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World in Brief Friday July 13

IRAN: Iranian authorities were condemned by Amnesty International for publicly flogging a man who was convicted of consuming alcohol when he was 14 or 15.

The man — identified only as “M R” — was given 80 lashes in a square in the eastern city of Kashmar after being convicted 10 years ago.

Amnesty spokesman Philip Luther said: “No-one, regardless of age, should be subjected to flogging; that a child was prosecuted for consuming alcohol and sentenced to 80 lashes beggars belief.”

BELGIUM: Nato countries offered a different version of US President Donald Trump’s claim that they promised to “significantly raise defence budgets” during talks in Brussels yesterday.

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said they remained committed to a 2014 agreement to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence budgets by 2024.

Mr Trump has complained that the US pays more in defence spending than their Nato partners.

SOUTH AFRICA: The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has condemned the shooting of five Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union [SACTWU] members on Wednesday.

Tear gas was fired at a peaceful picket line before police opened fire with rubber bullets outside a footwear factory in KwaZulu-Natal.

They have been on strike since Monday in a national dispute over pay. The union is demanding a 9.5 per cent rise while employers have offered 6.25 per cent.

AUSTRALIA: A rat was blamed for a power cut during a ballet performance in Adelaide leading to 2,000 people being evacuated by torchlight.

The lights went out during the second half of Sleeping Beauty by the Australian Ballet which also affected another performance at dance in the Adelaide Festival Centre.

A spokeswoman from South Australia Power Network confirmed that crews “found a rat that crawled inside one of our 11,000-volt pieces of equipment and had blown a fuse.”

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