The Obama administration added Syria to a list of countries that could face new US sanctions for not doing enough to fight human trafficking. The annual Trafficking in Persons report states that Bashar al-Assad’s government fails to punish offenses or protect victims, and says that thousands of women from countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines have been trafficked into the country as slaves and prostitutes. The report also noted the considerable progress in the field in Myanmar and Venezuela, and removed those two countries from the list of the worst offenders, which now includes 17 countries.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been moved to a military hospital in Cairo after he suffered a heart attack and stroke and went into a coma, Egyptian security sources said. Mubarak had been in the medical wing of the Torah civilian prison since, having been sentenced two weeks ago to life imprisonment for his role in the deaths of protesters during the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
At least 40 people have been killed in a bus crash near the town or Pestel in southern Haiti. The bus driver apparently ignored warnings not try to cross Glace River, which had been rain-swollen, and the bus overturned, causing its passengers to drown, according to the country’s office of civil protection. There were 60 passengers altogether, President Michel Martely’s office said. It is unclear what happened to the remaining 20 passengers, though local civil protection officials say nine people were either rescued from the submerged bus, or managed to swim to safety.
Luka Magnotta, the man accused of dismembering a Chinese student and sending his body parts around Canada by mail, has pleaded not guilty to five charges including first degree murder. Magnotta, a Canadian porn actor, entered a plea via videoconference from his jail cell in Montreal. Prosecutors say Magnotta killed Jun Lin, a Chinese student who was his lover at the time, cut his body up into pieces, fornicated with some of the body parts and consumed others. The last two acts were allegedly recorded on video. While Lin’s torso was found in a garbage dump next to Magnotta’s home in Canada, his severed limbs were mailed to the Conservative and Liberal Party headquarters, as well as two schools in Vancouver. The porn actor is also facing charges of threatening Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Magnotta was arrested in Germany, from where he was extradited back to Canada.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been defibrillated in prison after suffering a stroke. He is in critical condition and has been placed on a respirator. Local media reported a defibrillator was used to restart Mubarak’s heart. Prison authorities are considering moving Mubarak to a military hospital nearby in Maadi, a suburb near Torah Prison, where he is currently held. Local media report he will likely be moved in the coming hours if his health deteriorates.
Greece’s pro-bailout Socialist PASOK party is ready to join the ruling coalition, party leader Evangelos Venizelos said. He said that the government’s main goal should be new negotiations with creditors from the IMF and EU, which bailed Greece out. Pasok holds 33 seats in the country's 300-seat parliament.
At least 20 civilians and five security officers have been killed in multiple attacks, suspected to have been carried out by militant Islamist sect Boko Haram, in northeast Nigeria, the Red Cross reported. This comes a day after more than 50 people were killed and more than a hundred injured in three suicide attacks on churches Monday. It is the latest in a string of Christian-Muslim clashes in the state of Kaduna, which is known for its religious tensions.
Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is the winner in Egypt's presidential election, his campaign spokesman said on Tuesday. Ahmed Sarhan told a televised news conference that Shafiq won 51.5 per cent of the vote, AP reports. Sarhan also said the claim of victory by Shafiq’s rival Mohammed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood was “false.” Gen. Ahmed Shafiq is “the next president of Egypt,” Sarhan said, adding that the candidate won some 500,000 votes more than Morsi.
The Russian Defense Ministry has issued a statement, saying there are no navy ships making their way to Syria. The statement was made in response to allegations that a Russian navy amphibious landing vessel from the Baltic Sea Fleet was on its way to Syria. According to the Defense Ministry, the one morsel of truth in the media reports was that the landing ship mentioned does in fact belong to the Baltic Sea Fleet.
Militants from the armed wing of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement on Tuesday said they had fired 10 Grad rockets at Israel. Such attacks will continue if Israel carries out “more strikes on Gaza,” a statement said, as cited by AFP. It was the first time the militants had fired longer-range rockets at Israel since April 2011. The Israeli military said that 11 rockets had hit southern Israel since midnight. It was not immediately clear if all of them were Grads.
Two Palestinian men were killed after Israeli aircraft struck the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday. The Israeli military spokesman's office said the strike was launched in response to rocket fire at southern Israel, and that targets were hit. Meanwhile, a shadowy militant group with alleged ties to Al Qaeda said it carried out a deadly cross-border attack in Israel, AP reports. The Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem identified two men in a video as the perpetrators of Monday's attack. They killed an Israeli civilian and were then shot dead by Israeli security forces.
