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World in brief: 26/06/2014

US: Authorities claimed today that a fire at San Francisco’s Stanford Linear Accelerator caused no injuries and posed no threat to the public.

The San Francisco area research centre studies particle physics and radiation science.

Heavy black smoke from the two-mile accelerator structure alerted fire crews and the blaze was brought under control after about 45 minutes.

 

 

SOMALIA: Three people were killed when gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked a hotel housing African Union troops today.

A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Amalow Hotel in Bulo-Burte town before gunmen tried to force their way in.

It was the second such attack against the hotel. A suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked it in March, killing at least five people. Islamic militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack.

 

 

YEMEN: Al-Qaida fighters attacked an airport in the south today and bombed the facility's air control tower.

A co-ordinated attack on Sayoun airport in the southern province of Hadramawt started from three different directions in the morning.

The attack came just hours after security forces arrested a number of suspected militants in the same town, known for a strong al-Qaida presence.

 

 

SAUDI ARABIA: Rights group Amnesty International condemned a court decision today to jail civil rights activist Fowzan al-Harbi for seven years, labelling the charges "spurious."

Al-Harbi was convicted on several charges, including "breaking allegiance" with the ruler, criticising authorities and participating in founding an "unlicenced organisation."

"Harbi has been ruthlessly targeted for daring to question the Saudi human rights record," said Amnesty Middle East deputy director Said Boumedouha.

 

LIBYA: Prominent female activist Salwa Bugaighis was assassinated as elections kicked off on Wednesday in the restive eastern city of Benghazi.

The lawyer and right activist was killed with a bullet to the head just hours after casting her ballot in parliamentary elections.

Ms Bugaighis had been at the forefront of the 2011 uprising and was also among the most vocal and outspoken activists against Islamist extremists.

 

UKRAINE: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on Russia today to support his peace plan "with deeds, not words."

More than 300 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks as anti-Kiev fighters confronted heavily armed government forces.

Speaking at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Mr Poroshenko called on Moscow to prevent armed separatists from crossing the Russian border.

"Without that, we cannot talk about peace," he said bluntly.

 

FRANCE: A court has ordered Mehdi Nemmouche, who is suspected of killing four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum, to be extradited to Belgium.

The Versailles court decided today that Mr Nemmouche should be handed over.

Nemmouche had fought alongside Islamist activists in Syria and was arrested carrying weapons resembling those used in the May 24 killings.

His lawyer said they would appeal against the extradition decision.

 

SPAIN: Having lost his immunity from prosecution, former king Juan Carlos took a step toward regaining legal protection against lawsuits today.

An amendment passed by the lower house of parliament means any case involving him must be examined by the Supreme Court, which has a higher threshold for proof.

His immunity previously stopped two lawsuits in 2012, both of which were seeking paternity tests.

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