ADVERTISEMENT

World/nation briefs

  • January 15, 2013 - 7:27 PM

IRAQ

Parliament member killed in bomb attack

An Iraqi parliament member who was also the leader of a local council of the Sunni Awakening, a U.S.-backed group of Sunni militias that switched sides to fight against Al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Anbar Province, security officials said.

ITALY

Berlusconi gains in polls despite sex charges

Silvio Berlusconi, fighting criminal charges that he paid an underage girl for sex, gained in opinion polls as a series of television interviews placed the three-time premier once again at the center of the Italian political debate. Public support for Berlusconi's coalition rose to 27.9 percent from 25.3 percent a month ago, according to an EMG poll. Front-runner Pier Luigi Bersani's coalition slipped to 37.4 percent from 40.3 percent.

WEST BANK

Teenager is shot, adding to fears of confrontation

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian teenager during a confrontation along the West Bank barrier, underscoring the potential for spiraling violence after weeks of simmering restiveness in the area. Two other Palestinians, both men in their early 20s, were fatally shot in recent days along Gaza's border with Israel.

IRAN

Iran again cites decree to silence nuclear talk

Iran sought to spell out in its clearest terms yet that it is not seeking nuclear weapons, highlighting a religious decree issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that bans nuclear weapons. The latest reference to Khamenei's declaration is seen as a bid to close the door on debates that Iran may have carried out atomic bomb trigger tests as inspectors from the U.N. atomic watchdog were on their way to Tehran for a new round of discussions. Iran authorities have often cited Khamenei's religious edict, made more than seven years ago, in attempts to counter Western suspicion that Iran could be moving toward nuclear arms.

LIBYA

Italy pulls staff, closes consulate in Benghazi

Italy closed its consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and withdrew its staff because of security concerns following an attempted ambush of the Italian consul over the weekend. Although the diplomat, Guido De Sanctis, escaped unharmed, the episode raised concerns about the tenuous security situation in Libya as the transitional government struggles to rebuild the country after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi nearly two years ago.

EUROPE

Flu spreading rapidly throughout Europe

The flu is now widespread in at least 10 European countries and a growing number are reporting an increase in cases. At least 16 European countries are reporting increasing flu activity, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm. Norway appears to be the hardest hit. As of this week, about a dozen other countries, including France, Germany and Ireland, were experiencing more moderate levels, up from four countries.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

A house is a house, high court decides

A house that sits on the water is a floating home, not a vessel, the Supreme Court ruled. The 7-2 decision upheld laws in California, Washington and other states that say houseboats are governed by local laws applying to homes, not maritime law that regulates vessels. Justice Stephen Breyer said a vessel is something that is "actually used for transportation." It is not "anything that floats."

NEWS SERVICES

© 2014 Star Tribune