Troops trap traffickers in rio slums
Brazilian soldiers and police exchanged gunfire with drug gang members holed up in a massive Rio de Janeiro slum complex Friday, but stood their ground, trapping the traffickers inside. About 800 troops are supporting a huge police offensive at the Alemao complex of shantytowns, an operation that came just a day after police took control of a nearby slum that also had been a gang stronghold. It appeared an invasion of Alemao, one of Rio's most dangerous slums, was imminent. "This is not the moment to circumvent risks, but rather to confront risks," said Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim.
Soyuz brings back three astronauts
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Americans and a Russian from the International Space Station touched down on Friday in Kazakhstan in a landing that the Russian space program's chief described as ideal. The Russian capsule carrying astronauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, Shannon Walker and Douglas Wheelock landed in the sprawling steppes of the Central Asian nation about 3 1/2 hours after separating from the space station. Three crew members remain on the space station — American Scott Kelly and Russians Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka. They blasted off in early October.
Experts pull out of bombmaking site
Explosives experts have pulled out of a San Diego County home described as a virtual bombmaking factory because it's too dangerous to remove some of the materials discovered inside the rental property earlier this month. Operations at the Escondido home of George Djura Jakubec were suspended on Wednesday, the county Sheriff's Office said. Prosecutors have said the materials found at Jakubec's home in Escondido, about 20 miles north of San Diego, make up the largest amount of certain homemade explosives in one location in U.S. history. Jakubec, a 54-year-old unemployed software consultant, pleaded not guilty on Monday to illegally making and possessing explosives and to robbing banks. He remained jailed Friday on $5.1 million bail.
British blamed for Taliban impostor
A senior Afghan official has blamed the British secret service for bringing a Taliban impostor to take part in top-level peace talks with the Afghan government, newspapers reported Friday. The reports in U.S. and British newspapers follow the revelation that a man leading the Taliban side of peace talks with the Afghan government was impersonating former Taliban Cabinet minister Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour. The Washington Post quoted Mohammad Omar Daudzai, President Hamid Karzai's chief of staff, as saying Thursday that British authorities brought the man to meet with Karzai in July or August.
WASHINGTON: Michael Stephen Bowden, 78, a South Carolina man with 17 guns in his home, has been arrested after telling a nurse and a U.S. Secret Service agent that he would like to shoot President Barack Obama.
EGYPT: Activists held rallies Friday to protest police violence, especially against candidates running in Sunday's parliamentary election.