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In brief: Devastating tornado hits New Zealand

Fri., Dec. 7, 2012

Aukland, New Zealand – An unusually destructive tornado swept through neighborhoods around New Zealand’s largest city Thursday, killing three people and forcing 250 more to evacuate damaged and powerless homes.

The small tornado hit Hobsonville and Whenuapai, western suburbs of Auckland, during a midday storm that also uprooted trees, damaged buildings and caused flooding that closed roads.

Thursday’s tornado was the deadliest in New Zealand in more than 60 years. Although the country reports about seven tornadoes on average each year, most are small, mild and do little damage.

McAfee hospitalized in Guatemala

Guatemala City – Software company founder John McAfee was hospitalized Thursday after being denied political asylum in Guatemala and his lawyers said they were making a last-ditch effort to keep him from being flown back to Belize for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.

McAfee told the Associated Press that he suffered chest pains overnight but didn’t believe he had a heart attack. A government doctor who examined him agreed, saying that McAfee’s heart rhythm and blood pressure were normal and that he appeared to be suffering from high stress.

McAfee was moved from an immigration center to a police-run hospital Thursday afternoon after Guatemalan authorities said McAfee’s request for asylum had been denied.

Intelligence head injured by suicide bomb

Kabul, Afghanistan – The chief of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency was wounded Thursday afternoon in a suicide bomb attack at a spy agency guest house here in the capital, government officials said.

Doctors at a National Directorate of Security hospital in Kabul said Thursday night that the agency’s director, Asadullah Khalid, was in stable condition. Officials earlier had reported that Khalid suffered wounds to his chest and midsection.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The attacker was the first to injure a senior government official in the capital since September 2011, when a Taliban suicide bomber killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and four other members of the government-backed High Peace Council seeking negotiations with the Taliban.


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