Category: World News

Report: Man who executed Saddam Hussein killed in Iraq

23 June (Agencies): One of the executioners involved in the hanging of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been killed, the outlawed Baath Party said in a statement on Friday. While not providing a date for when the executioner was killed, the statement identified him as Mohammed Nassif al-Maliki, who allegedly appeared in the video of Saddam’s execution. The statement said Maliki was the masked man standing on the left side of the former Iraqi strongman and slipping the noose around his neck. In the report, posted on the party’s official website, a “well-informed” source was cited as saying that...

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Nelson Mandela ambulance broke down on way to hospital

22 June (BBC): The emergency ambulance carrying Nelson Mandela to hospital two weeks ago broke down, the South African presidential spokesman says. Mac Maharaj confirmed that the vehicle had engine trouble and that the former president was transferred to another ambulance. But he said there was no threat to Mr Mandela as he was surrounded by intensive care nurses the whole time. American network CBS quotes sources as saying he had to wait for 40 minutes. The CBS report says the transfer to another ambulance took place in freezing winter temperatures. Mr Mandela, 94, was being transported from Johannesburg to hospital in Pretoria in the early hours of 8 June. He was admitted in a serious condition with a recurrence of long-standing lung problems and has been in intensive care since. It is his third stay in hospital this year. There has been little information about his condition for some days. President Jacob Zuma said on 13 June that his health continued to improve but his condition remained serious. More recently, one of Mr Mandela’s grandsons, Ndaba Mandela, said his grandfather was getting better and he hoped he would be home soon. Convoy Mr Maharaj confirmed the ambulance breakdown in an interview with local TV station, ENCA. “I appreciate the concern caused by this,” he said. “I want to assure the public that from the presidency side we are...

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Kerry: Russia must back transition in Syria

22 June, Qatar (AP): The U.S. and its Arab and European allies agreed on Saturday to do more to help the embattled rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. While he offered no specifics about stepped-up military and humanitarian aid, Kerry said the assistance would help change the balance on the battlefield of the civil war where regime forces have scored recent victories. At a meeting of nearly a dozen of his counterparts, Kerry blamed Assad for the deteriorating situation in Syria where more than 93,000 people have died in a...

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Soldiers work to move stranded in India mountains

22 June, GOVINDGHAT, India (AP) — Soldiers worked on rocky gorges and rugged riverbanks Saturday trying to evacuate tens of thousands of people still stranded by monsoon flooding and landslides that killed nearly 600 people in northern India’s Himalayas. With bad weather and heavy rainfall predicted over the next two days, there was an added urgency to reach the approximately 22,000 people still stranded in the flood-hit Uttarakhand state, federal Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said. Since helicopters could rescue only small groups of people at a time, army troops Saturday opened up another road route to the Hindu temple town...

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Queen enjoys Royal Ascot Gold Cup triumph

20 June, LONDON (Reuters) – The Queen had special cause for celebrations on Thursday when her horse Estimate won the Royal Ascot Gold Cup. On a day of sentimental successes and broken records, it was the first time a reigning monarch’s horse had claimed victory in the race’s 207-year history. Estimate, a four-year-old filly trained by Michael Stoute, held off a challenge by Simenon in the final furlong to win by a neck and initiate a rapturous reception for the Queen in the winner’s enclosure. The Queen was expected to present the winner’s trophy, but instead received it from...

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Bangladesh court sentences 10 Islamic militants to death

20 June, DHAKA (AFP): A court in Bangladesh sentenced Thursday 10 Islamic militants to death after finding them guilty of assisting a suicide bombing that killed eight people, a prosecutor said. A judge announced the sentence to a crowded court room in the capital Dhaka, special public prosecutor Rafiqul Islam told AFP. “They (the militants) assisted the suicide bomber in making the bomb, providing information, planning and carrying out the attack,” Islam...

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Taliban offer to free US soldier

20 June, ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) : The Afghan Taliban say they are ready to hand over a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison. A Taliban spokesman, Shaheen Suhail, says U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “is as far as I know in good condition.” Suhail spoke in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press from the newly opened Taliban offices in Doha, Qatar. Bergdahl disappeared in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009. Shaheen says “first has to be the release of detainees,” and after that, the Taliban “want to build bridges of confidence.” He offered no details on Bergdahl’s current whereabouts. He spoke as the U.S. is scrambling to save talks with the Taliban after angry complaints from President Hamid...

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Singapore fumes as air pollution hits 16-year high

19 June, SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans rolled back military training, kept cough-stricken children indoors and considered wearing protective masks to work after a smoky haze triggered by forest fires in neighboring Indonesia caused air pollution to briefly hit its worst level in nearly 16 years. Singapore’s main measurement of air quality has hovered in the “unhealthy” classification as smoke from roaring blazes on Indonesia’s Sumatra island drifted across the sea and cast a gray pall over the city-state’s skyscrapers. The readings on the Pollutant Standards Index were mostly between 104 and 123 on Tuesday, within the “unhealthy” range between...

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Karzai suspends talks with US after Taliban killed 4 US troops in Afghanistan

19 June, KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has suspended talks with the U.S. on a new security deal to protest the way the Americans are reaching out to the Taliban in efforts to find a political solution to the war. Karzai says he has suspended negotiations with the U.S. on what troops will remain in the country after 2014. He says he did this “in view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process.” The Afghan president’s statement was released by...

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Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil

18 June,SAO PAULO (Reuters) – As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poorpublic services, police violence and government corruption. The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it. Monday’s demonstrations were the latest in a flurry of protests in the past two weeks that have...

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