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Nigeria Rattled By Strikes, Sectarian Violence

Nigeria has abundant oil, but when the government recently lifted fuel subsidies, it touched off nationwide strikes as prices soared. The country also faces the threat of worsening sectarian fighting.

Iranian Nuclear Expert Killed; Tensions Mount

An explosion in Tehran kills an Iranian nuclear scientist while he's driving his car. It's the fifth such death in five years. Iranian officials immediately blamed Israel for the attack, which comes amid an escalating conflict between Iran and the West.

Nigeria Faces Double-Edged Crisis In Protests, Militant Group

Parts of Nigeria are under a 24-hour curfew, after demonstrations against a government policy to end fuel subsidies turned into a fiery rampage in the city of Minna. The BBC reports that "hundreds of rioters set fire to government and political party offices" and targeted the homes of politicians.

Afghan Announcements Annoy U.S., Hurt Relations

The U.S. relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai continues to worsen, after a series of announcements that appear designed to embarrass Washington. Karzai is angry that the U.S. appears to be bypassing him in key decisions and is eager to prove he isn't beholden to America.

Pope To Visit Cuba To Endorse Church's Growing Role

The 84-year-old pontiff's upcoming trip will be a strong show of support for the country's Catholic leaders, who are among the leading voices for change in Cuba. The visit comes 14 years after Pope John Paul II's historic trip to Havana, when he urged Cuba to open to the world, and for the world to open to Cuba.

Ethiopia Invades Somalia In Fight Against Al-Shabab

In December, Ethiopian troops seized the city of Beledweyne, in Western Somalia, from al-Qaida-linked terrorist group al-Shabab, in an attempt to weaken their influence in the country. The decision to increase international presence in Somalia has raised serious questions among analysts about the effect armed intervention will have on the region.