World Digest: Aug. 23, 2013

August 23, 2013
INDIA
1 held in gang rapeof woman in Mumbai

Police on Friday arrested a suspect in an attack late Thursday in an isolated corner of India’s business hub of Mumbai in which a 22-year-old photojournalist was gang-raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten.

The suspect named the other four attackers, police said, adding that the five men may have been local drug dealers.

The case was reminiscent of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country and sparked political efforts to curb violence against women.

Police said the Indian woman was on assignment for a magazine to take pictures of the former textile-manufacturing neighborhood of Lower Parel when the attack occurred. She is reportedly in stable condition in a hospital.

— Associated Press

SCOTLAND
Church says cardinal blocked abuse probe

A Scottish cardinal blocked an inquiry into cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic church of Scotland a year before resigning over his own sexual misconduct, the church said Friday.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in February after unidentified priests alleged that he acted inappropriately toward them, objected to a church review of abuse allegations commissioned in 2011, Mario Conti, retired archbishop of Glasgow, said in a letter published Friday in the Catholic newspaper the Tablet.

O’Brien was the only participant to pull out of the review, and the project was halted because of his objection, Conti said. The Scottish Catholic Church confirmed Conti’s account.

In May, the Vatican ordered O’Brien to leave Scotland for several months to pray and atone for his misconduct.

— Associated Press

COLOMBIA
FARC rebels pause peace talks in Cuba

Colombia’s largest guerrilla army temporarily walked away from peace talks with the government Friday over President Juan Manuel Santos’s refusal to agree to modify the constitution if a peace pact is struck.

It is the first time either side has broken off negotiations that began last year in Havana, other than for planned recesses. But the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, stopped short of pulling out of the peace process entirely.

The move comes after Santos announced Thursday night that he was asking Congress to consider a bill that would let a public referendum on an eventual peace deal coincide with congressional or presidential elections next year. That proposal falls short of the constitutional convention sought by the FARC.

— Associated Press

U.N. forces fire on rebels in eastern Congo: A new United Nations intervention brigade in eastern Congo has fired on M23 rebels for the first time, U.N. and Congolese army officials said. The development came a day after mortar shells rained on homes in the city of Goma, killing at least four civilians. The new brigade, consisting of Tanzanian, South African and Malawian soldiers, was created by the Security Council in March and has deployed to Congo over the past few months with a stronger mandate than past U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Fresh violence flares in Iraq: Separate insurgent attacks across Iraq killed at least six civilians, officials said. In the northern town of Dujail, gunmen broke into the house of a Shiite merchant at dawn, killing him, his wife and elderly mother. The officer says the motive behind the killing wasn’t immediately clear. Dujail, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, is a Shiite Muslim town surrounded by Sunni areas. In Baghdad, bombs exploded near Sunni mosques in two neighborhoods after Friday’s sermon, killing three people.

Clashes prove deadly in Pakistan: Five people were killed in sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the town of Bhakkar in Punjab province, police said. The violence erupted between members of a radical Sunni group, Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat, and minority Shiites after the Sunnis staged a rally to protest the killing of one of their members as he was closing his shop.

Gondolier’s drug test is positive: The gondolier whose boat collided with a bigger one on Venice’s Grand Canal last weekend, killing a German tourist, has tested positive for cocaine and hashish consumption, police said. The captains of the bigger boat, a public water bus, and two other vessels nearby are also under investigation.

— From news services

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