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World News: Afghanistan May Be Reneging on Pullout Deal; China Angers Japan; Mount Etna Erupts; Shark Kills Surfer

By: ap
By: ap

AFGHANISTAN
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A spokesman for Afghanistan's president says Hamid Karzai will press a council of elders to delay signing a security deal with the United States until next year.
Aimail Faizi said Sunday Karzai will press his case for a delay in signing until after next April's elections in a speech to close a four-day meeting of 2,500 Afghan tribal elders and other regional leaders known as a Loya Jirga. Karzai convened the council, saying Afghanistan would likely not sign without its approval.
President Barak Obama's administration has said it wants a deal signed by the end of the year and warned that planning for a post-2014 military presence may be jeopardized if it is not approved by Karzai.
The deal could keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another decade.

CHINA-EAST CHINA SEA
BEIJING (AP) -- China's Defense Ministry has put out a map of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone that includes a chain of disputed islands also claimed by Japan.
Beijing has also issued a set of rules for the zone, saying all aircraft must notify Chinese authorities and are subject to emergency military measures if they do not identify themselves or obey orders from Beijing.
The rules went into effect Saturday.
The move has triggered a protest from Tokyo.
A Japanese Foreign Ministry official calls the zone "totally unacceptable."
And U.S. officials say they're "deeply concerned" about China's "unilateral action."
Secretary of State John Kerry says it "will only increase tensions in the region and create risks of an incident."
And Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says China's announcement "will not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region."

BEIJING (AP) -- Smog has lowered visibility to less than 50 meters (yards) in parts of northeast China, leading to the weekend closure of highways and an airport.
The transport authority in Liaoning province says seven expressways were partly or wholly shut on Sunday.
More roads and an airport shut Saturday farther north in Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia.
Xinhua News Agency said the airport in Harbin city cancelled all 209 inbound and outbound flights on Saturday. The airport said flights are operating again Sunday as visibility improved to a few hundred meters (yards).
Last month, Harbin practically ground to a halt with a particularly bad bout of pollution.
China's national meteorological center says the haze would gradually be reduced owing to a cold front and rain.

JFK's daughter says his spirit lives on
TOKYO (AP) -- The daughter of President John F. Kennedy says his spirit lives on even though his life was cut short.
Caroline Kennedy says in an interview with Japan's Yomiuri newspaper that she often meets people who tell her they were inspired by her father. She says it's a reminder that we all have a duty to work together for a better world.
Kennedy arrived in Tokyo nine days ago as the new American ambassador to Japan. The interview published in Japan's largest newspaper Sunday included her first public comments about the recent 50th anniversary of her father's assassination.
She noted her father's continuing legacies include the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is providing humanitarian aid to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

MILAN (AP) -- Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has erupted again, showering volcanic ash on towns dotting the mountain's slopes and nearby Taormina.
The eruption Saturday did not force any evacuations, but a highway was closed for half an hour as a precaution. Authorities also briefly closed two of four air corridors serving the nearby Catania airport but air traffic was not interrupted.
Etna erupts occasionally. Its last major eruption occurred in 1992.

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's interior minister says his forces have foiled several attempted terror attacks and arrested leading militants, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of mobilizing and financing some of the country's most violent groups to cause unrest.
Minister Mohammed Ibrahim's comments Saturday were the first detailed examples offered by a senior Egyptian official to back claims that the Brotherhood, the group of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is responsible for attacks against security, government institutions and the country's Coptic minority.
The Brotherhood repeatedly has denied government claims that it uses or condones violence.
Ibrahim told reporters that five senior militants were detained from two pro-Morsi sit-ins which authorities broke up violently in August. Ibrahim accused sit-in participants of stockpiling weapons. He said other militants arrested were released from prison by Morsi's government.

Ukraine marks 80th anniversary of Stalin’s engineered famine; Biden to Ukraine: Disappointed in EU deal pullout
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainians are marking the 80th anniversary of a devastating Soviet man-made famine that killed millions amid public anger over the government's decision to snub a potential landmark deal with the European Union and its tilt toward Moscow.
Several thousand people marched through the center of Kiev on Saturday to commemorate the deaths of millions of Ukrainians who perished during a famine engineered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1932-33, in an attempt to force peasants to join collective farms. Ukraine's parliament has labeled the famine, known here as Holodomor -- or death by hunger -- as genocide.
Meanwhile, hundreds of activists are protesting on Kiev's main square, days after the government froze plans to sign the EU deal after pressure from Moscow. A larger rally is planned for Sunday.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) that he's disappointed over Ukraine's decision to pull out of a landmark agreement with the European Union.
The White House says Biden called Yanukovych on Friday and said the U.S. strongly believes that integrating with Europe will help Ukraine strengthen its democracy and restore economic prosperity.
The call comes a day after Ukraine's leaders stunned the nation by saying they were pulling out of the free trade and political cooperation deal, prompting mass protests. The move to suspend preparations for the agreement was a big victory for Russia, which has worked aggressively to derail the deal and keep Ukraine in its orbit.
The White House says Biden told Yanukovych the U.S. supports Ukrainians' aspirations for more integration with Europe.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists say a string of government airstrikes on rebel-held areas in the north have killed at least 44 people.
Rami Abdurrahman, the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says the deadliest of the three raids Saturday was the attack on the rebel-held town of al-Bab near the northern city of Aleppo. He says that strike killed 22.
Abdurrahman says fighter jets also bombed two rebel-held districts of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. In the Halwaniyeh neighborhood, he says government warplanes missed their target. He says the strike sent bombs into a crowded vegetable market, killing 15 people.
The Observatory said seven people died in a third airstrike in the Karam el-Beik district.
Syrian state television said the fighter jets targeted "gatherings of terrorists."
Also - Syrian activists say a rebel group with links to Al-Qaida has captured one of the country's largest oil fields.
Rami Abdurrahman, who is director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra captured the al-Omar field in the eastern Deir el-Zour province along the border with Iraq on Saturday, ousting government troops during an overnight battle. There was no confirmation from President Bashar Assad's government.
Before the uprising against Assad's regime began in early 2011, the oil revenues provided around a quarter of the funds for the government budget. Since the revolt turned into a civil war over the past year, exports have ground practically to a standstill, and Assad's government has been forced to import refined fuel products.

Official: Lebanon confirms ID of embassy bomber
BEIRUT (AP) -- A Lebanese legal official says the country has confirmed the identity of one of the suicide bombers who targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut in an attack that killed 23 people.
The official said Saturday that the bomber was named Mouin Abu Daher and is from the southern city of Sidon.
He said Abu Daher became as suspect after his father spoke to investigators.
The official said DNA samples taken from the father matched the remains of a suspected bomber. He spoke anonymously because he wasn't allowed to release the information.
Tuesday's attack was one of the deadliest in a series targeting Shiite strongholds in recent months. An al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility, saying it was payback for Iran and the Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah group's support of the Syrian government.

PERTH, Australia (AP) -- A surfer has been killed by a shark off a notorious stretch of the west Australian coast.
Western Australia state police spokesman Samuel Dinnison says while no one had seen the attack Saturday morning off a beach near Gracetown, the surfer's injuries were consistent with a shark attack.
The sleepy community of Gracetown has now been the site of three fatal shark attacks on surfers in the past decade.
The victim has yet to be identified. Dinnison says he appears to be in his 20s.
The state Fisheries Department has closed beaches in the area, which are in the state's premier surfing region south of the capital Perth.
No details of the type of shark responsible have been released.


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