ANTARCTICA

Huge iceberg on the loose

and drawing a close watch

Scientists are monitoring an iceberg roughly six times the size of Manhattan - one of the largest now in existence - that broke off from an Antarctic glacier and is heading into the open ocean.

NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt said Wednesday that the iceberg covered about 255 square miles and was up to a third of a mile thick. Known as B31, the iceberg separated from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier in November, Brunt said.

"It's one that's large enough that it warrants monitoring," she said, noting U.S. government organizations including the National Ice Center keep an eye on dozens of icebergs at any given time.

The iceberg's current location is not in an area heavily navigated by ships.

"We're not particularly concerned about shipping lanes," she said.

Scientists are especially interested in this iceberg not only because of its size but because it originated in an unexpected location, Brunt said.

Pine Island Glacier has been studied over the last two decades because it has been thinning and draining rapidly and may be an important contributor to sea-level rise. - Reuters

KENYA

4 killed after car is stopped

Police in Kenya's capital intercepted a suspicious car at a traffic light Wednesday and were taking the occupants in for questioning when the car exploded, killing four people, including two police officers. The car exploded just outside a police station's main gate in Nairobi, turning the car into a heap of twisted metal. Terror warnings have been a constant in Kenya in recent months, particularly after September's mall attack killed at least 67. - AP

PAKISTAN

Army wants TV channel shut

Pakistan's army has asked a government regulator to shut down a leading private news channel over what the military calls false reports that the country's intelligence service shot one of its top anchors. Press advocates on Wednesday decried the move against Geo News TV, whose talk-show host Hamid Mir suffered multiple gunshot wounds Saturday. Mir's brother, Amir, appeared on the station after the shooting and accused the intelligence service of trying to kill his brother, saying Hamid told his family about threats made against him. - AP