WORLD IN BRIEF

WORLD IN BRIEF

Friday, December 7, 2007

sri Lanka

Land Mine Explosion Kills at Least 16 on Bus

A land mine explosion attributed to Tamil separatists tore through a passenger bus crowded with civilians in northern Sri Lanka on Wednesday night, killing at least 16 people and wounding 22 others, the military said.

The bus blast came exactly a week after two bombings attributed to the Tamil Tigers killed 20 people in a suburb of the capital, Colombo. Those attacks followed a renewed military offensive against the rebels in their home base in the north. The military says the offensive has killed hundreds of guerrilla fighters in recent weeks.

russia

Court Orders Release Of Reporter in Hospital

A Russian court ordered the release of a reporter committed to a psychiatric hospital for nine months after writing articles critical of the military campaign in Chechnya, the international journalism watchdog group Reporters Without Borders said Thursday.

Andrei Novikov was one of several journalists and opposition activists who have been sent to psychiatric hospitals in Russia in recent years. He was working as an online reporter for Chechenpress, a news service connected with the Chechen separatist government, when he was convicted last December on charges of sedition and inciting violence.

israel

Cabinet Minister Told Not to Visit Britain

An Israeli cabinet minister has turned down an invitation to visit Britain out of concerns that he could be arrested there on war crimes charges for his role in the 2002 assassination of a senior Hamas fighter in the Gaza Strip, his spokesman said Thursday.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, invited to speak at a conference on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, was advised by Israel's Foreign and Justice ministries to call off the visit, a spokesman said.

Dichter was head of Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency when the air force dropped a bomb on a residential neighborhood, killing Hamas commander Salah Shehada, his bodyguard and 13 bystanders, including nine children.

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Hanging Proceeds Despite Order

Iran has hanged a man convicted of raping three boys when he was 13 despite retractions from his accusers and an order for a judicial review of his case, Human Rights Watch and an Iranian daily said. Makwan Mouloudzadeh, 20, was put to death Wednesday.

Oil Spill Off S. Korean Coast

A Hong Kong-registered oil tanker collided with another vessel in seas off South Korea's west coast Friday and leaked about 15,000 tons of crude oil, an official with the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry said.

Darfur Deployment Seen at Risk

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said a plan to send 26,000 peacekeepers to Sudan's Darfur region was at risk because U.N. members were failing to contribute essential helicopters.

From News Services


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