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Yemen on alert over rebel supporters' protests

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 03:11 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Tanks and armored vehicles deployed in Yemen's capital Tuesday in the face of protests by tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite rebels who are demanding the government step down.

Protesters were responding to a call by Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, the top leader of the heavily armed Hawthi group that overran northern cities. He has given the government until Friday to meet their demands of reinstating fuel subsidies and relinquishing power.

Afghanistan bars NYT reporter from leaving country

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 02:09 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's attorney general has barred a New York Times correspondent from leaving the country because of a story in which he reported that a group of officials were considering seizing power because of the impasse over who won the recent presidential election, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Basir Azizi, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Matthew Rosenberg's Aug. 18 story was "against the law and national interests of Afghanistan." Azizi said Rosenberg was asked to come to the attorney general's office on Wednesday with his lawyer.

'Canadian Idol' contestant acquitted on terrorism

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 01:13 PM

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A former "Canadian Idol" contestant was acquitted on Tuesday of conspiring to facilitate terrorism, with the judge finding insufficient evidence that he intended to join a plot.

Khurram Syed Sher, an Ontario doctor whose 2010 arrest got international attention because of his appearance on the contest show, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors had accused Sher of agreeing with two other men to raise money, send cash abroad, take paramilitary training, make and use explosives, and scout targets in Canada.

Top Saudi cleric slams Islamic State, al-Qaida ideology as Islam's no. 1 enemy

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 12:36 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's top cleric says extremism and the ideologies of groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida are Islam's top enemy and that Muslims have been their first victims.

Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik says extremism and terrorism do not belong to Islam and that the followers of these groups do not follow Islam.

His remarks come a day after al-Sheik issued less stinging words in which he described Islamic State fighters as criminals. King Abdullah has been pressing clerics to publicly condemn terrorism.

Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:49 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Inside the small office, the line of sweating clients waiting to renew their satellite TV subscriptions keeps growing. Technicians crimp wires and test signal strength of boxes while others go to homes across the Somali capital to install new systems or fix faulty ones.

The TV business is booming in Somalia, in part because of fears by people of gathering in public places like restaurants that are targeted for deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.

2 Italian air force jets collide over Italy

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:48 AM

ROME (AP) — Two Italian air force fighter jets carrying a total of four crew members collided during a training mission over Italy on Tuesday and crashed into a hilly, wooded area that erupted in flames, the force said.

It wasn't immediately known whether the two pilots and two navigators managed to eject from the Tornado jets. The collision occurred over east-central Italy, and an air search was being conducted for them, the air force said.

Prominent activist in Egypt goes on hunger strike

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:45 AM

CAIRO (AP) — A prominent activist in Egypt began a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment after being convicted on charges of violating the country's widely criticized protest law, according to a statement Tuesday from his family.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah was a major force in the 2011 revolt that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Investigators release Quebec train disaster report

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:03 AM

TORONTO (AP) — The weak safety culture of a now-defunct railway company and poor government oversight were among the many factors that led to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, Canada's Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Tuesday.

TSB chair Wendy Tadros said 18 factors played a role, including a rail company that cut corners and a Canadian regulator that didn't do proper safety audits.

Accidental US Embassy shooting in Jordan wounds 2

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:58 AM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — An accidental shooting at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan wounded two local guards Tuesday, authorities said.

Jordanian police spokesman Amer al-Sartawi said the shooting wounded one guard in the hand and the other in the leg. He described the shooting as an accident, but did not elaborate.

Edgar Vasquez, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, said the incident happened as guards were moving between vehicles outside of the embassy.

Australia, Indonesia hope to heal rift with pact

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:29 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia and Indonesia have reached an agreement that will heal a bilateral rift sparked last November by accusations that Australia had tapped the cellphones of the Indonesian president, his wife and eight Indonesian ministers and officials in 2009, an official said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that she will fly to Jakarta soon to sign the code of conduct that Indonesia insisted upon before diplomatic relations are normalized.

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