World briefs: Afghan 'insider' kills 2 U.S. soldiers

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KABUL -- An Afghan police officer opened fire Monday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least two members of the U.S. Special Operations forces and five Afghan troops and police officers, officials said.

The "insider attack," one of the deadliest this year, occurred in Wardak during a meeting between U.S. and Afghan troops ahead of a joint mission.

The attacker seized a machine gun in the back of a police truck and fired on the U.S. and Afghan forces in a police compound, an Afghan military official said. The attacker was reported killed in the ensuing firefight.

About a dozen U.S. and Afghan troops were injured, including the district police chief, officials said.

2 Venezuelans expelled

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has expelled two Venezuelan diplomats in retaliation for Venezuela's expulsion of two U.S. military attaches.

Washington wants to repair ties with Venezuela after Hugo Chavez's death but has made little headway. Shortly before he died last week, Venezuela expelled two U.S. Air Force attaches in Caracas for alleged espionage. The Obama administration waited until after Chavez's funeral Friday to announce reciprocal action.

Qatar finds gas deposit

DOHA, Qatar -- Qatar, the emirate with the third-largest global reserves of natural gas, found a deposit with 2.5 trillion cubic feet of the fuel, its first discovery since uncovering the world's biggest gas field 42 years ago.

State-run Qatar Petroleum, German-based Wintershall and Japan's Mitsui plan to develop the reservoir in a 338 square-mile area called block 4N off the Persian Gulf state's northern coast, the companies said Sunday.

2,800 dead pigs in river

BEIJING -- More than 2,800 dead pigs have been found in a major river that flows through Shanghai, igniting fears among city residents of contaminated tap water, according to state media reports Monday.

Officials were trying to determine who dumped the carcasses into the Huangpu River. Some reports blamed farmers. Officials are trying to track the source of the pigs from marks on their ears, and a preliminary inquiry found the dumping occurred in Zhejiang province, which is south of Shanghai and upstream on the Huangpu.

Tsunami's 2nd anniversary

TOKYO -- Japan on Monday marked the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and has displaced more than 300,000.

At observances in Tokyo and in still barren towns along the northeastern coast, those gathered bowed their heads in a moment of silence marking the moment, at 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake -- the strongest recorded in Japan's history -- struck off the coast.

More sharks regulated

HONG KONG -- Delegates at a major meeting on wildlife trade voted Monday to add several shark species to a list of plants and animals whose international trade is regulated -- a move that was welcomed by conservationists but that remains subject to final approval later this week.

The decisions on the five shark species -- the Oceanic Whitetip, the porbeagle and three types of hammerhead sharks -- were among the major proposals at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Bangkok this month.

Scientists and conservationists long have argued that shark populations have come under severe pressure, largely because of soaring demand in China and several other Asian nations.



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