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Afghan rocket attack damages top U.S. general’s plane

A rocket fired on a US airbase in Afghanistan early Tuesday damaged the aircraft of America’s top military officer and wounded two maintenance crew, officers said. Two insurgent rockets struck the vast Bagram air field overnight, with one causing damage to the C-17 used by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of…

Billionaire George Soros invests in British soccer team Manchester United

US billionaire George Soros has bought a stake in Manchester United, the British football club that made its Wall Street debut earlier this month, according to a filing with US regulators. Soros’ investment firm bought approximately 3.1 million Class A shares, or 7.85 percent of the total Class A shares,…

Ethiopian prime minister has died abroad

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, a regional strongman in power for over two decades, has died in hospital abroad, the government said Tuesday. “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passed away yesterday evening at around midnight,” Bereket Simon said, adding that the 57-year-old “was abroad” when he died, without giving further details.…

Japanese reporter killed in Syria

TOKYO — A female Japanese reporter has been killed after being caught in gunfire while covering clashes in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, the Japanese foreign ministry said Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three other journalists were missing while covering the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime…

Israel arrests teen girls over hate attack on Palestinians

JERUSALEM — Jerusalem police arrested two 15-year-old girls on Monday, bringing to seven the number of Jewish teenagers arrested in connection with a brutal hate attack on young Palestinians last week. “Two 15-year-old girls were arrested today, in addition to the five youngsters already arrested,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told…

Oil prices dip amid Mideast, eurozone worries

NEW YORK — Oil prices eased slightly in cautious trade Monday as investors kept a close eye on Middle East tensions and the eurozone’s economic uncertainties. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, closed at $95.97 a barrel, dipping four cents from…

Mexico murders almost triple since 2005

MEXICO CITY — The murder rate in drug-violent Mexico has almost tripled since 2005, government figures showed Monday, though officials did not specify how many homicides were linked to the country’s war on drugs. A total of 27,199 people were killed in 2011, or 24 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, compared…

Leaked documents: Shell oil spending millions on security in Nigeria

Shell is paying Nigerian security forces tens of millions of dollars a year to guard their installations and staff in the Niger delta, according to leaked internal financial data seen by the Guardian. The oil giant also maintains a 1,200-strong internal police force in Nigeria, plus a network of plainclothes…

11-year-old Pakistani girl faces death penalty for Quran burning

An 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl said to suffer from a mental disorder could face the death penalty under the country’s notorious blasphemy laws, after she was accused by her neighbours of deliberately burning sacred Islamic texts. Rifta Masih was arrested on Thursday, after complaints against her prompted angry demonstrations, and…

Joint chiefs chair: Afghan leaders ready to curb ‘insider attacks’

Afghan leaders appear ready to take decisive action to curb unprecedented “insider attacks” by Afghan recruits that have killed 40 Western troops this year, the top US military officer said Monday. “For the first time, I found that my Afghan counterparts are as concerned about the insider attacks as we…

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