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U.S. and Afghanistan reach partnership agreement

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The United States and Afghanistan reached a strategic partnership agreement on Sunday after negotiating for months, the New York Times reported.
In the agreement, which was not released publicly, the U.S. pledged to support Afghanistan until 2024, ten years after the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops in the country, according to the New York Times.
The support will be both financial and economical while Afghanistan fights against the Taliban, the Wall Street Journal.
The deal will be official next month when President Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai meet at North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Taliban members pulled off what is being called Pakistan's largest jail-break early Sunday morning, freeing hundreds of prisoners and reiterating fears of worsening security conditions in the area nearing Afghanistan, the New York Times reported.
Militants stormed the prison at 1:30 a.m., freeing approximately 400 of 900 inmates, about 30 of whom have previous association with the Taliban, CBS News reported.
The attack appeared to be waged in order to free a militant commander who attempted to assassinate former Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the New York Times reported.
Authorities shut down mobile phone networks in a search effort and arrested 11 prisoners by Sunday evening. Twenty more willingly turned themselves into the prison,said the home minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Mohammad Azam Khan, according to the New York Times.
The Taliban is also suspected to be behind attacks in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, just hours before the break out, according to CBS News.

Avalanche in Himalayas buries 135

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Eleven civilians and 124 Pakistani soldiers were buried by an avalanche at a major army base on a Himalayan glacier near India Saturday according to military officials and the Washington Post.
Because of the rough terrain, it is unlikely that any of the victims will be recovered, the Chicago Tribune reported. The soldiers were sleeping in the base headquarters when the avalanche buried them in 80 feet of snow.
Rescue efforts have so far had little effect. Army officials are now hoping for a miracle, the Washington Post said.

More than 1,000 passengers stranded on a fire-damaged cruise ship for 24 hours safely landed in a Malaysian port Sunday, USA Today reported.
An engine room on the Azamara Quest caught fire Friday, injuring five crew members, and proceeded to drift at sea, the Star Tribune reported. The ship landed in the city of Sandakan, in eastern Malaysia, late Sunday.
Ambulances left the port shortly after docking, followed by buses that took passengers to hotels around midnight, USA Today reported.
Though the fire was put out immediately, one of the five crew workers who suffered smoke inhalation was severely injured and in need of hospitalization the ship operator said, according to the Star Tribune.
Ten of the 1,000 passengers were residents of Bemidji, the Star Tribune reported.

US pays thousands to victims of Afghan shootings

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The U.S. Government paid large compensations for those killed in a shooting rampage March 11 which was said to be the work of an American soldier, the Star Tribune reported.
The U.S. paid $50,000 for each of the 17 victims as well as an additional $11,000 for each wounded, USA Today reported. The families were told the money came from President Barack Obama.
This was the latest in peace-keeping moves towards Afghanistan from the U.S.
Tensions have been high between the countries since American soldiers caused riots by using copies of the Quran to start fires. They were heightened when Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly went to two villages and shot families while they slept, the Star Tribune reported.
Bales faces 17 charges of premeditated murder as well as other crimes, USA Today reported.

Soldier kills 16 Afghanis in shooting rampage

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A U.S. Army sergeant went on a shooting rampage in an Afghanistan village Sunday, the Huffington Post reported.
The sergeant killed 16 civilians, which including nine children and otherwise mainly women, as they slept, according to the Huffington Post.
This random rampage is "the deadliest intentional attack on civilians by a U.S. soldier" in the 10 years troops have been in the country, the Washington Post reported.
The shooting came at a time already filled with tension; just weeks ago U.S. soldiers sparked outrage in Afghani's when they burned Qurans, leading to much local protest. It also fueled "anti-American sentiment at a time of growing unease about the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and increasing pessimism among Americans about the U.S. mission here," the Washington Post reported.

Vladimir Putin wins Russia's President election

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Russia's long time leader Vladimir Putin won the presidential election in a lanslide on Sunday, exciting supporters and angering opposition, the Huffington Post reported.
Putin celebrated with tens of thousands of his supporters as they rallied outside the Kremlin, thanking them for their support against plots to destroy Russia.
Opposition members don't plan to take this victory quietly as they plan protests, starting with a rally in Pushkin Square in central Moscow on Monday night.
Putin is currently serving as the country's prime minister, a position which he achieved after serving as president from 2000 to 2008. As president he will serve a six-year term, the New York Times reported.
Early results show Putin held nearly 60 percent of the vote, according to the Huffington Post.

American diplomats rushed to find a resolution Saturday for 16 Americans among the 43 civil society workers facing criminal charges in Cairo who were set to stand trial that day, reported the New York Times.
The case threatens a 30-year alliance between the U.S. and Egypt as Obama and his administration swore to cut off the $1.55 billion in annual aid to the nation, according to the New York Times.
As of late Saturday night, officials still had no word on what would happen as the trial begins Sunday, the New York Times reported.
The defendants will be charged with illegally operating unlicensed nongovernmental organizations and receiving foreign funds without notifying Egyptian authorities. The accused and their lawyers claim they are nothing more than "trumped-up charges meant to disparage pro-democracy activists by lumping them in with imagined foreign plots to undermine and divide Egypt," according to the Wall Street Journal.
If convicted, the defendants could face six years in jail for each charge, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum shared his disapproval of the President Barack Obama's apology for Quran burnings in Afghanistan, the Pioneer Press reported.
Santorum, who has been a avid criticizer of the current president, added that the Afghani's should in fact be apologizing to Americans for the violence that ensued in the six days after the burning.
Four American soldiers were among the more than 30 killed since Tuesday when copies of the Quran and other religious material were used in a fire pit to burn garbage at a U.S. base, the Pioneer Press reported. Angry citizens and protestors threw grenades at a U.S. base Sunday leaving seven international troops wounded and two Afghans dead, the Pioneer Press reported.
Santorum said this violence is a deliberate as a result of an American mistake."Killing Americans in uniform is not a mistake. It was something that deliberate," Santorum said, the Boston Globe reported.
Santorum further said that it should be Afghani president Hamid Karzai apologizing to us, not the other way around, the Boston Globe reported.

Iran freezes oil exports to Britain and France

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Iranian officials suspended oil shipments to both Britain and France on Sunday in what could be a symbolic effort against the countries, the New York Times reported.
The suspension is said to be a possible response to the European Union's decision to "cut off Iranian oil imports and freeze central bank assets beginning in July," the New York Times said. This decision was made to diminish Iran's nuclear program.
Iran said they will have no problem finding other customers for their shipment besides the EU, who count for 18 percent of the nations oil exports, reported icNorthWales.co.edu.
Because of Britain and France rely on Iran for oil a very small amount, the halt is seen as a symbolic act against the countries who hold want to halt Iran's nuclear efforts as well as "bring pressure to bear on Syria, one of Tehran's closest allies," the New York Times said.

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