Recently in International News Category

Mexican-American singer thought to be dead

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The remnants of a small plane thought to have been carrying Mexican-American music star Jenni Rivera was found in northern Mexico on Sunday. There were no survivors, authorities said, as many news sources report.

"There is nothing recognizable, neither material nor human," Mexico's Transportation and Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said. The remains of the plane "are scattered over an area of 250 to 300 meters," Esparza said. "It is almost unrecognizable," he said, as the Associated Press reported.

Esparza said "everything points toward" that this plane was indeed that which was carrying Rivera and six other people from Monterrey to Toluca, just outside Mexico City, the Associated Press reported.

The singer had just given a concert in Monterrey. She was 43, Billboard reported.

No cause was given for the plane's crash. The area in which it was found, though -- near the town of Iturbide in Mexico's Sierra Madre Oriental -- is known for its rough terrain, Billboard reported.

The Learjet 25, number N345MC, left Monterrey at 3:30 a.m. and was reported missing about 10 minutes later, the Associated Press reported.

Celebrities and media organizations sent condolences to Rivera's family on Sunday even though it has not been confirmed that she was aboard the plane yet. Authorities said there will be an investigation to identify the remains found at the crash site, Billboard reported.

The other passengers on the plane were believed to be her publicist, her lawyer, makeup artist and the flight crew, the Associated Press reported.

Iran has until March to cooperate with IAEA, U.S. says

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The United States gave Iran a March deadline to start cooperating with a U.N. nuclear agency investigation Thursday, news sources report.

U.S. diplomat Robert Wood made the announcement to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a 35-nation board, The Daily Star reported.

Iran was first reported to the U.N. Security Council about its nuclear program by the IAEA in 2006 and was then given U.N. sanctions, The Daily Star reported.

Last year, the IAEA published an intelligence report that revealed past - and potentially continuing - research in Iran that could be related to nuclear weapons. Since then, the IAEA has tried to gain access to Iranian sites for inquiry, but to no avail, The Daily Star reported.

Iran denies it is on a quest for atomic bomb capability, but it has refused to curb nuclear work with both civilian and military applications. The US has become increasingly frustrated by the country's refusal to be transparent with the IAEA, Reuters reported.

"If by March Iran has not begun substantive cooperation with the IAEA, the United States will work with other board members to pursue appropriate board action, and would urge the board to consider reporting this lack of progress to the U.N. Security Council," Wood said in a statement, Reuters reported.

A simple majority in the IAEA board would be required to refer an issue to the U.N. Security Council, which has put four sanctions resolutions on Iran in the last six years, Reuters reported.

At least 49 Egyptian schoolchildren injured in crash

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A train crashed into a bus carrying Egyptian children to kindergarten in central Egypt on Saturday, killing at least 49, news sources report.

A security official said over 50 children between four and six years old were on board the bus when it was hit. This crash is Egypt's worst tragedy since the election of its first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi, took office last summer, the Associated Press reported.

It appeared the railroad crossing was not closed as the train sped toward it, a security official said. A witness said the train pushed the bus along the tracks for nearly a kilometer (half a mile), the Associated Press reported.

The event will likely give ammunition to critics who say Morsi has done little to improve life for Egyptians, the Sunday Times reported.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said many of the remains were unrecognizable, the Associated Press reported.

Two hospital officials said more than a dozen injured were being treated in two different facilities, many with severed limbs. They spoke anonymously, the Associated Press reported.

Transport Minister Rashad al-Metini has resigned in the wake of the tragedy and said he "accepts responsibility" for the accident. Morsi addressed the nation from his office in Cairo and said he has tasked the state prosecutor with investigating the crash, the Sunday Times reported.

"Those responsible for this accident will be held accountable," Morsi said, as the Associated Press reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's main support base, blamed the crash on a culture of negligence created by deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, the Associated Press reported.

Guatemala City hit with second large earthquake

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A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coastline of Guatemala Sunday, just four days after a major quake killed dozens and left thousands homeless, news sources report.

There have not been any immediate reports of death or major damage. Four aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 4.5 to 5.0, further shook the coastline, the Associated Press reported.

Nearly 70 aftershocks have occurred in the aftermath of the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that killed 52 people in Western Guatemala on Wednesday. Seismologists said this was the strongest aftershock yet, the Associated Press reported.

Wednesday's earthquake was the strongest to hit the country in 36 years. Thousands of people were left without homes, water, or electricity. Over 1.2 million Guatemalans were affected, CNN reported.

It was felt as far as Mexico City. It affected as many as 1.2 million Guatemalans and was followed by 70 aftershocks in the first 24 hours, CNN reported.

British soldier killed at Cyprus resort

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Three British tourists have been arrested after a teenage soldier based on the island of Cyprus was stabbed to death in a nightclub, news sources report.