No military exercises are planned on Syrian territory with the participation of Russia, China, and Iran, Bouthaina Shaaban, a political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said on Tuesday. “There will be nothing of the sort,” Shaaban said in Moscow, as cited by Interfax. “This is another false report being spread about us.” Earlier media reports alleged the Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armed forces were to stage joint amphibious drills along the Syrian coast in coming weeks.
German authorities have arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of membership in Al Qaeda, after he was deported from Tanzania, the federal prosecutor's office said on Tuesday. The German national identified by Tanzanian officials as Emrah Erdogan was detained on Monday upon his arrival from Africa at Frankfurt airport, AP said. He is suspected of traveling to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area in April 2010 and training with Al Qaeda for an alleged mission to raise money for weapons and recruits.
Nigeria has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the northeastern city of Damaturu after clashes between Islamist militants and the army. Violence erupted on Monday and continued into Tuesday. Members of the Boko Haram sect launched multiple attacks on police and military institutions just days after three deadly church attacks in a northern state. A relief agency official said on Tuesday that at least 70 people died in those attacks and in reprisal killings, AP reports.
The Muslim Brotherhood and other political groups plan a mass rally on Tuesday to protest a military declaration seeking to curtail the powers of the next Egyptian president. The Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi on Monday claimed victory in the country’s presidential runoff. His campaign spokesmen said the protest is planned in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime started. The rally is also expected to protest a court ruling that dissolved parliament, in which the Brotherhood had just under half the seats.
Iran does not believe it possible to continue the discussion over its nuclear program with six world powers, a source in the Iranian delegation said on Tuesday. “I don't think it's acceptable to all,” the source said, as cited by Interfax. He had been asked about the possibility of continuing the Moscow round of talks until June 20. The Iran delegation expects the negotiations in Moscow to end on Tuesday, RIA Novosti said.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ineligible to hold office, media reports say. He has been ineligible to be prime minister ever since the verdict in a contempt case was announced on April 26, according to the court. Gilani is disqualified from membership of parliament, and has also ceased to be prime minister of Pakistan, chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said. The court ordered President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint a new prime minister.
One person has been killed and 15 injured by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's motorcade, police said on Tuesday. National police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said the Sunday accident was caused by a commuter bus that did not make way for the motorcade. One of the police cars leading the motorcade then rammed into the minibus. One passenger in the bus died on the spot while 15 passengers from both vehicles were injured, AFP reports. This was the third incident and third death in two weeks involving Mugabe's motorcade.
UN human rights expert Frank La Rue has criticized restrictions on free speech in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The independent investigator on freedom of expression presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday. It said the practice of military censorship and some Israeli laws can hamper the work of journalists and peace activists, AP reports. The expert also blasted the Palestinian Authority for exerting “excessive government control over the media” in the West Bank and allegedly harassing Facebook users for unfavorable comments about President Mahmoud Abbas.
Ten Kurdish rebels and eight soldiers were killed after Turkish military units were attacked in southeastern Turkey on Tuesday. Sixteen Turkish soldiers were also wounded in the attack in Daglica area of Hakkari province, which borders northern Iraq's Kurdish areas, AP said. The government has recently made efforts to try to reconcile with the Kurdish minority through granting more cultural rights.
Syria's government said on Tuesday it was ready to act on a UN call to evacuate civilians who have been trapped in the city of Homs for more than a week. The Foreign Ministry said the government had contacted the UN observer mission and local authorities in Homs to start efforts to bring out the civilians, AP reports. The ministry also accused “armed terrorist groups” of obstructions, adding they were using civilians as human shields. Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, chief of the UN observer mission, had asked both sides to allow safe passage from the city.
Seven attackers have stormed a base of the US-led coalition in Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan, NATO has said. They breached the outer security of the base on Tuesday in Shah Wali Kot district, but were killed by guards at the compound, says the alliance. At least one foreign worker was killed and two other foreigners were wounded, officials said, as cited by AP. Earlier, three Afghan policemen were killed when their checkpoint was attacked Tuesday in Kandahar city.
