Foreign articles

18 dead, five hurt in Indian helicopter crash

18 dead, five hurt in Indian helicopter crash

GUWAHATI – At least 18 people died and five others were badly burnt on Tuesday when a helicopter crashed and exploded as it came into land in a mountainous region of northeast India, police told AFP. “The number of those killed are 18 and five people badly burnt have been taken to hospital in Tawang,” said S.B. Singh, police inspector general of Arunachal Pradesh state, lowering the earlier death toll of 20. “There were 23 people including five crew members on board the helicopter,”

Jordan arrests brother of CIA suicide bomber

AMMAN – The brother of a Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan in 2009 has been arrested, their mother said Tuesday, after police clashed wtih Salafist protesters. “Security forces arrested my son Ayman Balawi, 36, Friday midnight when he was home, although he did not take part in Zarqa’s demonstration that day,” Shennara Awwad told AFP. More than 90 people, most of them policemen, were hurt on Friday when protesters from the ultra-conservative Sunni

Iran assures Saudi Arabia of embassy security

TEHRAN – Iran on Tuesday said it would ensure the security of the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Tehran after Riyadh threatened to pull out its diplomats following protests by Iranians outside its mission.”The security of embassies is a basic principle and we will ensure the security of embassies and the lives of diplomats,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters at a press conference in reference to Saudi threat. “Our people are sensitive to what is happening the

Protests rage in south Egypt against Christian governor

CAIRO – Hundreds of Egyptians on Monday protested against the appointment of a Christian governor in the southern city of Qena, as officials scrambled to end the four-day crisis, security officials said. Protests first kicked off on Friday after Emad Mikhail was appointed governor of Qena which has a large Coptic Christian population and a history of sectarian strife.
Interior Minister Mansur Essawy, who made an impromptu visit to the southern province late on Sunday, failed to

Some 10,000 Libyans flee to Tunisia: UNHCR

GENEVA – Some 10,000 Libyans have fled in the last 10 days from the besieged Western Mountains region to Tunisia, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. “UNHCR is seeing a growing number of Libyan refugees arriving in Tunisia from Libya’s Western Mountains regions,” said Andrej Mahecic, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “This past weekend, some 6,000 Libyan nationals arrived in the Dehiba area of southern Tunisia. Overall, we estimate that 10,000 Libyans have crossed

18 dead, 5 hurt in Indian helicopter crash

GUWAHATI – At least 18 people died and five others were badly burnt on Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in northeast India close to the border with China, a local police chief told AFP.
“The number of those killed are 18 and five people badly burnt have been taken to hospital in Tawang,” said S.B. Singh, police inspector general of Arunachal Pradesh state, amending the earlier death toll of 20.
“There were 23 people including five crew members on board the helicopter,” he

British man who burned Holy Quran jailed for ‘theatrical bigotry’

LONDON – A convicted racist who burned a Holy Quran in front of city centre shoppers in Carlisle, north west England, has been jailed for 70 days after a judge described the act as “theatrical bigotry”.
Andrew Ryan stole a copy of the holy book from Carlisle Library and then set it on fire with a lighter as a crowd gathered to hear his protests in front of a monument. Police arrested Ryan shortly after the lunchtime incident on January 19 this year, reports British media.

Mosque burnt after deadly post-poll riots in Nigeria

KANO – Christian youths burnt a mosque in Nigeria’s north early Tuesday after deadly rioting that followed presidential elections, prompting Muslims to destroy shops in response, residents said.
The reprisal attacks occurred in Nigeria’s main northern city of Kano, where an unspecified number of people were killed the previous day as post-election rioting spread to some 14 states over President Goodluck Jonathan’s election win.
Kano police spokesman Magaji Majia confirmed

Yemen tense as calls on Saleh to quit grow

SANAA – Tension simmered in Yemen on Monday after a fruitless meeting with Gulf mediators and late night demonstrations turned violent in Sanaa. The streets of Sanaa appeared quiet on Monday following overnight clashes with security forces, an AFP correspondent reported.
Late on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of men and women protested against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s call for an end to men and women demonstrating together against the regime, and called for his ouster.

7 killed by Syrian forces as protest movement spreads

DAMASCUS – At least seven people were killed when Syrian security forces fired into a crowd in the flashpoint town of Homs, as nationwide protests showed no sign of abating, rights activists said on Monday. The deaths occurred when security forces opened fire with live rounds late Sunday to disperse demonstrators in the Bab Sba’a area of the town, 160 kilometres (100 miles) to the north of Damascus, witnesses said.
Two activists, who declined to be identified, spoke of seven

Ahmadinejad accuses US of creating Iran, Arab tension

TEHRAN – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday accused the United States of wanting to create tension between Iran and Arabs, after Gulf Arab states urged the Iranian regime to stop interfering in their affairs. “America and its allies are trying to create an Iranian-Arab tension, they seek to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis… but their plan will fail,” the hardliner said at Iran’s annual Army Day parade, where the military displayed a range of home-built drones and missiles.

Russia’s Medvedev calls for drug testing in schools

IRKUTSK – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for drug testing in schools, warning that narcotics abuse was now such a major problem that it was weighing down the economy. Speaking at a government meeting in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, identified by officials as a particular trouble spot for abuse, Medvedev said that no fewer than 2.5 million Russians were drug addicts. The president said the problem was costing Russia between two and three percent of the gross

US rushes aid after tornadoes kill 45

RALEIGH – US authorities on Monday rushed aid to southern states after powerful tornadoes cut a path of death and destruction, killing at least 45 and reducing entire towns to piles of rubble. The tragedy began late Thursday in Oklahoma, where a giant twister almost flattened the small town of Tushka — population 350 — tearing up most of its homes and businesses and killing two elderly residents.
The storm system strengthened and expanded on Friday, whipping up hundreds more

Riots hit Nigeria’s north with Jonathan assured of poll win

KANO – Riots spread across Nigeria’s north on Monday as results from presidential elections showed incumbent Goodluck Jonathan assured of victory in polls that reflected deep regional tensions. Residents reported that a home belonging to an aide to the vice president was among those set alight and a mob sought to burn a Christian woman alive in one area.
Protesters fought running battles with soldiers in Nigeria’s main northern city. A 24-hour curfew was imposed on the state of

India’s last maharaja of Jaipur dies

NEW DELHI – The last maharaja of Jaipur, an ancient city in western India, has died at the age of 79, prompting two days of mourning in his former kingdom, reports said on Monday.
Bhawani Singh, who held a brigadier’s rank in the Indian army and was feted as a war hero, died of multiple organ failure after being hospitalised near New Delhi on March 29, relatives told the Asian Age newspaper.
The maharaja, partly British educated and a keen polo player, is survived by wife

Australia donates to Flying Doctors for Will and Kate

SYDNEY – Australia said Monday it will donate Aus$25,000 ($26,400) to the Royal Flying Doctor Service as a wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Middleton. The couple, who marry on April 29, have asked that anyone intending to send them presents instead give the money to charity. “The gift was decided following a request from the happy couple to donate to one of their nominated charities instead of a wedding gift,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s office. “The Royal Flying Doctor