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WORLD BRIEFS


NEW ZEALAND: Quake death toll could hit 240

The nation held two minutes of silence to mark exactly one week since an earthquake devastated the city of Christchurch. Rescue crews still picking through the rubble were among those who stopped work and bowed their heads at 12:51 p.m. local time Tuesday. Police say 154 bodies have been pulled from the debris so far and the toll could reach 240.


EGYPT: Mubarak family's funds confiscated

Egypt's top prosecutor seized all the funds of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak and his family Monday and banned them from travel abroad, the latest humiliation for the once-powerful family. It comes a day after Mubarak's wife and son were prevented from flying out of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. During the 18-day pro-democracy uprising, reports that Mubarak and his family might have amassed billions over their three decades in power fueled protesters already enraged over corruption and poverty.


OMAN: Unrest continues for third day

Protesters set a supermarket ablaze in the seaside town of Sohar on Monday in a third consecutive day of unrest that has included deadly clashes. Security forces sealed off roads to Sohar, 120 miles northwest of the capital, Muscat, in an attempt to isolate the protesters and keep crowds from swelling. The demonstrators were demanding higher salaries, jobs for unemployed youth and the dismissal of some government ministers. Police did not respond to the protests, witnesses said.


BAHRAIN: Protesters blockade parliament

Anti-government protesters blockaded parliament Monday and massed outside the state broadcaster in efforts to escalate pressure on the nation's embattled monarchy after two weeks of nonstop marches and deadly clashes.


YEMEN: Opposition rejects leader's offer

Yemen's president offered Monday to form a unity government with opponents who want him out of office - provided protests against him stop. President Ali Abdullah Saleh's offer was swiftly rejected by opposition figures.


AFGHANISTAN: Attacks kill 6 NATO troops

Six NATO troops were killed in attacks across Afghanistan on Monday, one of the deadliest days for the international force this winter, military officials said. Four came under attack in the east, a region turned increasingly volatile since the U.S. military made a concerted effort last year to dislodge the Taliban from strongholds in the south.

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