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25 August, 2013


42 killed in Iraqi insurgent attacks

42 people have been killed in series of militant attacks in Iraq on Sunday. The bloodiest assault took place in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, where a car bomb blew up near a housing complex killing 11 people, Reuters said. According to AP, another significant incident occurred in the northern city of Mosul where the insurgents captured and executed five soldiers at a fake security checkpoint. Several car bombs went off and shots were fired in capital Bagdad as well as in other cities across the country, including Madain and Balad. More than 3,000 people have been killed in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown in April on a Sunni protest camp.


Police briefly detain Moscow mayoral candidate Navalny after tumultuous rally

Russian opposition politician Aleksey Navalny was detained after a mass rally ahead of the upcoming Moscow mayoral elections that was marred by technical issues and clashes. He was released less than an hour later. The anti-corruption campaigner’s team say Navalny was hauled off the stage right after speaking to over 5,000 assembled supporters, and then hauled into a police van. Police say they wanted to discuss regulation breaches during the rally. Navalny is currently appealing a 5-year prison sentence for embezzlement.


Head of Syrian Hama province assassinated - report

A car bomb has killed the head of the Syrian central province of Hama, Anas Abdul Razaak Naem, on Sunday, Syrian state television reported. The attack is blamed on opposition fighters. Al-Naem was appointed by President Bashar al-Assad on July 2011 after the dismissal of the previous governor. The death toll of the incident is still unknown.


Trial on Mubarak postponed to September 14

The Criminal court in Cairo on Sunday adjourned the ongoing retrial of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who faces charges of conspiracy to kill unarmed protesters in 2011, to September 14. The first trial of Mubarak, which ended with a life sentence, was overturned by an appeals court earlier this year on the basis of claimed "procedural errors." On Thursday, Mubarak was released from prison after a court accepted an appeal lodged by his lawyers against the outstanding corruption charges he faces. Shortly after his release, Egyptian authorities ordered the toppled leader to be placed under house arrest.


Irish Sea earthquakes cause tremors in British Isles

Two underground earthquakes in the Irish Sea on Sunday morning caused tremors in both Ireland and the UK. The British Geological Survey reported that the strongest of the seismic shocks measured 3.2 on the Richter scale and occurred 5 km below the surface of the sea. Those in the affected areas reported the ground moving beneath them, but no damage has been recorded.


2 killed in plane crash in Taunton, Mass.

A small plane crashed at Taunton Municipal Airport in Taunton, Mass., and killed two people on Sunday morning. According to the Taunton Emergency Management Director, Rich Ferreria, the plane was on fire and at the time of the crash the aircraft was taking off. The victims of the crash still remain unidentified.


Al Nusra pledges revenge for alleged chemical attacks in Syria

Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, promised revenge strikes aimed at Bashar al-Assad’s community, after the announcement that his forces used chemical weapons. The Alawite community “will pay the price for each chemical rocket that struck our people in Damascus,” the front chief of Al-Nusra front announced on Sunday in his Internet audio message on Twitter. Bashar Assad is a native of the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, which makes up 12% of the Syrian population. Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 100,000 people, began as peaceful protests demanding Assad's ouster, but is now marred by rising sectarian bloodshed between Sunnis and Alawites.


Turkey sends 400 tons of military aid to Syrian rebels - opposition

Ankara has sent 400 tons of arms to Syrian militants to bolster their fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reports, citing opposition forces. "Twenty trailers crossed from Turkey and are being distributed to arms depots for several brigades across the north," Mohammad Salam, a rebel operative who witnessed the crossing from an undisclosed location in Hatay. The delivery is being called the single biggest weapons cache to reach the rebels since the uprising against Assad turned violent two years ago. The shipment follows last week’s gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that killed anywhere from dozens to over 1,000 civilians. Syrian officials, who said they discovered chemical weapons in a rebel hideout outside the capital, blame the rebels for the attack.


​ Egypt trial of MB leaders postponed

The trial of three Muslim Brotherhood leaders charged with inciting violence at Egypt’s protests in the run-up to the July 3 removal of Mohammed Morsi from power was adjourned on Sunday. The reason for the break is that Mohamed Badie – the Brotherhood’s ‘General Guide’ – and his deputies could not be present at the proceedings for security reasons, judicial officials said. The next hearing is scheduled for October 29.


Saudi Arabia to build 16 more nuclear reactors by 2030 – report

Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 22 GW, which will make the country a leader in renewable energy, Abdul Ghani bin Melaibari, coordinator of scientific collaboration confirmed to Arab News. Saudi Arabia has about 11GW electricity output at the moment. The ambitious project will cost the country more than $100 billion, but the price may vary because of the extreme and hot climate. The first two reactors may be ready in 10 years time.


Spanish rescuers save over 100 African migrants from sea

More than 100 African migrants have been rescued by Spanish rescue services in the Atlantic and Mediterranean sea, the Red Cross told AFP on Sunday. On Saturday, forty-seven migrants, who were travelling on boats, were taken to the town of Almeria, Spain, and thirty-nine others were delivered to Ceuta, on the North African coast. Varying circumstances, such as the situation in the Sahel region and Arab countries, the fight against immigration to Spain across the Atlantic have changed the flow of refugees in past years. In a week Spanish rescuers have assisted several hundred migrants. 3,804 would-be immigrants reached the Spanish coast last year, according to Interior Ministry figures.


13 killed in Farc guerilla attack on army patrol ahead of talks

Two sergeants and eleven soldiers have been killed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in an attack on a Colombian army patrol on Saturday. The attack took place after the officials announced that negotiations with the leftist rebels would resume on Monday. According to military sources this attack was an ambush, although the army didn’t specify the circumstances of the incident. This attack followed right after a separate assault on Wednesday that left 15 soldiers dead, claimed Farc's 10th Front.


Egypt shortens night-time curfew, state of emergency remains

Egypt's interim government has relaxed a night-time curfew imposed on the country following a recent wave of violent protests. The curfew will now begin two hours later, at 21:00 local time. On Fridays, when protests usually take place, it will still start at 19:00. Egyptian authorities experienced one of the deadliest incidences of violence in recent days as nationwide clashes and attacks killed more than 1,000 people. Violence ensued as security forces attempted to clear two Cairo demonstrations in support of toppled president Mohammed Morsi, overthrown in a July 3 military coup.


Death toll rises to 31 in Bolivia’s prison riot

The death toll in Friday’s prison riot in eastern Bolivia has risen to 31 dead, local media reports. Among the dead was an 18-months toddler, who was one of many children living in the prison while their parents serve out their sentences. Another 37 inmates were seriously injured. According to Bolivian law, children under six years are permitted to stay in their parents’ cells while the sentence is being served. The riot took place in Palmasola, the country’s largest maximum-security prison.