Tymoshenko to be candidate
The main opposition alliance on Friday named imprisoned former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who recently staged a hunger strike protest, as its candidate for president in the 2015 elections. The decision was reached at a congress of opposition leaders including members of Tymoshenko’s party and that of former parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the alliance said in a statement. Tymoshenko last month staged a two-week hunger strike to protest against alleged fraud in parliamentary elections won by the party of her archrival, President Viktor Yanukovych, to whom she lost the presidential poll in 2010. The former prime minister is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of power while in office. Her conviction in October last year sharply worsened Ukraine’s ties with the West and exposed Yanukovych to accusations he was persecuting political opponents. Her supporters believe she will ultimately be released from prison through a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
No crisis: Berlusconi party
Former president Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right People of Freedom party pledged on Friday not to trigger a disorderly crisis that could alarm financial markets as the country began to look forward to an election in the first few months of next year. People of Freedom (PDL) Secretary Angelino Alfano told parliament that the party’s withdrawal of support from Prime Minister Mario Monti in two confidence votes on Thursday had shown its disapproval without bringing down the government. “Yesterday, we did not give a vote of no confidence because we consider the experience of the Monti government has come to an end, but we don’t want to send the institutions and the country into chaos,” Alfano said. The PDL is expected to allow budget measures in the so-called Stability Law to pass when it comes before parliament for final approval some time before Christmas, ensuring that deficit reduction goals are maintained and the budget is approved.
Three in court over stabbing
Three men accused of stabbing a retired Indian general have been ordered to remain in custody by a British court. The trio, who briefly appeared in court on Friday, allegedly attacked Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar on Sept. 30 in central London. Brar sustained a neck wound in the incident. The accused range in age from 33 to 36, and have been charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. One of the men was also charged with common assault on Brar’s wife. The suspects face a further court hearing on Jan. 18.
Abuser priests normal: study
A German Catholic Church study showed most priests found guilty of sexually abusing minors were psychologically normal, according to survey results presented on Friday. Only 12 percent of those surveyed were diagnosed as pedophiles, said the report released by Trier Bishop Stephan Ackermann, the church’s spokesman on abuse cases. Psychological tests commissioned by priests’ dioceses around Germany found only 5 percent could be classified as ephebophiles — attracted to teenagers — it said. “There are no significant differences to results found in the general population in Germany,” said Norbert Leygraf, one of the experts reviewing reports on predator priests found out in the past decade.