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Showing posts from March 1, 2013

Autopsy reveals no abuse of Palestinian

Tel Aviv - There is no evidence that a Palestinian detainee who died in an Israeli prison was poisoned or physically abused, an interim autopsy report from Israel's health ministry said on Thursday.

Arafat Jaradat's death over the weekend in Megiddo Prison sparked rioting in the West Bank, as angry Palestinians took to the streets in protest. Israeli officials said he died of a heart attack.

According to the health ministry, Jaradat's internal bleeding and fractured ribs were typical of the 50 minutes of resuscitation attempts prison staff and paramedics made on the body.

"No evidence was found of poisoning and no evidence was found of physical violence," local media quoted an Israeli medical team as saying after an examination was performed on Jaradat's remains.

Israel's forensic institute will continue to carry out tests in order to determine the cause of death, the ministry said.

The Chief Pathologist of the Palestinian Authority said on Sunday, after atte…

5 die in Baghdad restaurant boat sinking

Baghdad - A restaurant boat moored on the bank of Baghdad's Tigris River sank on Thursday night during a private party with 150 people on board, leaving five people dead, Iraqi officials said.

"A boat belonging to the Lebanese Club in the Karrada area sank tonight," an interior ministry official said, adding that the cause was not immediately clear.

Baghdad provincial council member Mohammed Jassem al-Rubaie told AFP at the upscale club where the single-deck boat was moored that 150 people were on board when the boat sank, leaving five people dead and three missing, all of them Iraqis.

Police also said that there were 150 people on the boat when it sank.

"Most of them were Iraqis; only a few were guests from Middle Eastern countries," Rubaie said, adding that the party was for US heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.

Accident

"I am 100% sure that it was just an accident," he said.

A crowd of people, including relatives of those on the boat, gathered at t…

Pope faces division in China church

Beijing - Chinese Catholics pack Beijing's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for Sunday Mass, praying and singing hymns beneath stained glass windows much like their brethren around the world.

The spirituality on display, however, masks a complicated tangle encompassing the Vatican and clergy loyal to it on the one hand, and the officially approved Church in China, which does not recognise the authority of the Holy See.

The surprise retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and anticipation over his successor have brought back into focus conflict between a 2 000-year-old organisation that claims universal reach and China's Communist rulers.

Outside the state-sanctioned cathedral one worshipper epitomised the contradiction, pulling out a key ring carrying an image of John Paul II and saying that all Chinese Catholics support the popes.

Experts estimate that there are as many as 12 million Catholics in China, with about half in congregations under the officially administered Chinese Cat…

63 Rohingya rescued off Indonesia

Idi Rayeuk - Fishermen in western Indonesia rescued more than 60 ethnic Rohingya asylum-seekers from Myanmar found adrift in a wooden boat, police said Friday, in the second such arrival this week.

The vessel with no engine had 23 children on board and was found drifting off the eastern coast of Sumatra island near the province of Aceh.

"Fishermen found the boat with 63 Rohingya late on Thursday afternoon around 160km from the coastal town of Idi Rayeuk. They then towed the boat to shore," East Aceh district police chief Muhajir said.

"All we know is they are from Myanmar. We don't know where exactly the boat sailed from as they're too tired and hungry to be interviewed and we're having problems communicating," said Muhajir, who goes by one name.

The asylum-seekers were being held in an immigration office in the nearby town of Langsa, and were likely to be transferred to a detention centre, Muhajir said.

Fishermen in Sumatra rescued 121 Rohingya on Tuesday, …

Blast rattles Thai south after peace talk

Narathiwat - Six people were injured in a bomb blast in the restive Thai south on Friday, police said, as unrest continued barely a day after Thailand signed a peace talk deal with one of several rebel groups.

The device, hidden in a motorcycle, was detonated outside a busy morning market in the provincial town of Narathiwat, police said, adding that the explosion was within an area deemed to be a "safe zone", with a high security presence.

It came a day after the Thai government agreed to hold talks with Barisan Revolusi Nasional, part of a web of shadowy insurgent groups in the Muslim-majority south where a bloody uprising has claimed more than 5 500 lives since 2004.

Local police suggested Friday's blast could be the work of a rival group responding with violence to the news of the BRN discussions.

"We are convinced that this incident was the work of militants wanting to show their power and to discredit the government," Somchai Panomuppakarn, deputy chief inves…

36 killed in new DRC battles

United Nations - Battles between the army and a militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have left at least 36 people dead and thousands have sought refuge at a UN base, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

People descended on the small UN peacekeeping base at Kitchanga in mineral-rich North Kivu province as new gunfire was heard across the region, UN deputy spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told reporters.

Clashes between the DR Congo army and the the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo, better known under its French acronym APCLS, erupted in the region on Wednesday.

Del Buey said at least 36 people, including 10 civilians, have been reported killed in the battles. One peacekeeper from the UN force, Monusco, has also been wounded.

"This morning Monusco reported gunshots in the area. The mission says that between 3 000 and 4 000 Congolese have now taken refuge around its base in Kitchanga," the spokesman said.

"Monusco is closely monitoring the area, includin…