The soldier was 19 years old. Police spokesman Georgios Economou told the BBC that a fight took place in a nightclub in Ayia Napa, a seaside resort town, between four British soldiers and three British tourists. During the fight, one of the tourists allegedly stabbed the 19-year-old soldier, the BBC reported.

While the victim has not been named, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed on Sunday that a soldier from 2nd Batallion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers died in an incident in Cyprus, The Guardian reported.

"An investigation is being conducted by Cyprus police and it would be inappropriate to comment any further," a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said. "The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them," BBC reported.

UK troops have been told to avoid Ayia Napa for many years. The MoD confirmed to The Guardian that the incident took place in a part of Ayia Napa that is officially off limits for British soldiers because of past trouble. British soldiers have been banned from pubs and clubs at the center of the resort since 1994 when a 23-year-old Danish tour guide, Louise Jensen, was abducted, raped and beaten to death by three British soldiers from a local base, The Guardian reported.

In 2008, Ayia Napa's mayor imposed his on ban on British troops visiting the area after a series of violent incidents, the BBC reported.

Ukraine president's party takes over parliament

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The party of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukoych has won a closely fought parliamentary election, results showed Sunday.

Representatives of the Party of Regions said this outcome illustrates that Ukrainians have confidence in their leader. Victory was granted to the party based on preliminary exit polls, the New York Times reported.

The exact configuration of the Parliament, called the Verkhovna Rada, will not be solidified for a few weeks because half of the 450 seats will be filled by candidates who did not have to declare a party affiliation before Sunday's balloting, the BCC reported.

Voter turnout was reported as 45 percent, which is average, the New York Times reported.

Opposition parties did better than expected. There was an unexpectedly strong rise in support for an ultranationalist party with a leader who is known for racist and anti-Semitic views, New York Times reported.

Yanukovich was elected in 2010 in a runoff election. He faces re-election in 2015, the BBC reported.

Yanukovich has been criticized by Western governments over the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. The president claims she was sentenced by an independent court, while opposition supporters say she was prosecuted and imprisoned in order to prevent her from running in the election, BBC reported.

Twitter blocks offensive international content

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Twitter removed racist and anti-Semitic tweets in French on Friday amid pressure from a Jewish group that threatened to sue the social network, news sources report.

The French Union of Jewish Students pressured Twitter on account of French law that forbids all discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, race or religion, NPR reported.

As its international presence increases, Twitter is faced with new issues. On Thursday, Twitter blocked users in Germany from access to the account of a neo-Nazi group that the German government bans. This was the first time that Twitter acted on its policy of "county-withheld content," which it announced in January, the Associated Press reported.

The policy requires that international users comply with local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content, the Associated Press reported. This policy also means that Twitter will block an account at the request of a government, the New York Times reported.

Although Twitter has notoriously said it refuses to police its millions of users, these two incidents are seen as potentially marking a new stage for the company, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement, the company said, "Twitter does not mediate content. If we are alerted to content that may be in violation of our terms of service, we will investigate each report and respond according to the policies and procedures outlined in our support pages," JD Journal reported.

The anti-Semitic tweets in French that Twitter agreed to remove began on Oct. 10 and included slurs and Holocaust-related photos. Other tweets were anti-Muslim, the Associated Press reported.

Many European countries have anti-discrimination laws. The majority of these regulations date to the aftermath of the Holocaust and the acknowledgement from many governments that years of hate speech had contributed to the Nazi attempts to annihilate the Jews, the Associated Press reported.

The German content that Twitter removed related to specific laws in Germany that prohibit the use of Nazi-related symbols and slogans, like displaying the swastika or saying "heil Hitler," the New York Times reported.

Some users see Twitter's censorship activities as attacks on freedom of expression and have expressed such sentiments publicly on the social network, NPR reported.

Pakistani authorities verified Sunday that they have arrested three brothers suspected of being connected to last week's assassination attempt of Malala Yousafzai, news sources report.

The Los Angeles Times reported that more than 100 people have been detained for questioning in connection with the attack since Yousafzai, 14, was shot in the head last Tuesday. At this point, nearly all those people have been released. The three men arrested, Qari Inamullah, Obaid Ullah and Abdul Hadi, are not believed by authorities to have been the shooters in the attack; however, police have reason to believe that they played a role, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The house of the brothers in Akbarpura, a small village outside of the northwest city of Peshawar, was raided Saturday. The sect of the Pakistani Taliban believed to be responsible for the attack is the Swat Taliban, led by Maulana Fazlullah, the Associated Press reported. Fazlullah is believed to be hiding in eastern Afghanistan. Pakistani government sources, who asked not to be named, believe two of his top aides are responsible for the attack on Yousafzai, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Yousafzai remains in recovery and is being transported to the United Kingdom for treatment, the Pakistani army said. Until now, the girl has been at a military hospital in Rawalpindi, the BBC reported.

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