News in Brief

British publisher to release anthology of Taliban-penned poetry from Afghanistan

A British publisher is preparing to release a collection of poems authored by Afghanistan's Taliban. Many of the works in "Poetry of the Taliban" center around the movement's decade-long war against NATO-led forces in Afghanistan. But others touch on themes of religion, nostalgia and love. Editors Alex Strick van Linschoten, Felix Kuehn, and Faisal Devji said in their introduction that they'd compiled the anthology not for its novelty value "but as a way of understanding who the Taliban are." The book is being published in Britain by C. Hurst & Co. Publishers Ltd. later this month. (AP)

Spain’s king ‘unwelcome’ in northern town

A Spanish town has declared King Juan Carlos persona non grata, dealing another blow to the 74-year-old monarch who has faced scalding criticism for going on an elephant hunting trip during a severe financial crisis.The town council of Berga - population 17,160 - in the region of Catalonia approved a symbolic motion declaring the country's king "persona non grata" or not welcome. Juan Carlos has faced condemnation after breaking a hip while on a lavish safari in southern Africa at a time when nearly one in four Spaniards were unemployed. (AP)

Saudi cleric: Sin has led to Mideast unrest

Saudi Arabia's top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state. "The schism, instability, the malfunctioning of security and the breakdown of unity that Islamic countries are facing these days is a result of the sins of the public and their transgressions," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Watan newspaper. In a Friday sermon, he accused "chaotic" people of wearing the mask of "democracy and equality" and causing instability within the Muslim nation. Last month, he was criticized after international media quoted him as saying all churches in the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed. (Reuters)

Yemeni airstrikes kill five militants

Military officials say Yemeni airstrikes killed five militants in the south, underlining a promise by the country's new president to intensify the battle against al-Qaida militants. Government troops have been waging an offensive against the terror network for several weeks as the militants have taken advantage of Yemen's political turmoil to expand their presence. But President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi said yesterday that the fight against the group is just beginning. The officials , who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said Yemeni aircraft carried out the attacks in Lawder in Abyan province. (AP)