Fri, Mar 04, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Yunus fights back

Nobel-winning microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus began a legal battle yesterday to overturn an attempt by the government to sack him from the bank he founded. The central bank fired the 70-year-old leader of Grameen Bank on Wednesday, saying he had been “removed from his position” as managing director for breaking the law when he was re-appointed in 2000. The country has a mandatory retirement age of 60. However, Yunis defied the order yesterday, returning to work as normal at Grameen’s headquarters in Dhaka and lodging a case in the High Court contesting the decision to remove him. Yunus’s troubles are thought to stem from 2007 when he floated the idea of forming a political party, earning the wrath of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has publicly disparaged his work. Local economists have warned the government’s “hasty decision” could prompt a collapse of confidence or even a bank run in the country’s vast microfinance sector.


US diplomat to stand trial

A court yesterday said that the murder trial of a CIA contractor would go ahead, despite the insistence of the US that he has diplomatic immunity. The hearing against Raymond Davis took place in Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore where he is being held, and was adjourned until Tuesday. The issue of Davis’ claim to diplomatic immunity is pending before the Pakistani High Court, which is due to rule on it on March 14. “The court passed an order today saying that he [Davis] had failed to produce any legitimate document proving his diplomatic immunity,” said Asad Manzoor Butt, the lawyer representing the two men shot by him, after a closed-door hearing.


Forty killed in plunges

Two separate accidents in Himachal Pradesh killed at least 40 people on Wednesday, after an open truck carrying a wedding party and a bus rolled into gorges, police said. The truck flipped over at a curve in the road in Chamba district and fell into a 90m gorge. Rescuers recovered 33 bodies and took seven injured people to a hospital, police said. Seven people died in the second accident as workers on a power project were being driven home. Both drivers were killed and investigations have been opened into the cause of the accidents.


Hachiko’s death explained

Scientists have settled a decades-old mystery by naming a cause of death for the country’s most famous dog. Hachiko became legendary for his loyalty by waiting for his owner every day at a train station for 10 years after his master died. He has been immortalized in children’s books and two movies. He was considered such a hero that his organs were preserved when he died in 1935. Hachiko was rumored to have swallowed a chicken skewer that ruptured his stomach. However, veterinarians examining his organs said on Wednesday that he had terminal cancer.


Appointment rejected

The Supreme Court yesterday quashed the appointment of P.J. Thomas as the head of the federal anti-graft commission because of his involvement in a controversial palm oil import case, in another rebuke for the Congress-led coalition government. The court said the appointment of Thomas was made last year without taking into account the 1992 case in which he, as a state official, had been accused of signing a deal to import palm oil from Malaysia at higher prices.


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