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Syria warplanes ‘strike near Damascus to halt rebel push’24 minutes agoView galleryA fighter runs across a street in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, on September 12, 2013 (AFP Photo/Anwar Amro)Beirut (AFP) – Government warplanes launched strikes on areas southeast of Damascus on Monday after rebels seized key regime positions there, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.”Warplanes carried out four air strikes this morning (Monday) on the edges of the town of Mleha,” near army positions the rebels captured at the weekend, the Britain-based monitor said.The rebels had pushed forward in the area after a suicide bomber from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front detonated an explosive-packed car at a checkpoint between Mleha and the neighbourhood of Jaramana on Saturday.Opposition fighters went on to take the checkpoint the building of a pharmaceutical company used by government troops as a base.Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the southeastern Jaramana suburb of Damascus is a key pro-regime area which would be exposed by any rebel advances in nearby towns and neighbourhoods.Meanwhile, regime troops pressed their onslaught on the besieged town of Moadamiyet al-Sham southwest of the capital, with fierce clashes between government and rebel troops on the outskirts of the town, the Observatory said.Thirty-one months into Syria’s conflict, the army is pushing hard to secure the capital by trying to crush rebel-held pockets on the outskirts of Damascus.Activists in opposition-controlled areas say the tight sieges imposed by the President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have caused severe food shortages and acute malnutrition, especially among children.More than 115,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war since March 2011, the Observatory says.
Kiev unwilling to meet EU demands on TymoshenkoBy MARIA DANILOVA 59 minutes agoView galleryKIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signaled Monday he is unwilling to pardon jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko, a key condition for the signing of a landmark agreement with the European Union next month.Speaking after a meeting with his Czech counterpart, Yanukovych skirted a direct question on whether he would pardon Tymoshenko, as has been recommended by two top EU envoys. The West condemns the jailing of Tymoshenko, Yanukovych’s fierce opponent, as politically motivated and is pressing for her release.Instead, Yanukovych suggested that a special law should be passed allowing Tymoshenko to be sent to Germany for treatment of a back problem.”Such a bill is now being considered by political forces in Ukraine and will be introduced to parliament in the near future,” Yanukovych said.Tymoshenko allies have spoken out against this measure because it would likely prevent her from returning to Ukraine and participating in politics, since she could be returned to prison.View gallery.”Czech President Milos Zeman, left, and Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych hand shakes before th …Her party reiterated Monday in a statement that Yanukovych was merely trying to shift responsibility for the move by turning to parliament. „The only thing that is needed is Yanukovych’s political will.”The controversy over Tymoshenko has been a key obstacle for the signing of an association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, which would establish a free-trade zone and bolster political and other ties.Concerns over an impasse in the Tymoshenko case were heightened Monday when the two EU envoys who had urged Yanukovych to pardon Tymoshenko, former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former European Parliament President Pat Cox, headed urgently to Kiev to continue negotiations.Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt suggested that the solution that Yanukovych favors — releasing Tymoshenko to Germany without first pardoning her — would unlikely be accepted by the EU.”I would be very skeptical towards a solution of that sort,” Bildt said in Luxemburg on the sidelines of an EU foreign affairs meeting.View gallery.”Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, left, and Czech counterpart Milos Zeman speak during a welcom …Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence on charges of abuse of office while negotiating a gas deal with Russia in 2009. She insists she is innocent and accuses Yanukovych of ordering her imprisonment in order to bar her from challenging him in the 2015 presidential election.Raf Casert contributed to this report from Luxembourg.
