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Letter Bomb Sent to German Bank Chief

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A letter bomb was intercepted by Deutsche Bank empolyees in Berlin Thursday that was addressed for the bank's chief executive.

The bomb's target was Josef Ackermann, who is one of the most powerful figures in European banking.

A statement from the state police in Hessen reads, "the initial investigations show that this was a functional letter bomb," the New York Times reported.

The bomb was not detonated and no one was injured.

An Italian group called the Informal Anarchist Federation has claimed responsibility for the letter bomb.

A statement from the FBI reads, "we are working with German authorities to assess the incident in Frankfurt and any potential threat to facilities or people here," NBC reported.

Threats on executives of Deutsche Bank have been going on for a long time. They date back to the assassination of Alfred Herrhausen in 1989 during a bomb attack.

Suicide car bomber kills 19 outside prison in Iraq

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A taxi loaded with explosives blew up right next to the crowded front gates of a prison just north of Baghdad on Monday.

The explosion killed at least 19 people and another 22 were injured. Ten of the casualties were policemen, the Associated Press reported.

This is the third attack in less than a week and it has increased the Iraqis fears of an increase in insurgent attacks as the United States continues to withdraw its military, the New York Times reported.

No terrorist group has claimed the attack, but the tactics used suggests the work of the Qaeda affiliate in Iraq.

Bus Accident Kills 18 Preschoolers in China

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At least 18 kindergarten children died Wednesday after a minibus and a truck crashed head-on in China.

The bus driver and a teacher were killed in addition to the children, making the death toll 20. An additional 44 children were hospitalized with two in critical condition, the New York Times reported.

The bus had only nine seats, but it was jammed packed with 62 children and two adults. Authorities blamed the overloading for the accident, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The bus was driving on the wrong side of the street and both vehicles were traveling at high speeds when they collided.

The crash unleashed public anger across China, which focused on the underfunded education system.

"The kindergarten van was carrying seven times as many passengers as it should have," said Liu Shanying, an expert in public administration. "Which meant the kindergarten should have bought seven times as many vans."

Over 3,500 Syrians have been killed during President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on an uprising that has been going on for over eight months.

Homs, the city where the uprising has been the strongest, experienced six days of near-continuous bombing that ended Tuesday. Over 100 people were killed in the first five days of bombing.

The goal of the bombing was to tighten the army's grip on Homs and to terminate army defectors who were hiding out in Baba Amr and other neighborhoods, the New York Times reported.

The bloodshed continues despite the Syrian government consenting to a peace plan on Nov. 2. At least 60 people have been killed since this agreement, Fox News reported.

In an attempt to "suffocate" the protesters out of Baba Amr, the government cut electricity, water, and phone lines to the area.

The Syrian National Council declared Homs a "disaster area" on Monday.

A group known as the Syrian Free army has been reported to be the protectors of the protesters in Baba Amr.

"We are hear to protect the peaceful, unarmed protesters," a Syrian Free solider said. "We will teach (the military offensive) a hard lesson."

Pro-American Militia Members Die in Blast in Iraq

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Six members of the Sunni Awakening, a pro-American militia, were killed Thursday during a suicide bomb attack in Baquba, Iraq.

The Sunni Awakening members were waiting in line for their salaries in front of an Iraqi army base when a suicide bomber, who was standing among the members, blew himself up using an explosive vest, the English News reported.

A booby-trapped car parked outside the base exploded minutes after Iraqi security forces arrived at the suicide bombing scene.

A total of 10 people died during the incident, and another 25 were wounded.

Around 50,000 Iraqis serve in Awakening units, a number that is down from about 180,000 at the peak of the movement in 2007, the New York Times reported.

Two police officers were sentenced by an Egyptian court Wednesday to seven years in prison for killing a 28-year-old man.

Awad Suleiman and Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud were found guilty of manslaughter for beating Khaled Said to death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mahmoud and Suleiman supposedly dragged Said out of an Internet cafe and beat him in the streets.

The initial autopsy report concluded that Said died of suffocation after he attempted to swallow a bag of hash. A later autopsy reported that the bag was forced down Said's throat after he had been beaten to death, the New York Times reported.

Said was supposedly targeted by police after he posted a video showing corrupt police officers distributing money and drugs that had been confiscated from criminals.

Said's death has been credited for sparking Egypt's Revolution. His names was woven into antigovernment chants and his face was the profile picture of the Facebook page, with over 1.5 million follwers, titled "We Are All Kahlid Said."

Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say

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Muammar el-Qaddafi, former leader of Libya, was killed Thursday after rebels over ran his loyalist forces in his hometown of Surt.

After his regime crumbled over two months ago, Qaddafi retreated to his hometown for protection.

Qaddafi ruled Libya for over 42 years. He preached a revolutionary utopia, promoting people power, but actually ran a one-man dictatorship, the Huffington Post reported.

Al Jazeera television aired footage of what is believed to be Qaddafi's bloody, battered dead body being displayed in the center of Surt.

Car horns blared and residents filled the streets of Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi in celebration of the downfall of the leader, the New York Times reported.

Strauss-Kahn Escapes Charges of Attempted Rape

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The investigation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former IMF chief, on the suspicion of rape was dropped Thursday by the Paris prosecutor's office.

Tristane Banon, a French writer, claims Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003, the Associated Press reported.

Evidence was provided by Strauss-Kahn's testimony of the sexual assault, but because there is a three-year statute of limitations on that charge, no case was filed.

Strauss-Kahn was once a valid candidate for the French presidency, but the alleged rape charges completely ruined his political career, the New York Times reported.

This is the second time Strauss-Kahn escaped a criminal trial on sexual charges. The first trial was dropped in August due to doubts about the credibility of his accuser.


Plot to Kill Afghan President Karzai Is Foiled

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A plot to assassinate Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, was disrupted Wednesday by Afghan security officials.

Six suspects have been arrested, including a guard who worked at the presidential palace, a microbiology professor at Kabul University, and a fourth-year medical student, the Washington Post reported.

The suspects are suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda and to the Pakistan-based Haqqani militant group.

The leader or head of the planning of this attack has been identified as Emal Habib, the chairman of the microbiology department at Kabul University's medical school.

In a videotaped confession, the suspects said they traveled to Pakistan to learn how to fire guns and construct bombs, the New York Times reported.

The president was one of many targets included in this plan. Some other targets were international guesthouses, aid organizations, and high-ranking Afghan officials.

The presidential security force includes more than 1,000 people, but no preparation or security measure could prevent one of his guards from turning on him.

Australia's female soldiers will soon be granted the permission to serve alongside males in all front-line combat roles, the government revealed Tuesday.

This new movement will allow women who meet the physical and psychological standard to perform any role they choose.

This change will take place over a 5-year time period.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith claims that the 5-year time period is a necessary safety net to ensure that the only errors of this change are on the side of caution, the Associated Press reported.

Under the current military policy, 93 percent of military positions are open to women. The 7 percent that are not are considered the most dangerous of positions (i.e. Special Forces and front-line combatants), the New York Times reported.

The only other developed countries with no restrictions on women serving in the front-lines are Canada, Israel, and New Zealand.

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