World briefs (11/7/12)

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S. African miners possibly framed

JOHANNESBURG -- South African police may have altered evidence and planted weapons after they shot dead 34 striking miners near Lonmin's Marikana mines in August, according to photographic evidence presented at a commission of inquiry into the killings.

Photographs taken by police the night after the shootings show more weapons by the dead bodies than there were in photographs taken immediately after the violence on Aug. 16. Thousands of miners had gathered at hills in Marikana about58 miles northwest of Johannesburg where 34 miners were shot dead by police and 78 wounded in the worst state violence since the end of apartheid in 1994.

South Africa is conducting a commission of inquiry to look into the parties responsible for 46 deaths, including two policemen and two security guards, during nearly six weeks of strikes at the Lonmin Marikana mines.

Lethal blast rocks Iraqi base

BAGHDAD -- A blast at a military base north of Baghdad killed more than two dozen people Tuesday, but there were conflicting accounts of what caused the explosion.

A police official said a car bomb exploded in a parking lot near a recruitment center at the base, in Taji, 12 miles north of Baghdad, but an Iraqi army source said a suicide bomber mingled with a crowd at the gate.

Greece to vote on new cuts

ATHENS, Greece -- Destabilized by scandals yet held together by a lack of alternatives, the Greek government was expected today to push a raft of politically toxic new austerity measures through Parliament, a move aimed at securing international financing and ensuring that the debt-wracked nation will remain in the euro.

But anticipated defections among members of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' three-party coalition have deepened the fragility of his government, reviving questions about how long it can hold together. On the streets, austerity-weary Greeks kicked off two days of nationwide strikes Tuesday to protest the new measures, which will total $23 billion over the next four years.

The measures, which are expected to pass by a razor-thin margin in Parliament, are required to unlock $40 billion in rescue funding that the country needs to meet expenses.

China threatens cyberspace?

WASHINGTON -- China is "the most threatening actor in cyberspace" as its intelligence agencies and hackers use increasingly sophisticated techniques to gain access to U.S. military computers and defense contractors, according to the draft of an annual report mandated by Congress.

Chinese hackers are moving into "increasingly advanced types of operations or operations against specialized targets," such as sensors and apertures on deployed U.S. military platforms, according to a draft report by the U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission. "Chinese penetrations of defense systems threaten the U.S. military's readiness and ability to operate."

Also in the world ...

France's government has promised (euro) 20 billion ($25 billion) in tax credits to businesses as part of a "competitiveness pact" that it hopes will spark innovation and lower unemployment -- but falls short of calls in a recent report for a "shock" to the economy. The announcement of the plan Tuesday came a day after a government-commissioned report. ... Foreign purchasing power is at an all-time high in Iran because of a plunge in the value of the Iranian currency, the rial. As a result, international travelers sensing a good deal are venturing to a country that for decades has been considered off-limits to all but the most intrepid tourists.

-- Compiled from news services



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