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OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors jlms qkw, Bentliberal, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir and ScottyUrb, guest editors maggiejean and annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains

 

BBC:Pakistan blasts: Shia refuse to bury Quetta bomb dead


Pakistan blasts: Shia refuse to bury Quetta bomb dead

Pakistan's minority Shia community has protested angrily over what it says is a lack of protection in the city of Quetta, a day after almost 100 people died there in a series of blasts.

Leaders of the community have refused to bury the dead until security is improved.

One Shia leader publicly criticised army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani.

Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi said it carried out the deadliest attack in Quetta on Thursday.


BBC:US troops will end 'most' Afghanistan combat this spring

US troops will end 'most' Afghanistan combat this spring

US troops in Afghanistan will end "most" combat operations this spring, US President Barack Obama and Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai have agreed.

American forces are expected to switch to a support role, slightly earlier than originally scheduled, as Afghan troops take the security lead.

The two leaders also backed the holding of talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar.

Most of the 66,000 US troops in Afghanistan are due to leave in 2014


BBC:Rebels 'take control of key north Syria airbase'

Rebels 'take control of key north Syria airbase'

Rebel are reported to have taken control of a strategic military airbase in north-western Syria after weeks of fierce fighting with government forces.

Online videos appeared to show rebels celebrating inside Taftanaz airport, alongside tanks and helicopters.

Helicopters based there have been used to attack rebel-held areas.

Meanwhile, talks in Geneva between the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, and senior US and Russian diplomats ended without a breakthrough.


BBC:Bolivia achieves coca-chewing victory at United Nations

Bolivia achieves coca-chewing victory at United Nations

Bolivia has achieved a victory in its campaign to decriminalise the chewing of coca leaves.

It has been re-admitted to the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a special dispensation recognising the practice as legal in Bolivia.

Bolivia withdrew from the convention last year in protest at its classification of the coca leaf as an illegal drug.

The chewing of coca leaves is a centuries-old tradition in Bolivia.  


BBC:Mali and France 'push back Islamists'

Mali and France 'push back Islamists'

Government forces in Mali say they have regained territory from Islamist militants following air strikes by the French military.

Malian officials said they had taken back the strategic central town of Konna, which rebels had secured just a day earlier as they pushed south.

The news came hours after France announced it had begun military operations in support of Mali's army.

Armed groups, some linked to al-Qaeda, took control of northern Mali in April.


BBC:Central African Republic ceasefire signed

Central African Republic ceasefire signed

Rebels fighting the government in the Central African Republic have signed a formal ceasefire following talks in Gabon.

The rebels and president agreed to the formation of a unity government, which will reportedly be formed on Saturday.

The Seleka rebel alliance took control of northern and eastern CAR in a four-week offensive starting on 10 December.

It has accused President Francois Bozize of breaking previous peace deals.


Reuters:Wall Street Week Ahead: Attention turns to financial earnings

Wall Street Week Ahead: Attention turns to financial earnings

(Reuters) - After over a month of watching Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue, Wall Street can get back to what it knows best: Wall Street.

The first full week of earnings season is dominated by the financial sector - big investment banks and commercial banks - just as retail investors, free from the "fiscal cliff" worries, have started to get back into the markets.

Equities have risen in the new year, rallying after the initial resolution of the fiscal cliff in Washington on January 2. The S&P 500 on Friday closed its second straight week of gains, leaving it just fractionally off a five-year closing high hit on Thursday.

An array of financial companies - including Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) - will report on Wednesday. Bank of America (BAC.N) and Citigroup (C.N) will join on Thursday.


Reuters:Flu reaches epidemic level in U.S., says CDC

Flu reaches epidemic level in U.S., says CDC

(Reuters) - Influenza has officially reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with 7.3 percent of deaths last week caused by pneumonia and the flu, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

The early start and fast spread of flu this season - especially after 2011-2012's very mild outbreak - has overwhelmed doctors' offices and hospitals, forcing some patients to wait through the night to be seen in emergency departments.

Nine of the 10 U.S. regions had "elevated" flu activity last week, confirming that seasonal flu has spread across the country and reached high levels several weeks before the usual late January or February, CDC reported.

Only one region - the Southwest and California - had "normal" flu activity last week.

Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from flu, even in non-epidemic years. The threshold for an epidemic is that it causes more than 7.2 percent of deaths, but as yet there is no definitive count of the total caused by flu this year.


Reuters:Exclusive: Readying for Sandy, New Jersey Transit erred in modeling storm

Exclusive: Readying for Sandy, New Jersey Transit erred in modeling storm

(Reuters) - New Jersey Transit incorrectly used federal government software that otherwise could have warned officials against a disastrous decision to leave $100 million worth of equipment in a low-lying rail yard before Superstorm Sandy struck, a Reuters examination has found.

The agency based its decision, at least in part, on software provided by the National Weather Service that allows users to simulate an approaching hurricane and show areas vulnerable to flooding from storm surge, according to Sandy-related forecast documents obtained by Reuters from New Jersey Transit. Exactly how the agency used the software is unclear because the agency declined to answer any specific questions.

Reuters asked for the documents that New Jersey Transit relied upon in deciding to leave the trains at its Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny, New Jersey. Among the documents was a screen-shot of storm predication software that indicated the user had the storm traveling northeast, away from the New York area, while moving at the wrong speed.

As a result, the software predicted surges that were about half the levels actually forecast - errors that underestimated the threat to the Meadows complex.


Reuters:A grandmother, a new bunker lead to India-Pakistan clashes

A grandmother, a new bunker lead to India-Pakistan clashes

(Reuters) - A grandmother who slipped across one of the world's most guarded frontiers and a new border post being built in response could have been the catalysts for the worst flare-up between the armies of India and Pakistan since 2003, a newspaper report and a resident said.

At least four soldiers, two from each side, have been killed in clashes since last Sunday in disputed Kashmir, where the nuclear-armed enemies are separated by a Line of Control (LoC) set up in 1948.

Taken together, it is the worst violation of a nine-year ceasefire along the 740-km (460-mile) zig-zag line across the mountainous Himalayan region, although exchanges of gun and mortar fire are commonplace. Both armies are said to maintain snipers and special assault teams close to the line.

"It still is an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation. On some days, people can't step out of the post. If you come out for water, there is firing," said Gurmeet Kanwal, a retired Indian army brigadier who has commanded troops on the line.


Reuters:U.S., Russia talks on Syria end without breakthrough

U.S., Russia talks on Syria end without breakthrough

(Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi and envoys from Russia and the United States - backers of opposing sides in Syria's civil war - failed to make a breakthrough in talks on Friday seeking a political solution to the conflict.

"We stressed again that in our view there was no military solution to this conflict," Brahimi said in a joint statement read out after his closed-door talks in Geneva with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

They agreed on the need to reach a political solution based on an agreement reached by foreign powers in Geneva last June, which called for a transitional period in Syria. That left open the question of what role, if any, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would have.

That appeared to be sticking on point at Friday's meeting.


Reuters:China sends troops to border with conflict-torn Myanmar: media

China sends troops to border with conflict-torn Myanmar: media

(Reuters) - China has sent soldiers to its border with Myanmar amid concern that escalating violence between the Southeast Asian country's government and ethnic separatists is spilling over, an official Chinese newspaper reported on Friday.

The Global Times said that troops were sent to the border between China's Yunnan Province and Myanmar's northern Kachin State "to understand the situation". It did not give any details on the number or type of soldiers.

"On the night of the 9th, there was shelling in Kachin, and residents of the unstable area quickly ran inside the Chinese border to pass the night in peace," the report said. Yunnan is home to an ethnic Kachin population.

The Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, carried an article on its website from the Changjiang Daily newspaper describing artillery shells exploding on a mountain in Yingjiang County, which borders Myanmar.


USA Today:Feds warn PC users to disable Java due to security flaw

Feds warn PC users to disable Java due to security flaw

The Department of Homeland Security is urging computer users to disable or uninstall the Java programming language because of a serious security vulnerability.

The flaw in Java 7 "can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system," according to a warning posted Thursday by the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Hundreds of millions of consumers and businesses may be affected.

Hackers could exploit the flaw to install malicious software or malware that could make users vulnerable to identity theft or allow their computers to be exploited by "botnets" that could crash networks or be used to attack web sites.  

 
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