World/nation briefs

  • Updated: January 6, 2013 - 10:52 PM

ALASKA

Crews attach tow line to stranded oil rig

Taking advantage of a break in the weather, crews Sunday attached a tow line to a drilling rig that ran aground last week in the Gulf of Alaska. Officials said that the rig was stable and that there was no sign of environmental damage. With the line attached to a ship, preparations were underway to move the rig to a sheltered harbor for inspection.

WEST BANK

Palestinians change name of their state

The Palestinian president has ordered his government to officially change the name of the Palestinian Authority to "State of Palestine." The move follows the U.N. decision to upgrade the Palestinians' status to that of a "non-member observer state." All official Palestinian stamps, stationery and documents will now bear the new name.

PAKISTAN

U.S. drone kills Taliban fighters

Suspected U.S. drones fired several missiles into three militant hideouts near the Afghan border, killing nine Pakistani Taliban fighters, intelligence officials said. The strikes targeted the group's hideouts in the South Waziristan tribal region. Sunday's drone attack was the third suspected U.S. drone strike in five days.

Pakistani soldier killed in Kashmir

Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged gunfire across the disputed Kashmir border, leaving one Pakistani soldier dead in a relatively rare fatal confrontation between the neighbors. As usual, the rival armies, which have been engaged in a faceoff in Kashmir for decades, disagreed about who started the shooting or what happened next. Pakistan said Indian troops crossed the disputed boundary into Pakistani territory, where they attacked a remote outpost and wounded two soldiers, one of whom later died. But the Indian military said that its troops had not crossed into Pakistani territory and that it was only responding to an unprovoked Pakistani shelling.

VENEZUELA

What if Chavez misses his inauguration?

Vice President Nicolas Maduro will remain at the helm of Venezuela even if his ailing boss, Hugo Chavez, is unable to attend Thursday's inauguration, Attorney General Cecilia Flores said. Some argue that the constitution requires National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello to become interim leader until Chavez, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, is fit enough to return.

AUSTRALIA

Heat wave persists after wildfires

Tasmania is recovering from wildfires that destroyed more than 100 properties and displaced more than 2,000 people as the continent braces for a second week of extreme heat.

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