The ruling military council in Egypt has imposed an overnight curfew in the Abbassiya district around the Defense Ministry for a second successive night. The curfew will be in effect between 21:00 GMT on Saturday and 04:00 GMT on Sunday. The council also ordered 300 people detained over deadly clashes between troops and protesters in Cairo. Military prosecutors said those people would be held “for 15 days pending investigation.” Two people were killed and at least 300 wounded during the clashes on Friday.
Tunisia has extended its state of emergency for the sixth time. It was first called during street unrest after the fall of leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, 2011. The office of President Moncef Marzouki said Saturday that the state of emergency will continue until the end of July, AP reports. Under the state of emergency, soldiers and police are allowed to fire on those who refuse orders to stop. Despite an improvement of the security situation in recent weeks, the president’s office cited risks to public order in several regions.
A fire has killed 14 people in a drug rehabilitation center east of Lima, the city's fire department said on Saturday. People were trapped with no means of escape, AFP reports. The fire broke in the morning at the Sacred Heart of Jesus rehabilitation center. Officials say the doors were locked and the windows on the second floor had bars on them. There was a sole survivor in the incident.
South Sudan has adopted its official map for the first time since it became independence in July 2011. The map included Heglig-Panthou and other areas that are also claimed by Sudan. Madut Biar Yel, the minister of telecommunications and postal service, said that six areas that were “contested and occupied” by Khartoum were included. Heavy fighting over Heglig erupted between the South Sudanese army and the Sudan Armed Forces in April. Madut accused Khartoum of occupying territories belonging to South Sudan. The two states have yet to demarcate the nearly-1,800-kilometer border.
Italian cruise line Costa Crociere SpA unveiled new safety measures on Saturday. The company’s ship Costa Concordia ran aground off Tuscany on January 13, killing 32 people after the captain veered off course. The new measures include real-time tracking of its ships' routes, thanks to a fleet-wide monitoring system. Costa will also impose limits on its captains' absolute authority, AP reports. Costa, Europe's No. 1 cruise operator, is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.
Ten hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners have been hospitalized, a spokeswoman for Israel's prison service said on Saturday. Sivan Weizeman said they were transferred to a prison clinic, AP reports. Another prisoner, Bilal Diab, who has refused food for 68 days, was moved to a civilian hospital last week. Those hospitalized are among 1,500 to 2,500 Palestinian prisoners who started refusing food 19 days ago. They are demanding a halt to imprisonment without charges and reinstating family visits from Gaza. Eight prisoners have reportedly been on strike for over 50 days.
Gunmen wearing military uniforms detained and shot dead five people in northeast Nigeria, police said on Saturday. The attack happened Friday night in a remote village, Taraba state police spokesman Ibiang Mbaseki said, as cited by AP. There has been no information about a military operation in the area. It is easy for so-called "fake soldiers" to buy military-style camouflage clothing off the street in Nigeria.
Japanese utility Hokkaido Electric Power Co on Saturday began shutting last active nuclear reactor, as the country becomes nuclear power-free for the first time since 1970. Hokkaido Electric said it started lowering output from the 912-megawatt No.3 unit at Tomari nuclear plant in northern Japan early in the morning, Reuters reports. The unit will be shut down completely by the early hours of Sunday. All of Japan's 50 reactors have been taken off line since the crisis at Daiichi nuclear plant, prompted by an earthquake and tsunami in March last year.
At least five people were killed in avalanche-triggered flooding of the rising Seti River in western Nepal, officials said on Saturday. Dozens of people were swept away along with their houses, farms and cattle. Several people are believed to be missing in Kaski district, including three Russian tourists, AP said, citing officials. Rescue and police teams were trying to reach the village in the Mount Annapurna area where the flooding had started. The flooding reached the tourist resort town of Pokhara, about 200 kilometers west of the capital, Katmandu. The Annapurna region is a popular area for trekkers.
A roadside bomb has killed five Afghan border police in an eastern province near the border with Pakistan, officials said on Saturday. The police were killed on Friday evening after their patrol vehicle was hit by the remote-controlled bomb, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province. The incident took place in the province's Dur Baba district, AP reports.
