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World in brief: 13 June 2018

UNITED STATES: Poor People’s Campaign leader the Rev William Barber was arrested in Washington DC on Monday as he led hundreds of protesters demanding improved conditions for the nation’s poor.

Organisers say about 2,000 people have been arrested in the past five weeks as they use “direct action” to push the plight of the country’s poor to the top of the political agenda.

The campaign was relaunched earlier this year, following in the footsteps of the original campaign’s leader Dr Martin Luther King.

GERMANY: Trade union ver.di held a one-day “warning” strike at TUV-Nord yesterday after talks to resolve a pay dispute broke down.

About 800 workers at the industrial services company walked out for 24 hours after four rounds of negotiations failed to secure agreement.

The union, Germany’s largest, is demanding a 6 per cent rise, while bosses have offered just 2.4 per cent.

ITALY: A plan has been agreed to help a ship carrying 629 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean make its way to the Spanish port of Valencia.

The Aquarius was refused permission to dock in Italy by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday.

Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has offered safe harbour to the ship, which is carrying seven pregnant women and 123 unaccompanied children among its passengers.

ECUADOR: Former president Rafael Correa has been accused of masterminding the 2012 kidnapping of former congressman Fernando Balda, with authorities seeking a criminal trial.

Attorney General Paul Perez has alleged Mr Correa was involved in the kidnapping, a potential “state crime” involving state officials and public funds.

Mr Correa has denied approving the funds and dismissed allegations he ordered intelligence services to abduct Mr Balda.

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