Border talks interrupted
Border talks between the government and South Sudan on Saturday failed to agree on how to withdraw armies from the disputed border after a round of talks in Ethiopia, delaying again the resumption of crucial oil exports. The neighbors came close to war in April last year in the worst border clashes since South Sudan seceded in 2011 under a 2005 deal which ended decades of civil war. After a week of talks in Addis Ababa to discuss how to set up the buffer zone, as agreed by the presidents of both nations, both sides accused each other of making new demands. “We were facing difficulties during the talks in Addis Ababa because of the changing position of South Sudan, which keeps altering every time we reach an agreement,” Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohammed Hussein said after his return at Khartoum airport. Talks would be postponed until Feb. 13, he said.
Politician foils pistol attack
Veteran Turkish minority party leader Ahmed Dogan emerged unharmed yesterday after a dramatic attack by a man armed with a gas pistol, who pointed the weapon at his head after rushing to the stage during a televised political speech. Dogan was addressing delegates of his Movement for Rights and Freedoms party on Saturday when the young attacker, dressed in black, pulled out the non-lethal weapon and pointed it at his head, video footage showed. Visibly stunned at first, Dogan then flung the attacker’s arm away before a shot could be fired. The man tried to point the gun once again, but it “seems to have been misfired,” Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said. Both men fell to the ground in the ensuing scuffle. A handful of conference delegates rushed to the stage and severely kicked the assailant, who was later identified as a 25-year-old ethnic Turk with a police record for drugs, robberies and hooliganism.
‘Stolen baby’ finds mom
A woman was reunited with her mother nearly 50 years after being abducted as a newborn, one of numerous alleged cases of “stolen babies” from the Franco era, police said on Saturday. General Francisco Franco’s regime allowed children to be taken away at birth if the parents were left-wing opponents or not married. Victims’ groups say the practice continued after his death in 1975. In the latest such case to be resolved, a woman in Valencia who suspected she was a stolen baby lodged a judicial request to find her mother, national police said in a statement. Examining hospital records, police identified a woman whom DNA tests revealed to be the biological mother. She had been told by the hospital where she gave birth in 1964 that her baby had died. “She was very surprised and happy to hear the news,” the police statement said. “All these years, the biological mother had lived believing that the baby, whose sex she had never even been told, had died in childbirth.”
Avalanche kills four climbers
Four climbers were killed in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday, police said. The victims, two men and two women, were in a party of six out climbing in the Glencoe area, renowned for its beautiful landscapes. Northern Constabulary said one woman from the party was in hospital in a very serious condition. The sixth climber, who raised the alarm after the avalanche struck, was safe and well and being cared for by emergency services. Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond called the deaths “an appalling tragedy.”