LONDON (AP) — Britain has agreed to build the country’s first nuclear power plant in a generation, despite concerns raised by the Fukushima meltdown in Japan as the U.K. seeks to secure its future energy needs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.The government struck a deal with Electricite de France and a group of Chinese investors Monday to build the country’s first nuclear power plant since 1995 — a massive project that will bring in 16 billion pounds ($25.9 billion) of investment to keep the lights on amid declining supplies of North Sea gas and rapidly escalating fuel costs.”If people at home want to be able to keep watching the television, be able to turn the kettle on, and benefit from electricity, we have got to make these investments,” Energy Secretary Ed Davey told the BBC. „It is essential to keep the lights on and to power British business.”The deal for the new reactor, which will be built at Hinkley Point in southwest England, underlines the desperation politicians across Europe face in meeting energy needs amid dwindling fossil fuel resources and rising costs.Germany decided two years ago to shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, following years of anti-nuclear protests and the shock of the meltdown at Fukushima, Japan in 2011. But the effort needed to ramp up renewable energy sources to replace domestic nuclear reactors is proving to be costly: not only do many new wind, solar, water and biomass plants need to be built, but Germany’s energy grid has to be overhauled to balance the fluctuating supply such power sources provide.One of the last barriers to the British deal was removed during a visit to Asia last week by Treasury chief George Osborne, who announced that Chinese firms would be permitted to invest in civilian nuclear projects.China General Nuclear Corp. and China National Nuclear Corp., both majority-owned by the Chinese government, will provide 30 percent to 40 percent of the financing. EDF, which is controlled by the French government, will provide 45 percent to 50 percent.The new reactor won’t start generating power until 2023, but the deal stipulates the amount operators will be able charge for electricity to ensure they will be able to recoup the costs of the project.The deal is also a boon to China, which relies on foreign technology for its generating stations and is trying to develop its own reactors.
Portugal get Sweden in WCup playoffs while France visit Ukraine29 minutes agoView galleryZurich (AFP) – Continental giants Portugal and Sweden were drawn together in the pick of the World Cup qualifying play-offs in Europe made by football’s governing body FIFA on Monday.Former champions France were given a favourable pairing as they travel to Ukraine for the first leg on November 15 while Greece will host Romania and Croatia play their first leg in Iceland.The second round of the two-legged tie will be played on November 19.Former World Cup semi-finalists Portugal and Sweden were the first two countries pulled out of the hat as Cristiano Ronaldo will defy Zlatan Ibrahimovic in what will be a battle of star-studded line-ups.”We have been drawn against a team against whom we will be playing two complicated matches, two relatively balanced matches,” explained Portugal coach Paulo Bento.”Besides having one of the best strikers in the world (Ibrahimovic), the quality of their team (Sweden), is their collective spirit.”They finished second in a group that had one of the best European teams and potential winners Germany.”However regardless of the opponent, we will be playing these two matches with the aim of playing at the World Cup,” continued Bento.View gallery.”Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring for Paris Saint Germain against Bastia on Octob …Didier Deschamps’ French side, who were narrowly beaten to top spot in their pool by defending champions Spain, travel to the Euro 2012 co-hosts where they defeated Ukraine 2-0 in group play.”We were not seeded and could have played Portugal or Croatia who have a long history, but Ukraine is not a simple draw either,” Deschamps told Eurosport tv.”They are on a run of seven matches without defeat and they concede very few goals as well as a long trip over there,” he continued.”It’s good to have the return leg at home but one team will qualify and the other will be staying home for the World Cup.”We have to have a lot of confidence and respect the opposition,” added the 1998 World Cup winning captain.Ukraine’s key player Artem Fedetsky of Dnepropetrovsk believes in his side’s chances despite a tough draw.”We’ve already been buried after the poor start in the qualifying campaign.”However, we managed to come back and reach the play-off stage. After that every single match for us was like the final, like a do-or-die mission.
