Recently in International News Category

A commercial airliner flying in stormy weather crashed near the Pakistan capital of Islamabad Friday, killing all 127 passengers and crew members on board, news sources report.

The Bohja Air flight had departed from Karachi just after 5 p.m. It had been due to land at the Islamabad airport around 6:40 p.m. Rescuers discovered bodies and debris from the plane, an aged Boeing 737-200, were found scattered three to four miles from the airport, the Miami Herald reported.

Retired Navy pilot Arshad Mehmood witnessed the crash and rushed to the scene. "The pilot lost control and hit the ground," he told television reporters, according to the New York Times. "It tossed up due to the impact and exploded and came down in a fireball."

"We got there within five minutes. There were dead bodies and pieces of bodies everywhere. We could find no survivors," he was quoted in the Miami Herald.

Four nearby homes were damaged in the crash. No one on the ground was killed, but the 121 passengers, including 11 children, and six crew members all perished, Islamabad police chief Bani Yameen told the New York Times.

Air Bhoja took an 11-year hiatus because of financial difficulties in 2000. It was reopened last month, and this flight was the first on the Karachi-Islamabad route since the reopening, the New York Times reported.

This was the second major plane crash near the capital in as many years. In 2010, a flight crashed into hills near the city, killing all 152 people on board. This aircraft was flown by Airblue, another private airline, the New York Times reported.

The number of crashes at this airport have sparked frequent outcry of corruption and poor maintenance of the Pakistani airline industry.

"This is not about bad weather; I don't buy that," said Arif Abbasi, a former chief executive of Pakistan International Airlines, the state carrier. "The state of aviation in this country leaves much to be desired."

The Civil Aviation Authority announced it is launching an investigation of the crash, the New York Times reported.

An Argentine baby was mistakenly pronounced dead after her premature birth and withstood nearly 12 hours in a morgue refrigerator before being found alive, news sources report.

One-week-old Luz Milagros Veron was born on April 3, three months early, and had no vital signs, hospital director Dr. Jose Luis Meirino told CNN.

The baby's body was put in a wooden coffin and placed it in the morgue's freezer. Around 10 p.m., the baby's parents, Fabian Veron and Analia Bouter, visited the morgue to take a photo of their dead daughter's body, CNN reported.

Bouter uncovered the lid and touched her daughter's hand. "That's where I heard a tiny little cry. I told myself I was imagining it -- it was my imagination. And then I stepped back and saw her waking up. It was as if she was saying 'Mama, you came for me!' Bouter told ABC News.

The ice-cold baby was rushed back to the neonatal ward, CNN reported.

"I can't explain what happened. Only that God has performed a miracle," Veron told CNN.

Bouter told ABC News that the family plans to sue the staff at Hospital Perrando in the city of Resistencia for malpractice.

According to Meirino, the hospital followed protocol. After the gynecologist and the neonatal doctor on hand both found no signs of life, they observed the baby before pronouncing her dead, Meirino told CNN.

According to ABC News, the five medical professionals who were in contact with the child have been suspended pending an official investigation, Rafael Sabatinelli, the deputy health minister in the northern province of Chaco, announced in a news conference.

The baby weighed 1 pound 12 ounces and was listed as critical but improving condition Wednesday at the same hospital where she was mistakenly pronounced dead.

Taliban attacks kill 9 Afghan police officers

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Nine Afghan police officers are dead and 14 are missing after a series of Taliban attacks over the past two days, news sources report.

Attacks seem to be an attempt for the insurgents to assert their power as NATO forces try to build up the Afghan military, the Associated Press reported. The goal is for NATO to leave combat responsibility to local forces by the end of 2014.

The deadliest attack occurred at a police post in the southern province of Helmand late Monday. Militants killed four police officers and two civilians. Three other police officers were missing, along with a police Toyota Ranger pickup truck and weapons from the post, the New York Times reported.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi confirmed that the insurgents carried out the attack on Monday, according to the New York Times. Ahmadi said one Taliban militant was killed in the fighting as well.

Panama teen survives 26 days lost at sea

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By Alysha Bohanon

A Panamanian teen survived nearly a month floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean, news sources report.

In February, Adrian Vasquez, an 18-year-old from Rio Hato, Panama, went on an overnight fishing trip with two friends, Oropeces Betancourt, 24, and Fernando Osorio,16, according to CNN.

The boat's engine died, and currents swept the trio into the Pacific for 26 days. Fishermen spotted the boat on March 21 near the Galapagos Islands, almost 600 miles from where it had launched, Fox News reported.

Vasquez was the only survivor. In a statement, Rear Adm. Freddy Garcia Calle said Vasquez showed "severe signs of dehydration and lack of nutrition," CNN reported.

The trio ate raw fish and drank rainwater, until Betancourt stopped eating and drinking after two weeks. He died on March 10. Osorio died on March 15 of dehydration, sunburn and heat stroke, according to Fox News.

By the time he was rescued, Vasquez had thrown his friends' bodies into the ocean "because they had become badly decomposed," CNN reported.

U.S. pays families of Afghan massacre victims

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By Alysha Bohanon

The United States gave the families of 16 Afghan villagers killed this month by an American soldier $50,000 for each of their slain relatives, news sources report.

