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World in Brief: 2/8/2014

POLAND: Warsaw residents honoured the fighters of a 1944 rebellion against the Nazis yesterday by laying wreaths and lighting candles to mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising.

On August 1 1944 thousands of poorly armed city residents rose up against the German occupiers. They held on for 63 days in the cut-off city before being forced to surrender. 

Almost 200,000 Poles were killed.


UGANDA: A court invalidated the country’s controversial anti-gay Act yesterday, saying the measure was illegal because the representatives who passed it were not quorate.

The Constitutional Court said the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections over the lack of a quorum.

A packed courtroom erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law was “null and void.”


UNITED STATES: The owner of a company that won steel provision contracts worth nearly $1 billion (£594 million) for the World Trade Centre was charged on Thursday with defrauding a program meant to benefit minority and women-owned businesses.

Larry Davis was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in a scheme to cheat a programme that provided contracts to the minority businesses.

Prosecutors said they had already secured guilty pleas from two individuals who assisted Mr Davis in the fraud.


AZERBAIJAN: The defence ministry said yesterday that it had lost eight soldiers during three days of clashes with Armenia near the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region.

The ministry said Armenian troops had ramped up their activity in the past few days and attacked Azeri positions, adding that the Armenians had been repelled.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a long-simmering conflict over the region with occasional skirmishes along the front.


GUINEA: An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control it, World Health Organisation head Margaret Chan warned presidents from the affected countries yesterday.

Dr Chan told the meeting in Conakry that it “must be a turning point” in the battle against Ebola.

“The consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socio-economic disruption and risk of spread to other countries,” she said.


GERMANY: Yahoo has filed a complaint against a year-old law that broadens copyright protection for news material on the internet, the firm said yesterday.

The law aims to protect the copyright of news articles and other materials, but Yahoo said that the rule’s vagueness and resulting “unreasonable” legal uncertainties had forced it to take the legislation to court. 

The internet services giant argued the law unconstitutionally limits online freedom of information.


TUNISIA: The country closed its main border crossing with Libya yesterday after hundreds of stranded Egyptians, fleeing violence in Libya, tried to break through.

Egyptians who had been barred from entering because they had no visa held a protest, raised an Egyptian flag and broke through part of a fence at the Ras Ajdir crossing, prompting Tunisian police to fire tear gas and shoot in the air.

A Tunisian police officer was wounded by gunfire from the Libyan side of the border.


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