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World in brief: 25/05/14

NIGERIA: Police said today that an explosion in the city of Jos has killed at least three people.

The suicide blast happened near an open-air TV viewing centre where people were watching the Champions League football final.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

But Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has previously described football and music as Western ploys to distract Muslims from their religion.


EGYPT: A Cairo court convicted 20 students of rioting during a protest last year and sentenced most of them to five years in prison yesterday.

Nineteen Al-Azhar University students were sentenced to five years in prison. One defendant got three years while another was acquitted. 

The 19 were also fined £1,700 each for property damage.

Hundreds of students marched through Cairo demanding that the protest laws under which their colleagues were convicted should be scrapped.


US: The president and founder of South Carolina’s Cathedral Bible College, Reginald Wayne Miller, faced federal charges on Friday.

Homeland Security agents say they have probable cause to charge him with forced labour, a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Prosecutors alleged he made international students work long hours with little pay by threatening their legal status.

Bail was set at $250,000 (£148,535). He is not allowed to visit the college’s campus or communicate with current or former foreign students.


TURKEY: state-run news agency Anadolu said yesterday that an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was photographed kicking a protester during a visit to town hit by a mine disaster has been dismissed from his post as deputy chief of staff.

Yusuf Yerkel was removed from his post in Mr Erdogan’s office on Wednesday. The agency said he would be assigned to another position, yet to be determined.


TUNISIA: A Tunis court has dismissed a drug charge against a prominent blogger and a photographer.

Defence lawyer Ridha Riddaoui said on Friday night that the court had taken the appropriate action in light of blogger Aziz Amami’s allegations that he had been beaten by police when he was arrested.

Activists had accused the police of using harsh drug laws to target dissidents.


CHINA: At least 19 people have died and seven were reporting missing today in widespread flooding that hit hundreds of thousands of people across southern China.

Historic-level rains lashed the cities of Guangzhou, Zhaoqing and Qingyuan and triggered floods, mudslides and the collapse of 1,143 houses. 

About 21,000 people have been evacuated. Heavy rains have battered the region since last week, with 25 inches falling in Guangdong province since Wednesday.


YEMEN: Human Rights Watch urged Yemeni and Saudi border officials at the weekend to do more to prosecute human traffickers.

Tens of thousands of African migrants make the perilous boat journey across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen from where they cross illegally into Saudi Arabia.

The group said there was “a multimillion-dollar trafficking and extortion racket” in the country that takes migrants to isolated camps where they are abused until they pay more money.

The rights group claimed Yemeni security forces were involved in trafficking.


MALI: The African Union said on Friday night that ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels have signed a ceasefire deal after having pushed the Malian army out of Kidal.

A week ago, Tuareg rebels stormed government buildings in the city, killing at least eight civilians and taking more than 30 hostages, who were later released.

The African Union said that the agreement came following talks and a visit by Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, currently AU chairman.


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