World briefs: Murdoch quits directorships, Taliban attack rival, papal aide under house arrest

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Murdoch quits directorships

LONDON -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has resigned as a director of a number of News Corp. boards overseeing his Britain newspapers, a spokeswoman confirmed Saturday. He also quit from some of the media company's subsidiary boards in the United States.

Mr. Murdoch stepped down last week as a director of NI Group, Times Newspaper Holdings and News Corp. Investments in the U.K., said Daisy Dunlop, spokeswoman for News Corp.'s British arm, News International. The companies oversee The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times.

It was not immediately clear which of News Corp.'s U.S. boards Mr. Murdoch had left.

Saturday's announcement suggests that Mr. Murdoch, 81, may be distancing himself from his British newspaper interests, which have been shaken to the core by a widespread phone hacking scandal.

Taliban attack rival

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked a rival militant commander's compound in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 10 people, as heavily armed assailants killed eight members of the coast guard in the southwest, officials said.

The compound that was attacked in Spin Dal village in the Orakzai tribal area was owned by militant commander Mullah Nabi, said senior tribal police official Amjad Khan. Mr. Nabi was once a close ally to a prominent Pakistani Taliban commander from Orakzai, Mullah Toofan, but the two are now fierce rivals.

Papal aide's house arrest

VATICAN CITY -- Paolo Gabriele, the former papal butler suspected of leaking confidential documents, was put under house arrest Saturday after two months in secure confinement as he awaits a decision on whether he will be tried on a charge of aggravated theft, a Vatican spokesman said.

Mr. Gabriele, who was arrested May 23, was allowed to return to his home inside Vatican City after a seven-hour interrogation that his lawyers said helped to clarify his position to a Vatican tribunal, which concluded the investigative phase of the case.

Blast halts oil flow

ANKARA, Turkey -- An explosion and fire have shut down a pipeline that carries oil from Iraq to world markets, an official said Saturday. No one was hurt in the blast.

The explosion late Friday hit a section of a pipeline that takes oil from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, near the southeastern town of Midyat, said an Energy Ministry official.

Riot shuts car plant

NEW DELHI -- India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, said Saturday it will not resume production at a factory hit by rioting during a labor dispute until an investigation is complete into the causes of the violence, which killed one executive and injured dozens of others.

The plant halted production Wednesday night because of fire damage caused by the rioting. The company is a subsidiary of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp.

Also in the world . . .

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has signed the protocol for the country to join the World Trade Organization, the Kremlin announced Saturday. ... The number of foreign visitors to Japan in June totaled 686,600, up 1.4 percent from June 2010 and surpassing for the first time the level for the same month from before the March 2011 earthquake, the nation announced Friday.

-- Compiled from news services



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