World Briefs

EU receives Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway – European leaders are in Norway to collect the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the European Union for fostering peace on a continent ravaged by war.

Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland will present the prize, worth $1.2 million, at a ceremony in Oslo City Hall later Monday. About 20 European government leaders are to attend the ceremonies and an evening banquet.

This year’s prize comes against a backdrop of protests as the EU grapples with its worst financial crisis, which is causing deep tensions within the union, soaring unemployment and requiring massive austerity measures.

Netanyahu: World has double standards

JERUSALEM – Israel’s prime minister on Monday accused the international community of “deafening silence” in response to recent vows by the head of the Hamas militant group to fight on until the Jewish state is destroyed, and appeared unmoved by the gathering storm of global condemnation of his government’s plans to continue settling the West Bank.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s tough words were likely to deepen the rift between Israel and some of its closest allies, particularly in Europe, that has emerged since the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of Palestinian independence last month. In a sign of the tense relations, European Union foreign ministers were gathered in Brussels to condemn new settlement construction that Netanyahu has authorized in response to the U.N. decision.

Speaking to foreign reporters, Netanyahu accused the international community of having double standards, condemning not-yet-built settlements in the West Bank while standing quiet during a historic visit to the Gaza Strip by Hamas’ exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal.

Attacks kill Afghan police chief, official

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A Taliban bombing killed an Afghan provincial police chief and gunmen fatally shot an official in charge of women’s affairs on Monday – the latest victims of a campaign targeting government officials across Afghanistan.

The police chief for Nimroz province was travelling home from neighboring Herat province when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the morning hours, said the chief’s secretary Obaidullah, who goes by only one name.

The police chief, Gen. Mohammad Musa Rasouli, was seriously wounded and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his wounds, said the secretary.

Associated Press