Greece clears final hurdle to get bailout funds
ATHENS, Greece — Greece has faced down street violence and strikes for the sake of financial aid it was promised and needs to avoid bankruptcy. Now its fellow European countries will be expected to come up with a second rescue package to convince investors that the 17-nation euro will survive the debt crisis.
A new austerity package that lawmakers cleared in Athens is required to get more rescue loans but will force deep changes on all parts of society. Minimum wages will be taxed more and key assets like water, gas and oil companies will be sold, possibly to foreigners.
NATO blames Haqqani for attack on hotel
KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S.-led coalition on Thursday blamed an al-Qaida affiliated network working jointly with Taliban fighters for a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul — an assault that raised doubts about the ability of Afghan forces to handle security as foreign troops withdraw.
The coalition also reported that a leader with the Haqqani network suspected of having provided assistance, including weapons, fighters and training, to the gunmen who attacked the Inter-Continental hotel was killed Wednesday night in a precision airstrike. Ismail Jan, the deputy to the senior Haqqani commander inside Afghanistan, and other Haqqani fighters died in the airstrike in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia province, the coalition said.
Nine suicide bombers launched an attack on the hotel late Tuesday, triggering an hours-long standoff with Afghan security forces, who were assisted by coalition mentors and NATO helicopters.
Shiite militias step up Iraq attacks on US troops
BAGHDAD — Shiite militias backed by Iran have ramped up attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, making June the deadliest month in two years for American forces. The militiamen’s goal is to prevent the U.S. military from extending its presence in the country past the end of this year.
Three separate militias have been involved in the attacks, particularly a small but deadly group known as the Hezbollah Brigades, believed to be funded and trained by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard and its special operations wing, the Quds Force.
— From wire reports