WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ International News International News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:11:41 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Attempting a record HIV screening http://www.wbrz.com/news/attempting-a-record-hiv-screening/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/attempting-a-record-hiv-screening/ International News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 5:43:50 PM Michael Marsh Attempting a record HIV screening

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA- The country of Ethiopia is trying to set a world record for the number of HIV screenings in one day. It hopes to break the record in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1.

The previous record was made in Argentina in 2012 when 1,380 were tested and Ethiopia wants to screen 2,000.

UNAIDS says about 800,000 Ethiopians have been infected with HIV since it was discovered in the 1980s. The testing will be done in Ethiopia's Gambela region where almost 7 percent of the people have HIV or AIDS. 


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Dozens take refuge from quake aftershocks http://www.wbrz.com/news/dozens-take-refuge-from-quake-aftershocks/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dozens-take-refuge-from-quake-aftershocks/ International News Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:01:22 AM Hunter Robinson Dozens take refuge from quake aftershocks

TOKYO, Japan - Dozens of villagers are staying in shelters as aftershocks rattle a region in central Japan jolted by a weekend earthquake that injured at least 41 people and destroyed more than 50 homes.

The damage in a mountainous area that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics was worse than initially thought, though many were rejoicing Monday at the lack of any deaths.

At least 20 people, including one 2-year-old, were pulled from homes toppled by the magnitude-6.7 earthquake late Saturday night.

Seven of the injured had broken bones, many after being crushed by heavy furniture as they slept on their tatami floors.

Local experts said the structure of the mostly wooden houses, which are built to withstand loads of many feet of heavy, wet snow in the winter, helped prevent more casualties.


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Vatican prosecutor didn't report abusive priest http://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-prosecutor-didn-t-report-abusive-priest/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/vatican-prosecutor-didn-t-report-abusive-priest/ International News Sun, 23 Nov 2014 12:15:09 PM Vatican prosecutor didn't report abusive priest

BOSTON - Legal documents show an American priest named by Pope Francis as the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor was among church officials who failed to report an abusive priest to law enforcement before the now-jailed man committed other acts of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert Geisinger was a leader of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s. The Boston Globe reported in Sunday editions that legal documents show he knew as early as 1995 about abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald McGuire.

Court documents show complaints against McGuire date back to the 1960s, but the Jesuits failed for years to tell police.

Geisinger referred questions to the Vatican press office. That office said Geisinger led the effort to get McGuire dismissed from ministry.

McGuire is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence.

Geisinger was named to the Vatican post in September.


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Boko Haram said to kill about 45 people in Nigeria http://www.wbrz.com/news/boko-haram-said-to-kill-about-45-people-in-nigeria/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/boko-haram-said-to-kill-about-45-people-in-nigeria/ International News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 2:36:32 PM APNewsNow Boko Haram said to kill about 45 people in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - The leader of a vigilante fighter group in Nigeria says Boko Haram militants have killed about 45 people in an attack on a village.

Muhammed Gava of the Nigeria Vigilante Group said the assault occurred Wednesday in Azaya Kura village in northeastern Nigeria's Borno state. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that the heavily armed Boko Haram militants surged through the village in several trucks, destroying houses and carting away food and livestock.

Shettima Lawan, a local politician, mourned the attack, telling the AP: "I am still searching for motives behind the mass killing and destruction."

The village is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno. The state has been hit the hardest by Boko Haram's five-year insurgency.

The militants continue to pursue their aim to carve out an "Islamic caliphate" under their black and white flag. Last week, Boko Haram fighters captured Chibok town, where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped six months ago. Nigeria's army recaptured Chibok on Saturday.

At least 1.5 million people have fled their homes since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in May 2013, according to U.N. figures.


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Israelis return to attacked Jerusalem synagogue http://www.wbrz.com/news/israelis-return-to-attacked-jerusalem-synagogue/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/israelis-return-to-attacked-jerusalem-synagogue/ International News Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:00:25 AM Hunter Robinson Israelis return to attacked Jerusalem synagogue

JERUSALEM, Israel - Jewish worshippers are returning to a Jerusalem synagogue that was the site of a deadly attack the previous day as Palestinians brace for more punitive demolitions amid soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces early on Wednesday demolished the home of the Palestinian who killed two people in October in an attack on commuters at a crowded light rail platform in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said Israel would take strict measures to deal with a rising wave of Palestinian attacks.

At the synagogue in the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof - attacked on Tuesday by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun - people sought comfort in prayer.

Gavriel Cohen says the attack showed "that our future in this world is dependent on God."


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Protesters flash 'Hunger Games' sign at Thai PM http://www.wbrz.com/news/protesters-flash-hunger-games-sign-at-thai-pm/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/protesters-flash-hunger-games-sign-at-thai-pm/ International News Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:57:46 PM Hunter Robinson Protesters flash 'Hunger Games' sign at Thai PM

BANGKOK, Thailand - Five Thai university students have been detained by police and soldiers after giving a three-fingered salute inspired by "The Hunger Games" to junta leader-cum-prime minister in a daring move protest.

The students, wearing T-shirts showing the phrase "Don't Want a Coup," stood in front of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha while he spoke on a stage during a visit to Khon Kaen province Wednesday.

They raised three fingers above their head, a symbol of resistance inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster, before security officers escorted them out.

Khon Kaen is the stronghold of former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a 2006 coup.

Lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan says the five men were being questioned by soldiers but have not been charged.

The three-finger salute campaign began after the May 22 coup.


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Several wounded in Jerusalem synagogue attack http://www.wbrz.com/news/several-wounded-in-jerusalem-synagogue-attack/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/several-wounded-in-jerusalem-synagogue-attack/ International News Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:19:08 AM Hunter Robinson Several wounded in Jerusalem synagogue attack

JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli police say a number of people were wounded when two suspects attacked a Jerusalem synagogue.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the suspects were killed at the scene of the attack on Tuesday. He declined to say how they were killed.

He says it wasn't immediately clear what weapons the suspects used to attack the worshippers at the synagogue.

The violence comes amid high tensions in the city, with a wave of attacks by Palestinians on Israelis killing at least six people in recent weeks.


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Pope Francis confirms trip to the United States http://www.wbrz.com/news/pope-francis-confirms-trip-to-the-united-states/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pope-francis-confirms-trip-to-the-united-states/ International News Mon, 17 Nov 2014 9:52:36 AM APNewsNow Pope Francis confirms trip to the United States

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia's mayor says it's a "joyous day." Michael Nutter says the upcoming visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia will be the largest event in the city's modern history.

The pontiff confirmed today that he will make his first papal visit to the United States with the trip to Philadelphia next September for the World Meeting of Families. It's a conference held every three years in a different city to celebrate the importance of family.

The pope is also expected to visit New York and Washington, but Vatican officials aren't yet confirming those legs of the trip. It will be the first papal visit to the United States in eight years.

Vatican officials toured Philadelphia in May. And President Barack Obama has extended an invitation, as have the U.N. secretary-general and leaders of Congress.

Last week, the Vatican's envoy to the United Nations strongly hinted that Francis would visit New York to address world leaders at the General Assembly.


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US program to grant refugee status to some Central American children http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-program-to-grant-refugee-status-to-some-central-american-children/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-program-to-grant-refugee-status-to-some-central-american-children/ International News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 2:53:11 PM US program to grant refugee status to some Central American children

WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. government will launch a program next month to grant refugee status to some people under the age of 21 who live in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and whose parents legally reside in the United States.

U.S. officials say the parents will be able to request refugee status for their children free of charge, but the program does not apply to minors who have arrived in the U.S. illegally.

Biden announced the program at the Inter-American Development Bank, where the presidents of the three Central American countries are presenting a plan to stem child migration from their countries. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are plagued by poverty and vicious gang violence.

The announcement comes as President Barack Obama is preparing a series of executive actions on immigration.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte is criticizing the plan, saying a "government-sanctioned border surge" will be set off if Obama acts as expected.


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Militants seize hometown of kidnapped schoolgirls http://www.wbrz.com/news/militants-seize-hometown-of-kidnapped-schoolgirls/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/militants-seize-hometown-of-kidnapped-schoolgirls/ International News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 8:04:14 AM Haruna Umar Militants seize hometown of kidnapped schoolgirls

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Islamic extremists in Nigeria have seized Chibok, forcing thousands of people to flee the town where insurgents kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April, a local official said Friday.

The Boko Haram insurgents entered the town Thursday, shooting from pickup trucks and motorcycles, Bana Lawan, chairman of the Chibok local government, told The Associated Press.

"Nobody can tell you what is happening there today because everybody is just trying to escape with their lives," he said.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. is closely monitoring the situation in Chibok.

