Oppn activist killed

NAZRAN: A prominent opposition activist in the Russian southern province of Ingushetia was shot and killed on Sunday by unidentified gunmen. Maksharip Aushev died when several assailants sprayed his vehicle with automatic gunfire from a passing car. The attack occurred on a road in the neighbouring province of Kabardino-Balkariya. Aushev had worked with Magomed Yevloyev, a journalist, lawyer and opposition activist who was detained and killed by police in August 2008. Police said at the time that Yevloyev was shot and killed after he tried to grab a weapon from one of the officers. — AP

Eight pirates jailed

BOSASO: A court in Somalia’s breakaway Puntland region on Sunday sentenced 12 pirates to jail terms of between three and eight years, Judge Mohamed Abdi Aware sentenced eight pirates who were handed over by Egyptian authorities last month to eight years in jail and the rest to three years. The four other pirates were arrested by the region’s coast guards, said a senior security official. Puntland, which is the main piracy hub in Somalia, has already sentenced dozens of pirates detained by foreign navies in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden to heavy jail terms. — AFP

Uruguayans vote

MONTEVIDEO: Uruguayans voted on Sunday in a presidential election that could bring to power an ex-guerrilla leader who was shot nine times and twice escaped from jail during the military dictatorship. Jose Mujica, 74, candidate for the incumbent Broad Front party, needs more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round to avoid a November 29 run-off against either of his main rivals. His rivals include conservative former president Luis Lacalle from the National Party, and Pedro Bordaberry, son of the country’s 1973-1975 dictator representing the Colorado Party. Surveys put the rotund, scruffy and gray-haired Mujica — better known in Uruguay by his nickname “Pepe” — well ahead of his rivals and within striking distance of an outright win on Sunday. — AFP

Fifth term for Ben Ali?

TUNIS: Tunisians cast ballots on Sunday for president and parliament in elections expected to hand another landslide victory to incumbent leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who warned opponents they would face legal retaliation if they questioned the elections' fairness. The campaign offered timid gestures toward the opposition in this tourist haven that is allied with the the United States and Europe but criticised by human rights groups for not following through on pledges to liberalise. Ben Ali, 73, is running for a fifth five-year term.— AP

N-energy tops agenda

WASHINGTON: Once vilified by environmentalists and its future dim, nuclear energy has become a pivotal bargaining chip as Senate Democrats seek Republican votes to pass climate legislation. The nuclear industry's long-standing campaign to rebrand itself as green is gaining acceptance amid the push to curtail greenhouse gases. Nuclear power still faces daunting challenges, including what to do with radioactive reactor waste. Reactors also remain a tempting target for terrorists. But 104 power reactors in 31 states provide a fifth of the electricity in the US. — AP

Tribute to slain priest

CHATHAM: An arrest in the fatal stabbing of a beloved priest has brought little solace to an affluent Roman Catholic parish in this tiny New Jersey community. Authorities say longtime church janitor Jose Feliciano stabbed the Reverend Ed Hinds 32 times with a kitchen knife after an argument in the rectory of St Patrick's Church on Thursday. — AP