World news briefs: 12/26/12

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Jewish housing in Gilo grows Jewish housing in Gilo grows

JERUSALEM -- The Jerusalem district planning committee has granted approval to build another 1,200 housing units in Gilo, expanding the Jewish neighborhood built on Jerusalem-area land seized by Israel in 1967.

It was the latest in a series of similar development decisions after the United Nations vote in November granting the Palestinian Authority nonmember observer state status.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ambassadors: "Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years."

"All Israeli governments have built in Jerusalem," he said. "We are not going to change that."

The U.S. expressed its disappointment last week after approval of a 1,500-apartment project in a different part of the Jerusalem area, Ramat Shlomo.

Iran reports cyberattacks

TEHRAN -- Iran reported a spree of new cyberattacks Tuesday, saying foreign enemy hackers tried in recent months to disrupt computer systems at a power plant and other industries in a strategically important southern coastal province as well as a Culture Ministry information center.

Accounts of the attacks in the official media did not specify who was responsible, when they were carried out or how they were thwarted. But they strongly suggested that the attacks had originated in the United States and Israel, which have been engaged in a shadowy struggle of computer sabotage with Iran in a broader dispute over whether Iran's nuclear energy program is for peaceful or military use.

India's capital still on alert

NEW DELHI -- Police remained on alert today in the central areas of New Delhi, keeping some metro rail stations closed and manning check points, after a policeman succumbed to injuries sustained during violent weekend protests against the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student.

Subhash Chand Tomar, a constable, died in a hospital Tuesday, Delhi police said.

Authorities strengthened security and diverted traffic Monday around India Gate, the venue of the demonstrations, and restricted access to the area leading to the president and prime minister's offices and parliament. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for peace and calm.

All six men accused of raping and torturing the woman in a city bus on Dec. 16 have been arrested, police said.

Gulf reacts to Iran threat

MANAMA, Bahrain -- The Gulf Cooperation Council said it will form a unified military command structure at a time when Iran poses a "very serious" security threat to the Middle East.

The six-member group will coordinate air, land, and marine forces under one structure, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said today after a meeting of GCC heads of state in Manama, the Bahraini capital.

The GCC has accused Shiite-led Iran of intervening in the internal affairs of Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, home to three-fifths of the world's oil reserves.

Mandela looking better

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Nelson Mandela, who spent Christmas in the hospital recovering from serious illness, was in good spirits and looking much better, President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday.

"He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better,"Mr. Zuma said in a written statement.

Mr. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8 for a lung infection, and later had gallstone surgery.

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