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World news briefs — compiled Dec. 24

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EGYPT

Bomb kills 15 at police office

A powerful blast ripped through a police headquarters in an Egyptian Nile Delta city Tuesday while top security officials met to work out arrangements for an upcoming constitutional referendum, killing 15 people and wounding more than 100 in the deadliest bombing yet in a campaign of violence blamed on Islamic militants. The vote is a key step in the country’s political transition after the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.

SOUTH SUDAN

U.N. workers find mass grave

U.N. investigators discovered a mass grave in a rebel-held city in South Sudan, the United Nations said Tuesday, as a possible opening occurred for negotiations to avert civil war in the world’s newest country where ethnic violence has erupted. In New York, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to beef up its peacekeeping force in South Sudan. It condemned targeted violence against civilians and ethnic communities and called for “an immediate cessation of hostilities and the immediate opening of a dialogue.”

CANADA

5 dead amid cold, outages

Five people likely died from carbon-monoxide poisoning, police said Tuesday, as tens of thousands remain without power in below-freezing weather after a weekend ice storm. Police warned residents to avoid using generators and outdoor grills to heat their homes; 11 people were taken to Toronto hospitals Monday night with signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Officials said 85,000 customers in Toronto were still without power, down from 300,000 people at the height of the outages over the weekend.

URUGUAY

Marijuana law signed quietly

A spokesman for President Jose Mujica of Uruguay said the leader quietly signed into law the government’s plan to create a regulated, legal market for marijuana. Presidential secretary Diego Canepa said Tuesday that Mujica signed the legislation Monday night. That was the last formal step for the law to take effect.

Compiled from wire reports.


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