May 13, 2013
afghanistan
Truck bomb kills 3 coalition troops

A truck bombing Monday killed three coalition service members in southern Afghanistan, NATO said in a statement. A local official said the attack targeted a base operated by troops from Georgia.

Omer Zawak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, said the truck bomb exploded at the entrance to the Georgian outpost in the Musa Qala district. The deaths brought the number of Georgian troops killed in Afghanistan to 22. The former Soviet republic has about 1,600 troops in the country, the largest non-NATO contingent there. They are under NATO’s command.

Also in southern Afghanistan on Monday, a roadside bomb ripped through a bus, killing 10 civilians, most of them women and children, officials said. Kandahar province’s police chief said the blast also wounded 12 in the Maruf district, about 36 miles northeast of Kandahar city.

— Associated Press

libya
3 die in blast near Benghazi hospital

A car bomb killed at least three people outside a hospital in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday, doctors said, in a further sign of the growing disorder that threatens to unhinge the country’s already creaking transition to democratic rule.

Hundreds of angry people gathered at the scene, blaming the armed militias that hold sway on the streets and calling for them to be driven from Benghazi, cradle of the uprising that ended Moammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship in late 2011.

On Sunday night, the police in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, were bombed for the third time in four days.

— Reuters

italy
Six-year prison term sought for Berlusconi

Milan prosecutors on Monday demanded a prison sentence of six years and a lifetime ban from public office for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in his sex-for-hire trial.

The request came days after an appeals court upheld a four-year sentence and five-year ban on public office in a tax fraud case against Berlusconi. The two cases, coming to a head at a delicate moment for Italy, raise questions about his political future.

Berlusconi, who has dominated Italy’s political scene for two decades, headed the center-right coalition that finished second in February elections and that is in an uneasy coalition with the center left. He has no cabinet post, but he serves in Parliament.

In the prostitution case, Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with an underage Moroccan girl at lavish parties he hosted as premier, then trying to cover it up. Berlusconi said in a statement that the prosecutor’s summation was full of “theories, conjecture, far-fetched notions and falsehoods inspired by prejudice and hatred.”

— Associated Press

Philippines’ Aquino poised to win Senate: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III appeared set to win control of the 24-member Senate with vote counting underway in Monday’s legislative elections, a result that would bolster his plans for an expanded anti-corruption drive. Nine candidates backed by Aquino were leading among the 12 seats up for grabs with about 30 percent of precincts reporting, according to an unofficial count on the Commission on Elections’ Web site.

Mexico arrests 2 men in death of Malcolm X’s grandson: Mexico City prosecutors say they have arrested two men in the death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of American political activist Malcolm X. An official in the prosecutor’s office said the two work in the bar where Shabazz reportedly got in a dispute last week over a $1,200 bar tab. Shabazz, 28, died of blunt-force trauma.

Greece moves against teachers: The Greek government said Monday that it will use emergency civil mobilization powers to prevent protesting teachers from disrupting university entrance exams this month. Civil servants unions retaliated by calling a 24-hour strike for Tuesday.

Builder destroys Belize pyramid: A construction firm has essentially destroyed one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids to extract rock for a road project, authorities said Monday. Jaime Awe of the Belize Institute of Archaeology said the destruction at the Nohmul complex, which dates back at least 2,300 years, was detected late last week.

— From news services

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