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World in Brief: 27/9/2014

GERMANY: The Green and Left parties asked the country’s highest court yesterday to rule on whether US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden can go to Berlin to testify about NSA spying.

A parliamentary panel investigating NSA snooping wishes to interview Mr Snowden but he will only give evidence if let into the country to do so.

The German government fears this will offend the United States.

 

UNITED STATES: A federal court in New York has summoned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to the US, to answer allegations of human-rights abuses.

The American Justice Centre filed a suit seeking damages for two survivors of Gujarat’s 2002 religious riots, when Mr Modi was the state’s chief minister.

It also wants judges to rule that the Hindu chauvinist BJP leader’s conduct at the time amounted to genocide.

 

RUSSIA: The lower house of parliament passed a Bill limiting foreign ownership in the media to a 20 per cent stake yesterday.

Supporters say this will loosen the grip of global tycoons and boost press diversity. The Bill was backed by both government and main opposition Communist Party MPs.

But critics allege it is a bid by the Vladimir Putin government to stifle free speech.

The Bill now goes to the upper house.

 

SERBIA: Three Roma children died yesterday in a fire that burned down the shack where they lived.

Officials say the fire was an accident caused by a candle left alight after the family went to bed, despite initial fears that it could have been a hate crime. The children’s mother is under arrest.

Serbian official Sasa Jankovic said the state was partly to blame for ignoring the “inhumane living conditions” of its Roma citizens.

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