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World in brief: 30/06/2014

GREECE: Artemis Mattheopoulos became the latest Golden Dawn MP to be detained on charges of running a criminal organisation today, bringing the total number from the neonazi party to eight.

An Athens court ruled that he should be held in pre-trial detention on the charges, which stem from a crackdown following last year’s fatal stabbing of a anti-fascist musician by a party supporter.

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos is among those in jail, while his wife Eleni Zaroulia, also an MP, was placed under temporary house arrest last week until judges decide whether she too should be held pending trial.

 

FRANCE: Nice banned the “ostentatious display” of foreign flags during the World Cup today, citing security concerns.

The order was directed at Algerian fans, who have draped their flags over windows and cars throughout France.

Conservative Deputy Mayor Christian Estrosi blamed “intolerable behaviour that disrupts public tranquillity” for the arrest of 74 Algerian fans after their team progressed to the knock-out stages.

 

NORTH KOREA: Pyongyang said today that it is preparing to try two US citizens who entered the country as tourists for carrying out “hostile acts.”

Investigations into Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle concluded that suspicions have been confirmed by evidence and their testimonies, the state news agency KCNA reported.

Diplomats suggest that Mr Fowle was detained for leaving a Bible in his hotel room. 

 

SYRIA: A barrage of mortar shells hit a residential area and a market of the government-held city of Idlib today, killing 14 people and wounding at least 40.

Rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s government control the areas around the city.

State TV said that children were among those who died in the attacks and at least 40 people were wounded.

 

SOMALIA: Two people were killed today when a landmine exploded at a business centre on the northern outskirts of Mogadishu, police official Colonel Ali Hassan said.

Col Hassan said the land mine was detonated by remote control, killing one soldier and a civilian woman on Monday. He offered no more details about the blast, which tore roofs off shops and destroyed business stalls.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, although the Islamic militants of al-Shabab have vowed to step up attacks during Muslim holy month Ramadan.

 

ITALY: The bodies of 30 dead migrants were found packed inside a smugglers’ boat on Sunday evening, the navy said today.

The frigate Grecale rescued nearly 600 people from the fishing boat in the Canal of Sicily as it approached Italy, bringing the weekend total of migrants rescued to 1,577. 

A navy spokeswoman said that the 30 victims were believed to have suffocated.

 

CHINA: One person has been killed and another 17 were missing today after a landslide in the mountainous Yunnan province.

Fugong County, in south-west China, local government said that a further two people were injured in the slide.

Landslides are frequent in south-west China, where deforestation has led to serious soil erosion.

 

PAKISTAN: Government forces launched a ground offensive against militant strongholds near the Afghan border today after evacuating nearly half a million people from North Waziristan.

The military announced the operation on June 15 but has mostly limited its tactics to air strikes, giving time for civilians to pack up their belongings and leave for safer areas.

The army said that nearly 15 militants were killed in the initial ground advance.

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