WASHINGTON

Clooney’s team to launch border surveillance satellite

A group founded by American actor George Clooney said Tuesday it has teamed up with Google, a U.N. agency and anti-genocide organizations to launch satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan to try to prevent a new civil war after the south votes in a secession referendum next month.

Clooney’s Not On Our Watch is funding the start-up phase Satellite Sentinel Project that will collect real-time satellite imagery and combine it with field analysis from the Enough Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, organizers said.

The data will point out movements of troops, civilians and other signs of impending conflict. The U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Program and Google will then publish the findings online.

“We want to let potential perpetrators of genocide and other war crimes know that we’re watching, the world is watching,” Clooney said in a statement.

JOS, Nigeria

Radical Muslim sect claims responsibility for attacks

A radical Muslim sect has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve bombings and church attacks in Nigeria that killed at least 38 people, and the group threatened new attacks to avenge local violence against Muslims.

Religious fighting has left more than 500 people dead this year in the deeply divided region where Jos is located. Authorities had already blamed the Boko Haram group for some of the deaths Friday.

“Therefore we will continue with our attacks on disbelievers and their allies and all those who help them,” said the group, which also goes by a longer name that translates into English as: “The organization of followers of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and champions of Islam and holy wars.”

Two bombs went off near a large market in Jos where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping Friday.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Ruling party suffers setback as coalition partner leaves

Pakistan’s U.S.-allied ruling party suffered a fresh blow to its fragile hold on power Tuesday when a coalition partner said it will quit the cabinet, deepening the nation’s political turmoil and potentially distracting Islamabad from helping American forces target militants.

New elections could lead to the emergence of a government not as friendly to U.S. interests and less vocal in opposing the Taliban.

Still, even if the government changes — a prospect that is not at all certain — the country’s new leaders will be faced with the same seemingly intractable challenges as their predecessors: a feeble economy, chronic power shortages and rebuilding after this year’s horrendous flooding.

ROME

European anarchist group more violent, organized

A loosely linked movement of European anarchists who want to bring down state and financial institutions is becoming more violent and coordinated after decades out of the spotlight, and may be responding to social tensions spawned by the continent’s financial crisis, security experts say.

Italian police said Tuesday that letter bombs were sent to three embassies in Rome by Italian anarchists in solidarity with jailed Greek anarchists, who had asked their comrades to organize and coordinate a global “revolutionary war.”

Identical package bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean embassies in Rome on Dec. 23, badly wounding the two people who opened them. A third bomb was safely defused at the Greek Embassy on Monday.

“We’re striking again, and we do so in response to the appeal launched by our Greek companions,” the Italian group known as the Informal Anarchist Federation wrote in a claim of responsibility for the third bomb that was released by police here Tuesday.