Briefly World: Egyptian troops storm Islamist stronghold

Kerdasa: Egyptian security forces backed by armored fighting vehicles and helicopters stormed a tourist town near the Great Pyramids that became an Islamist stronghold on Thursday, the latest in a stepped up campaign by the military-backed government. A police general fell in the first moments of the battle. Gen. Nabil Farrag had just given a pep talk to his men on the street, when they came under a hail of gunfire. AP

Pak court acquits man in Musharraf case

Islamabad: A Pakistani national, accused of attacking a convoy of former president Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2003, has been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court due to lack of evidence. Rana Faqir Hussain was arrested on December 8, 2005, and was taken into custody with his family, including a six-month-old baby. PTI

Rhodes gets donation of $120 million

London: The organisers of the Rhodes Scholarships say a Canadian philanthropist is giving of £75 million ($120 million) to the programme, the largest single donation since the prestigious programme was founded more than a century ago. The Rhodes Trust Thursday said the McCall MacBain Foundation's grant will help fund the current 83 Rhodes Scholarships to the University of Oxford each year, and to expanding the programme. AP

Defiant Bo says ready to endure jail

Beijing: Seemingly resigned to his fate ahead of a court verdict, disgraced Chinese Communist leader Bo Xilai remains defiant saying he is ready to "follow the footsteps of his father" who also suffered imprisonment during the Mao era, in a letter written from the prison to his relatives. AP

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