View galleryMembers of Russia’s emergency services work near a damaged bus after a bomb blast in Volgograd in this …MOSCOW (Reuters) – A bomb blast tore through a bus in the southern Russian city of Volgograd on Monday, authorities said, killing at least five people in the deadliest such attack outside Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region in nearly three years.The explosion also wounded 17 people, seven of whom were in grave condition, a spokesman for the local investigators said.After a series of conflicting reports about the cause, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said it was a bomb.”Today at 2:05 p.m., an unknown explosive device detonated on a passenger bus in the city of Volgograd, causing human casualties,” the committee, Russia’s top counter-insurgency agency, said in a statement.It did not assign blame and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.Insurgents who say they are fighting to create an Islamic state in Russia’s mostly Muslim North Caucasus have carried out deadly bombings inside and outside the region, made up of several provinces along Russia’s southern border.The insurgents claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 37 people at Moscow airport in January, 2011, and two nearly simultaneous suicide bombings that killed 40 people on the Moscow subway in 2010.Volgograd is a city of around one million people that lies 900 km (560 miles) southeast of Moscow and a few hundred kilometers north of the North Caucasus and Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Games and ordered authorities to boost security in the North Caucasus, where the Islamist insurgency is rooted in two post-Soviet wars pitting Chechen separatists against the Kremlin.(Reporting by Ludmila Danilova and Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Steve Gutterman and Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Mike Collett-White)
View galleryA riot police vehicle is parked in front of Al-Azhar University during clashes with protesters in Cairo …By Michael GeorgyCAIRO (Reuters) – Thousands of students from Egypt’s al-Azhar University staged a third day of protests on Monday, security sources said, in one of the boldest challenges to the army since it toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.The demonstrations demanding Mursi’s reinstatement are a delicate matter for the authorities because the administration at al-Azhar, the ancient seat of Sunni Muslim learning, has historically toed the government line.In another sign of Egypt’s struggle to impose stability since Mursi’s ouster, the prime minister on Monday threatened tough measures against anyone who attempts to divide Egypt after gunmen killed four people in an attack on a church in Cairo.The protests at al-Azhar campuses in Cairo and other cities are smaller than previous rallies against the army-backed government. Security sources said a total about 4,000 students were involved, of whom 44 had been arrested.The unrest suggests Mursi supporters may have shifted tactics, focusing on sensitive sites rather than huge street protests which often lead to strong action by security forces.Some clerics, officials and professors at al-Azhar are known to be supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.It is not clear whether the protests reflect serious splits between them and their opponents at al-Azhar, or whether a group of students is simply trying to pressure the government.Authorities have been cracking down hard on the Brotherhood, which has won every vote since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but is now outlawed again.Security forces have killed hundreds of people in protests. Brotherhood leaders, including Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, have been jailed on charges of inciting violence – allegations they deny.The student demonstrations erupted as a debate grows over a draft law that would severely restrict protests.Human rights group say the law would only bring more bloodshed to Egypt, a U.S. ally which lies at the heart of the Middle East and controls the Suez Canal, a global trade route.CONTROVERSIAL ANTI-PROTEST LAW–„As well as placing restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly the proposed law would give security forces a free rein to use excessive and lethal force against demonstrators – including supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.After toppling Mursi in July, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appeared on state television to announce a political roadmap that would lead to free and fair elections.In an assertion of sectarian harmony, Sisi was flanked by a senior Muslim cleric and the Coptic Christian pope, but a bloody security crackdown on Mursi supporters on August 14 was followed by Egypt’s worst attacks on churches and Christian property in years, most of them occurring outside Cairo.The authorities have accused the Brotherhood of being behind the violence, a charge it rejects.Minority Coptic Christians fear an Islamist backlash against their community which is widely seen as backing Mursi’s ouster.On Sunday, gunmen on a motorcycle fired on wedding guests outside a Coptic church in a Cairo suburb. An eight-year-old child was among the four people killed. Six were wounded.”Christians are the target,” said one church official, who asked not to be named. „Low security around churches has always been an issue…Still we know we are a target for Islamists.”Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a statement that such „heinous acts” would not succeed in dividing Egyptians and that the government would watch out for attempts to sow discord.Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, and have generally coexisted peacefully with majority Sunni Muslims for centuries, despite bouts of sectarian tension.(Additional reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alistair Lyon)
