World briefs: U.S. military eyes China ties

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BEIJING -- A top U.S. military commander said Saturday that the U.S. Army was working to start a formal dialogue and exchange program with the Chinese People's Liberation Army before the end of the year.

Gen. Raymond Odierno, the U.S. Army chief of staff, told reporters that the program was aimed at expanding cooperation and "managing differences constructively."

Gen. Odierno made his remarks at the U.S. Embassy, during the second day of a visit to China. The general met with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on Friday and was scheduled to travel to visit the Shenyang military command in northeast China on Saturday afternoon.

Money-laundering case

MADRID -- A Spanish court has ruled that a man accused of being behind one of the world's biggest money-laundering businesses can be extradited to the U.S. to face charges there.

Arthur Budovsky, 40, who founded currency transfer and payment processing company Liberty Reserves, can appeal the ruling, the National Court said late Friday. Spain's government must also approve the decision for an extradition to happen.

Inciting terror with tweets

MADRID -- The line between youthful rebelliousness and something more dangerous is not always clear. But in her angry musings on Twitter, Alba Gonzalez Camacho, 21, who describes herself as a "very normal girl," sailed across it.

After she posted messages calling for a far-left terrorist organization to return to arms and kill politicians, Spain's national court convicted her earlier this month of inciting terrorism using a social media network. With no past criminal record, Ms. Gonzalez Camacho was sentenced to one year in prison, but will avoid jail time under a plea bargain.

It was the first verdict of its kind involving tweets in Spain, and the case has touched on issues of where precisely the cultural, political and legal red lines lie in a country that not long ago lived under both the grip of Fascist dictatorship and the threat of leftist terrorism.

Ill chief seeks re-election

ALGIERS, Algeria -- Algeria's president, who hasn't publicly addressed the country for nearly three years and suffered a stroke last year, will be running for a fourth term in April, his prime minister said Saturday.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, left it to Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to break the news at a news conference in the western city of Oran.

Militant lair attacked

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani helicopter gunships targeted a militant training facility in the country's northwest on Saturday, killing nine insurgents in the latest violence to disrupt troubled peace negotiations, according to police and security officials.

The strikes came as a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban rejected a government demand that the militant movement halt attacks, saying the government should be first announce a cease-fire.

Italy's youngest premier

ROME -- Matteo Renzi became Italy's youngest premier Saturday, promising a new era of stable government after using old-school politicking to engineer the ouster of a fellow Democrat whom he deemed too timid to get the nation back to work.

Mr. Renzi, 39, quit his post as Florence mayor to take up his first national government job, insisting Italy's political leadership needed to be bolder. He tweeted before being sworn in that it will be "tough" but "we'll do it."


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