World briefs: Snowden's dad plans a visit

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WASHINGTON -- Edward J. Snowden's father and the family's lawyer said Sunday that they had obtained visas to visit the former intelligence contractor in Russia and indicated that they would encourage him to return to the United States to face federal charges for revealing secret U.S. surveillance programs to journalists, but only if acceptable trial conditions could be negotiated.

"What I would like," said Lon Snowden, the father, "is for this to be vetted in open court, for the American people to have all the facts."

He said he favored his son's return if a fair trial was assured. As for a possible plea deal, he said, "I'm not open to it, and that's what I'll share with my son."

Appearing on the ABC News program "This Week," Lon Snowden and the family's lawyer, Bruce Fein, declined to say when they would visit, to avoid what Mr. Fein called a news media "frenzy," but they said it would be soon.

France mosque plot arrest

PARIS -- The French Interior Ministry says a military serviceman who was planning an attack on a mosque has been arrested.

In a statement Sunday, the ministry said a 23-year-old man, who was stationed at an air base near the city of Lyon, was "close to ideas of the extreme, radical right." The statement said the man was planning to fire on a mosque in the area. It did not say when he was taken into custody. The ministry did not immediately respond to requests for more details.

Militant extreme-right groups have become more visible recently in France, and the government has stepped up its efforts to track and disband them.

The statement said that "no tolerance will be afforded" to radicals.

NATO soldiers killed

NEW DELHI -- Three NATO soldiers were killed Sunday in an attack by militants in eastern Afghanistan, the international coalition said.

The soldiers, whose nationalities were not immediately available in line with policy, were killed in eastern Paktia province bordering Pakistan, the alliance said in a statement, blaming "enemies of Afghanistan."

The violence came amid reports that at least 22 Afghans were killed by flooding near Kabul, the nation's capital.

2 suspects in acid attack

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania -- Police in Zanzibar said Sunday they have arrested two suspects in last week's acid attack on two British women on the east African holiday island.

The women, both aged 18 and volunteering at a charity, were attacked in the streets of the island's capital, Stone Town, on Wednesday. The assailants fled on a motorcycle. There has been no indication of their motive.

23 missing in typhoon

MANILA, Philippines -- A powerful typhoon made landfall in the northern Philippines today, toppling power lines and dumping heavy rains across mountains, cities and food-growing plains and leaving at least 23 fishermen missing.

Typhoon Utor, described as the strongest typhoon globally so far this year, slammed ashore in mountainous eastern Aurora province with sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 210 kph (130 mph).

About 1,000 residents in the central Bicol region spent the night in shelters while Aurora province was without power, the national disaster agency said. Radio stations reported roofs were blown off and a covered basketball court washed away in Dinalungan town.

-- Compiled from news services



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