9 Killed in protests in Egypt


Nine people were killed during clashes between police and anti-government protesters in the eastern Egyptian city of Suez, medical and security sources told Efe.

Most of Egypt's provinces witnessed unrest on the second anniversary of the uprising that ultimately toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Around 380 people were injured nationwide, according to the Health Ministry, including 82 in Cairo, where much of downtown was left shrouded in a cloud of tear gas.

Efe saw protesters abandon Tahrir Square - the focal point of the 2011 revolution - several times to escape the fumes, only to return within minutes.

Demonstrations were directed at President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, accused by more secular Egyptians of seeking to monopolize power.




Spain extends benefits for long-term jobless


Spain's conservative government approved an extension of a financial aid program for unemployed people whose eligibility for standard jobless benefits has expired and who lack income to pay their bills.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria made the announcement to reporters, saying the measure will help ease the "dramatic" effects of unemployment.

The program, which will provide the long-term jobless up to 450 euros ($605) a month, will be prolonged until the unemployment rate falls below 20 percent.

The decision comes a day after new data showed Spain ended last year with an unemployment rate of 26.02 percent, equivalent to more than 5.9 million people out of work.




6 Found slain in Brazil


Six men were found fatally shot Friday in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Duque de Caxias, Brazilian police said.

The bodies were discovered on a street in the Vai Quem Quer "favela," or shantytown.

Police said they are investigating the possibility that some of the victims were members of drug-dealing outfits. Witnesses told media outlets the men died in a drive-by shooting, but authorities declined to confirm that account or to offer any further details.




Spain nabs 4 Russian mafia suspects


Four suspected Russian mafia members, including reputed boss Andrei Petrov, have been arrested in the northeastern Spanish town of Lloret de Mar, sources involved in the investigation said.

The detainees laundered some 50 million euros (roughly $67 million) in organized crime proceeds by investing for more than two years in all kinds of businesses in the Catalonia region, including restaurants, stores, gas stations and real estate, the sources said.

They said the businesses under investigation in the case had ties to Semion Mogilevich, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, and were used to launder illicit funds from Russia.




Murray outlasts Federer in Australian Open semis


Andy Murray stayed composed after blowing a chance to close out Swiss great Roger Federer in the fourth set of the Australian Open semifinals, eventually wearing down his 31-year-old opponent 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2 to advance to the final for the third time.

Murray had never beaten Federer in a Grand Slam match before but he was the superior player under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, with Federer needing inspired play on key points in the second and fourth sets to stay as close to the Scotsman as he did.

Next up for the Brit in Sunday's final will be world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who barely avoided elimination in a titanic fourth-round struggle with Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka but then proceeded to rout Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.




Chavez still facing tough battle with cancer, Venezuela says


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering from his Dec. 11 operation to remove a tumor, but is still fighting "the more difficult battle" against cancer, one of his top aides said.

"We can say of the post-operative situation, the president is well into the process of recovery," Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said from Havana, where he and other senior officials have been conferring with Chavez. "However, well, now comes the more difficult and deeper battle against the illness."

The 58-year-old Chavez, who took office in 1999, was re-elected last Oct. 7 by a comfortable margin and is supposed to serve until 2019. He has undergone four operations and courses of chemotherapy and radiation since he was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011.