World briefs: Kerry to host Afghan talks

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BRUSSELS -- Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he would host a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday with top Afghan and Pakistani leaders.

The meeting will be held the day after NATO foreign ministers gather to discuss the alliance's role in Afghanistan after 2014, among other issues.

President Hamid Karzai and Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi will represent the Afghan side. Pakistan will be represented by Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the army chief, and Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan's foreign secretary.

No Musharraf charges

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's caretaker government declined Monday to bring treason charges against former military leader Pervez Musharraf, saying it was beyond its mandate.

The decision, which was read to the Supreme Court, offers limited breathing space to Mr. Musharraf, who has been under house arrest since Friday in a separate case.

Opponents of Mr. Musharraf have called for him to be hanged for treason because of misdeeds during his autocratic rule from 1999 to 2008.

2nd arrest in India rape

NEW DELHI -- Police arrested a second suspect in the rape and torture of a 5-year-old girl Monday.

Pradeep Kumar, 19, was arrested in the eastern state of Bihar, where the first suspect, Manoj Kumar, was found Saturday morning. The two are not related. Pradeep Kumar was arrested after being implicated by Manoj Kumar.

Protesters besieged police headquarters for a third day, demanding Commissioner Neeraj Kumar's resignation over the sharp rise in sex crimes. The official said he had no plans to quit.

Uproar over shrine visit

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's foreign minister canceled a possible trip to Japan and China lodged objections after Japanese Cabinet ministers visited a controversial war shrine, officials said Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and other Cabinet ministers prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine over the weekend. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not visit but donated a religious ornament marking the shrine's spring festival.

The visits set off a furor in South Korea. The shrine of Japan's native Shinto religion honors its war dead, including several executed as war criminals after World War II. South Koreans accused Japanese politicians of glorifying their country's past aggression.

Ethnic cleansing charged

BANGKOK -- An international rights group Monday accused authorities in Myanmar, including Buddhist monks, of fomenting an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority that killed hundreds of people and forced 125,000 from their homes.

Human Rights Watch described the bloody wave of violence and massacres in western Rakhine state last year as crimes against humanity, and slammed the government of President Thein Sein for failing to bring the perpetrators to justice months after mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes and homemade guns razed thousands of Muslim homes.

Dozens killed in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria -- Dozens of people, including many civilians, died in gun battles between Nigerian security forces and Islamist militants in recent days, according to Nigerian officials.

However, reports of the death toll varied, with some government officials saying about 185 people were slain while security officials put the number lower.

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