Afghanistan

U.S. airstrike kills dozens

A U.S. rocket artillery strike last week on a gathering of Taliban leaders in southern Afghanistan killed at least 50 of them, a U.S. military official said Tuesday. Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said a weapon system known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, which is capable of firing GPS-guided rockets, destroyed a command-and-control position that was a known meeting place for high-level Taliban leaders.

Italy

Financial markets plunge

The specter of a financial crisis came back to haunt Italy on Tuesday, as its markets plunged on fears that it is heading toward another election that could shape up to be a referendum on whether to stay in the common currency. Carlo Cottarelli, a former IMF official, was tapped as premier of a nonpolitical government of technocrats after an attempt by two populist parties to form a government foundered. The president, who in Italy appoints the premier and ministers, had opposed the populists’ choice of a euroskeptic economics minister.

Ukraine

Russian journalist killed

A Russian journalist harshly critical of the Kremlin was shot and killed in the Ukrainian capital Tuesday, and the national police said they are assuming he was targeted because of his work. Ukrainian police said Arkady Babchenko’s wife found him bleeding at their apartment building in Kiev and called an ambulance, but Babchenko died on the way to a hospital. Police said he had multiple gunshot wounds on his back.

Malaysia

Search for jet ends again

The head of a U.S. technology company that scoured the Indian Ocean seabed for more than three months looking for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said on Tuesday he was disappointed the hunt failed to find any wreckage and hoped to take part in a future search. Malaysia said last week the search by Texas-based Ocean Infinity would end on Tuesday after two extensions of the original 90-day time limit. Ocean Infinity chief executive Oliver Plunkett said the search would soon end after covering more than 43,000 square miles of remote ocean floor.

Germany

Religious attitudes studied

Christians in western Europe are less accepting of immigrants and non-Christians than people without religious affiliations, a study published Tuesday that was based on a 15-country survey found. The Pew Research Center report revealed that Christians — whether or not they are churchgoers — are more likely than western Europeans who don’t identify with a religion to express negative views of Muslims, Jews and migrants. They also are more inclined to think their country’s culture and values are superior.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires