Protester dies from head injury
BAHRAIN: An opposition official said today that a 20-year-old protester has died from injuries suffered during clashes with security forces.
Shi'ite group Al Wefaq spokesman Hadi al-Musawi said the protester died early today from a head injury sustained on February 14 when he was hit with a tear gas canister fired by police.
The death is the second this month blamed on riot police in the US-backed Gulf kingdom.
PHILIPPINES: Police say al-Qaida-linked militants have released a Filipino hostage but there is no word on the fate of six foreign captives.
Sulu provincial police chief Antonio Freyra says shop-owner Edgar Fabella was released by Abu Sayyaf today near the port on Jolo island.
The militants are still holding a Jordanian journalist, birdwatchers from Switzerland and Holland, a Malaysian, a Japanese treasure-hunter and an ex-soldier from Australia.
UNITED STATES: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has signed a management plan which opens up nearly half the 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska site to oil and gas drilling.
The plan lays out a roughly 50-50 split of land between conservation and petroleum development.
Conservation areas include Teshekpuk Lake, renowned for its bird habitat.
EGYPT: An opposition group is using a novel way to protest against President Mohammed Morsi - signing him up for a chance to win a trip to space.
The April 6 Youth Movement said on Thursday that it had entered the Islamist leader's name in an online contest because it wanted to be rid of him.
It called on supporters to vote for the president so he'd have a chance to win the trip into space.
There was no immediate response from the president's press office.
BANGLADESH: Police in Dhaka have fired tear gas to disperse about 2,000 supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami protesting against a war crimes trial.
today's clashes broke out when about 2,000 stone-throwing members and supporters of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party took to the streets of central Dhaka and tried to overrun police barricades.
A tribunal has convicted party assistant secretary Abdul Quader Mollah of mass killings and sentenced him to life in prison.
Another eight party leaders are on trial on charges of atrocities.
UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama said today that about 100 US military personnel have been deployed to Niger.
In a letter to Congress, Mr Obama said the forces will focus on "intelligence sharing" with French troops fighting Islamist militants in neighbouring Mali.
He said the US forces have been deployed with weapons "for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security."
The Pentagon is also considering plans to base spy drones in Niger.
ZIMBABWE: Media freedom campaigners say police are breaking the law by seizing and banning small radio receivers that can tune-in to stations not linked to the state.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa said today that no regulations outlaw the hand-cranked, solar-powered radios that democracy and election support groups plan to use ahead of elections.
Police insist that radios and cheap smartphones are being supplied by "subversive organisations" and pose a security threat.
SPAIN: Several thousand protesters charged into the largest terminal of Madrid's international airport today blowing whistles and air horns in a demonstration against national carrier Iberia's plan to cut 3,800 jobs.
Ground staff and cabin crew unions are holding 15 days of strikes.
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