World Briefs: Student kills 2 at Moscow school

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MOSCOW -- A student armed with two rifles opened fire in a high school in Moscow on Monday morning, killing a geography teacher and a police officer as he held some two dozen students hostage in a rare case of gun violence in a school here.

The student, who was identified as Sergei Gordeyev, 15, initially battled police officers responding to the hostage crisis, killing one officer and wounding another, before his father entered the classroom in a bulletproof vest and persuaded him to surrender, police officials said.

Word of the shooting deeply unsettled the residential neighborhood of Otradnoye, where the head of Russia's Investigative Committee and Internal Ministry flocked to supervise the investigation on Monday.

China to boost military

China will spend $148 billion on its military this year, up from $139.2 billion in 2013, according to IHS Jane's, a defense industry consulting and analysis company.

The U.S. spends far more -- a forecast $574.9 billion this year -- but that is down from $664.3 billion in 2012 after budget cuts slashed spending. By next year China will spend more on defense than Britain, Germany and France combined, according to IHS. By 2024, it will spend more than all of Western Europe, it estimates.

Kiev protest group

KIEV, Ukraine -- A key faction of Ukrainian anti-government protesters on Monday said they would vacate occupied territory in Kiev in exchange for the release of detained activists.

Leaders of the so-called Right Sector, however, agreed Monday with Interior Ministry and Security Service officials to vacate Hrushevsky Street and the Kiev city administration buildings if more than 100 activists are released from prison in the coming days.

Mandela leaves $4.1M

PRETORIA, South Africa -- Nelson Mandela left an estate worth about $4.1 million -- a minuscule fortune compared to the wealth of many African leaders -- to his widow, Graca Machel; other family members; staff; and educational institutions, according to a reading of his will in South Africa on Monday.

He also left a generous portion of the royalties from the sale of his books and other items to the African National Congress, to be distributed through a trust and used to promote the governing party's ideas and national reconciliation.

Opposition alliance falters

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- The merger of two prominent South African political groups, announced with much fanfare last week as a political game-changer, collapsed in acrimony on Monday, further splintering the opposition to the governing African National Congress.

The merger would have given the main opposition group, the Democratic Alliance, its first black presidential candidate.

But in statements on Sunday and Monday, Helen Zille, the head of the Democratic Alliance, and Mamphela Ramphele of the smaller Agang SA party gave conflicting versions of why the arrangement had crumbled.

Also in the world ...

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a public transport minibus southeast of Beirut, Lebanon, killing himself and wounding two others, the Lebanese Red Cross and police said. ... Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants families to stop at two children to prevent a burgeoning population overwhelming schools and services.


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