Tue, Sep 20, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

IRAN

Five BBC staff arrested

State TV is reporting that authorities have arrested five people for working for the BBC’s Farsi-language service. Yesterday’s report on the channel’s Web site says the group provided the BBC with video and negative news reports. The report did not identify them by their full names. The country has blocked the channel and accused it, alongside the British government, of fomenting the mass protests that broke out after its disputed presidential election in 2009. Both deny the accusation.

UNITED KINGDOM

Blair ‘secretly’ visited Libya

Former prime minister Tony Blair made two private trips to see then-Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in the run-up to the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Blair, who left office in June 2007, used a Libyan regime jet to visit Qaddafi in June 2008 and April 2009, the broadsheet said, citing documents discovered in Tripoli since Qaddafi was ousted from power. Blair played a major role in trying to bring Qaddafi in from the cold and first visited him in March 2004 in what was dubbed the “deal in the desert.” A spokesman for Blair acknowledged that the visits took place and that the Libyans had raised the issue of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, but Blair told them that it was a matter for the Scottish authorities. Megrahi is the only man convicted over the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people, mostly Americans, when it exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

BURUNDI

Pub raiders kill 36

Gunmen stormed a pub in the town of Gatumba, 16km west of the capital, Bujumburaon, on Sunday night, killing at least 36 people. Witnesses said the gunmen, some disguised as policemen, burst into the bar, forced its patrons to the ground and raked the interior with bullets. Attacks against civilians and soldiers have intensified since elections last year were widely boycotted by the opposition. “The attackers were carrying guns and knives, some of them were dressed in police uniform,” said one survivor who was too scared to give his name. “They ordered everyone to lay down on the soil and started shooting the victims one by one.” No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. President Pierre Nkurunziza declared three days of mourning.

UNITED KINGDOM

Conjoined twins separated

Surgeons have separated conjoined twin baby girls in a complex and extremely rare operation, the charity that funded the surgery said on Sunday. Sudan-born Rital and Ritag Gaboura are craniopagus twins, meaning they were born joined at the head. Conjoined twins are very rare and only about 5 percent of them are craniopagus. Experts say around 40 percent of those are stillborn or die during labor, and another third die within 24 hours. For craniopagus twins to survive beyond early infancy is a one in 10 million occurrence.

UNITED STATES

Kara Kennedy dies

Kara Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of the late senator Ted Kennedy, died of an apparent heart attack, her family said on Saturday. Kara Kennedy “suffered an apparent heart attack following her daily work out,” the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate said in a statement. Kara Kennedy, who had battled lung cancer, died suddenly late on Friday at a Washington-area health club after her daily workout.

HONG KONG

Police smash cocaine ring

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