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Briefs

Suicide bomber kills GI, 2 Afghans

– A Taliban suicide car bomber killed one American soldier and two Afghan civilians Thursday near a U.S. military base shortly after the visiting U.S. defense secretary left the facility in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

The attacker targeted a moving vehicle near the access gate to the military side of Kandahar’s airport, according to Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi.

It was unclear whether the blast had anything to do with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s unannounced visit to Kandahar Air Field earlier Thursday. The sprawling facility houses more than 20,000 service members from 20 countries and has more than 11,000 civilian contract workers.

Foreign minister of Israel indicted

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, among Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most influential allies, will be indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to press charges against Liberman on Thursday for receiving confidential information on a decade-long police investigation against him from the former ambassador to Belarus, who pleaded guilty in May. Prosecutors won’t press money-laundering charges against the foreign minister, which they earlier labeled the central part of the investigation, Weinstein said.

Liberman, 54, heads the second-largest party in Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government and struck an agreement with the prime minister to run on a joint ticket in next month’s election.

US leads snub of UN telecoms treaty

A disappointed American delegation led a Western snub of a U.N. telecommunications treaty Thursday after rivals, including Iran and China, won support for provisions interpreted as endorsing greater government control of the Internet.

A Western bloc led by a powerhouse U.S. delegation sought to stop any U.N. rules on cyberspace, fearing they could squeeze Web commerce and open the door for more restrictions and monitoring by authoritarian regimes that already impose wide-ranging clampdowns. The head of one tech industry group said it could “forever alter” the Web.

A rival group – including China, Russia, Gulf Arab states, African nations and others – favored U.N. backing for stronger government sway over Internet affairs and claimed the Western dominance of the Internet needed to be addressed.

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