Rupert Murdoch has resigned as director of News International Group Ltd., NewsCorp Investments and Times Newspaper Holdings on Friday. "This decision by Rupert is part of the preparation of the business for the upcoming restructure into two companies," said The Times’ reporter Nico Hines, citing an email to the staff. Murdoch’s News Corp. plans to split into two companies, separating its newspaper and book publishing businesses from its TV and film enterprises. Murdoch, however, “remains fully committed to our business as chairman of what will become the largest newspaper ... group in the world,” the email reads.
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has pledged to release 159 prisoners in Gaza “on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan," Hamas police spokesman Islam Shahwan said. Shahwan said the inmates are criminal prisoners and not political. Earlier, Egypt's newly elected President Mohammed Morsi issued pardons to 572 civilians sentenced in military tribunals for Ramadan. The holy month of Ramadan began on Friday.
Five people, including a 7-year-old child, have been killed after a car hit a bus stop in the Moscow region. A 15-year-old girl was injured in the accident. A woman was reportedly exceeding the speed limit and lost control of her Land Rover. She crashed into the bus stop on Biserovskoe highway at around 10 pm local time.
An Italian court has postponed a preliminary hearing on the Costa Concordia shipwreck, which claimed the lives of 32 people, until October 15. The court will determine the charges against those responsible for the tragedy. The hearing was postponed to examine an expert assessment of audio evidence from the ship's black box data recorder.
Paolo Gabriele, a servant of Pope Benedict XVI, will be under house arrest while waiting for a ruling on whether he should stand trial for leaking confidential papers, the Vatican said on Saturday. "Following [Saturday's] interrogation his detention is no longer necessary," spokesman Federico Lombardi said. The decision is expected to be released by early August, “at the latest.” Gabriele was arrested on May 23 after an Italian investigative journalist published hundreds of secret documents he had provided.
An instructor from the US Air Force has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars for rape and sexual assault. A military jury at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio found Staff Sgt. Luis Walker guilty on all 28 charges he faced, including rape, aggravated sexual contact and multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault. Walker is among 12 Lackland instructors investigated for sexual misconduct toward at least 31 female trainees. Six instructors have been charged, on counts ranging from rape to adultery, and Walker was the first to stand trial.
Bulgarian police have been alerted to the possibility of a second suspect in the Burgas airport shuttle bombing that killed 5 Israeli tourists on Wednesday. Investigators have spoken to several eyewitnesses in attempt to identify the bomber, and they described a man with short hair who spoke English with a "distinct" accent. This is different from the man seen on the security video who has long hair, however, leading investigators to look into the possibility that a second person may be involved, a source said.
18 people have died and 27 others have been seriously injured after two buses collided head on near the Eastern Cape town of Cradock. At least three children are among the casualties. Traffic accidents with high death tolls are common in South Africa, and are often blamed on negligent drivers and badly maintained roads.
South Sudan says peace talks with Sudan cannot go ahead due to an unprovoked attack on their terrritory. South Sudan Colonel Philip Aguer accused Sudan of bombing the border village of Rumaker on Friday. He said two people were wounded in the air raid. The two countries were scheduled to hold UN-sponsored negotiations on peace and oil resource distribution in two weeks.
A blast at a militia commander's compound in north-western Pakistan killed nine people and wounded 16 others, Pakistani police said. The incident in the semi-autonomous Orakzai tribal region was either a suicide bombing attack or a case of explosives being mishandled, sources told Reuters.
The US Geological Survey says a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Saturday off the east coast of New Zealand at a depth of 20 kilometers. No immediate reports of any injuries or damage have been released. In February 2011, a 6.3 earthquake near the country’s southern city of Christchurch caused massive destruction and the deaths of 185 people.
Twelve people, mostly military personnel including six cadets, were killed in a Brunei air force helicopter crash while flying home after jungle training. "We have 12 fatalities in the helicopter crash," Brunei air force spokesman Norudin Salleh told AFP. He added that two military cadets survived the accident. The Bell 212 military aircraft was carrying 14 people including the pilot. The exact circumstances of the tragic incident remain to be determined
A candlelit vigil has been held in Aurora, Colorado, as the US begins to mourn the 12 people killed by a lone gunman during the premiere of the latest Batman movie, ‘Dark Knight Rises’. Following the tragedy, President Barack Obama ordered flags across the nation to be flown at half-mast.
An unmanned HTV3 spacecraft has been launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan. The vehicle is to deliver its 4.6-ton cargo of food, clothes and equipment to the International Space Station on July 27.
A Syrian-American man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for supplying the Syrian secret police with information about US-based dissidents protesting the Assad government. Mohamad Soueid is reported to have delivered 23 audio and nine video recordings made in the US. The naturalized American citizen was charged in a six-count federal indictment that included conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government and making false statements.
Reactor No. 4 of Japan’s Ohi nuclear power plant has resumed supplying electricity to the power grid. The reactor is set to reach full generation capacity not later than July 28th, after being restarted. Japan ended two months without nuclear power earlier this month, when the Ohi No. 3 unit resumed output for the first time since a nationwide safety shutdown following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
An American military jury has convicted Air Force instructor Staff Sgt. Luis Walker of raping a female trainee and sexually assaulting or having inappropriate sexual or personal contact with nine others. The jury convicted him on each of the 28 counts he faced. He faces up to life in prison. Walker is one of 12 instructors investigated for sexual misconduct at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas.
At least seven people have been killed and dozens injured in western Ivory Coast in an attack on a camp for civilians who fled their homes during last year’s civil war. The UN said seven people had been killed and 13 injured, while according to a source at the main hospital in Duekoue, more than 40 people were injured, Reuters reports. The UN said the incident highlights the severity of the situation in western Cote d'Ivoire, near the border with Liberia.