Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED NATIONS

UN chief wears boxers

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has revealed one of the secrets that did not come out on WikiLeaks: He is a boxers not briefs man. Ban, who was allegedly the target of US orders to get personal details, mocked the leaked diplomatic cables in a tongue-in-cheek speech to the annual UN Correspondents’ Association dinner late on Wednesday. Ban started his speech, to an audience that included US ambassador Susan Rice, by flashing details such as “credit card number,” “shoe size” and “ring finger 7.5” onto the screen. “Boxers not briefs” proclaimed one of the nuggets given to the diplomatic audience. According to the leaked cables, reported by international media, US diplomats at the UN were told to find out the credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer numbers for UN leaders.

MARTINIQUE

Man fined for slave talk

A court in Fort-de-France has found an 84-year-old businessman guilty of condoning a crime against humanity for praising slavery during a TV interview and sentenced him on Wednesday to pay a fine of nearly US$10,000. Alain Despointes made the comments at a moment when the French Caribbean territory was convulsed by protests over high prices and low wages and by resentment that the primarily white, “beke” descendants of slaveholders control much of the local economy. Despointes, one of the beke elite, also criticized mixed-race marriages during the interview aired in late January last year and said he wanted to “preserve his race.”

UNITED STATES

Border patrol agent killed

A shootout between border patrol agents and bandits in the rugged canyons near Mexico’s border left one officer dead and a suspect injured, a union official said on Wednesday. Brian Terry, 40, was part of a team of officers whose job was to drop into hotspots and quell the violence. The shooting took place about 21km north of the border, near Nogales, Arizona, late on Tuesday night, at the bottom of a flat canyon with scattered oak trees and knee-high grass. Terry was waiting with three other agents when a gunbattle with bandits began, Bonner said.

UNITED STATES

Army doctor feels sorry

An army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be commander in chief told a jury on Wednesday he was wrong to do so and would now deploy if he could. Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin was speaking during a court martial hearing on Wednesday at Fort Meade, Maryland. In videos posted on YouTube earlier this year, Lakin aligned himself with the so-called “birther” movement, which questions whether Obama is a natural-born citizen as the US Constitution requires for presidents. Lakin had said he would “gladly deploy” if Obama’s original birth certificate were released and proved authentic.

UNITED STATES

School focuses on violence

City school district officials agreed on Wednesday to state and federal oversight for the next two-and-a-half years to address anti-Asian violence at a troubled high school that prompted a student boycott and a Justice Department investigation. The city’s School Reform Commission unanimously agreed to the consent decree involving South Philadelphia High School, where 30 Asian students were injured in racially motivated attacks last year.

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