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World in Brief: 02/05/14

NATO: Deputy secretary general Alexander Vershbow said yesterday that the cold-war alliance is compelled to view Russia as an adversary in light of its annexation of Crimea.

Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Nato and Pentagon official, said Russia’s stance posed “grave challenges” to global security arrangements.

And US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel argued yesterday that the crisis in Ukraine represented a “coalescing moment” for the alliance that should be used as a reason to up Nato defence capabilities.


US: The United Nations human rights office said today that US death-row inmate Clayton Lockett’s suffering during his botched execution this week may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international human rights law.

A spokesman said Mr Lockett’s horrifically prolonged death on Tuesday was “the second case of apparent extreme suffering caused by malfunctioning lethal injections” reported in the United States this year.

He said it “reinforces the argument that authorities across the US should impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty and work for abolition of this cruel and inhuman practice.”


GREECE: Some 5,000 farmers’ market vendors blocked traffic in central Athens today and continued giving away food as part of anti-government protests.

The vendors, who closed their street markets indefinitely this week, are the latest group to denounce a government overhaul of market rules aimed at boosting competition. They gathered outside parliament as lawmakers debated the proposed new regulations.

The strikers have staged more than a dozen handout events this week, each drawing crowds of thousands.


LIBYA: Gunmen stormed police headquarters in Benghazi before dawn today sparking fighting in several districts that killed at least five soldiers.

Special forces intervened to try to evict the gunmen, triggering fighting elsewhere in the eastern city that also wounded 11 people.

The gunmen were trying to seize a vehicle packed with weapons and ammunition that the police had taken from them, a security source said.


ETHIOPIA: At least 11 students have been killed in violent clashes with police in a region that has long been home to a secessionist movement, according to the government.

Violence has erupted in a number of university campuses across Oromia state as ethnic Oromo students protest against a plan by the central government to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into parts of Oromia.

Student protests, which started on April 28, broke out in at least four university campuses in Oromia. The violence spread from the campuses and protesters set fire to a bank, a petrol station and government buildings.


NIGERIA: The death toll from a car bomb that exploded on a busy road in the capital Abuja rose to at least 19 overnight with 66 people wounded, police said today.

The bomb was left near a checkpoint where traffic built up, across the road from a busy bus station where a massive explosion on April 14 killed at least 75 people. 

That blast was claimed by the Islamist Boko Haram terrorist network in a video on April 19 that threatened further assaults.


US: The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People has resigned after scrutiny of his decision to give racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

According to the nation’s oldest civil rights organiation, Leon Jenkins resigned on Thursday.

Mr Jenkins had planned to present Sterling with a “lifetime achievement award” later th


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