Foreign

Russia crash landing kills Dagestan leader’s brother

Russia crash landing kills Dagestan leader’s brother

MOSCOW: The brother of a Russian regional leader was one of two passengers killed in a crash landing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Saturday that also injured 82 people, the Investigations Committee said on Sunday.
The incident “lead to the death of two passengers, and 82 were hospitalised.
Among the dead…(is) Gadzhimurad Magomedov,” a statement on the Investigations Committee website said.
Magomedov, 49, is the brother of the president of Russia’s Republic of

Israel says it now has enough firefighting planes

HAIFA: Israel does not need any more firefighting planes to tackle the deadly forest fire raging in the north of the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Sunday.
Netanyahu was following the advice of professional firefighters that “the fleet of aircraft currently deployed in Israel is sufficient for the task,” his spokesman Mark Regev told AFP. As a result, Israel was cancelling its requests for more aircraft, although it “greatly appreciates the readiness

Greek weapons cache not linked to guerrillas-police

ATHENS: Greek police said on Sunday that a cache of weapons found in apartments in Athens this weekend did not match guns used in recent attacks by leftist guerrilla groups.
Police raided 16 houses across Greece, detained 17 people and arrested four men on Saturday, two days before the anniversary of the worst riots in decades, sparked by the police killing of a teenager on December 6, 2008.
Seven handguns, three machine guns, boxes of bullets, grenades, explosives and

Russian spy uncovered in British parliament

LONDON: A young Russian woman working for a British lawmaker is facing deportation after security services detained her on suspicion of espionage, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
The paper reported that Katia Zatuliveter, 25, secretly worked for the Russian intelligence as a “sleeper” agent.
She had been working for Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock who sits on parliament’s defence select committee which examines defence policy but has no access to secret material.

Tutu, Havel urge China to release Nobel Peace Prize winner

LONDON: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Czech president Vaclav Havel on Sunday demanded “the unconditional release” of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, in an article published by a British newspaper.
Ahead of the Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo on Friday and writing in The Observer, Tutu and Havel said the dissident’s imprisonment was “sadly emblematic of the Chinese government’s intolerance to individual expression”.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in October

Two NATO, 2 Afghan soldiers die in market suicide attack

KHOST: Two NATO and two Afghan soldiers were killed in a suicide attack at a market close to a joint military base in the east of the country on Sunday, coalition and local officials said.
An unknown number of Afghan soldiers and troops with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were also injured in the blast that tore through the bazaar in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia.
“There was some sort of explosion near the operating base in Gardez

Defiant Iran reports nuclear advance before talks

TEHRAN: Iran announced what it called a major step forward in its nuclear programme on Sunday, showing determination to pursue it a day before talks with world powers which fear Tehran may be seeking atom bombs.
Nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran would use domestically produced uranium concentrates, known as yellowcake, for the first time at a key nuclear facility, cutting its reliance on imports of the key ingredient for nuclear fuel.
“This means that Iran

Israel ‘saddened’ as Brazil recognises Palestinian state

JERUSALEM: Israel on Saturday said it was disappointed by Brazil’s decision to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, saying it flew in the face of efforts to negotiate a peace deal.
The decision was announced by outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a public letter addressed to Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, which was made public by Brazil’s foreign ministry on Friday. “The government of Israel expresses sadness and disappointment over the

Sarkozy calls on India to back G20 agenda

BANGALORE: President Nicolas Sarkozy urged India on Saturday to support France’s agenda of reforming the global monetary system during its presidency of the G20 and hinted a nuclear deal could be signed on his trip.
The French president started his four-day visit in the southern technology hub of Bangalore. He leads a delegation of 50 senior businessmen as well as top cabinet officials, including Economy Minister Christine Lagarde. He wants to push an ambitious agenda
for

India seeks to double Bhopal compensation

NEW DELHI: The Indian government is seeking to more than double the compensation paid by a US chemical company for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster to 1.1 billion dollars, a government lawyer said Friday.
The lawyer from the attorney general’s office said the government had filed a case in the Supreme Court demanding compensation of 50 billion rupees (1.1 billion dollars).
Last year, the government said it would look into how to retroactively increase the amount of compensation

Former British MP admits expenses fraud at Old Bailey

LONDON: Former Labour MP David Chaytor became the first politician to receive a criminal conviction over last year’s parliamentary expenses scandal when he admitted on Friday to fraudulently claiming almost 20,000 pounds.
Chaytor, 61, who had been MP for Bury North, had claimed back money he had paid in rent for houses that were in fact owned by himself and by his mother, and also put in false claims for IT services.
He had previously denied the charges and was due to stand

Malaysia’s Anwar says likely to be suspended from parliament

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Friday he was likely to be suspended from parliament, after a disciplinary probe against him refused to hear his defence.
The government in April urged action against Anwar after he criticised its “One Malaysia” national unity slogan, saying it had been copied from the “One Israel” political alliance of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak in 1999.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with

Berlusconi in Russia amid revelations of US concern

MOSCOW: Silvio Berlusconi met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday as leaked US cables revealed growing anxiety in Washington about the Italian prime minister’s ties to Moscow.
The disclosures forced both leaders to address poignant assessments of a relationship Washington believes has worked to the detriment of both the European Union and the United States. Medvedev said cables quoting sources who felt he played “Robin to (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin’s Batman” revealed

Thousands battle Israel’s worst fire as toll hits 41

HAIFA: Thousands of Israeli firemen and rescuers fought Friday to control a massive forest fire that has killed 41 people, as global help poured in to battle the biggest inferno in the country’s history.
As high winds drove the blaze towards the northern port city of Haifa, police and medical officials said rescuers had recovered another body, taking the toll to 41, and warned the number of dead could still rise.
“As of this morning, we have recovered 41 bodies, and there

Sarkozy eyes defence, nuclear contracts in India

PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy heads to India on Saturday to try to sell French fighter jets and nuclear technology to the Asian giant while his pop star wife Carla Bruni pursues her AIDS charity work.
Sarkozy is taking seven ministers and a bevy of French industrialists along on the four-day trip, his first visit to a G20 state since France took the presidency of the group of developed and major developing economic powers. It shows France’s “recognition” of India’s position as

Karzai orders probe into NATO killing in Afghanistan

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation on Thursday into the killing by NATO forces of a former governor in southern Afghanistan, his office said.
According to Karzai’s office, troops broke into the house of Haji Ibrahim, a former district governor in the southern Helmand province, earlier this week, killing him and arresting six members of his family.
Gulab Mangal, the Helmand governor, told Karzai preliminary investigations had revealed Ibrahim was

Snow batters Europe as Britain grinds to a halt

LONDON: Fresh snowfalls swept northern Europe once again Thursday, causing misery for travellers as airports remain closed, roads were blocked and Eurostar international rail services were cancelled.
The unseasonable cold snap, which has lasted nearly a week, has caused Britain to grind to a halt, with thousands of schools closed and commuters stranded as rail services were cancelled and icy roads deemed unsafe. Gatwick Airport,
Britain’s second busiest airport after

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