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29 July, 2014


Attack in China’s Xinjiang results in ‘dozens of casualties’ - report

A “terror attack” in China’s western region of Xinjiang resulted in “dozens of casualties,” Xinhua reported Tuesday. No further details were provided about the attack in Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture, Reuters said. Beijing blames violence in Xinjiang on Islamist militants and separatists.


Snowden’s security is still pressing issue – lawyer

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s security is still a pressing issue, RIA Novosti quoted his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena as saying Tuesday. Kucherena told participants of the Seliger youth camp that it would be difficult to “organize a meeting” with Snowden for security reasons. Kucherena said he respected Snowden and his motives and said the whistleblower “did this because he knew what is going on.”


France hands over suspect in Jewish Museum attack to Belgium

France has handed over to Belgium the man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting on May 24 at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. A spokeswoman for the Belgian police said Tuesday that Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, “has arrived” in Brussels, AFP reported. France's final appeals court last week cleared his extradition for questioning over the killings of a Jewish couple, a Frenchwoman and a Belgian man at the downtown Brussels museum.


At least 30 killed in Libya's Benghazi fighting

At least 30 people were killed overnight and Tuesday morning in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi in heavy clashes between government special forces and Islamist fighters, Reuters said, citing medical sources. The fighting in Libya's second city involved war planes and rockets. It followed battles between rival militias in the capital, Tripoli, in what was two weeks of the worst violence since the 2011 civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi and have pushed Libya deeper into chaos.


Yukos shareholders ‘ready for talks’ with Russia over $50bn compensation

Shareholders of former Russian oil producer Yukos are ready to discuss with Russia a court’s decision to award them $50 billion in compensation, RIA Novosti quoted Tim Osborne, director of holding company GML, as saying. Any “rational proposals" could be studied, he said Tuesday. The Russian Finance Ministry described the ruling by the Permanent Court for Arbitration in The Hague on Monday as “flawed” and “politically biased,” adding that it “had no jurisdiction to consider the questions it was given.” Russia will appeal the ruling.


EU Kosovo prosecutor says ‘up to 10 captives killed for organs’

A special EU prosecutor has said there are “compelling indications” that up to 10 captives were killed to harvest their organs for illegal trafficking during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, AP said. However, American prosecutor Clint Williamson said Tuesday that the level of evidence is not yet sufficient to prosecute the alleged crimes. A Council of Europe report alleged in 2011 that the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army ran detention camps on Albania's border during Kosovo's war for independence from Serbia. It said civilian captives were killed there and their organs sold as part of an illegal trade linked to senior KLA commanders.


Belgium advises retailers to label products from Israeli settlements

Belgium advised retailers on Tuesday to label the origin of products made in Israeli settlements that are in occupied territories, Reuters reported. The recommendation is non-binding and has nothing to do with escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, according to the Belgian Economics Ministry. It said Britain and Denmark already had similar labeling in place. “We don’t see this as a sanction against Israel, but EU rules stipulate that consumers have to be informed of the origins of products,” a ministry spokeswoman said.


People evacuated at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport after bomb threat

Pulkovo Airport in Russia’s St. Petersburg was being evacuated on Tuesday after a telephone call about a bomb threat, ITAR-TASS said. Passengers of planes that have arrived reportedly were not allowed to leave them. Other passengers were waiting for their departure outside the terminal.


6.3 magnitude quake hits Mexico

An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit southwest of the city of Clara, in Veracruz, Mexico, on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The depth was 95km, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was felt in Mexico City.


China starts investigation into former ex-security czar Zhou

China’s Communist Party has launched an investigation into a former domestic security chief, AP said. Zhou is being investigated for serious violations of party discipline, Xinhua reported, without giving further details. Until his retirement in 2012, Zhou was one of nine leaders in the party’s ruling inner circle.


Russians oppose retaliation measures for Ukraine strikes on their land – survey

Most Russians oppose retaliation measures after Ukraine’s military stroke the Russian territory at least nine times during June and July, a survey showed. The VTsIOM polling agency said that 87 percent of respondents said they knew about strikes. Sixty-nine percent said Russia should use diplomatic measures to make such incidents impossible in the future, RIA Novosti reported. The poll was conducted in late July among 1,600 people in 130 cities, towns and settlements in 42 regions of Russia.


US judge orders seizure of Kurdish oil from tanker off Texas at Iraq’s request

A US judge has signed an order telling the US Marshals Service to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan aboard a tanker off the Texas coast, Reuters said, citing Tuesday’s court filings. The United Kalavrvta tanker is carrying some 1 million barrels of crude worth about $100 million. It arrived near Galveston Bay on Saturday, but has yet to unload its disputed cargo. The judge was reportedly acting on a request from the central government in Iraq.


Suicide bomber kills Afghan president’s cousin near Kandahar

A suicide attacker killed a cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai near the southern city of Kandahar Tuesday, AFP said. “A suicide bomber disguised as a guest came to Hashmat Karzai’s house to greet him on [the religious festival of] Eid,” said Dawa Khan Minapal, the provincial governor spokesman in Kandahar. “After he hugged him, he blew up his explosives and killed Hashmat Karzai.” The attack could raise tensions during a struggle over the contested presidential election result.


Heat wave kills 15 in Japan, more than 8,000 hospitalized

A heat wave in Japan has left at least 15 people dead over the past week, officials said Tuesday. More than 8,000 others were hospitalized with heatstroke symptoms, AFP reported. On Saturday alone, at least six people died, when temperatures had topped 35 degrees Celsius, with dripping humidity in certain areas. Last year, Japan experienced its hottest summer on record, with the mercury hitting a record 41C in some parts of the country.

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