" We condemn these attacks in Chibok, a community that has already suffered too much. ... We remain committed to helping the government of Nigeria address the threat posed by extremist organizations, Psaki told reporters.

In a separate development, a bomb exploded Friday night in northern Kano city, the second largest population center in Nigeria, killing six people including three police officers, according to the police.

Resident Aliyu Yusuf Hotoro said many buildings shook from the force of the explosion from a car bomb in a gas station on a main road leading to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Soldiers, police and emergency rescue operations workers cordoned off the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb, but Boko Haram extremists have detonated them in Kano in the past.

Meanwhile, attempts to call the cellphones of some of the kidnapped girls' parents living in Chibok failed. Boko Haram extremists often destroy cellphone towers, and the military often cuts communications to areas under attack.

Dozens of the kidnapped girls escaped in the first couple of days after their capture from a boarding school just outside the town, but 219 are still missing.

Community leader Hussain Monguno said none of the escapees was in Chibok at the time of the attack. They have all been given scholarships to other schools in northern Nigeria.

Nigeria's military chief announced on Oct. 17 that the country's homegrown Boko Haram extremist group had agreed to an immediate cease-fire. Government officials said the truce would lead to the girls' speedy release.

But Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video released last month said the girls were "an old story," that they all had converted to Islam and been married off to his fighters.

Chibok is an enclave of mainly Christian families, some involved in translating the Bible into local languages, in the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria.

At least seven of the girls' parents have died since their abductions, from causes such as heart attacks that residents blame on the trauma, according to Monguno, head of the Borno-Yobe People's Forum.

Since the apparent cease-fire announcement, the insurgents have taken control of several more towns and villages where they have declared an Islamic caliphate along the lines of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

In an area covering about 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles), residents caught behind the militants' lines say they have set up courts upholding a strict version of Shariah law, publicly amputating the hands of alleged looters and whipping people for infractions such as smoking cigarettes.


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Search for tiger resumes near Disneyland Paris http://www.wbrz.com/news/search-for-tiger-resumes-near-disneyland-paris/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/search-for-tiger-resumes-near-disneyland-paris/ International News Fri, 14 Nov 2014 1:19:05 AM Hunter Robinson Search for tiger resumes near Disneyland Paris

MONTEVRAIN, France - Security forces in France are guarding a school and combing woods near Disneyland Paris for a big feline eluding authorities for a second straight day.

Despite a warning from the regional administration to stay indoors or in cars, parents walked their children to school as usual Friday morning in the town of Montevrain.

A few police officers stood outside, however.

A large prowling animal that is suspected to be a tiger was spotted near a Montevrain parking lot Thursday. It's unclear where it came from.

A wild cat animal park 29 kilometers (18 miles) from Montevrain said none of its cats are missing.

The operator of Disneyland Paris says the theme park has no tigers and isn't taking any special precautions because the loose animal isn't deemed a threat.


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Sources: IS, al-Qaida reach accord in Syria http://www.wbrz.com/news/sources-is-al-qaida-reach-accord-in-syria/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sources-is-al-qaida-reach-accord-in-syria/ International News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:12:58 AM Deb Riechmann Sources: IS, al-Qaida reach accord in Syria

ISTANBUL - Two Syrian opposition figures say the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's branch met last week and agreed to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents.

The deal could be a heavy blow to Washington's strategy against the Islamic State group, relying on arming moderate rebel factions to push back extremists in Syria.

A prominent Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander say delegates from the two groups met in secret on Nov. 2 in northern Syria and agreed to end months of fighting between them and cooperate on the ground. The two spoke on condition their names not be used for their own protection or because they were not authorized to release the information.

The accord stops short of a merger between the two.


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Liberia president to end Ebola state of emergency http://www.wbrz.com/news/liberia-president-to-end-ebola-state-of-emergency/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/liberia-president-to-end-ebola-state-of-emergency/ International News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 9:58:28 AM Jonathan Paye-Layleh Liberia president to end Ebola state of emergency

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - Liberia's president said Thursday she is lifting a state of emergency imposed to control an Ebola outbreak that has ravaged the country, as Mali raced to track down everyone who may have come into contact with three people now believed to have died of Ebola in its capital.

Also Thursday, Doctors Without Borders announced that accelerated clinical trials will be launched in West Africa to speed the search for a treatment for the virus that has killed more than 5,000 people.

