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Recently in International News Category

An eight-story building in Bangladesh collapsed Wednesday morning, killing at least 87 people and trapping and injuring hundreds more, news sources report.

The Washington Post reports that the building, near the country's capital, houses multiple garment factories and shops. Some survivors have been rescued by people cutting or drilling holes into the debris, but hundreds are still trapped inside.

According to the Washington Post, some workers said they did not want to go to work because the building had large cracks in it the day before the collapse. However, a building manager told workers that there were no problems with the building.

CNN reports that military and fire personnel, along with police, have been working at the scene. However, rescue progress has been moving slowly as rescuers are working carefully to avoid another collapse.

According to CNN, there are about 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh. The last garment factory building collapse in the country in 2005 resulted in the deaths of more than seventy people.

A group of seven people connected to al-Qaeda was arrested in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, news sources report.

BBC News reports that officials in the United Arab Emirates say the group had plans to attack within the country, threatening its security. The seven people, who are all thought to be Arab nationals, reportedly tried to gain support, both in terms of members and finances, by recruiting and promoting al-Qaeda in the country.

According to BBC News, the United Arab Emirates arrested another group believed to be members of a terrorist organization in December. The United Arab Emirates said that this group planned to attack their country as well as Saudi Arabia.

NBC News reports that the group arrested in December is referred to as a "deviant group." Officials at this point are uncertain whether the "deviant group" is related to the group arrested Thursday.

According to NBC News, the United Arab Emirates is a major oil exporter and a major trading location. The United States is an ally of the country and has worked to help prevent terror and militant violence in the region.

North Korea told foreigners in the South on Tuesday that they should be ready to find shelter or evacuate, news sources report.

The New York Times reports that North Korea is warning of an oncoming nuclear war on the Korean peninsula. Despite the warning, South Korea's President Park Geun-hye said her country will not give into North Korea's threats and efforts to escalate tensions in the region.

According to the New York Times, North Korea said that, "It does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war." Tuesday's warning comes after a warning last week in which North Korea told foreign embassies in Pyongyang to plan to evacuate.

The Washington Post reports that most security analysts have dismissed the warning. South Korean officials said they have not seen any recent unusual military activity in North Korea.

Robert Kelly, an international relations specialist at Pusan National University, told the Washington Post, "I don't take the [evacuation threat] seriously. If the North really wanted a war with a chance of winning, they'd have to do a surprise attack -- like Pearl Harbor..."

North Korea announced Tuesday that it plans to restart a nuclear reactor that the country shut down in 2007 at its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, news sources report.

The Washington Post reports that the announcement came from a North Korean news agency and it provides some real action to go along with the country's recent nuclear threats. The country says it is restarting the reactor to help with the "acute shortage of electricity", but experts who have seen the reactor say that it is best suited to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

According to the Washington Post, it will take a total of six months to restart the reactor. It is unclear whether North Korea has already started this process.

CNN reports that North Korea shut down the reactor and other facilities in a 2007 agreement with the United States and four other countries.

According to CNN, following the announcement, the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said he was "deeply troubled" by North Korea's actions and threats. Speaking about the current situation with North Korea, he said, "Things must begin to calm down, as this situation, made worse by the lack of communication, could lead down a path that nobody should want to follow."

The Italian Supreme Court will decide Monday whether the case of Amanda Knox will be retried, news sources report.

The Washington Post reports that prosecutors are appealing the acquittals of Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in the murder of a British student, Meredith Kercher. Knox lived with Kercher while they were both studying in Perugia, Italy.

According to the Washington Post, Kercher was found dead in her apartment, her throat slashed. Originally, Knox and Sollecito were convicted for Kercher's murder and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively. However, in 2011, an appeals court acquitted them due to lack of evidence and motive.

CNN reports that if the Italian Supreme Court does not overturn the acquittal, the case will be closed. However, if it is overturned, the case will go back to the appellate court.

Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, told CNN that Knox is confident that the Italian legal system will not overturn the acquittal and that she will be able to return to Italy as a free woman.

