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World in Brief: 28/05/14

UNITED STATES: Prosecutors asked a military judge in Guantanamo Bay toay to reconsider his order to release to defence attorneys’ details about a detainee’s experience in secret CIA prisons after his arrest in Yemen.

Army Colonel James Pohl heard the arguments at a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

He ordered prosecutors last month to turn over details about Mr Nashiri’s treatment after a CIA report said he had been waterboarded and threatened with a gun and power drill.

 

 

UNITED STATES: Celebrated African-American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou died today aged 86.

“Today members of the Wake Forest community mourn the loss of beloved poet, author, actress, civil rights activist and professor Dr. Maya Angelou,” the North Carolina university said in a statement.

Ms Angelou was found dead yesterday morning by her caretaker.

 

 

MEXICO: State-owned oil company Pemex said today that four of its employees had been arrested for stealing fuel from company pipelines.

The firm has seen increasing thefts from illegally perforated pipelines, but these employees were stealing fuel by opening valves.

It said in 2013 that 1,421 illegal fuel taps had been discovered in the first six months of that year.

Pemex employees had long been rumoured to be involved in those thefts.

 

 

SOUTH KOREA: A fire believed to have been started by an 81-year-old dementia patient blazed through a hospital ward for the elderly yesterday and killed 21 people from smoke inhalation.

The fire at the Hyosarang Hospital in Jangseong county also injured seven people and raised concerns about lax fire regulations.

Hospitals for the elderly are not required to have sprinklers in South Korea.

 

 

GREECE: The leader of the Democratic Left party, which pulled out of the government coalition a year ago, said today that he was resigning after his party scraped only just 1.2 per cent of the vote in European Parliament elections.

Fotis Kouvelis’ party has 14 seats in Greece’s 300-member parliament. 

Democratic Left won 6.25 per cent of the vote in 2012 general elections.

 

 

PUERTO RICO: Dozens of employees of the Port Authority have gone on strike to protest against fiscal measures aimed at reducing government spending.

Union leaders said all of the agency’s offices remained closed yesterday with the exception of the air rescue unit.

Workers said that among the measures they fought was one that would reorganise the agency and consolidate it with another department and changes to their health insurance.

 

 

ISRAEL: Masked protesters hurled stones at police staffing the gates of a sensitive Jerusalem holy site today before security forces entered the compound and dispersed them.

The skirmishes came as Israel marks Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the anniversary of Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 war. 

Israel says the day marks the “unification” of the city and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed yesterday that he would never accede to Palestinian demands that the city be divided.

 

 

PAKISTAN: The husband of a pregnant Pakistani woman who was stoned to death outside Lahore’s High Court for marrying against her family’s wishes vowed to fight for justice today.

Farzana Parveen had gone to testify in defence of her husband Muhammad Iqbal who had been accused of kidnapping her and forcing her into the marriage. 

She was targeted by more than two dozen brick-wielding attackers, including her brother and father.

Mr Iqbal said: “We demand justice. We had been threatened since we got married.”

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