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World/nation briefs

  • February 13, 2013 - 10:04 PM

AFGHANISTAN

Civilian deaths under investigation

International military officials are investigating two episodes in which as many as 11 Afghan civilians might have been killed in U.S.-led military actions. Afghan officials said 10 civilians -- four women, one man and five children between the ages of 8 and 13 -- were killed Tuesday night in an airstrike at Chugam, in eastern Kunar province. The attack also killed four Taliban commanders, said Abdul Zahir, governor of Shigal district.

PERU

Ancient temple uncovered in Lima Peruvian archaeologists discovered a temple in Lima that might predate Stonehenge and be the oldest known in the Americas. The rectangular stone building in the El Paraiso archaeological complex in the north of the capital might date to 3000 B.C., Deputy Culture Minister Rafael Varon said. The building, which covers 517 square feet, might predate the Step Pyramid in Egypt and Stonehenge in England.

WASHINGTON

Russia gets stake in Alaska's natural gas

Russia's state-owned oil company is poised to play a major role in developing America's Arctic natural gas under an agreement to give the company a stake in a huge Alaskan project. The agreement with Exxon Mobil gives the Russian oil giant Rosneft the option to buy a 25 percent interest in the Point Thomson field, which is estimated to contain about one-fourth of the massive storehouse of recoverable natural gas on Alaska's North Slope.

Air Force conclusions on crash questioned

The Defense Department inspector general has questioned an Air Force investigation that blamed the pilot for the 2010 crash of an F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The finding was interpreted by the family of the dead pilot as a vindication of Capt. Jeff Haney, whose Raptor crashed in the Alaska wilderness. Haney had completed a training exercise when a malfunction in the plane shut down his oxygen system. The family has charged that the Air Force would rather blame Haney than a flaw in the Raptor for the crash. The Air Force has denied that accusation.

BELGIUM

E.U. meets to address horse-meat testing

European Union nations called for more intensive testing for a month to try to contain the scandal in which horse meat was sold as beef. The emergency meeting at E.U. headquarters in Brussels included nations most affected by the horsemeat scandal that has swept through Europe, with millions of burgers and frozen meals recalled across the continent. Ireland Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney suggested the scandal would likely spread further as more countries test beef.

MEXICO

Six arrested in rape of Spanish tourists

Mexican officials said they had arrested six men on suspicion of raping a group of Spanish women who were vacationing this month near the violence-plagued resort city of Acapulco. The incident sparked international concern about the safety of tourists. "This case is, I can safely say, solved," Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said, adding that the suspects, who range in age from 16 to 30, had confessed to authorities.

FRANCE

Jobless man is latest to set self on fire, die

A jobless French man fatally set himself alight in front of an unemployment bureau in the western city of Nantes. The 43-year-old man, who no longer was receiving welfare, was protesting the agency's demand that he repay a sum of money he received to which he was not entitled, a manager at the state Pole Emploi agency said.

GERMANY

Dresden activists block neo-Nazi march

More than 10,000 German anti-fascist activists massed to block a neo-Nazi march in Dresden on the anniversary of the city's World War II bombing in 1945. Police estimated there were between 800 and 1,200 neo-Nazis in the city, far below the numbers who showed up in recent years.

NEWS SERVICES

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