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World in Brief: 17/06/2014

LIBYA: Renegade retired general Khalifa Haftar launched a fresh offensive on Sunday against Islamist militias in Benghazi, sparking some of the worst fighting in weeks.

Up to 12 people died and power supplies were disrupted when rockets hit a power station near the airport, the state electricity firm said.

At least five soldiers and three civilians were killed, said hospital workers, adding that at least 18 people had been wounded.


CHINA: A court sentenced three people to death yesterday for planning a deadly car ramming at Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Gate last year, which had been blamed on Muslim separatists.

The three were accused of providing funds to carry out the October 28 attack, in which a car ploughed into tourists and crashed, killing two bystanders and the three attackers.

Five other people were given prison sentences, with four receiving terms of five to 20 years and one getting a life sentence.


POLAND: The government and central bank went into damage-limitation mode yesterday after a recording was published in which two key leaders appeared to be making an improper under-the-table deal.

Polish magazine Wprost had published the recording in which bank chief Marek Belka told Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz he would help the government financially if it fired its finance minister.

The minister was replaced four months later.


PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was served with an arrest warrant yesterday in relation to a fraud case.

The nation’s anti-corruption unit Task Force Sweep confirmed that an arrest warrant had been served against Mr O’Neill on a charge of official corruption.

The legal action relates to millions of dollars of payments from the government which were allegedly made to a law firm.


PAKISTAN: Officials said that the air force pounded militant targets in North Waziristan again yesterday, killing about 10 alleged militants.

Intelligence officers said airstrikes hit the Shawal area near the southern border with South Waziristan.

The airstrikes are part of a new offensive by the Pakistani military to go after local and foreign fighters who use the region as a base.


SRI LANKA: Buddhists have hurled petrol bombs and looted homes and businesses in several Muslim towns, killing three Muslims and seriously wounding more than 50 people in overnight attacks, authorities said yesterday.

The attacks were led by mobs from the anti-Muslim Bodu Bala Sena — or Buddhist Power Force.

The violence in the towns of Aluthgama, Darga Nagar and Beruwala erupted after a Sunday afternoon rally.


THAILAND: The ruling military junta denied yesterday that it was driving foreign workers out of the country.

The International Organisation for Migration estimates that more than 100,000 undocumented Cambodians have fled since the May 22 coup.

The National Council for Peace and Order insists Cambodians are leaving of their own accord and said 60,000 had crossed the border as of Saturday.


ARGENTINA: The US Supreme Court handed Buenos Aires a double defeat yesterday in its long-running fight with vulture fund holders of its defaulted bonds.

The justices rejected without comment Argentina’s appeal of judgments ordering it to pay more than $1.3 billion (£770 million) to profiteering hedge funds.

Then, in a 7-1 ruling, the court said the bond holders could use US courts to force Argentina to reveal where it owns property around the world.


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