World briefs: 30 die in raids on churches

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- At least 30 people were killed after suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked churches on Sunday near Chibok in Nigeria's northeast Borno state where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted, a vigilante group leader said.

The Islamist militants attacked several churches in the northeastern villages of Kwada and Kautikari in the Chibok district, Abba Aji Khalil, chairman of a vigilante group in Borno state, said in a phone interview Sunday.

Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain a campaign of violence by Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Islamic law on Africa's most populous nation.

Ukraine talks intensify

MOSCOW -- The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France spoke by telephone Sunday about how to stop the fighting in eastern Ukraine, which has continued despite a cease-fire called by the government that insurgent leaders said they would join.

No concrete new steps to end the violence were announced after the call, which included Presidents Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Francois Hollande of France, along with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

But the four leaders agreed to keep talking during the coming days. That appeared to further reduce any chance that the European nations would soon impose new sanctions against Russia for doing too little to end the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, where rebel leaders include a number of Russian citizens.

Central bankers criticized

LONDON -- Central bank policy makers have expressed concern this year that low market volatility is masking future risks. In fact, they're helping cause the issue they bemoan, the Bank for International Settlements said Sunday.

Record-low interest rates and unconventional monetary easing by the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan reduced price swings across markets, the BIS wrote in its annual report. That's prompted investors to take greater risks to maintain returns, even amid an uncertain global recovery, according to the BIS, which acts as a central bank for the world's monetary authorities.

Building collapse toll rises

NEW DELHI -- Police in southern India detained five construction company officials Sunday as rescuers using gas cutters and shovels searched for dozens of workers believed buried in the rubble of a building that collapsed during monsoon rains. It was one of two weekend building collapses that killed at least 26 people.

Nearly 90 contract workers were believed to have been in the basement of the 11-story structure to collect their wages when it collapsed Saturday on the outskirts of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.

Police said eight died on the spot and another seven succumbed to injuries in a hospital. Another 20 people have been pulled out alive.

Also in the world ...

South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius's murder trial is set to resume today after the end of a 30-day psychiatric evaluation to determine if he can be held criminally responsible for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. ... A 17-year-old girl and her 30-year-old husband were hacked to death by her family for marrying without its consent, and another young woman died after being burned alive by a man for refusing his proposal -- both incidents occurring in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, police said Sunday.

-- Compiled from news services


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