World Briefs: Poisoning case tarnishes top dog show

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LONDON — The world’s biggest dog show was thrust into a murder mystery fit for an Agatha Christie novel when a champion Irish setter died after its owner said it had been fed steak laced with poison.

The death of 3-year-old Jagger rocked Britain’s Crufts show, held annually since the reign of Queen Victoria, and unnerved a dog-showing world that some fear may have just become too competitive.

Jagger died at his co-owner’s home in Belgium, and some British newspapers have speculated that he might have been a victim of mistaken identity as his half-brother Pot Noodle is another successful show dog.

Owners flock to a cavernous conference center outside Birmingham for Crufts, entering their pedigree dogs against 21,500 others in a series of competitions that culminate in Best in Show.

A Scottish terrier from Russia won that title on Sunday, two days after Jagger’s death.

Nemtsov plot claims vex

MOSCOW — Russian authorities appeared Monday to bolster claims that opposition activist Boris Nemtsov was killed by an Islamist gunman over perceived criticism of Muslims, deepening skepticism among Mr. Nemtsov’s supporters that justice will be served. The trajectory of the Russian probe into the Feb. 27 slaying shifts attention away from potential motives related to Mr. Nemtsov’s strident opposition of President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin critic’s allies insist was the reason he was targeted.

Russian news outlets, citing unnamed sources, identified the shooter as Zaur Dadayev, a suspect who reportedly confessed Sunday to a role in the slaying.

Chechens and other residents of the North Caucasus have been charged in previous killings of Kremlin critics, such as the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

German killed in fighting

BEIRUT — A young German woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria was killed over the weekend in clashes with Islamic State fighters, Kurdish officials and a Turkey-based communist group said on Monday.

The woman, Ivana Hoffmann, was killed in a village near the town of Tel Tamr in northeastern Syria, Kurdish official Nasir Haj Mansour said. She had joined female Kurdish fighting units, known as the YPJ, two to three months ago, he said.

Nigeria offensive rages

N’DJAMENA, Chad — Soldiers from Chad and Niger launched the largest international push to defeat Nigeria’s Islamic extremists, Boko Haram, whose war has spilled over into neighboring countries, officials and witnesses said Monday.

The new offensive includes troops from Niger for the first time, in addition to Chadian forces that were already carrying out missions in Nigeria, Chadian Brig. Gen. Zakaria Ngobongue said Monday.

Also in the world …

Palestinian security forces detained dozens of supporters of Hamas in raids across the West Bank overnight, the Islamist group said Monday, calling it the biggest round-up in years as internal Palestinian tensions rise. … Two female tourists from California have been cited by police in Rome for carving their initials into a wall at the city’s ancient Colosseum and then taking a selfie to record the vandalism, Italian state media said Monday.



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