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Veteran Pakistani politician elected president

ISLAMABAD: Mamnoon Hussain, a veteran Pakistani politician and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's trusted ally, was elected president on Tuesday in a vote by legislators for the largely ceremonial post of head of state. Hussain, 73, will be sworn in on September 9 at the presidential palace due to be vacated by incumbent Asif Ali Zardari, who is stepping down at the end of his five-year term. Ousted in a bloodless coup in 1999, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party swept back into power in a May vote that marked the first transition between civilian governments in a country ruled by...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Car bomb kills Syrian Kurdish politician

DIYARBAKIR: A prominent Syrian Kurdish politician was assassinated early on Tuesday outside his home near the Turkish border when a bomb planted in his car exploded, Kurdish political sources said. Isa Huso, a member of the foreign relations committee in the Higher Kurdish Council, a group formed to unite Syrian Kurdish parties, was leaving his house in the Syrian town of Al Qamishli when the bomb exploded at around 0300 GMT (11:00 p.m. EDT), the sources said. Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) condemned the killing but gave no further details. Kurdish militias have been f...
Published On: 2013-07-30

134 people killed in clashes in Sudan's Darfur

KHARTOUM: Some 134 people have been killed in new clashes between two rival tribes in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, a tribal leader said on Tuesday. Conflict has raged through the vast western region since 2003 when African tribes took up arms against the Arab government in Khartoum, accusing it of neglect. Violence is down from a 2004-2005 peak, but fighting between rival tribes has risen sharply since January. Some of those involved in the fighting were armed by Khartoum in 2003 to suppress the rebellion. Arab Misseriya tribesmen and members of the rival Salamat tribe in Um Dukhun in...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Nigeria bombs kill 12 in mainly Christian area

KANO: Bomb blasts that ripped through a mainly Christian area of the largest city in northern Nigeria have killed 12 people, the military said Tuesday, shattered a recent lull in insurgent attacks there. At least four explosions were heard Monday night around outdoor bars in the Sabon Gari area of Kano, causing panic and sending clouds of smoke and dust into the air, residents said. One resident said a small church in the area may have also been among the targets. The military blamed the attack on suspected members of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and said packages that caused the exp...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Thousands mourn victims of Italian bus crash

POZZUOLI: Thousands of people packed into a sports hall in the southern town of Pozzuoli on Tuesday to commemorate 38 people who died when a coach plunged 25 metres (80 ft) off a motorway viaduct in one of the worst road accidents in Italian history. Prime Minister Enrico Letta was among an estimated 4,000 mourners at the service during a day of national mourning called after the accident, which occurred on Sunday night as the coach was returning from an excursion. "This tragedy has hit everyone. It was a punch to our hearts and affected all of the city," said Salvatore Gritti, who...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Fifteen missing in Florida gas plant explosion

TAVARES:Fifteen people were unaccounted for and nearby neighborhoods were evacuated after a series of explosions shook a propane gas plant in central Florida, US media reported early Tuesday. The Orlando Sentinel newspaper, citing local officials, wrote that 24 people were working the night shift at Blue Rhino, a Lake County propane-tank business, when the explosions occurred. Some 15 people were still unaccounted for after the accident late Monday, the daily wrote. The blasts set off a huge fire, which firefighters were still trying to contain early Tuesday. The Sentinel reported that the...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Top court ponders Berlusconi jail fate

ROME: Italy's top court begins crucial hearings for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday that will decide whether to confirm a one-year prison sentence and a five-year ban from politics. The sensitive tax fraud case, which began seven years ago, revolves around television distribution rights bought by the billionaire tycoon's media empire Mediaset. The result of the hearings risks upsetting Italy's fragile right-left coalition government. The Supreme Court hearing is expected to start at 0800 GMT in Rome but Italian media reported that the actual verdict may come only on Wedne...
Published On: 2013-07-30

China rules out Sino-Japanese summit - state media

BEIJING/TOKYO: China has ruled out the possibility of a proposed summit with Japan after Tokyo suggested the meeting in a bid to defuse an increasingly bitter territorial row, the official China Daily reported on Tuesday. The report, quoting a statement by an unidentified Chinese official made on Monday, coincided with a visit to Beijing by Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki. Saiki's visit is the latest effort by Tokyo to improve ties soured by the row over tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries. Chinese and Japanese officials were tight-lipped a...
Published On: 2013-07-30

Verdict to be read Tuesday for U.S. soldier in WikiLeaks case

The verdict will be read on Tuesday at the court-martial of the soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, the judge said, with the biggest question whether he will be convicted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, carrying a life sentence. Legal observers said it was highly likely that Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, who in March pleaded guilty to lesser charges related to sharing some 700,000 documents with the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website in 2010, will be found guilty on at least some of the 21 criminal counts. "The difficult...
Published On: 2013-07-30

EU's Ashton to visit Morsi

CAIRO: The EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton headed to meet ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi early Tuesday as his supporters rallied anew in Cairo. A senior Egyptian source said the top diplomat was headed to visit the deposed leader, who has not been seen in public since his July 3 ouster. In Cairo, meanwhile, Morsi's supporters marched towards security headquarters, despite warnings from authorities for them not to exceed their rights to peaceful protest. Tensions have been running high since dozens were killed at a pro-Morsi rally in Cairo on Saturday. Khaled al-Khateeb,...
Published On: 2013-07-30