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Afghan security chiefs knew of plot to kill Karzai

Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan security chiefs knew of Karzai plot

Afghanistan's three top security chiefs managed to hold on to their jobs Tuesday despite admitting before Parliament that they failed to prevent Sunday's attack on President Hamid Karzai even though they knew about the plot.

Karzai and other dignitaries escaped unharmed, but three others, including a lawmaker, died. At least one policeman was arrested in the assassination attempt, deepening concerns the Taliban have infiltrated the country's poorly paid security forces. Intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh said Karzai was warned of a possible attack.

Lawmakers later held no-confidence votes against Saleh, Defense Minister Abdur Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbel. The votes passed but not with sufficient numbers to press for their ouster.

• A suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a drug-eradication team in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 40 others, authorities said. Among those killed were 12 police officials and seven civilians. The injured included two Australian journalists, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.

• Britain's Prince William, 25, flew into Afghanistan for a secret visit over the weekend with British troops, an official said Tuesday in London.

JERUSALEM

Holocaust survivors voice ire

Israel's official memorial day for the Holocaust, which begins at sundown today, finds many elderly survivors of the Nazi genocide turning their anger on a group that is meant to help them. For more than five decades, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany — better known as the Claims Conference — has been the central channel for billions of dollars in restitution and reparations payments from Germany to Jewish victims of the Third Reich. Critics say far too much money is going to projects like Holocaust museums and broader Jewish causes instead of to making survivors' lives better in the time they have left. "Open your pocketbooks now. Don't worry about monuments. You'll have plenty left for monuments when the survivors are gone," said Jack Rubin, 79, of Boynton Beach.

BERN, Switzerland

UN group to tackle food crisis

The United Nations will set up a top-level task force to tackle the global food crisis and avert "social unrest on an unprecedented scale," Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Tuesday. Ban, who will lead the task force, said its first priority will be to meet the $755-million shortfall in funding for the World Food Program. "We anticipate that additional funding will be required," he said. The skyrocketing cost of food staples, stoked by rising fuel prices, unpredictable weather and demand from India and China, already has sparked sometimes violent protests in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

Elsewhere

WASHINGTON: President Bush said Tuesday that his administration's disclosure of secret information last week about suspected North Korean assistance for a Syrian nuclear reactor was designed to pressure Pyongyang to come clean on its nuclear activities. Bush also said he wanted to send a message to Iran to cooperate with international efforts to limit proliferation, and to Syria to help stabilize Iraq and Lebanon.

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Police on Tuesday released nearly 200 people who were arrested last week in a raid at opposition headquarters, while President Bush called on Zimbabwe's neighbors to step up the pressure on longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: An antique necklace made up of 1,888 pearls that once belonged to Umm Kulthoum, the Arab world's most famous singer, was sold Tuesday for more than $1.3-million at an auction, organizers said.

BOGOTA, Colombia: Police killed top drug lord Miguel Angel Mejia on Tuesday, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said. The U.S. had offered a $5-million reward for Mejia, Santos said.

MINSK, Belarus: Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday the country won't release imprisoned political figures early, despite pressure from the United States and Europe.

CARACAS, Venezuela: A power outage caused by a forest fire in the central state of Guarico left wide swaths of Venezuela without electricity on Tuesday, including much of the capital.

Times wires

Afghan security chiefs knew of plot to kill Karzai 04/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:27pm]

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