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World in Brief 27/05/2014

Spanish Socialist Party leader steps down after EU election drubbing; Turkish court orders arrest of Israeli military commanders over Gaza blockade-runner deaths; A Spanish village votes to changes its anti-Semitic name

AUSTRALIA: An investigation into a riot in a detention camp on Papua New Guinea has found a Salvation Army officer led a brutal attack that left an Iranian man dead.

More than 60 asylum seekers received treatment in three days of violence at the Australia-run camp on Manus Island in February. Reza Barati, 23, died of head injuries.

The Salvation Army employee struck Mr Barati before others dropped a rock on his head.


SPAIN: The head of the opposition Socialist party said yesterday that he will step down after dismal results in the European election.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said he took responsibility for the “unreservedly bad” results. The Socialists won 14 seats, down from 23 in 2009.

The ruling conservative Popular party won the most seats but it too suffered a drop, from 24 to 16. The Socialists will hold a party congress on July 19-20 to name a new leader.


TURKEY: A court yesterday ordered the arrest of four former Israeli military commanders being tried in absentia over the killing of nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship that tried to break a Gaza blockade in 2010.

An Istanbul court ruled that authorities must seek an international warrant for Israel’s former military chief Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and three other former commanders.


INDIA: A passenger express hit a freight train yesterday, killing at least 40 people with others feared trapped in the wreckage.

The express was travelling to Gorakhpur city in Uttar Pradesh state when it hit the stationary train at a station.

Most of the victims had been poor farm workers returning to their homes from the neighbouring state of Haryana, a police spokesman said.


BELGIUM: A fourth person died yesterday following a shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels.

A receptionist at the museum, believed to be in his early 20s, has died of gunshot wounds.

Two Israeli tourists and a French woman had been confirmed dead after Saturday’s shooting.

Belgian police have released CCTV footage of a suspect walking into the museum with two bags, pulling out an automatic rifle and shooting.


SPAIN: Voters in the tiny village of Castrillo Matajudios, whose name means Camp Kill Jews, decided on Sunday it was time to change its centuries-old name.

Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez said the vote was 29-19 in a high turnout for a village with just 56 registered voters.

The name dates from 1627, more than a century after a royal edict ordered Jews to convert to Catholicism, flee the country or be tortured.


TURKEY: Police launched dawn raids on at least three Istanbul neighbourhoods yesterday, including one that was the scene of violent anti-government protests last week, and detained at least 15 people.

Special operation teams cordoned off Istanbul’s Okmeydani neighbourhood and held people suspected of involvement in clashes in which two people died.

Police seized fire bombs and fireworks in similar raids on other communities.


SOUTH KOREA: Under-pressure prosecutors have upped to $500,000 (£297,000) a reward for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive businessman in connection with last month’s ferry disaster.

The new sum was a 10-fold increase from the 50 million won ($50,000) offered last Thursday for Yoo Byung-Eun, whose family firm owned and ran the 6,825-tonne ferry Sewol, which capsized and sank on April 16 with the loss of 300 lives.


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