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Lawyer Says Norway Suspect is ‘Insane,’ Karzai Rallies Afghan Troops

Geir Lippestad, the attorney for the man who has admitted to killing 76 people in two attacks Friday — the bombing of a government building in Oslo and a shooting spree at a youth camp — told reporters the “whole case has indicated that he is insane.”

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, made his first appearance in court on Monday. Lippestad also said that Breivik was under the influence of drugs at the time of the shooting spree.

Under Norwegian law, Breivik faces a maximum of 21 years in jail if convicted, although that sentence can be extended if a prisoner is deemed a threat to the public. Prosecutors are pursuing charges of terrorism and may add crimes against humanity to the list of charges he faces. The latter could mean a 30-year addition to his sentence if convicted.

Breivik espoused extremist, right-wing views and wrote a 1,500-page manifesto decrying both Muslims and the Labor Party, which runs the island camp where the shootings took place and is the party of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. He accused the Labor Party of being “cultural Marxists,”, which he wrote was leading to the “Islamification of Europe.”

Authorities have not yet released the identities of all of the victims, pending notification of their families. In Oslo on Monday, an estimated 250,000 people gathered to hold a memorial vigil for those killed.

Karzai: ‘Hard Work and Sacrifice’ Ahead for Afghan Troops

Ahead of the drawn-down of 33,000 “surge” troops in the coming year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai addressed soldiers and police — Tuesday, saying, “There is no doubt that it is the wish of all Afghan men, women and children for Afghanistan to be protected by Afghan sons. It will happen only with hard work and sacrifice. Especially from our Afghan forces.”

Since 2009, the United States has stepped up efforts to rapidly recruit and train Afghan forces, adding approximately 100,000 personnel to their ranks. NATO troops have handed over seven less volatile provinces to Afghan security.

Despite previous statements in which Karzai said NATO troops risked becoming “occupiers” if they remained too long, he struck a more conciliatory tone on Monday, saying, “NATO and the international community are helping our country. But this will not go on forever and we don’t want it forever.”

The United States has set a deadline of 2014 to withdraw all troops from the country, if the security situation allows.

Meantime, 32 people — 22 insurgents, two police and eight civilians — were killed in clashes Monday in Helmand province.

Photo by ISAF Media via Flickr

78 Dead in Morocco Military Plane Crash

According to Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse, Morocco’s state-run news agency, 78 people are dead after a military C-130 transport plane crashed in the southern part of the country. The crash happened in a mountainous region, reportedly during bad weather.

The plane was carrying both civilians and military personnel. Three people are reported to have survived the crash, which was Morocco’s deadliest aviation disaster in years.

Morocco’s defense ministry has not confirmed the death toll or commented on the crash.

U.N.to Airlift Food to Somalia Famine Victims

The U.N.’s World Food Program will begin airlifting urgently needed aid to victims of the massive drought-induced famine in east Africa, despite a ban by al-Shabab militants on most aid groups bringing food into territories under their control. As much as three-quarters of Somalia is under the control of militants, and the country lacks a stable government authority.

The U.N. estimated that as many as 11 million people are in dire need of aid. Tens of thousands have fled Somalia into Kenya and Ethiopia, overwhelming makeshift camps.

(Read more about ways you can help.)

The famine, which is being called the worst of a generation, is in an area already hit by conflict and extreme poverty. The pace of arrivals has outstripped the amount of medical and food aid available.

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