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AFGHANISTAN

Taliban attack road crew in south

KABUL | Taliban fighters attacked a road construction crew Thursday in southern Afghanistan, and several people were killed and wounded, officials and witnesses said.

Also Thursday, the U.S. command said an American service member was killed the day before in fighting in the south, where Afghan and international forces were pushing into areas long held by Taliban insurgents. The death brought to at least 17 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month. Sixty-six American troops died in July - the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the nearly nine-year-old war.

SOUTH KOREA

South blocks access to North’s Twitter feed

SEOUL | South Korea has blocked North Korea’s new Twitter account from being accessed in the South, saying the tweets contain “illegal information” under the country’s security laws, officials said Thursday.

North Korea announced last week that it has a Twitter account and a YouTube channel in an apparent effort to boost its propaganda war against South Korea and the U.S.

The Twitter account gained more than 8,500 followers in a week, though it has posted just 30 tweets linking to reports that praise North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and lambast South Korea and the U.S. over their ongoing joint military drills.

North Korea, one of the world’s most secretive countries, blocks Internet access for all but the elite among its 24 million citizens but is believed to have a keen interest in information technology.

AUSTRALIA

Scientists: Waves can power country

SINGAPORE | Waves crashing on to Australia’s southern shores each year contain enough energy to power the country three times over, scientists said this week in a study that underscores the scale of Australia’s green energy.

The research, in the latest issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, comes as the nation is struggling to wean itself of years of using cheap, polluting coal to power the economy and to put a price on carbon emissions.

Oceanographers Mark Hemer and David Griffin from the state-funded research body the CSIRO looked at how wave energy propagates across the continental shelf and how much is lost. The aim was to build a picture of the amount of energy on an annual basis and how reliable that source is.

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