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February 14, 2014

News Briefs February 14, 2014

Suspicious packages sent to U.K. army centers

Bomb-disposal teams have been dispatched and streets cordoned off after suspicious packages were sent to several British Army recruitment offices in southern England.

Counter terrorism police said packages were found Feb. 13 in the towns of Oxford, Slough and Brighton, while similar packages were found earlier this week in Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.

The Ministry of Defence said military explosives teams were supporting the police investigation.

There was no immediate confirmation of whether the packages concartained explosives.

Police said all army careers offices and post offices had been told to be extra vigilant. AP

Russia welcomes Egypts army chief on rare visit

Egypts military chief is meeting with the Russian defense minister in Moscow on this first trip abroad since ousting the countrys Islamist president.

The high-profile visit comes amid reports of a $2 billion deal with Russia to be funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and is part of Egypts shift to reduce reliance on the United States.

At the start of the Feb. 13 meeting with Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested the arms deal was in the works.

He said they would discuss the rather important issues of military and military-technical cooperations, their current state and prospects for the future.

Shoigu said Russia believed el-Sissi had been effective in restoring stability to Egypt and supported his efforts to fight terrorists. AP

Afghanistan frees 65 inmates U.S. calls dangerous

An Afghan official says the government has freed 65 accused militants from a former U.S. prison despite protests from the American military. The U.S. has called the men dangerous fighters who will likely return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces.

Prison spokesman Maj. Nimatullah Khaki says all 65 were freed the morning of Feb. 13. He says they were laughing and smiling as they boarded a bus to leave the facility.

President Hamid Karzai ordered their release several weeks ago from the Parwan Detention Facility, drawing angry denunciations from the U.S. and straining relations between the two countries ahead of the year-end withdrawal of most international combat troops.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan say the men have the blood of international and Afghan soldiers on their hands. AP

Airbus gets order for 20 of its superjumbo A380s

Airbus announced its second major order of the Singapore Airshow with a deal Feb. 12 to deliver 20 of its superjumbo A380s to leasing company Amedeo.

The planes are worth about $8.3 billion but list prices are often discounted for big buyers.

The order is a boost for the European plane maker because A380 sales have fallen short of expectations.

Amedeo CEO Mark Lapidus said the A380s will be delivered between 2016 and 2020.

A day earlier, low cost carrier VietJetAir signed a deal to buy more than 90 Airbus A320 jets worth about $9.1 billion at sticker prices. AP




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Courtesy photograph

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