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SUDAN

Egypt, Libya meet ahead of south vote

KHARTOUM | The leaders of Egypt and Libya were in Khartoum, Sudan, on Tuesday for talks with Sudanese leaders on the future of Africa’s largest country ahead of a referendum that’s likely to break it into two.

The talks come less than three weeks before a Jan. 9 vote in the mainly animist and Christian south of Sudan on whether the region should secede.

Sudanese presidential spokesman Emad Sid Ahmed told reporters in Khartoum that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were to meet with Sudanese President Omar Bashir and southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir.

BELARUS

700 arrested; 2 candidates freed

MINSK | Two candidates arrested after Belarus’ presidential election have been freed, and one said the KGB tried to pressure him into renouncing his opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime.

Grigory Kostusyev spoke Tuesday as opposition figures tried to rally after the arrests of seven of the nine opposition challengers and the detention of nearly 700 people protesting alleged fraud in Sunday’s vote.

Mr. Kostusyev said he and another presidential candidate, Dmitry Uss, were freed late Monday, but added his 22-year-old son, Andrei, had been detained and beaten. Mr. Kostusyev said he had been held by the KGB, as the ex-Soviet republic’s security service is still called.

UNITED KINGDOM

Terrorist plot aimed at British landmarks

LONDON | British security officials say a large-scale terrorist attack was aimed at landmarks and public spaces, as more details of the plot emerged and police searched the homes of 12 British suspects being held for questioning.

The men were arrested Monday in the largest counterterrorism raid in nearly two years. At least five were of Bangladeshi origin.

Lord Carlile, the government’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, said Tuesday the reputed plot appeared significant and involved several U.K. cities. Possible targets included the houses of Parliament and shopping areas, according to a security official.

INDIA

India, Russia collaborate to develop fighter jet

NEW DELHI | Russia and India pledged Tuesday to share intelligence and work together to fight international terrorism as the two historic allies signed a clutch of agreements, including plans to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The stealth fighter jet would be the equivalent of the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor aircraft. The supersonic fighter aircraft escapes radar detection and is intended to replace the Indian air force’s aging Soviet-era MiG-29 jets. The new fighter jet is expected to make its first flight in 2016.

ITALY

Mayor: Subway device couldn’t explode

ROME | A suspicious package full of wires and powder was found Tuesday in a subway car in Rome, prompting a terrorism scare during the Christmas season. But the city’s mayor said the device was a “fake” that could not have exploded.

The device was found at around 10 a.m. inside a train at the Rebibbia station, on the outskirts of Italian capital. The train was at the end of the line and empty when the package was found, said Atac, which runs the Rome subway.

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