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Arizona wildfire near Yarnell kills 19 firefighters

At least 19 US firefighters have been killed battling a wildfire in central Arizona, local officials say.

Arizona WoldfireThey died while fighting the blaze threatening the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles (130km) north-west of Phoenix.

The fire was started by lightning on Friday and has spread rapidly to 2,000 acres (800 ha) amid high heat, low humidity and strong winds.

Arizona and other parts of the western US – including California – had near-record temperatures over the weekend.

It is the highest death toll for firefighters in a single incident since 9/11.

“We are heartbroken about what happened,” US President Barack Obama said in a press conference in Tanzania on Monday. Earlier he called the deceased firefighters heroes.

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Parties given 48 hours to resolve crisis by Egypt’s Army

Egypt’s army has given the country’s rival parties 48 hours to resolve a deadly political crisis.

Protesters in CairoThe army would offer a “road map” for peace if Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his opponents failed to heed “the will of the people”, it said.

It later issued a clarifying statement denying its warning amounted to a coup.

Given the inability of politicians from all sides to agree until now, it seems unlikely Mr Morsi can survive in power, says the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Cairo.

On Sunday millions rallied in cities nationwide, urging the president to quit.

Large protests continued on Monday, and eight people died as activists stormed and ransacked the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which the president belongs.

He became Egypt’s first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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The rise of the extreme house-sitter

In the current tough economic climate, with rents rising, people are finding unusual ways to cut back on living costs while they save up for a deposit on a place of their own.

Sam Van Gelder's Scottish mansionTo let: One 35-bedroom Victorian mansion in Helensburgh, picturesque location in the middle of the countryside, 50-minute train journey to Glasgow. Rent: £180 a month, including bills.

It sounds too good to be true, but for 26-year-old call centre worker Sam Van Gelder, this estate is home. With these low living costs, he has already saved more than £3,000 to put towards a deposit on a home of his own.

Van Gelder is a property guardian and lives in the mansion, which is currently up for sale, with the aim of deterring vandals, burglars, metal thieves and squatters from targeting the property. In exchange he gets an affordable monthly rent and unique living space.

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Bugging allegations threaten EU-US trade pact

French President Francois Hollande has said allegations that the US bugged European embassies could threaten a huge planned EU-US trade deal.

John KerryHe said there could be no negotiations without guarantees that spying would stop “immediately”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he did not know the truth of the claims but sought to down play them.

Meanwhile, Russian and US security agencies are reportedly discussing how to deal with the man behind the leaks.

Former CIA-analyst Edward Snowden is believed to be at an airport in Moscow, seeking a destination safe from the US where he is wanted for prosecution over the leaking of thousands of classified documents.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and US’s President Barack Obama have ordered the chiefs of their respective agencies, FSB and FBI, to find a way out of the impasse, a senior Russian official said.

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Chad former leader Hissene Habre arrested by Senegal Police

Police in Senegal have arrested Chad’s former leader Hissene Habre, who is wanted for alleged atrocities during his eight-year rule.

Hissene HabreMr Habre’s lawyer El Hadji Diouf said he was taken from his home in Dakar by paramilitary police to an unknown location on Sunday.

The 70 year old has been under house arrest since 2005 in Senegal, where he fled after being deposed in 1990.

He denies killing and torturing tens of thousands of his opponents.

Last year the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Senegal to put him on trial or extradite him to face justice overseas.

His arrest comes days after US President Barack Obama praised the efforts of Senegal’s current President Macky Sall to bring him to trial at the start of his Africa tour.

Historic precedent

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