Recently in International News Category

Shocking rape video goes viral in South Africa

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A cell phone video from South Africa is said to have gone viral Wednesday after a group of Soweto youths filmed themselves raping a 17-year-old girl, CNN said.

The video spread very quickly among school kids in the township south of Johannesburg, and the term #rapevideo was trending on Twitter in South Africa on Wednesday.

The suspects, aged between 14 and 20, were arrested Tuesday morning and charged with kidnapping and rape.

Media reports suggest the police initially failed to open a missing persons case for the girl, but they have since done so.

North Korea's rocket launch ends in failure

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North Korea's long-range rocket launch ended in apparent failure, South Korean officials said, knocking the prestige of the reclusive state that defied pressure to push ahead with the project, Reuters said.

North Korea said it wanted their new rocket to put a weather satellite into orbit, although critics believed it was designed to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States.

A spokesman from South Korea said that the rocket had broken up and crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch.

Officials from Japan confirmed the mission failed, while ABC News cited U.S. officials saying there was no immediate indication that the rocket had failed.

This was North Korea's second consecutive failure to get a satellite into orbit.

The United States has announced a $10 million bounty for the arrest of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Pakistani group blamed for the terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008, the Washington Post said.

In a surprising development, India was pleased but Pakistan was agitated and strain was added to already shaky alliance.

The reward was approved by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who appeared to tilt the United States toward India at a rather delicate time.

India is the historical antagonist of Pakistan, and both nuclear-armed rivals have a large stake in the future of Afghanistan.

Saeed, 61, has long been designated as an international terrorist, yet he continues to preach jihad and operates a large campus for religious training in the easter city of Lahore.

Three bombs in Thailand kill at least 14

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Three car-bomb attacks Saturday in southern Thailand, which killed at least 14 people and wounded hundreds of others, propelled Muslim hostility toward a recent crisis point after years of brutal attacks, the Wall Street Journal said.

Thailand's southern militants are seeking out higher-profile targets according to security analysts. The bombs singled out weekend shoppers and vacationers in busy commercial areas, turning a small conflict into a much more dangerous campaign.

Security officials blamed the attacks on Muslim rebels seeking to break away from control of the national government.

It is still unclear what the rebels' specific goals are, but unlike other militant groups, Thailand's Muslim insurgents keep a low profile and make few public pronouncements.

Big earthquake hits Mexico, no major damage

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A major earthquake hit most of Mexico on Tuesday, causing panic as it damaged buildings and caused homes in the capital to collapse, Reuters said.

Workers fled into the streets when a 7.4-magnitude quake shook Mexico City for more than a minute. Buildings were evacuated and traffic was disrupted due to the large shake.

The earthquake hit hardest in the southwestern state of Guerrero, where 800 houses were damaged, officials said.

The tremor was one of the largest to hit the country since the devastating 8.1-magnitude earthquake of 1985, which killed thousands of citizens.

No deaths were reported on Tuesday however, but it scared many residents and cut off electricity to some 2.5 million people in the capital.

"Kony 2012" campaign goes viral

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A social media campaign set forth by the organization called Invisible Children is making waves all over the Internet after it unveiled a video outlining their plan for action, said the Sydney Morning Herald.

Millions around the world showered their support for the campaign, calling for the arrest of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony. An emotive film was released on March 5 by Invisible Children, which was posted online and quickly went viral.

Many celebrities have been asking their followers on Twitter to get familiar with the plan and to help take action.

However, mounting concerns over the legitimacy of the group itself have surfaced online, highlighting how complex the anti-Kony campaign actually is.

Kony's army, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), is accused of killing tens of thousands of people and enlisting children as soldiers and sex slaves.

Venezuelan President Chavez fine after surgery in Cuba

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had surgery Tuesday to remove a lesion from his pelvis and is now in good physical condition after the operation, Reuters said.

Chavez, 57, had new surgery in Cuba despite insisting that he had been cured of cancer during previous operations in Havana last year.

This latest health setback has fueled fresh doubts about Chavez's health and the possibility of campaigning for re-election in October.

Doctors found a large cancerous tumor in Chavez's pelvis back in June, which is what sparked his need for the operation.

Chavez traveled to Cuba for treatment because the communist-led Caribbean island's former president, Fidel Castro, is a close friend and his main political mentor.

Two Western journalists among the dead in Syrian shelling

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Two Western journalists were among the more than 80 people killed by rockets and bombs in the city of Homs, Syria on Wednesday, the New York Times said.

Syrian security forces continued their bombardment of Homs Wednesday, as two Western journalists were killed while working in their makeshift media center that was destroyed during the assault.

Marie Colvin, an American war correspondent working for the Sunday Times of London, died just hours after conducting a phone interview with host Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Remi Ochlik, a young French photographer, was killed in the same assault.

This news comes just a week after correspondent Anthony Shadid of the New York Times died of an apparent asthma attack.

The United Nations recently stopped tallying the death toll after it could no longer verify the number of dead, which passed 5,400 in January.

Cyclone Giovanna kills three in Madagascar

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Officials in Madagascar say a cyclone that hit the Indian Ocean island left three people dead, the Washington Post reported.

Cyclone Giovanna struck land around 1 a.m. Tuesday, which brought heavy rain and high winds along with it. Around 70 families were forced to leave their homes due to flooding.

According to national disaster officials, one person was electrocuted and another was crushed by a house that collapsed in Brickaville. The third victim drowned in Moramanga.

The worst of the storm was over by the afternoon.

Large Earthquake Hits Central Philippines

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A strong earthquake shook a central Philippine island Monday, setting off landslides and leaving dozens of people trapped under collapsed houses, the Associated Press said.

The 6.9-magnitude quake left at least 13 people dead and 40 more are believed missing in a narrow strait just off Negros Island.

Army troops and police were deployed to help in the rescue shortly after the quake occurred at 11:49 a.m. (0349 GMT). The quake triggered a large number of landslides in surrounding villages, where numbers of dead and missing civilians are still unknown.

The Philippines sits in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. The latest quake was set off by movement in an undersea fault.

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