Published: Saturday, April 6, 2013

News In Brief

UN condemns Afghan court massacre

Afp, United Nations
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned the attack on an Afghanistan courthouse by Taliban forces that left more than 40 people dead.
100 people were also wounded in the assault, the officials said.
The UN Security Council reiterated its “serious concern” at the threat posed by Taliban, al-Qaeda and illegal armed groups but pledged that the violence would not derail peace efforts.


Kerry follows Obama, cuts salary

Afp, Washington
US Secretary of State John Kerry will give five percent of his annual government salary to charity this year to show solidarity with federal workers forced to take unpaid leave due to budget cuts.
Kerry, the wealthiest member of the cabinet, will make the gesture after President Barack Obama said he would return part of his salary to the Treasury.
Married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, who inherited a fortune when her first husband John Heinz died in 1991, Kerry’s personal wealth amounts to some $125 million, Politico reported earlier this year.


UN stops Gaza food aid

Afp, Gaza City
The United Nations said it has suspended food distribution to about 25,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, after demonstrators angry at aid cuts stormed a UN depot.
Dozens of Gazans forced their way into the field office of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Thursday, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to UNRWA budget cuts.
The protesters were removed by UN security when they tried to break into a building, staff told AFP.


Ben Ali brother-in-law dies in custody

Afp, Tunis
Moncef Trabelsi, 69, the brother-in-law of ousted Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was jailed for fraud, has died in custody of a brain tumour, the country’s prisons chief said yesterday.
“He died at the neurological hospital where he was taken (from jail) on March 18. He had been operated on for a brain tumour,” the prisons chief, Habib Sboui, told AFP. Trabelsi had been unconscious for the past “four or five days”, he added.
But his lawyer, Wissem Saidi, blamed the authorities for his death, alleging that Trabelsi did not get proper care in custody.


Turkey adopts migration, asylum law

Afp, Ankara
Turkey, on a renewed push to join the EU, has adopted a long-awaited law to regulate migration and asylum in a move hailed Friday by the European bloc.
The new law, adopted by lawmakers late Thursday, will protect refugees from Syria and other non-European nations as “conditional refugees” instead of the previous description of “guests”.
The law also introduces permanent residency for foreigners who remain in the country for eight years on residency permits and the right of individuals to challenge deportation orders in Turkish courts.


Blast kills top officials in Thai south

Afp, Bangkok
A bomb blast killed two top provincial officials yesterday in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south, authorities said, blaming the attack on rebel fighters seeking to derail peace talks.
The deputy governor of Yala province, Issara Thongthawat, was killed along with Yala permanent secretary responsible for security, Chavalit Krairisk, after a roadside bomb struck their vehicle, officials said.
Thailand held its first official peace talks with southern insurgents last week. More than 5,500 people have been killed in nine years of bloodshed in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south near the border with Malaysia.