In a nationwide address, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said enough progress has been made to lift emergency measures but added that the move does not mean the outbreak is over. There have been fewer Ebola cases in Monrovia, the capital, though fresh hotspots have emerged. One of those is near the border with Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea has also been hit hard by the disease.

Liberia's emergency measures closed schools, banned large public gatherings, shut some markets and allowed the government to restrict people's movements. Schools remain closed, but officials are discussing how and when to reopen them.

Meanwhile, authorities in Mali were trying to track down everyone who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus after a new cluster emerged this week in Bamako, the capital.

At least 186 contacts already have been registered in Bamako as the search continues, according to an internal World Health Organization document obtained by The Associated Press. A nurse is confirmed to have died from Ebola, and a former patient and that man's friend are now also considered probable Ebola deaths, according to WHO.

Teams are headed to the hometown of the dead patient in search of other possible cases. Health workers will also "look into the possibility of opening an observation center for other suspected cases," the document said.

There is no known cure for Ebola, and early intervention with supportive care to hydrate patients is among the limited options available.

Doctors Without Borders said Thursday it will host clinical trials starting next month in three Ebola treatment centers experimenting with drugs for off-label uses, shortening the usual lengthy process used to find treatments through study with animals and healthy people.

Dr. Annick Antierens, who is coordinating the investigational partnerships for Doctors Without Borders, said two pharmaceutical drugs were chosen for the experiments - antivirals from Japan and the United States - along with the use of a "convalescent plasma," which is blood taken from people who have survived Ebola and probably have useful anti-bodies.

"These drugs have both already been used in other indications, so they are off-label drugs," she said. "They have not been approved and they have not been tested in humans for the treatment of Ebola. There is another therapeutic product that has been also selected, which is the use of convalescent plasma, or convalescent blood."

Separate trials will be led by three different research partners and involve the U.N. World Health Organization and health officials in affected countries.

"If we're going to find a treatment, we have to do it now - which is why we have to accelerate these trials," said Peter Horby, the chief investigator for the trial led by Oxford University.

Oxford's trial will test the U.S. antiviral drug Brincidofovir in Liberia.

France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research will conduct a trial of the Japanese antiviral drug Favipiravir in Gueckedou, Guinea, and the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine will test convalescent whole blood and plasma therapy in Conakry, Guinea.

Results from some of the trials are expected by February or March.

Human testing of a handful of experimental safety tests with drugs and vaccines for Ebola has begun on several continents. The current outbreak kills between 50 and 80 percent of those infected in West Africa, according to Doctors Without Borders.

Also Thursday, the European Union's Ebola coordinator expressed concern that the number of cases is on the rise again in parts of Sierra Leone. On a visit to Freetown, its capital, Christos Stylianides pledged that the EU would do more.

"There are immediate needs that cannot wait," he said. "Medical personnel are needed urgently on the ground. We are concentrating on this issue and this is one of the messages I am taking back to Europe."


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Tiger on loose spotted near Disneyland Paris http://www.wbrz.com/news/tiger-on-loose-spotted-near-disneyland-paris/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tiger-on-loose-spotted-near-disneyland-paris/ International News Thu, 13 Nov 2014 5:13:25 AM Hunter Robinson Tiger on loose spotted near Disneyland Paris

PARIS, France - French authorities say a young tiger is on the loose near Disneyland Paris.

The town of Montevrain sent a news alert on its Facebook page Thursday saying the young tiger was spotted in the brush behind some tennis courts and a soccer field. The field is about 5 1/2 miles from the popular tourist theme park.

Town authorities said in a statement that police and rescue squads are on the scene and had roped off a security perimeter. They urged everyone nearby to avoid the area and to get around only by vehicle - not on foot.

EuroDisney, the operator of Disneyland Paris, said it has no tigers in the theme park, so the errant cat could not have come from them.


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US cutting planned troop presence in Liberia http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-cutting-planned-troop-presence-in-liberia/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-cutting-planned-troop-presence-in-liberia/ International News Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:59:12 AM US cutting planned troop presence in Liberia

WASHINGTON - The commander of the U.S. military's Ebola response in Liberia says the mission will be limited to 3,000 troops - which is 1,000 fewer than originally planned.

Army Maj. Gen. Gary Voleski told reporters Wednesday that the lower number is sufficient because there are a greater-than-expected number of contractors available in Liberia to provide support like construction work.

Voleski, who is commander of the 101st Airborne Division, said there currently are 2,200 U.S. troops in Liberia. He said the total will top out at 3,000 by mid-December. The U.S. originally said it would deploy up to 4,000 troops.