View galleryLibya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan speaks during a news conference at the headquarters of the Prime Minister’s …(Reuters) – NATO agreed on Monday to a Libyan request to advise it on strengthening its security forces, lending support to a country where powerful militias have stoked fears of a slide into anarchy.Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan asked NATO for technical advice and help with training in May and the alliance later sent experts to the country to see how it could help.The request for help was given added urgency by Zeidan’s brief kidnapping by militia members this month.Two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in an Arab Spring-inspired uprising, Libya’s fragile government is crippled by infighting and unable to disarm former militia fighters in a country awash with weapons from his four-decade rule.”Allies have agreed to respond positively to the request made by the Libyan prime minister for NATO to provide advice on defense institution-building in Libya,” NATO said in a statement.The 28-nation alliance said it would set up a „small advisory team” to help Libya.NATO officials provided few details about the mission or how many advisers would be involved.A NATO source indicated their role would be to advise on strengthening the security forces rather than hands-on training.The team will be based in Brussels and will not have a permanent presence in Libya, the source said.NATO said its advisers would work in close coordination with other international organizations and individual NATO members.NATO played a critical role in toppling Gaddafi. The Western alliance imposed a no-fly zone and used air power to try to prevent his forces attacking civilian areas held by rebels.(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Alison Williams)
View galleryBangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia (in pink) arrives for a rally in Dhaka …DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s main opposition party on Monday refused a request from the prime minister to form an all-party government to oversee upcoming elections, setting the stage for a showdown this week that could delay or even derail the polls altogether.The tension is a fresh threat to the poverty-stricken country’s garment export industry which has already been rocked by a string of deadly factory accidents over the past year.The ruling Awami League in 2011 scrapped a „caretaker government” system – whereby neutral leaders take over three months before elections and oversee polls – and is now refusing to step down by October 24, as should have happened ahead of elections due to be held by January.Last week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought to defuse the crisis, offering the formation of an all-party government to see through the elections with her staying head of government.Khaleda Zia, head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), instead proposed a 10-member caretaker government.”(Hasina’s) proposal showed more concern about the date of elections rather than who would lead the government,” Khaleda said.The BNP said its supporters would whip up nationwide strikes that are likely to be bloody if the government does not relinquish power. It is also threatening to boycott the elections.Former military ruler Hussain Ershad, chairman of the Jatio Party, a ruling coalition partner, said it would not participate in the election if the BNP did not take part, as the election would not be seen as credible at home or abroad.”There will be a total deadlock,” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the BNP’s acting secretary-general, told Reuters. „When the government does not listen to our demands, what is the alternative?”Sayed Ashraful Islam, secretary general of the Awami League, said the party would respond to the BNP proposal within days.(Reporting By Serajul Quadir; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Spain must free ETA militant: European rights courtBy Raquel Castillo 46 minutes ago SocietySpainView gallerySpain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon (L) and Spain’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz …By Raquel Castillo MADRID (Reuters) – Europe’s top human rights court ordered Spain on Monday to release a Basque separatist militant, saying her extended detention was illegal, a ruling victims groups warned would let dozens of prisoners walk free.The Strasbourg-based court also told Madrid to pay 30,000 euros ($41,100) compensation to Ines del Rio, who was jailed in 1989 for her role in 23 assassinations and car bombings carried out by the Basque independence movement ETA.Del Rio had been scheduled for early release in 2008, but courts extended her detention and those of dozens of other ETA members.Upholding an earlier ruling that had been appealed by Spain, judges at the European Court of Human Rights overwhelmingly decided her rights had been violated by the retroactive changes to sentencing rules.”I feel indignation, nausea, rage, anger over the decision,” said Enrique Gonzalez, a member of Spain’s Guardia Civil police force, who was wounded when ETA’s Madrid cell, which del Rio belonged to, attacked a bus in 1985.Groups representing victims of political violence called on the government not to comply with the sentence and not allow it to set a precedent.”Terrorists will get out of jail,” the president of Spain’s Terrorist Victims Association, Angeles Pedraza, said earlier.Del Rio was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in a number of trials. Prosecutors said she transporting explosives, put them in cars and detonated car-bombs.CASES REVIEWED–The rights court ruled her continued detention violated two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights covering the right to no punishment without law and to liberty and security.It „considered it incumbent on the Spanish authorities to ensure that Ms del Rio … was released at the earliest possible date,” the court said in a statement.Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said Spain’s High Court would have to go through dozens of cases to see if anyone else would have to be released.”There has been a ruling in one concrete case, but there is no generalized doctrine. Each individual petition (for early release) will have to be resolved individually,” he told reporters.Gallardon said the government would not have to pay del Rio anything because she still owed compensation to her victims under the terms of her sentencing.Del Rio originally received prison sentences totaling more than 3,000 years covering all her convictions – though Spanish law capped the amount of time someone could spend in prison for murder at 30 years.In 2006, Spanish courts ruled time off for good behavior should be subtracted from the total sentence handed out to a prisoner, not the 30-year limit. That meant Del Rio would have had no chance of getting out before the three-decade limit had passed.This sentencing practice is known as the „Parot Doctrine”, after the first ETA prisoner it was applied to, Henry Parot.About 600 ETA members are in prison in Spain. Of those, 61 have had their early release cancelled under the doctrine.ETA, which killed more than 800 people over more than four decades, many with car bombs, proclaimed a unilateral ceasefire two years ago.The group has been severely weakened by hundreds of arrests and flagging political and social support in the Basque Country.($1 = 0.7302 euros)(Additional reporting by Gilbert Reilhac in Strasbourg and Clare Kane in Madrid; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Julien Toyer and Andrew Heavens)
70.3M records, 30 days: NSA report draws Paris ire PARIS (AP) — The U.S. National Security Agency swept up 70.3 million French telephone records in a 30-day period, according to a newspaper report Monday that offered new details of the massive scope of a surveillance operation that has angered some of the country’s closest allies.A look at recent reactions around the world to the revelations:FRANCE-The French government summoned the U.S. ambassador for an explanation on Monday and renewed demands for talks on protection of personal data, as well as pledges that the surveillance would cease.The report in Le Monde, co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who originally revealed the surveillance program based on leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, found that when certain numbers were used, the conversations were automatically recorded. The surveillance operation also swept up text messages based on key words, Le Monde reported, based on records from Dec. 10 to Jan 7.”This sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during a meeting in Luxembourg with his European counterparts. Fabius said the U.S. ambassador had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry.The most recent documents cited by Le Monde, dated to April 2013, also indicated the NSA’s interest in email addresses linked to Wanadoo — once part of France Telecom — and Alcatel-Lucent, the French-American telecom company. One of the documents instructed analysts to draw not only from the electronic surveillance program, but also from another initiative dubbed Upstream, which allowed surveillance on undersea communications cables.View gallery.”FILE – In this March 8, 2013 file photo, U.S Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin, stands as the U …The U.S „gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations,” said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House. „We’ve begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”MEXICO-Der Spiegel reported that an operation dubbed „Flat liquid” accessed Mexico’s „presidencia” domain, purportedly used by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his Cabinet. Mexico condemned the report and promised a diplomatic note in protest.Earlier, a document dated June 2012 indicated the NSA had read current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails before he was elected last year. Pena Nieto has said that would be an illegal act if it occurred, and his administration has demanded an investigation.”In a relationship of neighbors and partners, there is no room for the kind of activities that allegedly took place,” Mexico’s government said in a statement Sunday.BRAZIL-The reaction of Brazil’s president has been the strongest so far — she canceled a state visit to Washington and condemned the U.S. at the United Nations General Assembly.View gallery.”U.S Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin, right, leaves the Foreign Ministry in Paris, after he wa …Brazil officials have said they want to question Snowden directly, after information he leaked indicated President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked and data on billions of emails and telephone calls flowing through Brazil were monitored by the NSA.GERMANY-German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government canceled a Cold War-era agreement that allowed the U.S. and Britain the authority to request German authorities to conduct surveillance operations within the country to protect their troops stationed there.Privacy is especially cherished in Germany after the country’s painful history of mass surveillance of citizens of communist East Germany and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi state.”I can understand the anger in France. You don’t do that among partners. You don’t do that among friends. That is why it is important that everything becomes clear what happened. That applies to France. It applies to other countries, and also for Germany,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday. „We know there are security interests, but it is about finding the right balance between security interests and freedom rights.”___Follow Lori Hinnant at https://twitter.com/lhinnant___Associated Press writer Raf Casert contributed from Luxembourg.
