Police arrest 18 for spying
The government arrested 18 people, including an Iranian, a Lebanese and 16 Saudis, for spying, it said on Tuesday. Ministry of the Interior spokesman Mansour al-Turki said on state television the suspects were “involved with a spy network working for a foreign country.” Turki later told media he could not say who the 18 were suspected of spying for, pending further investigation. The spying arrests, the first in recent memory, follow a string of accusations by the government that an unnamed foreign country, widely understood to mean Iran, had instigated local protests. “They were gathering information about installations and vital areas in the country and providing intelligence agencies of that state with it,” al-Turki said.
Qaddafi associates arrested
Police arrested a cousin of late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, a former Libyan ambassador to Egypt and another ex-Libyan official on Tuesday, a source told media. The source said Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, 60, who had been a special Libyan envoy, ex-ambassador Ali Maria and Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, who headed a Libyan state fund under Qaddafi, had been detained. Interpol’s Web site says that Qaddaf al-Dam was wanted by Libyan authorities for counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and money laundering, while Mansour was wanted for corruption. Details on charges against Ali Maria were not available. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan welcomed the arrests and called for the immediate handover of the men. “They will face a fair trial here,” Zeidan told a news conference.
Fukushima power glitch fixed
Technicians have restored power to all cooling systems at the reactors of the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said yesterday after a blackout sparked a new crisis. Equipment in pools used to cool used fuel became fully operational from 12:12pm, about 30 hours after the blackout, TEPCO said. TEPCO stressed that the glitch was fixed before any lasting damage was caused, saying the temperatures of all the fuel pools were well below the safety limit of 65°C. The company said there was no major change in radioactivity levels at nearby spots.
Grenades hit state buildings
Assailants on Tuesday fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the headquarters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party and hurled two hand grenades at the Ministry of Justice’s parking lot, slightly wounding one person, officials said. Minister of the Interior Muammer Guler said no one was injured in the attack on the party headquarters, while the spouse of a justice ministry employee was treated for a slight injury in the second assault. Erdogan had left Turkey hours earlier for a visit to Denmark. The minister said a terrorist group was responsible for the attacks, but he declined to identify it.
Opposition leader bit by rat
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was bitten by a rat outside her home in Cape Town on Tuesday. The Democratic Alliance Party leader posted a picture of her bloody toe on Twitter after the incident. When a reader asked why she did not blame the African National Congress, she replied: “Damn, why didn’t I think of that!!” However, she lost her sense of humor when someone asked if the rat was black or white, replying: “Only in SA [South Africa]!! Just a matter of time b4 someone brought race into it.”