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In brief: Panama wraps up search of North Korean ship

PANAMA CITY – Panamanian officials said they’re ending their search of a North Korean ship that was detained as it carried weapons from Cuba.

Public Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said Panama removed the ship’s last unopened container, which was buried under sacks of sugar, and found it held missile equipment.

Panama has unloaded and searched 25 containers, finding a variety of weapons systems and parts. Cuba says it was not violating sanctions meant to halt sophisticated arms sales to North Korea because the ship contained obsolete weapons sent for repair.

But some of the containers were loaded with undeclared live munitions, and United Nations experts will visit in the coming days to prepare a report on whether the shipment violated sanctions.

Three NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO says three of its service members have been killed in eastern Afghanistan but provided no further details.

A statement said the deaths occurred Sunday. It did not provide a nationality or details of the attack.

The deaths bring to 103 the number of foreign troops killed in 2013. Of those, 78 were American.

Combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

Sudan flooding kills 36, thousands left homeless

KHARTOUM, Sudan – Sudanese authorities said flooding has killed at least 36 people and left thousands homeless.

The semiofficial Sudan media center said Sunday that many are without electricity as well in the northern River Nile state, just south of Egypt. The center said at least 5,000 homes have been severely destroyed, almost half beyond repair.

Images from Sudan showed mud brick homes submerged under large lakes of brown water.

More rain is expected in the coming days and the number of those affected is likely to rise.

Homemade liquor deadly for 8 Karachi residents

KARACHI, Pakistan – Pakistani police said at least eight people in the port city of Karachi have died after consuming homemade liquor.

Police officer Mohammad Sarwar said Sunday that 14 people from Christian-dominated slums in the city, Pakistan’s largest, were hospitalized after drinking toxic liquor late Saturday night. He said eight died and six others are being treated.

Sarwar said police have arrested two people for allegedly selling the toxic liquor and are looking for those who distilled it illegally. He said the suspects and all the victims were Christians.

Liquor poisoning is common in Pakistan, where the Muslim majority is forbidden to consume or sell alcohol. Non-Muslims can drink but many poor buy the cheapest homemade liquor, which is often adulterated.

Zimbabwe denies deal to sell uranium to Iran

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s state radio said the country’s ministry of mines controlled by longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe has not struck a deal to sell uranium to Iran for its nuclear program.

The radio said Sunday that the mining ministry dismissed reports in the British media that the two countries have signed an agreement on uranium exports as “a malicious and blatant lie.”

The mining ministry statement said Zimbabwe’s uranium deposits have not been exploited and “we have never issued any license to any Iranian company.”


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Boston’s Memorial Day flag garden idea spreads

UPDATED: 9:25 p.m.

updated  The solemn display of tens of thousands of U.S. flags that first appeared on Boston Common for Memorial Day a decade ago, honoring service members who have died defending the nation, is slowly becoming a national movement.