World Digest: June 15, 2013

June 15, 2013
YEMEN
Dutch couple missing in Sanaa

Yemeni officials say a Dutch couple are believed to have been kidnapped from the capital, Sanaa.

The officials say police received a phone call that prompted them to check on the couple in their apartment. They broke down the door after no one answered and found only a pet dog.

They say the two have been missing for three days.

Last month, two South African nationals were abducted in Yemen’s second largest city, Taiz.

Yemen’s president has warned that the country’s al-Qaeda branch is expanding and using assassinations and abductions of foreigners to challenge the central government’s authority.

— Associated Press

SOUTH AFRICA
Mandela improving, grandson reports

Former South African president Nelson Mandela’s health has improved, his grandson said Saturday, as the 94-year-old spent his eighth day in the hospital recovering from a lung infection.

Mandla Mandela said that when he left his grandfather in Pretoria, before heading to Qunu for a family memorial service, “we saw the improvement in his health.”

Mandela, leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990 and embarked on peacemaking efforts during the tense transition that saw the demise of the apartheid system and his election as South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

His admission to a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, is Mandela’s fourth hospital stay since December.

— Associated Press

Britain
U.S.-bound EgyptAir flight diverted

British fighter jets escorted a plane from Cairo bound for New York to an emergency landing in Scotland after a passenger discovered a letter threatening the aircraft, officials said Saturday.

Flight 985 to John F. Kennedy International Airport had more than 300 passengers on board when it was diverted to Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport after a passenger found the letter in a restroom, EgyptAir chairman Tawfiq Assi said.

Police in Glasgow said that there were no reports of injuries.

— Associated Press

Quake detected off the coast of Nicaragua: A 6.5-magnitude earthquake was registered off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua about midday Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries after the quake, which was felt at 11:34 a.m. Nicaragua’s seismological institute measured the temblor’s strength as 6.6 and declared a tsunami alert as a precaution.

Cat runs for mayor in Mexico: Morris, a black-and-white kitten with orange eyes, is running for mayor of Xalapa in eastern Mexico with the campaign slogan “Tired of Voting for Rats? Vote for a Cat.” And he is attracting tens of thousands of politician-weary, two-legged supporters on social media. “He sleeps almost all day and does nothing, and that fits the profile of a politician,” said office worker Sergio Camacho, 35, who adopted the 10-month-old feline last year. Launched by Camacho and a group of friends who said they are disillusioned with what they described as the empty promises of politicians, Morris’s campaign has resonated across the country.

— From news services

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