TV stations banned; Morsi backers jailed

An Egyptian court Tuesday ordered Al Jazeera’s local affiliate and three other stations to stop broadcasting, part of an expanding government crackdown against media seen as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and the country’s ousted Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.

In another legal move, a military tribunal issued the first verdicts against backers of Morsi, sentencing one to life in prison and handing sentences of five to 15 years in prison to 51 others for assaulting troops during riots in the port city of Suez last month. The riots were part of a nationwide wave of violence sparked when security forces cracked down on pro-Morsi camps in Cairo, killing hundreds.

Egypt’s new military-backed government has moved on multiple fronts to put down Morsi supporters, including referring Morsi himself to trial on charges of inciting murder.

At the same time, the military is stepping up its campaign against Islamist militants, who have escalated attacks in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi’s toppling. On Tuesday, helicopter gunships fired rockets on houses and cars in several villages, targeting what the state news agency MENA said were militants’ hideouts. At least eight suspected militants were killed, it said.

— Associated Press

Strong earthquake rocks Tokyo area

A strong earthquake shook the Tokyo area and eastern Japan early Wednesday, although no damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake registered a magnitude of 6.9 but was centered offshore near Torishima, part of the Izu Islands about 370 miles south of Tokyo. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.5 magnitude and said it was 251 miles deep.

Despite the remoteness of the epicenter, tremors were felt from the north of the main island of Honshu to the west. In Tokyo, buildings swayed for several moments. The national broadcaster NHK said some train lines stopped briefly for safety checks as a precaution. No tsunami alert was issued.

— Associated Press

Sweden investigates lost Assange luggage

Swedish police opened an investigation Tuesday after Wiki­Leaks founder Julian Assange urged them to find out what happened to a suitcase he suspects was stolen from him in 2010 by intelligence agents as he traveled from Sweden to Germany.

The suitcase contained three laptops that held WikiLeaks materials, including evidence of a “war crime” allegedly committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to an affidavit that Assange’s attorney filed along with a criminal complaint to police at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.

In the affidavit, Assange suggested his bag may have been illegally seized “as part of an intelligence operation with the purpose of gathering information about me.” He offered no proof but said all attempts to locate the bag had failed.

The move came a day before President Obama visits Sweden.

— Associated Press

Pakistani girl shot by Taliban speaks at library opening:
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head last year for advocating education for girls, honored her own weapon of choice Tuesday: the book. The 16-year-old, who was hospitalized in Britain after
being shot by the Taliban, delivered the opening speech for a new public library in Birmingham, England, that is being touted as the largest in Europe. “Books are the only weapon that can defeat terrorism,” she said in a warmly received address outside the
10-story building.

Germany seeks charges against alleged Auschwitz guards: The German special prosecutors’ office that probes Nazi war crimes said it is recommending charges against dozens of alleged former Auschwitz guards, opening the possibility of a new wave of trials almost 70 years after the end of World War II. The office said an investigation of 49 suspects found enough evidence to substantiate charges of accessory to murder against 30 people in Germany who were stationed at the death camp in Nazi-occupied

Verdict in Indian gang-rape case due next week: A fast-track court will issue a verdict Sept. 10 in the trial of four men accused in the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman on a bus in New Delhi last year, an attorney for two of the defendants said. A judge concluded hearings Tuesday after defense and prosecution lawyers completed their final arguments. One of the six accused was found dead in his jail cell in March, and a juvenile defendant was sentenced Saturday to three years in a reform home.

Suriname leader dismissive
of jailed son:
President Dési
Bouterse of Suriname distanced himself from his son following the younger man’s arrest and swift extradition to the United States to face drug and weapons charges, telling reporters that Dino Bouterse no longer holds
a government position with
the South American country.
“He is a grown man, with 13 children, who will turn 41,” he added. “He is responsible for his own

— From news services