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Guardian: Brazilian police end strike in Bahia, but Rio walkout continues

Police have ended their strike in a north-eastern Brazilian state, though a similar action in Rio de Janeiro continues days before carnival draws 800,000 tourists.

Police in Bahia voted to end a 12-day walkout during which the homicide rate doubled to more than 130 in Salvador, the state capital.

The strikes stoked concerns about security for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Ivan Leite, one of the strike leaders in Bahia, said after a union meeting late on Saturday that mounting public pressure to halt the action before Salvador's carnival had influenced officers' decision.

BBC: Syria unrest: Arab League 'seeks peacekeeping mission'

The Arab League is calling for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping mission to end the 11-month conflict in Syria.

In a resolution agreed by its foreign ministers and seen by news agencies, it scrappehttp://www.blogger.com/... its observer team, suspended last month as violence increased.

The League said it was ending all diplomatic co-operation with Syria and urging contacts with the opposition.

BBC: Clashes erupt as Greek Parliament debates austerity measures
Police turned tear gas and stun grenades on protesters outside Greece's Parliament Sunday as lawmakers inside debated another round of austerity measures.

Riot police dispersed many of the demonstrators, who hurled stones as they protested plans for new cuts in government spending, wages and pensions in return for a new eurozone bailout of the debt-stricken country.

Several buildings, including a bank, cafes and a movie theater, in Athens were ablaze. Emergency crews could not reach the buildings because protesters were blocking streets, police said.

Twenty-five protesters and 40 officers were injured in the clashes, which occurred throughout the city, police said. Authorities detained at least 30 people.

Guardian: Baltasar Garzón protest draws 10,000 supporters
Thousands of people rallied on Sunday in Madrid in support of a disbarred judge well known for taking on international human rights cases.

Baltasar Garzón, 56, was convicted on 9 February by the supreme court of ordering illegal wiretaps. The panel of seven judges disbarred him for 11 years, effectively ending Garzón's career.

A large square outside the main gates of the supreme court filled with around 10,000 people, many carrying placards and banners calling for justice for the former judge and chanting, "Garzón, friend, Spain is with you".

In Thursday's verdict, the court ruled that Garzón acted unlawfully in ordering prison wiretaps of detainees talking to their lawyers, the court said, adding that his actions "these days are only found in totalitarian regimes".

BBC: Peru Shining Path leader Comrade Artemio captured
The leader of Peru's Shining Path rebel group has been captured, government officials have announced.

The guerrilla leader known as "Comrade Artemio" was found badly wounded after a clash with troops in a remote jungle region, the defence minister said.

The Maoist Shining Path movement posed a major challenge to the Peruvian state in the 1980s and 90s.

But it is now reduced to a small remnant that is heavily involved in the cocaine trade.

BBC: Malaysia deports Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari
Malaysian authorities have deported a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a tweet.

Police confirmed to the BBC that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests from human rights groups.

Mr Kashgari's controversial tweet last week sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats.

Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

CBS: Fuel removal on Italy cruise ship underway
Underwater pumping operations began Sunday to remove some of the 500,000 gallons of fuel aboard the Costa Concordia, officials said, nearly a month after the cruise ship ran aground off Tuscany.

After nearly two weeks of delays because of rough seas and bad weather, the pumping got under way on the first of 15 tanks that are believed to hold around 84 percent of the fuel on board, Italy's civil protection department said.

Officials say it will take 28 consecutive days of pumping to empty the tanks.

Dutch shipwreck salvage firm Smit is overseeing the operation, along with an Italian partner.

CBS: Whitney Houston's daughter out of hospital
Bobbi Kristina Brown, only child of the late singer Whitney Houston, has been released from an LA-area hospital, KCBS has confirmed, after she was rushed there in an ambulance following her mother's death.

Bobbi Kristina, 18, had been staying at the Beverly Hilton, the same hotel where her mother had registered to stay at for a pre-Grammy party Saturday night.

Beverly Hills police confirmed to KCBS that Bobbi Kristina was transported at 10:30 a.m. PT to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: WA Senate passes $100 annual electric car fee
The Washington state Senate has passed a bill to charge electric car owners a $100 annual fee to compensate for the lack of gas taxes they pay.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, the Camano Island Democrat who sponsored the bill, says while electric cars are good for the environment, they put the same wear and tear on the state's roads that gas vehicles do.

The same bill passed in the Senate last year but failed in the House.

Washington's gas tax stands at 37.5 cents per gallon, and is the state's largest source of transportation dollars.

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