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World in Brief: 14/05/14

US: Defence officials said today that the Pentagon is trying to transfer whistleblower Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison so she can get “treatment for her gender disorder.”

Ms Manning, formerly named Bradley, has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.

Some officials have said privately that keeping her in a military prison with no option for treatment could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel last month gave approval to work out a transfer plan with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which does provide such treatment.


NIGERIA: Villagers in an area where Boko Haram operates have killed and detained scores of Islamist militants who were suspected of planning a fresh attack, local residents and a security official said today.

People in northern states have been forming vigilante groups to resist the militant group which hold more than 270 schoolgirls captive.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack, locals ambushed two lorries full of gunmen. 

At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed.


EU: The European Commission has proposed to ban the use of driftnets in EU waters and anywhere on its vessels by year’s end to enforce the protection of dolphins and other sea mammals, sea turtles and bluefin tuna.

Driftnets stretching for miles close to the surface are often responsible for the incidental killing of marine life with little commercial value.

Such nets have also been used in the hunt for endangered bluefin tuna. 

The proposal now goes to the 28 member states for approval.


LIBYA: The government must surrender the son of slain dictator Moammar Gadhaffi to the International Criminal Court despite an ongoing appeal and legal proceedings already underway in Libya, the court’s prosecutor said yesterday.

Fatou Bensouda told the UN security council it was “a source of great concern” that Libya had not immediately handed over Seif al-Islam Gadhaffi to the ICC following a ruling last year that he must be prosecuted in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

Libya has argued that he should be prosecuted in his own country.


UN: Lakhdar Brahimi announced yesterday that he was resigning as the international point man on Syria.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon said the joint UN-Arab League envoy will step down on May 31 after nearly two years.

Brahimi will be following in the footsteps of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who resigned from the same job in August 2012 after failing to broker a ceasefire.


VIETNAM: Factory owners were picking up the pieces today after anti-China mobs torched up to 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed many more.

The attacks reflect rising anger over China’s recent placement of an oil rig in disputed south-east Asian waters.

Unrest late on Tuesday at a Singapore-run industrial park and others nearby followed protests by up to 20,000 workers at complexes in Binh Duong province.


QATAR: The government said today that it is introducing a draft law which could eventually end a controversial sponsorship system tying expatriate workers to a single employer.

Officials in the 2022 World Cup host country say the law could also revise policies that require expatriates to obtain their employer’s clearance to change jobs or leave the country.

However, they gave no timeframe for when the new law might be implemented.


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