- - Thursday, February 2, 2012

EGYPT

Police, protesters clash after soccer riot

CAIRO | Anger over a deadly soccer riot erupted in fresh clashes Thursday that injured nearly 400 people as security forces fired tear gas at fans and other protesters, who accused police of failing to stop the bloodshed.

The violence - which occurred as security had been deteriorating steadily - threatened to plunge the country into a new crisis nearly a year after a popular uprising forced former leader Hosni Mubarak to step down.

A network of rabid soccer fans known as Ultras vowed vengeance and accused the police of intentionally letting rivals attack them after Wednesday’s Egyptian league match in the seaside city of Port Said.

The Ultras have been at the forefront of protests over the past year, first against Mr. Mubarak and now against the military, which assumed power after his Feb. 11 ouster. Security officials said 74 people were killed in the world’s worst soccer violence in 15 years.

PAKISTAN

Supreme Court to charge premier with contempt

ISLAMABAD | Pakistan’s top court vowed Thursday to charge the prime minister with contempt for failing to reopen a corruption case against the president, escalating a crisis that could oust the premier from office.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told his parliament that he would appear before the Supreme Court as ordered to hear the charges against him on Feb. 13.

The political turmoil could complicate U.S. efforts to patch up its troubled anti-terror alliance with Pakistan and get the country to focus on helping wind down the decadelong war in neighboring Afghanistan.

SERBIA

11,000 trapped by snow in remote villages

BELGRADE | At least 11,000 villagers have been trapped by heavy snow and blizzards in Serbia’s mountains, authorities said Thursday as the death toll from Eastern Europe’s weeklong deep freeze rose to 123, many of them homeless people.

The harshest winter in decades has seen temperatures in some regions drop to minus 22 F and below and has caused power outages, traffic chaos and the widespread closure of schools, nurseries and airports.

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