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Cosmic 1st: European spacecraft lands on comet http://www.wbrz.com/news/cosmic-1st-european-spacecraft-lands-on-comet/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/cosmic-1st-european-spacecraft-lands-on-comet/ International News Wed, 12 Nov 2014 8:15:42 AM Frank Jordan Cosmic 1st: European spacecraft lands on comet

DARMSTADT, Germany - The European Space Agency says it has succeeded in landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history.

The agency says it has received a signal from the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Philae lander after it touched down on the icy surface of the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Flight director Andrea Accomazzo says "we definitely confirm that the lander is on the surface."

Further checks are needed to ascertain the state of the lander.

The landing on the speeding comet marks the highlight of the decade-long Rosetta mission to study comets and learn more about the origins of these celestial bodies.


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Ferry captain gets 36 years in prison for crash http://www.wbrz.com/news/ferry-captain-gets-36-years-in-prison-for-crash/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ferry-captain-gets-36-years-in-prison-for-crash/ International News Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:00:55 AM Hunter Robinson Ferry captain gets 36 years in prison for crash

SEOUL, South Korea - The captain of the South Korea ferry that sank in April, killing more than 300 people, has been given 36 years in prison.

The court said the captain was professionally negligent and abandoned his passengers during the disaster. He could have received a death sentence, although South Korea hasn't executed anyone since late 1997.

The Yonhap news agency also reports that the chief engineer has been given 30 years, and 13 other crew members were sentenced up to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.

The captain and three other key crew members had been indicted on homicide and other charges. And the 11 others faced less serious charges.

The ferry's crewmembers have faced scathing public criticism because they escaped the sinking ship while many of their passengers were still trapped inside. A total of 476 people were aboard the ship and only 172 were rescued. Most of the dead were teenage students traveling to a resort island on a school trip.


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Germany marks 25 years since fall of Berlin Wall http://www.wbrz.com/news/germany-marks-25-years-since-fall-of-berlin-wall/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/germany-marks-25-years-since-fall-of-berlin-wall/ International News Sun, 9 Nov 2014 11:22:00 AM Germany marks 25 years since fall of Berlin Wall

BERLIN - Germany is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with concerts, speeches and the release of balloons.

The night of Nov. 9, 1989, brought to a climax the fight for freedom by East Germans against the communist regime.

Formal festivities began with a trumpet call at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) Sunday, evoking the biblical trumpets that brought down the wall of Jericho.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, will deliver a speech and place a rose in one of the few remaining sections of the Wall to commemorate those who died trying to escape to the west.

On Saturday, she said the fall of the Wall showed that "the human longing for freedom can't be suppressed forever."


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More than 40 dead in wave of bombings in and near Baghdad http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-than-40-dead-in-wave-of-bombings-in-and-near-baghdad/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-than-40-dead-in-wave-of-bombings-in-and-near-baghdad/ International News Sat, 8 Nov 2014 12:06:00 PM More than 40 dead in wave of bombings in and near Baghdad

BAGHDAD - Bombings in and around the Iraqi capital today have killed more than 40 people.

Eleven were killed when a car bomb tore through a commercial area in the sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City.

Deadly attacks also targeted several other Baghdad neighborhoods and a town just south of the capital.

Today's wave of bombings follows a suicide truck bombing late yesterday that killed a top Iraqi police officer and seven other people in the town of Beiji, north of Baghdad.

There's been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, but authorities say yesterday's attack in Beiji bore the hallmarks of Islamic State militants.


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Israeli police investigating shooting in Arab town http://www.wbrz.com/news/israeli-police-investigating-shooting-in-arab-town/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/israeli-police-investigating-shooting-in-arab-town/ International News Sat, 8 Nov 2014 8:52:30 AM Israeli police investigating shooting in Arab town

TEL AVIV, Israel - Israeli police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Arab Israeli after video footage emerged showing the man retreating when shot.

Police said officers opened fire in an Arab village in northern Israel Saturday against a knife-wielding man attempting to stab policemen. Unknown-sourced footage later appeared to show a different story. The grainy security camera material showed a man repeatedly banging on the window of a police vehicle. When officers emerged to confront him, he began to backpedal and was then shot. Police evacuated him to hospital where he died.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said police was investigating the incident to determine whether proper protocol was followed.

Dozens of Arabs youths later took to the street, burning tires and hurling rocks in protest.


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