The payments come before the trial of Staff Sgt. Robet Bales, the soldier accused of killing at least 16 people on March 11, including nine children and four women, the New York Times reported.

In addition to the $50,000 for each person killed in the incident, those wounded in the violence were given $11,000, for a total of $916,000 paid to the families of the victims, according to the Washington Post.

The money was given to the villagers on Saturday. On Friday, the U.S. military charged Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, with 17 counts of premeditated murder, the Washington Post reported.

According to the New York Times, the official Afghan government death toll for the incident is 16, but Bales was charged with 17 counts. Neither Afghan nor American officials have explained this discrepancy.

Haji Agha Lalai, a member of the Kandahar provincial council, pointed out that the payments were merely "assistance" to the wounded and families of the dead, and Bales was still responsible for the crimes he committed, the New York Times reported.

"We are grateful to the United States government for its help with the grieved families. But this cannot be counted as compensation for the deaths," Lalai told the New York Times.

Greek investors agree to a bond restructuring deal

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By Alysha Bohanon

Creditors agreed to a deal that would restructure Greek government bonds in the biggest debt write-down in history, a necessary step towards a second bailout to aid the country's economic crisis, news sources report.

The agreement will shave about $138 billion off Greece's $487 billion debt load, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The deal needed to be made for the country to qualify for a €130 billion bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, according to CNN.

The country said 83.5 percent of private investors agreed to the bond swap, which includes taking a cut of more than half the face value of their investments and accepting softer repayment terms for Greece, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The move is risky for the bondholders: investors could see losses of up to 75 percent. But the agreement was necessary to avoid default, according to CNN.

Investors who did not agree to the deal will be forced into it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The deal was the final hurdle to cross before Greece's bailout could be approved. European finance officials could approve the bailout as early as Friday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Iran held a parliamentary election Friday, the country's first nationwide poll since 2009, news sources report.

Early election results predict rivals of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will gain strong control over the Iranian parliament, the Guardian reports.

According to the Guardian, this was illustrated with an an embarrassing loss by Ahmadinejad's sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad, to a rival in their hometown.

About 3,400 candidates are vying for 290 seats in the parliamentary election, CNN reports. Friday's election was the first vote since a disputed vote triggered massive protests nearly three years ago.

Security forces used deadly force to crack down on the opposition. Presidential candidates Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karrubi were placed under house arrest, where they remain, according to CNN.

Ahmadinejad openly challenged the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, causing him to lose conservative votes. Of 197 winners declared by midday Saturday, at least 102 were these conservatives, according to the Guardian.

Of the people who did not to vote, one sentiment was the speculation that the results are unfair.

"These elections have been rigged since 1979 and always will be until the mullahs stop running this country into the ground. I am not voting today because my vote does not count and never has counted," an art student from the city of Shiraz told CNN.

By Alysha Bohanon

Suicide bombers attacked a police station and killed three officers in Pakistan early Friday, news sources report.

The attackers were armed with assault rifles and grenades as they attacked the station in Peshawar, a northwestern Pakistan city near the lawless tribal belt, a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants, the Wall Street Journal reported.

City police chief Imtiaz Altaf told the Associated Press that three militants attacked the main gate then entered the compound. When police returned fire, they blew themselves up, he said.

Three officers were killed and four more were injured, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"They wanted to occupy this police station, but they failed," Altaf told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

That assault is thought to be an act of revenge for offensive attacks against nearby strongholds, authorities told the Associated Press.

Peshawar has been a frequent target of militant attacks. On Thursday, a car bomb killed 12 people at an outdoor minibus terminal in the city, according to the Associated Press.

Dutch prince severely injured in avalanche

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By Alysha Bohanon

The Dutch prince was severely injured Friday in an avalanche at an Austrian ski resort, news sources report.

Prince Johan Friso, 43, was skiing outside the bounds of the resort Lech am Arlberg, a popular skiing area in western Austria, when an avalanche occurred and he was buried beneath the snow, according to CNN.

Friso was rushed to the hospital, where he is in intensive care. He had a stable night, but "his life is still in danger," according to a statement cited in the Huffington Post.

Friso is the second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Europe has experienced record snow falls in recent weeks. According to the Huffington Post, the regional avalanche warning issued for the day was four on the five-point scale, meaning the danger was high.

Friso reportedly did not obtain any external injuries, but suffered from lack of oxygen. He was buried in the snow for 20 minutes, according to the Huffington Post.

The prince was wearing an electronic beacon that helped rescuers find him, according to CNN. The prince's companion, an unidentified Austrian, escaped unhurt.

By Alysha Bohanon

Iran has cut off access to the Internet, leaving more than 30 million people in the country without access foreign email services since Thursday, news sources report.

The news comes from a Saturday report from the Mehr agency, an Iranian news agency, according to the Associated Press.

An individual inside the country confirmed that Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo email as well as Facebook are no longer available, CNET reported.

"The interesting thing is that when asked, they deny the fact that all these services are all blocked," an unidentified Iranian told CNET.

According to CNET, it is possible for to circumvent the government by using proxy servers over VPN connections.

This is not the first time Iran has restricted Internet access. During the turmoil following the 2009 elections, the country blocked websites including Facebook, Twitter, Voice of America and the BBC Farsi service, the Associated Press reported.

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