World Digest: Mandela reported to be in critical condition

SOUTH AFRICA
Hospitalized Mandela is in critical condition

The South African presidency says the ailing Nelson Mandela is in critical condition.

The office of President Jacob Zuma said he had visited the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader at the hospital Sunday evening and was informed by the medical team that Mandela’s condition had become critical in the past 24 hours.

Zuma said in a statement that the doctors are “doing everything possible to get his condition to improve.”

Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was hospitalized June 8 for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.

— Associated Press

GERMANY
Merkel party objects to Turkey’s E.U. bid

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is stressing its opposition to Turkey joining the European Union, saying in its manifesto for parliamentary elections in September that the country doesn’t fulfill the conditions to join.

The language was unveiled as Turkey’s government faces international scrutiny for its crackdown on widespread protests, but the stance is in line with the long-held views of Merkel’s party.

The program approved Sunday calls for deepening the relationship between Ankara and the E.U. and for “close strategic cooperation” on foreign and security policy.

“However, we reject full membership for Turkey because it does not fulfill the conditions for E.U. accession,” it says. “In view of the country’s size and economic structure, the European Union also would be overburdened.”

Merkel governs in a coalition with a party that is less skeptical about Turkey’s bid, as are all her other conceivable coalition partners after the Sept. 22 parliamentary vote.

On Friday, Germany summoned Turkey’s ambassador over a Turkish minister’s suggestion that Merkel was picking on Ankara for domestic political gain. Turkey then said that it was summoning Germany’s ambassador. The two countries’ foreign ministers met Saturday to calm matters.

— Associated Press

CANADA
Outages in Calgary could last for months

Power outages in Calgary, Canada’s oil capital, could last for weeks or even months, city authorities said Sunday, after record-­breaking floods that killed three people and forced more than 100,000 to flee their homes swept across southern Alberta.

Some Calgary residents returned to their sodden homes as river levels slowly dropped and some mandatory evacuation orders were lifted.

But Bruce Burrell, director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said power restoration in the downtown core, where many of Canada’s oil companies have their headquarters, could take days, weeks or even months.

Many of the companies were making plans for employees to work from home.

Heavy rains also were blamed for 750 barrels of synthetic oil spilling from a pipeline about 43 miles south of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta early Saturday.

“We are still investigating the cause, however, we believe that unusually heavy rains in the area may have resulted in ground movement on the right-of way that may have impacted the pipeline,” Enbridge, Canada’s largest pipeline company, said in an emailed statement.

The company also has shut down two major oil pipelines serving Canada’s oil sands region as a precaution.

— Reuters

At least 13 dead in bus crash in Montenegro: At least 13 people were killed and 32 were injured when a bus carrying Romanian tourists swayed off a bridge and plunged into a ravine in central Montenegro on Sunday, police said. Montenegrin Interior Minister Rasko Konjevic said the bus, with 46 people on board, crashed about 18 miles north of the capital, Podgorica. Police said the bus plunged from a bridge over the Moraca River during a rainstorm and crashed about 130 feet into a ravine.

Brotherhood members planned jailbreak, Egypt court rules: An Egyptian court said Sunday that Muslim Brotherhood members conspired with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and local militants to storm a prison in 2011 and free 34 Brotherhood leaders, including future president Mohamed Morsi. The court statement named two Brotherhood members among the alleged conspirators in the attack on Wadi el-Natroun prison on Jan. 29, 2011.

16 killed in tribal violence in Kenya, aid group says: Kenya’s Red Cross said that at least 16 people were killed and more than 20 wounded Sunday in the country’s north during inter-clan clashes. The violence occurred in Mandera county at a camp that hosts internally displaced people. Ethnic Somali clans have been clashing for three days.

— From news services

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