A woman has been arrested for attempted murder after her two-day old baby was discovered inside a building’s drains in Alicante and painstakingly rescued by firefighters, police said on Sunday. “A neighbor alerted the fire service that they could hear meowing coming from a waste water pipe, thinking that it was a cat that had become trapped,” police in Alicante said in a statement. However the firefighters and police discovered instead “the cries of a new born-baby and immediately proceeded to dislodge and save the child ... who still had the umbilical cord attached” and was wrapped in plastic bags, police said. The baby, a boy weighing 2.1kg, was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, but his life is not in danger,” the statement said. After saving the boy, police arrested a 26-year-old woman, who lives in the building, for attempted murder.
Emir to meet with royals
The emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, was expected to meet members of the royal family yesterday, with officials and diplomats saying a transfer of power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is imminent. Diplomats and officials agree that the emir is preparing to hand over control of the oil-rich emirate, which plays a key role in the Arab world. The 61-year-old emir came to power in 1995 in a palace coup against his father.
Shootout clouds elections
A shootout that killed an opposition activist cast a shadow over the nation’s crucial general election on Sunday, with both sides claiming victory in a vote that could determine whether one of Europe’s poorest countries has a chance of joining the EU. In the absence of preliminary results, the ruling coalition of outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his rival Socialist leader Edi Rama both told supporters they had won. The Socialists based their claims on the exit poll released by a private TV station which said that Rama’s coalition was leading the vote. Fears of violence were high after a 53-year-old activist in Rama’s coalition was killed in a shootout in the northern town of Lac.
Abortion referendum aborted
A national vote on whether to call a referendum to repeal a law legalizing abortion failed to garner enough support, according to results on Sunday. With more than 95 percent of precincts counted, just 8.65 percent of the total eligible to vote, or 226,653 people, were in favor of holding the mooted referendum, the electoral court reported. In October last year, President Jose Mugica signed a bill making his country only the second in mainly Catholic South America to legalize abortion.
Soldiers killed in clashes
At least 12 soldiers have been killed in less than 24 hours of clashes with supporters of a radical Sunni cleric in the southern city of Sidon, a military spokesman said yesterday. The fighting intensified yesterday, witnesses and the National News Agency reported, a day after the violence began, when supporters of Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir opened fire on an army checkpoint. The clashes are linked to the ongoing violence in Syria. Witnesses said gunfire and the sound of shelling had increased in the early hours of yesterday morning in the Abra neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Sidon, where the fighting is now concentrated.