Black smoke at Vatican signals no new pope

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After the first vote on Tuesday, black smoke coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel signaled that cardinals had not selected a new pope, news sources report.

The New York Times reports that the smoke signal appeared, lit by a spotlight, at 7:41 p.m. and was seen by thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square. Two rounds of voting are scheduled for the morning and the evening each day, and the next round is set to begin at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

According to the New York Times, in order to win, a candidate must receive two-thirds of the vote. This means that 77 of the 115 cardinals must vote for a candidate to be named the next pope. When a new pope is selected, the smoke will be white instead of black.

CNN reports that according to Catholic rules, cardinals older than 80 cannot vote in the conclave, but they can attend the meetings that are held before it. Electors are prohibited from using electronics to communicate with the outside world during this time by jamming devices.

The CNN article states that there is no one clear frontrunner in this conclave. However, Italy's Cardinal Angelo Scola, Brazil's Odilo Scherer, Canadian Marc Ouellet, U.S. cardinals Sean O'Malley of Boston and Timothy Dolan of New York, and Ghana's Peter Turkson are among the favorites.

Missing Soviet soldier found in Afghanistan

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A former soldier who went missing in Afghanistan in 1980 as a part of the Soviet Union's invasion of the country has been found alive, news sources report.

USA Today reports that the soldier, Bakhretdin Khakimov, was a rifleman for the Red Army. A group of Soviet veterans found Khakimov in a search for 264 Soviet soldiers reported missing in Afghanistan after the invasion.

According to the article by USA Today, Khakimov, who now goes by the name Sheikh Abdullah, sustained a head wound in battle and was rescued and treated by local Afghans. When found, he was living with locals and working as a healer in Herat.

CNN reports that the group who found Khakimov made contact with him two weeks ago. He has no identification papers, but he could accurately identify pictures of other Soviet soldiers who served during the time of the invasion.

According to CNN, Khakimov, now a widower, was married while in Afghanistan. The group responsible for finding the man is trying to arrange for him to meet his remaining Russian relatives.

Castro to step down as Cuban president in 2018

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Current Cuban President Raul Castro announced Sunday that he will step down from his position in 2018, news sources report.

CNN reports that Castro, 81, took office in 2008 after his brother, Fidel Castro, fell ill. He was recently elected to a second five-year term, after which he will step down.

According to CNN, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez was named to the position of first vice president, meaning he is the most likely successor for Castro. Diaz-Canel formerly served as a second vice president and minister of higher education.

An article by NBC News states that the Castro family and their supporters have held government control in Cuba since the revolution in 1959.

NBC News reports that along with Castro's reelection and the appointment of Diaz-Canel, 612 deputies were named to the National Assembly. Eighty percent of these individuals were born after the 1959 revolution.

A U.S. security firm published a report on Tuesday that links more than 100 cyber attacks on U.S. companies to the Chinese military, news reports say.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the Virginia based security firm, Mandiant, links the attacks to a Chinese military group they refer to as APT1. This group was traced to a building on the edges of Shanghai, where multiple networks are operating reportedly along with high speed fiber optic lines provided by China Telecom.

The Washington Post reports that the attacks were targeted towards 147 companies. In the majority of attacks, terabyte-size pieces of data were stolen.

CNN reports that the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei denied any charges against the Chinese military. He said, in fact, that China is a target of many cyber attacks from the U.S.

North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test Tuesday morning, triggering the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency meeting, news sources report.

CNN reports that the test, which yielded "several kilotons", occurred near P'unggye, according to the U.S. director of national intelligence. It was the first test of its kind to be carried out by the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.

According to an article by CNN, news of the test was first discovered when U.S. seismologists reported activity with a magnitude of 5.1 in the region of the test, which is an area not usually prone to earthquakes or related disturbances. Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry, told CNN that the magnitude produced by this test suggests that the blast was more powerful than North Korea's two previous tests.

North Korea said in an official statement that the test was prompted by U.S. hostility, reports ABC News.

ABC News reports that in response to the test, President Obama said, "The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community."

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