World Digest: Sept. 27, 2013

September 28, 2013
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Rights crisis feared after court ruling

Experts warned Friday that a Dominican court decision to strip citizenship from children of Haitian migrants could cause a human rights crisis, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stateless and facing mass deportation and discrimination.

Officials vowed to create a path to Dominican citizenship, but gave no details on how it would work or who would be covered.

The ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court is final and gives an electoral panel a year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship.

The ruling, published Thursday, applies to those born after 1929, a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on farms. It appears to affect even their grandchildren, said Wade McMullen, a New York-based lawyer at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly an additional 34,000 born to parents of another nationality. Many of those “are now effectively stateless,” McMullen said. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen to those people.”

— Associated Press

MALI
Elections announced; rebels quit talks

Mali’s newly elected president told the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Friday that his country will hold two rounds of legislative elections before the end of the year, the first on Nov. 24 and the second on Dec. 15.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s announcement came a day after separatist Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said they were suspending their participation in a peace accord with the government, marking a major setback for the president, who is trying to reunite the country after a 2012 rebellion led to massive upheaval.

Under the June agreement, peace talks had been set to begin by late November between Keita’s new government and rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, the name they give to their northern homeland. Two other groups that were to take part also said they would drop out.

— Associated Press

Building collapses in Mumbai, killing 8: Rescuers pulled a small girl alive from a collapsed apartment building in India’s financial capital nearly 12 hours after the structure caved in Friday, killing at least eight people and trapping dozens. At least 32 people were rescued, but more than 30 others were still missing and the search continued, disaster officials said.

10 killed in attacks across Iraq: Bombs exploded near two Sunni mosques in Baghdad as a string of attacks nationwide killed 10 people, Iraqi officials said. The deadliest attacks were bombings targeting worshipers as they were leaving weekly Muslim services in mainly Sunni areas in the capital. At least five people were killed in a mosque bombing in the southern Dora neighborhood, and two were killed in a similar attack in western Baghdad.

Bomb blast kills dozens in Syria: More than 40 people were killed Friday when a car bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque in a Syrian town near Lebanon, opposition activists said. The bomb went off in Rankous, north of Damascus, as worshipers were leaving Friday prayers, they said. Burials held afterward were shelled from Syrian government bases, said Omar Abdulrahman of the Revolution Leadership Council, an opposition humanitarian group.

Maldives delays presidential runoff: The Maldives election commission halted preparations for a presidential election runoff after the Supreme Court ordered the vote’s delay until it hears a petition challenging the first-round results. The issue has become politically charged, with first-round front-runner Mohamed Nasheed, who was the country’s first democratically elected leader, accusing the court of colluding with a former autocratic ruler to deny him victory. Nasheed was to face a brother of the former ruler.

Asylum-seekers’ boat sinks off Indonesia, killing 21: A boat carrying asylum seekers sank off the coast of Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing at least 21 people, Indonesian police said, adding that 25 people were rescued. Some survivors told officials that more than 100 asylum seekers from Lebanon, Pakistan and Iraq were believed to be aboard the boat, which they said was headed for Australia’s Christmas Island.

Police officer killed in Egypt’s Sinai: Unknown assailants killed an Egyptian police officer in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, as hundreds took to the streets in scattered protests against the military’s ousting of the former Islamist president. In a separate incident, also in Sinai, militants struck two armored military vehicles with a roadside bomb, injuring a soldier, officials said.

— From news services

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