July 21, 2013 in Nation/World

In brief: Hundreds protest at suspected NSA site

From Wire Reports
 

BERLIN – German police say several hundred people staged a protest at a suspected U.S. surveillance facility near Frankfurt.

Protesters held up fake cameras in what they described as a bid to “spy” on the heavily secured military complex allegedly housing a snooping facility of the National Security Agency.

One protester wore a helmet bearing the phrase “democracy is watching you.”

Police spokeswoman Andrea Loeb said some 450 protesters turned out for the rally Saturday at the U.S. military’s so-called Dagger Complex on the outskirts of Griesheim.

Officials say Islamists killed in shootout

ALGIERS – Algerian authorities say four armed Islamic extremists have been killed in a shootout with soldiers southeast of the capital.

A security service statement Saturday says the fighting occurred overnight in Sour El Ghozlane, 70 miles from Algiers.

The four were in a car heading south when soldiers stopped them and the shooting began, the statement said.

Venezuela ending talks over U.S. envoy snub

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela says it’s ending talks with the United States to restore normal relations because Washington’s U.N. ambassador-designate criticized its human rights record.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Friday that Samantha Power’s remarks compelled it to halt the process begun in Guatemala last month by its foreign minister, Elias Jaua, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Power said in Senate confirmation hearings Wednesday that Venezuela is guilty of a “crackdown on civil society,” along with Cuba, Iran and Russia.

Abdicating King Albert calls for national unity

BRUSSELS – King Albert has used his farewell speech on the eve of his abdication to call for unity in the linguistically divided nation and said it is of “essential importance” to stick together to maintain Belgium’s high standard of living.

In Saturday’s speech, the monarch, 79, lauded the compromises that have kept Belgium from succumbing to the forces of separatism, despite an increasing split between the 6 million Dutch-speaking Fleming in the north and 4.5 million French-speakers in the south.

His son Philippe takes over the throne today.

Sunken boat, 8 bodies found near beach

NASSAU, Bahamas – Authorities in the Bahamas say they have found the bodies of eight people and a sunken boat near a Grand Bahama beach.

Police say they believe the victims were migrants trying to reach the United States. All appear to have drowned, but officials say the cause of death hasn’t been confirmed.

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