The Argentine Senate has approved a law giving more power to terminally ill patients and their relatives who refuse life-sustaining measures. The bill received 55 votes in favor, and no votes against, with 17 senators declaring themselves “absent.” Although the law allows patients with incurable and irreversible diseases to refuse surgical procedures, hydration and nutrition, reanimation and life support systems, it expressly forbids euthanasia.
Two California police officers have been ordered by an Orange County Superior Court judge to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault or battery by a police officer. The judge made the ruling after viewing a surveillance video in which Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were seen beating a 37-year old homeless man to death. The two officers pleaded not guilty during the preliminary hearing, while the defense argued that their actions were justified as Kelly Thomas, the homeless man, refused to give his name and resisted arrest.
Adam Mayes, the main suspect in the kidnapping of four members of a Tennessee family, was added to the FBI's list of ten most wanted criminals on Wednesday. A $100,000 reward is also now on offer to anyone with information leading to a break in the case, bringing the total sum to $175,000. Mayes is accused of kidnapping Alexandria Bain, 12, and her 8-year-old sister Kyliyah after killing their older sister and mother. The two bodies were found over the weekend in Hardeman County, near Memphis. Mayes' wife and mother are in police custody, charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping. Mayes himself is still on the run with the two girls.
Legendary hair stylist Vidal Sassoon has died at his Los Angeles home of apparent natural causes, a police spokesman said. He was 84 years old. Sassoon was born in Britain and spent some time at a London orphanage. He later apprenticed with a local barber and went on to achieve worldwide fame after he developed two classic hairstyles of the 1960s – the bob and the five-point cut. He also created a hair care line, hair care tools and a chain of salons.
Greece will receive a 4.2 billion-euro bailout tranche on Thursday, 1 billion euro short of what was originally conceived, a statement by the Eurozone’s temporary bailout fund reads. The tranche will be part of the first installment of the total bailout, which totals 39.4 billion euro and is to be paid by the end of June. The billion euros to be withheld from the first payout will be disbursed according to Greece's financial needs, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) statement says. The decision came after parliamentary elections failed to produce an overwhelming majority for any party and resulted in heavy gains by parties opposed to austerity.
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Greek Radical Left Coalition, says that in spite of his best efforts, he has failed to raise enough support to form a coalition government after receiving the mandate calling on him to do so Tuesday. Tsipras will return the mandate to President Karolos Papoulias Thursday. Greece has faced political lockdown since Sunday’s parliamentary election, as the poll split between a multitude of parties with no single one collecting over 20 per cent of the vote. The mandate to create a coalition bloc passed first through the Conservative party, then on to the socialist Radical Left Coalition.
US President Barack Obama has decided to prolong an existing set of sanctions against Syria for one year. Obama cited an “unusual and extraordinary threat” posed by the Arab nation to US national security. The US leader also claimed that the Syrian government's “repression of its citizens” could destabilize the region, as the country has been beset by violent unrest since mid-March 2011. Obama urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down to make way for a political transition.
Three bombs were discovered, before having a chance to be detonated, at three different sites at Bayero University in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. A bomb and gunfire attack on Bayero last month killed 19 people. Northern Nigeria has been destabilized in recent months by a wave of terrorist attacks orchestrated by Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.
Israel’s Knesset has voted overwhelmingly to form a national unity government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Supported by 94 representatives in the 120-seat Knesset, the government will have one of the largest mandates in the history of Israeli politics. The last-minute agreement to form the coalition between Netanyahu and the leaders of several opposition parties has allowed Israel to avoid an early election. The Knesset is now expected to serve out its term until October 2013.
Turkey will not extradite Iraq’s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who has been accused of “guiding and financing terrorist attacks.”“We will not extradite someone whom we have supported since the very beginning,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. This comes a day after Interpol issued an international Red Notice, its highest possible alert, for the arrest of Hashemi. Iraq’s Vice President, who has been staying in Istanbul since April 9, has stated that he was ready to appear in court if his security and a fair trial could be guaranteed.
Dozens of people taking part in an opposition rally have been detained by immigration authorities in Central Moscow. Police have claimed they started detaining people because they were attending an unsanctioned event. Several news sources, however, said people were simply singing wartime songs – a traditional pastime across the country on Victory Day. For the last three days, opposition supporters have engaged in a new form of protest- something they’ve called ‘the people’s promenade’. Law enforcement officials, however, still insist they are violating the law and are detaining the participants.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has ended her hunger strike, her doctor Lutz Harms says. Tymoshenko refused to eat for nearly 20 days to protest her alleged maltreatment at the hands of prison authorities. She further demanded to be treated for chronic back pain by foreign doctors, a request which has now been fulfilled. Dr Harms says Tymoshenko, who has now been moved from jail to hospital, will need to spend at least one month there. Last year Tymoshenko was sentenced to a seven year prison term for abuse of power on what she claims are trumped-up charges.
