World briefs: Zuma gains AMC backing

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JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's President Jacob Zuma won the most nominations to lead the African National Congress, putting him on track to remain the ruling party's head and to be its presidential candidate in elections in 2014.

Mr. Zuma, 70, secured more than 60 percent of the total votes after six of nine provinces nominated candidates to lead the party for the next five years, Bloomberg News calculations show.

The president has faced internal party divisions, an unemployment crisis and a wave of mining strikes that helped to cut growth in Africa's biggest economy by more than half. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who is backed by the Youth League, has criticized the way the country is run.

Taliban attack air base

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Taliban suicide bombers assaulted a joint U.S.-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan today, sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said they exploded a car bomb at the entrance of Jalalabad Airfield then stormed into the base. A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, confirmed that car bombs were used at the gate but said none of the militants were able to enter.

Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said the fighting had ended by mid-morning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed.

Drone attack kills 3

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- A suspected U.S. missile strike killed a Yemeni militant and two others Saturday in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border, police said.

The attack was second last week in the same area. On Thursday, a missile strike on a house killed three alleged militants. Two intelligence officials say another Yemeni was killed in that strike.

Kuwaiti voting boycotted

KUWAIT CITY -- Kuwait's deep political rifts took center stage in parliamentary elections Saturday as backers of the ruling establishment cast ballots while a broad opposition alliance staged a boycott and vowed to reject the outcome.

The voting capped months of political upheavals in the oil-rich Persian Gulf state -- a strategic Western ally -- and the polarized atmosphere suggested more tensions ahead. Kuwait has the Gulf's most politically powerful parliament and the election is certain to restore control to pro-government lawmakers.

Macau gangster freed

HONG KONG -- The Macau gangster known as "Broken Tooth," once accused of planning to kill the local police chief, says his release from prison Saturday would not threaten law and order in the world's biggest casino hub.

Wan Kuok-koi was freed after more than 14 years of imprisonment at around 7 a.m. Saturday, Stephen Fok, Macau Prison's media relations officer, said. Mr. Wan was convicted of loan sharking and triad membership in 1999, a year after he was arrested during an investigation into a car bomb attack on then police chief Antonio Marques Baptista.

Gold heist probed

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Police in Curacao said Saturday that they have several leads following a brazen heist in which gunmen pretending to be police stole 70 gold bars worth an estimated $11.5 million from a fishing boat.

Police have said that at least six men were involved.

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world


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