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Italy’s borrowing costs shot up Wednesday on fears that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi would linger in office, prompting the country’s president to promise that Mr. Berlusconi would likely be out by Saturday.

SUDAN

Officials: Sudan bombs South Sudan, kills 12

NAIROBI, KENYA | Military aircraft from Sudan crossed the new international border with South Sudan and dropped bombs Thursday in and around a camp filled with refugees fleeing violence in the north, officials said.

At least 12 people were killed.

The violence in and near the Yida refugee camp, located 10 miles south of the border, came a day after bombings were reported in another region of South Sudan, an attack that provoked strong condemnation from the U.S. State Department.

The president of South Sudan, which became the world’s newest country only four months ago, said he fears the Khartoum-based government intends to invade the south soon.

VATICAN CITY

Pope may visit Cuba, Mexico in spring

The Vatican said Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI is looking into visiting Cuba and Mexico next spring, traveling to a region where about half of the world’s Catholics live and where Pope John Paul II made historic visits during his pontificate.

The announcement marked the first word from the Vatican of a possible foreign trip for the pontiff next year, and signals that despite his age - he turns 85 in April - and increasing frailty, the pope intends to travel far to meet the world’s Catholics.

Mexico is poised to take Brazil’s place as the world’s top Catholic nation, although the church is losing members in both countries.

The church in Cuba, meanwhile, has taken on a prominent role recently in negotiating the release of jailed dissidents.

EGYPT

Attackers blow up gas line, halting exports

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