A US drone fired missiles into a house close to the Afghan border on Saturday, killing eight suspected militants, officials said. Up to eight missiles were fired in the Dra Nishtar area of North Waziristan early morning, Pakistani intelligence sources said, as cited by AP. This was the second American drone strike in Pakistan this week.
At least five people were killed when a bus crashed near the northern Italian city of Padua, authorities said on Saturday. Several more were injured, Reuters reports. The bus was carrying a party of retired carabinieri police officers. They were heading to Jesolo, near Venice, where the carabinieri corps hold an annual rally attended by veterans. The bus reportedly left the road in clear weather conditions.
At least five civilians were killed as a blast hit the northern Syria’s city of Aleppo on Saturday, witnesses say. The explosion went off in a car wash as a bus was passing by in one of the poorest districts, Tal Al Zarazir, AFP reports. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that earlier in the day two blasts hit the capital, Damascus. The group reported that one of the Damascus blasts appeared to target a bus transporting regime troops, wounding at least three of them. The blast in a downtown Damascus neighborhood near a military food cooperative destroyed nine cars, AP said.
The first direct gubernatorial elections will be held at least in two Russian regions as early as October 14. The head of the Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov said on Saturday the exact number of elections will be clear as the election campaigns start in the fall. Earlier this month, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new law that returns direct elections of heads of Russian regions.
An explosion reportedly rocked the central Damascus highway of Sharia al-Thawra on Saturday morning. Nearby cars were destroyed, Reuters reports, citing witnesses. If was not immediately clear if there have been any casualties. The Syrian Observatory for Humans Rights said two large explosions had been reported by residents.
Conservative rivals of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have won a solid majority of seats and cemented their hold on the parliament, according to final results in runoff elections. The president’s opponents won 20 seats while his supporters got only eight, AP reports. Independents won 11 seats. A total 65 seats were for grabs in Friday's runoff election, and more results are still to come. Ahmadinejad's opponents had won an outright majority in the 290-member parliament in the first round in March. The legislature can influence the preparation for the election of Ahmadinejad's successor in 2013.
Wildlife authorities in Malaysia have seized hundreds of cobras and turtles being smuggled out of the country in a shipment of papayas. The authorities raided a container being driven into the state's air cargo complex on Thursday after hearing “hissing noises,” Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim, head of the wildlife and national parks department on Penang Island, told AFP. The raid netted some 555 cobras and 171 turtles being shipped from Kedah state to Hong Kong. “If they had succeeded, the snakes and turtles would likely have gone to dining tables across the region,” the official said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Beijing on Saturday following talks over the blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng. The dissident, who recently escaped from house arrest, remains in a Beijing hospital, Reuters reports. Beijing said on Friday that Chen could be allowed to go to the US to study. Chen, 40, wants to leave China with his family. The deal between the two states may end the current diplomatic standoff over the activist.
Hundreds of Japanese were marching on Saturday to celebrate the last of 50 nuclear reactors being switched off. Some of those gathered at a Tokyo park were waving "No nukes" banners. Many said they were not concerned about government warnings of power shortages, AP reports. After last year's disaster at Fukushima Daiichi plant, which followed an earthquake and tsunami, no reactor stopped for checkups has gone back up. The government needs local residents' approval to restart reactors after new tests.
The United States Air Force has launched an advanced communications satellite that should allow military commanders from the US and its allies to control their forces around the world more efficiently, Space.com reports. The Advanced Extremely High Frequency 2 satellite blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas 5 rocket on Friday afternoon. The $1.7 billion satellite is the second in the AEHF network, which is planned to include a total of four spacecraft.
Sudan’s government says it will not stop military operations against South Sudan’s troops as long as they remain on the territory of Sudan, RIA Novosti reports. This comes despite the UN Security Council resolution passed on Wednesday giving the sides 48 hours to stop fighting in the disputed area. “Sudan has declared its commitment to a United Nations resolution calling for an end to military operations, but the other side’s troops still remain on our territory; they have occupied two districts and have not stopped their hostile actions,” Sudan's Foreign Ministry spokesman told journalists on Friday. The statement from Khartoum came after South Sudan's army accused Sudan of carrying out air raids on its border regions on Thursday.