Kenya 1 month on: Looting dampens mall memorialBy JASON STRAZIUSO 40 minutes ago SocietyPoliticsKenyaView gallery NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Mourners from various races and religions — Christians, Muslims and Hindus among them — grabbed handfuls of dirt and planted saplings at a memorial ceremony Monday for the nearly 70 people killed at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall exactly one month ago.By design, no major political or religious leaders were invited, giving the crowd of 400 or so a family-only feel. But the actions of Kenya’s security forces weighed on family members who quietly seethed over allegations and newly released video images of Kenyan Defense Forces — KDF — soldiers looting the mall.Despite those lingering images, the organizers tried to foster a „We Are One” feeling — a chant repeated by the crowd — in the wake of an attack that saw al-Qaida-linked terrorists spare some Muslims who could recall religious phrases, leaving behind non-Muslims to be killed.”Today we don’t come so much to mourn the departed but to remind ourselves we built a nation that all can live in, young and old, white and black, Christian and Muslim, Hindu and Jain,” said Karanja Njoroge, chairman of the Friends of Karura Forest, a sprawling urban park filled with hiking and biking trails where the memorial and tree-planting was held.Prayers were offered to both Jesus and Allah. Mourners removed their shoes for a Sikh prayer. A squeaky junior high band from Kenya’s Indian community played, while a red-clad choir of black youngsters sang in Swahili, the national language meant to bind Kenya’s 40-odd tribes. Mourners crowded a narrow path running through the forest.View gallery.”Relatives of those who died lay white roses and pray at a stone memorial, during a memorial service …Vaishal Shah, whose friend was killed at the mall during a cooking competition for kids, said the wider Nairobi community needs to come together, and not just the 70 or so families who lost loved ones.”The whole KDF thing is messing people up,” said Shah, who noted that he was in Boston during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, a period in which he said he had never seen a country come together so quickly. „When families hear this looting is going on even as family members are dying, it’s hard to come together when that is happening.”Charles Njenga planted a tree for his slain 22-year-old son. Njenga was at Westgate with his three children only minutes before the gunmen began spraying bullets indiscriminately. He said he is angered by the security camera footage that surfaced over the weekend showing soldiers with full shopping bags in their hands.”They were supposed to come and save us, not to come and loot. Why go in without anything and come out with bags?” Njenga said.The Kenyan government on Sunday said it believes it has recovered the remains of the four gunmen seen in CCTV footage carrying out the attack. So far, one gunman has been identified: Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a Somali-Norwegian.View gallery.”Relatives and friends of those who died walk in a procession at a memorial service and tree-planting …Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet secretary for interior, has also said that an investigation is under way concerning the allegations of looting by Kenyan troops. No results of that investigation have yet been announced.Wendy Zhang — whose sister-in-law was shot in the arm and later died — is confused as to why her sister-in-law died from a single bullet wound to the arm. She is also angered by the looting.”This looting is really unbelievable,” she said. „There is a disaster and they still think they can get something from there.”Those complaints, not part of the official program, lay under the surface of the sad and somber ceremony. Njoroge, the main organizer, knows the pain and anger the families feel; his nephew died in the attack. After the new trees were planted, he asked mourning families to take in the beauty of the forest. In an interview, he said the country must remain one.”We weren’t coming here to let out our steam against KDF,” he said. „We were here to remember this attack was an attack on the Kenyan nation. Our enemy is not KDF. It is the people who attacked us.”
Egypt hunts for killers in church wedding attackBy Haitham EL-TABEI, Jay DESHMUKH 40 minutes agoView gallery Cairo (AFP) – Police were hunting Monday for attackers who killed four Copts in a shooting spree at a church wedding, in the first assault targeting Christians in Cairo since the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president.An eight-year-old girl was among those shot dead at the Church of the Virgin in Cairo’s working class neighbourhood of Al-Warrak, while 17 others were wounded in the late Sunday attack, officials said.Witnesses recounted how celebrations quickly turned to horror as the attackers sped towards the wedding party on a motorbike, sprayed the crowd with bullets and fled.”It’s unfair. This isn’t acceptable in any religion,” cried Layla Ezzat, one of many who returned to the scene of the attack to grieve.One worshipper Ayman Moussa told AFP there had been no security at the church since June, despite several attacks against Copts around the country in the wake of president Mohamed Morsi’s July 3 ouster by the army.View gallery.”
Malala inspires school curriculumBy KIMBERLY HEFLING 7 hours agoView galleryWASHINGTON (AP) — The 16-year-old Pakistani teen targeted for a Taliban assassination because she championed education for girls has inspired the development of a school curriculum encouraging advocacy.George Washington University announced Monday that faculty members are creating multimedia curriculum tools to accompany a book recently released by the teen, Malala Yousafzai. Several faculty members will pilot the curriculum early next year for both college and high school instruction. Free of charge, it will focus on themes such as the importance of a woman’s voice and political extremism, the university said.The tools won’t just look at the teen’s story, but also how the same issues get reflected elsewhere, such as when girls face child marriage and pressures to leave school, said Mary Ellsberg, the director of the university’s Global Women’s Institute.”It’s going to be really interactive and really encourage students to do … activities outside of school, it will encourage them to get engaged in the communities and as well to help the Malala Fund directly,” Ellsberg said.The university’s Global Women’s Institute is partnered with the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that seeks to ensure girls around the world have access to education.In 2012 when a Taliban gunman walked up to a bus taking Malala and other children home from school in Pakistan’s volatile northern Swat Valley and shot Malala in the head and neck. Another girl on the bus was also wounded. Malala now resides in Britain, where she was flown for medical care. Her memoir is „I am Malala.”_____Online: http://www.malalafund.org/