Cholera sparks witch hunt; 12 are killed
Terror over a fast-spreading cholera epidemic has triggered a violent witch hunt in rural Haiti in which locals have murdered at least 12 neighbors on accusations they used "black magic" to infect people, police said Thursday. Nearly 1,900 people have died and more than 84,000 have been infected in less than six weeks since the first case was confirmed in the country's rural center. Rumors that voodoo was being practiced began to spread last week in the remote southwestern Grand Anse region, and machete-wielding mobs have since lynched a dozen people accused of practicing such witchcraft, burning the bodies of their victims, national police spokesman Frantz Lerebours said.
Report: War wanes in Muslim world
A new study says the level of armed conflict in Muslim countries is far lower than two decades ago, with support for al-Qaida and other radical Islamist groups waning as locals reject extremism and the killing of other Muslims. The report, released Thursday by the Canadian Human Security Research Project, also maintains the decrease occurred even though four of the world's five deadliest recent conflicts raged in predominantly Muslim Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia. Report director Andrew Mack said armed conflict in Muslim nations has waned partly because Cold War proxy battles such as the Afghanistan-Soviet Union conflict have ended and independence wars have been resolved.
12 dead as snow, floods slam Europe
Freezing temperatures and often blinding snowfall killed 12 more people and caused travel chaos across northern Europe on Thursday, while some of the worst floods in a century devastated parts of the Balkans. Airports closed or delayed flights across the continent, roads were coated in an impassible mix of ice and snow and even Europe's vaunted high-speed trains struggled to cope. Authorities declared a state of emergency in three Balkan countries — Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro — and were evacuating hundreds of people after heavy rainfall caused the worst flooding in 104 years along the Drina River.
Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistani and American officials staged a ceremony Thursday to mark the end of the U.S. military's flood relief mission, which began in August when floods affected 20 million people across the country.
Tehran, Iran: Security forces made a number of arrests in the assassination of a prominent nuclear scientist, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Thursday.
Mexico City: Mexican federal police said they have captured Eduardo Ramirez Valencia, a regional leader of the Zetas gang who allegedly handled drug-smuggling operations from Panama and the Dominican Republic.