Nine men have been sentenced to jail terms in northwest England for luring girls as young as 13 into sexual encounters using alcohol and drugs. The men, aged 22 to 59, were all of Pakistani or Afghan origin. The group’s ringleader received 19 years in jail, while the other defendants received between four and 12 years. They were convicted of abusing five vulnerable girls between 2008 and 2010, but authorities believe there were as many as 47 victims. The case stirred racial tensions and mass protests as all the victims were white.
At least six Syrian soldiers were wounded after a roadside bomb struck a Syrian military truck just moments after a convoy carrying the head of the UN observer mission passed by. At least three injured soldiers were rushed away to hospital. The UN convoy was not hit and the observers' work will continue as usual, the head of the UN observer mission, Major General Robert Mood, assured. He said that the attack was "a graphic experience that the Syrian people live with every day.” No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Syria is importing significant volumes of grain via Lebanon to work around western sanctions and secure vital supplies Al Arabia says, quoting European traders. The European Union, The United States and other Western countries have imposed sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's government. The measures include asset freezes and financial restrictions which have hurt Syria's vital commercial grain trade. Restricted access to trade finance has made it increasingly difficult for Syrians to obtain food after more than a year of conflict.
Italian company Costa Crociere - the owner of a Costa Concordia cruise ship that sunk in January - has made an agreement with 235 out of 435 passengers who sued the company. Each passenger will received 9 thousand euros in compensation. Some 180 French families had previously agreed with the company that they would get 11 thousand euro in compensation if they dropped their suits Around 20 people have filed law suits against Costa Crociere in the US, with 20 more people in other locations opting to sue the company. Thirty people were killed when the Costa Concordia sunk on January 14 near the Italian coast. Passengers accuse the crew of negligence, noting they were not provided with life vests during the evacuation.
32-year-old Claire Lomas has become the first woman to complete the London Marathon in a bionic suit. It took her 16 days to run the race, but she said she was “over the moon”. Claire was among 36,000 participants to cover the distance of over 42 kilometers (26.2 miles). Three mounted members of the Household Cavalry gave her a guard of honor as she crossed the finish line. Lomas did not receive a participation medal, as the organizers claimed to qualify for the one, you have to complete the distance on the same day. But 12 marathon runners eagerly gave her their own medals in admiration. Claire Lomas, a jewellery designer, was left paralyzed from the chest down following a horse-riding accident in 2007.
Sudanese war planes have launched renewed air strikes against South Sudan, according to the South’s army. The alleged strikes come after a UN Security Council resolution passed last Friday to end the border conflict. “The Republic of Sudan has been randomly bombarding civilian areas,” said Southern army spokesman Kella Kueth, who said the air strikes hit the border states of Upper Nile, Unity and Western Bahr al-Ghazal on Monday and Tuesday. Sudan has repeatedly denied it has bombed the South. There has been no independent confirmation of the accusation leveled by South Sudan’s army. A border war with South Sudan began in late March, escalating with waves of Sudanese air strikes against South Sudanese territory.
Former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now serving a prison sentence for abuse of office, has been transported to a hospital. Earlier she was diagnosed with a spinal disc hernia.
A Texas prisoner managed to garner four out of ten votes in West Virginia’s Democratic primary, predictably won by President Barack Obama. The inmate, Keith Judd, is serving time at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution for making threats at the University of New Mexico in 1999. This comes after a number of other disappointing results for the incumbent President. In Oklahoma, anti-abortion protester Randolph Terry managed to obtain 18 per cent of the vote in the Democratic primary in March, while Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe was able to pull nearly 18,000 votes in the Louisiana primary. In the recent US history, It has become customary for incumbent Presidents to receive more or the less unequivocal support from their party during the primary season.
Voters in North Carolina have approved a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as 'a union between a man and a woman' in a referendum. 35 per cent of precincts have now reported and unofficial returns show that 58 per cent of the votes were in favor of the amendment, with 42 against. North Carolina has become the 30th state to approve a ban on same-sex marriage which is permitted in six US states.