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World in brief: February 24

TURKEY: A court sentenced three academics yesterday to jail for signing a peace petition, claiming that it counted as “terror propaganda.”

But the terms were revised by the judge to five years of probation because of the academics’ good behaviour and clean criminal records.

The three were among 1,128 academics who signed a petition in January 2016 urging an end to the government’s bloody crackdown on Kurds in the south-east.

CHINA: The government has taken over the private Anbang Insurance Group and said yesterday that its chairman had been charged with economic crimes.

The Insurance Regulatory Commission said Anbang had broken laws and rules which “may seriously endanger the solvency of the company.”

Regulators and government officials will manage Anbang for a year in a bid to reduce its financial risk. Anbang was known for a foreign spending spree, including buying several posh hotels.

ARGENTINA: Russia’s Foreign Ministry insisted yesterday that the discovery of 389kg of cocaine in a school attached to its Buenos Aires embassy showed how alert its diplomats were.

Argentina’s security minister announced on Thursday that the drugs had been discovered in 2016, swapped for flour, then tracked in 2017 through Russia’s diplomatic courier service.

Three people were arrested when the shipment reached Moscow.

BRAZIL: Wildly popular Workers Party ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva insists that he is ready to fight for the top job despite the Establishment forces trying to block him.

In a speech in Bello Horizonte on Thursday, Mr da Silva said he refused to “lower his head.”

Meanwhile a new report revealed that it takes unemployed Brazilians an average of 14 months to find a new job.

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