The launch of the commercial telecommunications satellite SES-5 (Sirius 5) from Baikonur has been put back a day from its planned blast off on June 19, the company International Launch Services has said. It’s been delayed due to “abnormal telemetric date on one of the systems on the first stage of the carrier”, ILS said, as cited by Interfax. A spokesman for Russia's Khrunichev Space Center said earlier that experts at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan had still been unable to resolve problems with the Proton-M rocket.
Scientific journal Nature says Romania's new Prime Minister has copied large parts of his doctoral thesis without proper attribution. The journal claims more than half of the 432-page thesis of Prime Minister Victor Ponta on the International Criminal Court was plagiarized from the work of two Romanian law scholars, AP said. Ponta denies the allegation, accusing President Traian Basescu of orchestrating the attack. Two of the PM’s appointments for Education Minister earlier stepped down after they were accused of plagiarism.
Myanmar will loosen the state's grip on the economy, President Thein Sein said on Tuesday. “From this year onwards, we are working on a second wave of reforms which will focus especially on the development of the country and the public,” the former junta general said in a televised address. He also promised to continue to work “on national reconciliation, national peace and stability and the rule of law.”
Kurdish rebels have killed seven soldiers and wounded 15 others in an attack along the Iraqi border, Turkish state-run TRT television has said. The rebels reportedly attacked military units in the Daglica area in south eastern Hakkari province early Tuesday. Following the attack, the military launched a large-scale offensive in the area. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, is fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey.
Canadian porn actor Luka Magnotta has been extradited from Germany to Canada, where he is facing charges of first-degree murder, defiling a corpse, threatening the prime minister and using the mail system to send “obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous” material. Magnotta was arrested at a Berlin Internet café reading stories about himself. He is the primary suspect in the killing and dismembering of Jun Lin, a Chinese student studying at Concordia University. Lin’s torso was later discovered in a garbage dump next to Magnotta’s home in Montreal. Magnotta is alleged to have sent his body parts to the Conservative and Liberal party headquarters, as well as to two schools in Vancouver. Investigators also say he posted a video online showing himself having sex with the dismembered body.
Russia has initiated a program to equip the country’s military with its own Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has told Izvestia newspaper. Rogozin stressed that while details of the program were to be kept secret, the Russian drone will in many aspects be better than drones built by Western countries. Igor Korotchenko, the chairman of the Defense Ministry’s public council said that the drones will be analogous to the US Predator UAVs.
The tropical cyclone Guchol, which is approaching from the western Pacific Ocean, is expected to hit Japan on Tuesday. Despite the fact that the typhoon has already wound down to 45 kilometers per hour from the original 200 km/h, heavy rain and flooding are expected in Japan. Warnings have been issued in Japan’s mountain areas that flash-flooding could lead to mudslides.
Microsoft has unveiled Surface, a whole new family of tablet devices that will compete with Apple’s iPad. The Surface tablet will come in two versions, one running Windows 8 Metro on an ARM-based chip and another with a traditional Intel chip and Windows 8 Pro. Both tablets feature an ultra-slim full magnesium body, full HD display and folding cover with a built-in keyboard and trackpad. The tablets are expected to hit the shelves later this year, when Windows 8 is released. No details on pricing were mentioned.
At least 22 people have been killed and over 50 others injured in a bomb attack that targeted a Shi’ite funeral in the Iraqi city of Baquba. Four police officers and seven security forces are among the dead, AFP reports. The bomb exploded in a tent filled with about 150 mourners. It is the latest in a string of attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims and religious sites that so far has killed more than 130 people. The attack has led to fears of sectarian violence spreading.
One person has been killed and another injured in a shooting at a Little Italy café on Monday afternoon in Toronto. The shooting occurred as football fans gathered to watch the Euro 2012 match between Italy and Ireland. The victim died at the scene while the injured party was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Police said the gunman was dressed as a construction worker, wearing a white hat and orange vest.
A group of about 20 men armed with Kalashnikovs have stormed the Tunisian consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, a security guard working in the building told Reuters. The assailants took over the building to protest a controversial art exhibit on show in Tunis, which includes a exhibit with God’s name spelt with insects. The attackers were persuaded to leave the building, where there was no one except security guards because of a holiday. A number of consulates and international buildings have come under attack in Libya. Earlier this month an explosive device went off at the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, slightly damaging the gate.