Sri Lanka deploys troops for flood relief operations

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Thousands of Sri Lankan troops have launched a massive operation to rescue nearly a million people affected by floods in the central, north and eastern provinces. The flooding has killed at least 13 people, officials said. More than 28,000 troops, backed by transport helicopters and navy boats, are rescuing flood victims and delivering food, authorities said. It is the biggest troops operation since the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels one-and-a-half years ago. Read more at CNN.

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Suspects charged in death of Gaelic footballer’s wife

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Three suspects appeared in a Mauritius court Wednesday in connection with the death of Michaela Harte-McAreavey, daughter of a leading Irish sports figure and wife of Gaelic football star John McAreavey. The three men are all employees of a luxury hotel where the 27-year-old newlywed was found strangled Monday, according to the Mauritius Police Force. Read more at CNN.

Lawmaker: U.S. subpoenaed Twitter information linked to WikiLeaks

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U.S. officials have subpoenaed information on the social media website Twitter about Julian Assange and several other prominent supporters of WikiLeaks, an Icelandic lawmaker named in documents said Saturday. A federal court in Virginia has ordered Twitter to provide information for each account registered to Assange, U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, Rop Gonggrijp, a reported computer hacker from the Netherlands, and Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of parliament in Iceland and a former volunteer with WikiLeaks, according to documents sent to CNN by Jonsdottir. Read more at CNN.

‘Muhammad cartoon plotters’ charged in Denmark court

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Three men have been charged in a Danish court with attempting to carry out an act of terrorism. They were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of plotting to attack the offices of a newspaper which printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. A fourth man has been released while a fifth, arrested in Sweden, is still being held in Stockholm. Read more at BBC.

Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops

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A ban on plastic bags is coming into effect in Italy, which has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe. The ban begins in shops across Italy on 1 January, with only biodegradable, cloth or paper bags to be offered. Italians use 20 billion plastic bags a year – more than 300 per person. Read more at BBC.

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