October 3rd, 2010
08:33 PM ET

9 vie for Brazil's top job as voters await results

Brazilian voters headed to the polls Sunday in a general election that spans across all levels of government, from the presidency to local offices.

The spotlight will be on the presidential race, where nine candidates are vying for the nation's top job. Voting is mandatory for anyone over 18 and under 70 and some 135 million Brazilians were expected to cast a vote.

Polls indicate that former Marxist guerrilla Dilma Rousseff is in the lead, positioning her to become the country's first female president.

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Filed under: Brazil • Politics • World
October 3rd, 2010
08:31 PM ET

Police probe threats against NY Islamic center backers

The husband-and-wife team behind the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero have received threats, a New York police spokesman said Sunday, hours after the wife said her life is under threat.

The threats "began several weeks ago," police spokesman Paul Browne told CNN "We were investigating them."

Browne would disclose no details of the threats made against Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf or his wife, Daisy Khan, or whether they were receiving any police protection.

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Filed under: Islam • New York • Religion • U.S.
October 3rd, 2010
08:26 PM ET

Counterterrorism expert: How to protect yourself abroad

Sunday's travel alert by the U.S. State Department for Americans in Europe should scare no one from going there, but people can use it to remind themselves of common-sense measures to help them avoid being targets of opportunity, current and former State Department officials say.

For those needing a refresher course on those common-sense measures, officials are happy to abide.

The State Department's travel website lists many tips on how people can lessen their chances of being targeted by terrorists and kidnappers, especially those who are looking for American tourists. These tips include minimizing the time spent near airports' public areas (because they are less secure than areas on the other side of the security checkpoints); avoiding luggage tags that would identify you as a tourist; looking for and reporting unattended parcels at an airport; and identifying visitors before opening the door of your hotel room.

Don Hamilton, a counterterrorism expert formerly with the State Department, added these tips in an interview with CNN:

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Filed under: Air travel • Europe • Terrorism • Travel
October 3rd, 2010
08:23 PM ET

Gunmen fire on tankers bound for NATO

Gunmen in Pakistan opened fire on oil trucks bound for NATO forces in Afghanistan, setting some 20 vehicles on fire and killing three, police said Monday.

The attack came shortly after Pakistan's ambassador to the United States vowed his country would go after terrorists on its soil.

Naeem Iqbal, a police spokesman, said five people were wounded in the attack on tankers parked on a main road outside a housing complex near the capital city of Islamabad. Efforts to put out the blaze are ongoing, he said.

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Filed under: Pakistan • World
October 3rd, 2010
07:39 PM ET

Egypt sour on prospects for Mideast peace talks

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks aren't likely to resume unless Israel reinstates its moratorium on building new settlements in the West Bank, Egypt's foreign minister said Sunday after meetings with U.S. mediator George Mitchell.

"The Egyptian position is that we understand the Palestinian position, which demands suitable conditions in order to go on to direct talks," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said. "The conditions are not suitable at the moment."

Israel's freeze on new construction expired September 26, with work on new projects beginning hours later. Palestinian officials have said they won't return to the recently resumed peace talks while new Israeli settlements are being built on land the Palestinians consider part of a future state.

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Filed under: Egypt • Middle East • Uncategorized
October 3rd, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Commonwealth Games begin in India amid scrutiny

After harsh criticism and controversy, the 2010 Commonwealth Games began Sunday in New Delhi with a lavish opening ceremony.

Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium gleamed with multi-colored lights as representatives from Commonwealth countries walked the length of the field by turns, waving their flags and wearing traditional native costumes.

It's the first time India has hosted the international sporting event between countries of the former British Empire.

Britain's Prince Charles and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil officially declared the games open. Prince Charles was representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

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Filed under: Dengue fever • India • Sports • World
October 3rd, 2010
12:22 PM ET

U.S. issues travel alert for Americans in Europe


The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens in Europe, based on information that suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.

Americans are warned to be aware of their surroundings and protect themselves when traveling, especially when they are in public places like tourist sites, airports or when they are using public transportation.

The alert does not warn U.S. citizens against travel to Europe.

Britain's Home Office has not raised its threat level. A statement released Sunday confirms that British authorities are keeping their threat level at "'severe," which means than an attack is highly likely.

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Filed under: Air travel • Al Qaeda • Terrorism • Travel • World
October 3rd, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Afghanistan bans 8 private security firms

Afghanistan has banned eight private security firms, including the company formerly known as Blackwater, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai told reporters Sunday.
Among the companies whose operations are being dissolved are Xe (formerly known as Blackwater), NCL, FHI, White Eagles and other small companies, spokesman Waheed Omer said. Both international and domestic companies were affected.

Weapons and ammunition belonging to these companies has been seized, he said.

Xe has several operations in Afghanistan, some of which will not be immediately affected by the decision. While Xe's transportation and highway security operations have stopped, it will continue to offer security for embassies.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • World
October 3rd, 2010
05:00 AM ET

Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli border patrol officer

A Palestinian worker was shot and killed early Sunday morning during a struggle with an Israeli border police officer, an Israeli Police spokesman said.

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Filed under: Israel • Palestinians