Abadi orders 24-hour cease-fire with Kurds

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered a 24-hour suspension of fighting against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq to allow for the peaceful deployment of Iraqi troops at the border crossings with the Kurdistan region.

A Kurdish spokesman said the two sides reached an agreement Friday to stop the fighting that broke out Oct. 16, after Iraqi forces seized Kirkuk.

Abadi ordered the offensive on Kirkuk and other Kurdish-held territory in retaliation for the Sept. 25 vote for independence in a referendum organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government, a drive that was all but crushed by the surprise attack.

The 24-hour truce “should allow a joint technical committee . . . to work on the deployment of federal Iraqi forces in all disputed areas, including [Fishkhabour], and the international border,” Abadi said in a statement. “This should prevent bloodshed between the children of the same country.”

— Reuters


Groups mobilizing against rise of far right

German civil rights groups are mobilizing against the newly elected far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and other hard-line groups, vowing to avert an even stronger rightward lurch in neighboring countries.

Thousands of protesters are expected in the eastern city of Dresden on Saturday when the anti-Islam Pegida movement celebrates its third anniversary.

Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, has seen dwindling crowds since early 2015, with the AfD absorbing some of its supporters.

The AfD won almost 13 percent of the vote in the Sept. 24 national election, making it the third-largest party in the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, and the first far-right party to win seats in more than half a century.

Polls showed that 60 percent of AfD voters cast a “protest vote,” with many angry at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to let in about 1 million mainly Muslim migrants.

— Reuters


Dozens of bodies found near Benghazi

The bodies of 37 unidentified people have been found near the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, security sources said Friday.

The bodies were found Thursday night in Abyar, about 44 miles east of Benghazi. The security sources gave no information about their possible identity.

Smaller numbers of bodies have been found in and around Benghazi on several occasions in recent months. The area is controlled by the Libyan National Army, a force headed by eastern-based commander Khalifa Hifter.

He declared victory in a campaign for Benghazi in July, though some fighting has continued in one district of
the city.

— Reuters

Argentine group identifies 125th person taken as baby: An Argentine human rights group said DNA tests have determined the identity of another person taken from parents by the country's former dictatorship, bringing the number of such cases to 125. The identity of the woman has not been released. But the human rights group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo said that she is the biological daughter of Lucía Tartaglia. Former military and police figures kidnapped then-24-year-old Tartaglia in 1977 in the Argentine city of La Plata. Her daughter was born in captivity at a detention center in Buenos Aires.

Turkey imprisons former coast guard commander, 24 others: A Turkish court sentenced 25 people, including a former coast guard commander, to life in prison for taking part in last year's coup attempt, the state news agency Anadolu reported. Prosecutors had charged 28 people over incidents at a naval base in the northwestern province of Kocaeli on July 15, the night of the coup attempt. The trial was one of the first in a series of cases against people accused of involvement in the putsch, in which more than 240 people were killed when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters and attacked state institutions including the parliament.

Italian man sentenced to 24 years for HIV infections: An Italian man was sentenced to 24 years in prison for infecting more than 30 women with the HIV virus by having unprotected sex with them, despite knowing that he was HIV-positive. Valentino Talluto, a 33-year-old accountant, seduced dozens of women via social networks for a decade before his arrest in November 2015. Police think he had sex with at least 53 women during that time, passing on the virus to 32 of them.

— From news services