministry said. At a meeting held late Sunday alongside one that grouped party leaders George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras, delegations from the socialist PASOK and…

Olympic torch to visit Stonehenge and Loch Ness

LONDON — The Olympic torch will visit famous sights such as Stonehenge on its journey around Britain before the London 2012 Games, organisers said Monday. The flame will also scale mountains, telescopes, take a ride on the train and a dash through a shopping centre on its 70-day tour. The…

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