- - Wednesday, October 17, 2012

JERUSALEM — A top Israeli defense official says Gaza is being flooded with sophisticated weapons from Libya and that the anti-aircraft missile fired last week at an Israeli helicopter likely originated there.

Yossi Kuperwasser, who directs the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, says “significant” numbers of weapons have been smuggled into the territory from Libya since the overthrow last year of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The country is awash in weapons after the eight-month civil war and has weak central authority.

Palestinian militants in Gaza launched a shoulder-fired Strela missile at an Israeli helicopter last week but missed. It was the first such launch from Gaza.

Mr. Kuperwasser said Wednesday that Israel has long assumed that Gaza militants have kept such weapons, but probably only fired them after they amassed a large enough stockpile.


Pakistani girl shot by Taliban faces long recovery

LONDON — A 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting female education has been doing better since she was airlifted to England for specialized treatment and has been moving her limbs, a Pakistani official said Wednesday.

Although it’s difficult to gauge what such an improvement might mean, given that the exact nature of Malala Yousufzai’s brain injuries have yet to be made public, one expert said the news is good.

“Any progress is hopeful,” said Dr. Jonathan Fellus, chief scientific officer at the New Jersey-based International Brain Research Foundation. “This is the natural course of recovery that we would expect.”

The Pakistani official said he had been briefed by doctors and that Malala’s condition was “definitely much better” since she arrived Monday in England. He added that the girl was moving her limbs, although he didn’t elaborate.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where Malala is being treated, released a statement Wednesday saying Malala was in “stable condition and continued to impress doctors by responding well to her care,” but didn’t go into detail.


Australia agrees to nuclear-energy deal

NEW DELHI — India and Australia agreed Wednesday to begin negotiations on civil nuclear-energy cooperation that would eventually allow the export of Australian uranium to the energy-starved South Asian nation.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard met with her Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, on the last day of a three-day visit. They discussed strategic and economic ties in addition to nuclear energy.

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