Tue, Oct 04, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



War crimes suspect tried

A special war crimes court in Dhaka yesterday charged its first suspect with atrocities, including genocide, arson, rape and religious persecution, during the country’s 1971 war of independence. Delawar Hossain Sayedee, a leader of the country’s largest Islamic party, will be tried at the tribunal set up last year to investigate those accused of crimes committed during the nine-month war against Pakistan. “Sayedee has been charged with 20 counts, including crimes against humanity, murder, genocide, rape, arson, looting and forcibly converting Hindus to Islam,” prosecutor Abdur Rahman Howlader said. If found guilty, Sayedee could face death by hanging. The country, which was called East Pakistan until 1971, has struggled to come to terms with its violent birth. The current government says up to 3 million people were killed in the war — many murdered by Bangladeshis collaborating with Pakistani forces.


Nation running out of water

The tiny Pacific island nation has declared a state of emergency because of a severe shortage of fresh water, with officials saying yesterday that some parts of the country may only have a two-day supply. New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully said his country was working with the Red Cross to deliver aid workers and supplies as quickly as possible. He said the Pacific island nation first declared the emergency last week and the situation had deteriorated since then. Water was scarce in the capital, Funafuti, and a number of outlying islands, McCully said, adding that he had received reports saying some places would run out of fresh water within days. A New Zealand defense service C-130 plane arrived yesterday carrying two desalination units and a number of water containers, McCully said.


‘Overeager’ worker sacked

The government has suspended an employee who posted a fake image on Facebook of three senior officials inspecting typhoon-ravaged Manila Bay. The photoshopped image was discovered last week by a blogger and has become a sensation. Other bloggers mocked the Department of Public Works and Highways by making more fake images of the three officials standing in the Last Supper and some other iconic paintings and movie posters. Department secretary Rogelio Singson apologized. He said the officials did in fact inspect the damage in Manila Bay and had no knowledge of the image on the department’s Facebook page. Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said yesterday the “overeager employee” who took it upon himself to put it out was suspended.


Tropical storm bears down

Thousands of fishing boats have been called back to port in the south as authorities brace for the arrival of Tropical Storm Nalgae, which has already wreaked havoc in the Philippines. Some parts of the south are still reeling from the damage caused by Tropical Storm Nesat, which killed at least four people, forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents, triggered floods and toppled houses. Authorities on Hainan Island said yesterday they had ordered more than 27,000 boats back to harbor, Xinhua news agency said. A statement on the provincial government’s Web site said Nalgae, which has weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm, was currently at sea and moving toward the island, packing winds of up to 108kph.

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