World

10:01pm

Wed January 25, 2012
Middle East

Growing Pressures Prompt Plunge In Iranian Currency

An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran on Monday. Gold coins were being exchanged for over 10 million rials as the Iranian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

The value of Iran's currency — which had been sliding steadily for months — took another plunge this week. Faced with new economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the rial now seems to be in free fall.

But at least part of the dive could be linked to currency manipulation by the government itself in an effort to fund candidates in upcoming elections.

In images posted on the Internet, hundreds of Iranians are seen gathered outside the headquarters of the Bank Melli in Tehran Monday. They wanted to buy dollars, but there were no dollars to be had.

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10:03am

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Europe Lacks Structures To Make Euro Work Properly, Merkel Says

Europe does not now have the "political structures" to make the euro work properly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told world leaders today.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, The Associated Press reports, "she said the weaknesses 'arose over years — so they can't be overcome at one fell swoop.' "

But, Merkel added, "we are determined to do this."

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5:42am

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Marine Accused In Killing Of 24 Iraqis In Haditha Will Serve No Jail Time

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich (R) walking into court with his defense attorney Neal Puckette for opening statements in the Haditha murders trial at Camp Pendleton on Jan. 9.
Sandy Huffaker AFP/Getty Images

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who pleaded guilty of dereliction of duty in connection with the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha, apologized during his sentencing hearing yesterday.

The AP reports:

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5:04am

Wed January 25, 2012
The Two-Way

In Daring Raid, Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Kidnappers

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 3:37 pm

Jessica Buchanan.
- AFP/Getty Images

In a daring raid reminiscent of the kind used to kill Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs swooped into Somalia Wednesday morning and rescued two aid workers, who had been held by pirates for months.

The New York Times reports the soldiers came in by helicopter and engaged in a firefight that killed nine pirates. The SEALs left with Jessica Buchanan, a 32-year-old American, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, who were injury free and on their way home.

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10:01pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Africa

Nigeria's President Under Pressure To Quell Violence

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) walks with the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero during a one-day visit to the city that was rocked by recent attacks.
Aminu Abuabakar AFP/Getty Images

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling city of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the street remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.

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