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Double bombing kills 13 in Russia

MOSCOW - At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in a double bombing at a police station in Russia's tumultuous North Caucasus region Thursday night, officials said, a stark reminder of the challenges facing Vladimir Putin as he prepares to take over the presidency next week.

Investigators said Friday that a suicide bomber set off at least one of the explosive devices at the police station in Dagestan, a mostly Muslim region that neighbors Chechnya.

The attack occurred just four days before Putin's inauguration and underscored the authorities' persistent failure to bring the region under control after nearly two decades of intermittent war. - N.Y. Times News Service

Colombian hooker: Agents careless

BOGOTA, Colombia - A woman who says she was the prostitute who triggered the U.S. Secret Service scandal said Friday that the agents involved were "idiots" for letting it happen, and declared that if she were a spy and sensitive information was available, she could have easily obtained it.

The woman said she spent five hours in a Cartagena, Colombia, hotel room with an agent, and while she barely got cab fare out of him, she could have gotten information that would have compromised the security of President Obama if the agent had any.

"The man slept all night," said the woman, identified by her lawyer as Dania Londono Suarez. "If I had wanted to, I could have gone through all his documents, his wallet, his suitcase," she said in an interview with W Radio. - AP

Prime minister approved in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haitian lawmakers have approved President Michel Martelly's choice for prime minister, ending a two-month impasse that had hampered the country's efforts to rebuild from the 2010 earthquake.

The Chamber of Deputies voted late Thursday to confirm Laurent Lamothe, 39, who will serve as Haiti's head of government and lead earthquake reconstruction efforts. Lamothe was a special adviser to Martelly before being named foreign affairs minister and has been cochairman of an economic advisory panel with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Lamothe's approval ends a stalemate created by the sudden resignation of the previous prime minister, Garry Conille. His departure had impeded Martelly's ability to govern and caused unease among donor governments and organizations that have pledged billions to the Caribbean nation. - AP

Blasts reported at Sudans' border

JUBA, South Sudan - South Sudan's military spokesman said Friday that Sudanese aircraft dropped 10 bombs in an oil-rich region near a military base south of the border.

Col. Philip Aguer said the bombs were dropped late Thursday afternoon. He said a woman and child were wounded in the bombings in Laloba, about 30 miles north of the Unity State capital of Bentiu, and he did not know if they would survive.

The attacks came one day after Sudan announced it had accepted an agreement put forward by the African Union to return to talks with South Sudan. - AP