Golden Dawn members killed
Gunmen opened fire outside the offices of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Athens late on Friday, killing two men and injuring a third, police said as the government vowed to stop any “settling of scores.” Two unknown assailants parked their motorbike close to a local office of the far-right party before approaching the victims, firing and then fleeing on the bike, police said. The two men killed were aged 22 and 25, police said, without giving details on their identities or political affiliation. Local media reported that the victims were members of Golden Dawn. The party had planned a meeting for Friday night in the Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio, where the shooting took place. The attack happened about a month-and-a-half after the killing of an anti-fascist musician by a self-confessed neo-Nazi that triggered public outrage, putting pressure on authorities, who launched a crackdown on the party.
Third gender option offered
The country on Friday became the first European country to allow babies born with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female, but advocates urged further reforms. Under the new legislation, the field for gender can be left blank on birth certificates, effectively creating a category for indeterminate sex in the public register. Activists promoting the rights of so-called intersex people said they hoped the creation of a third gender option would open the door to broader changes that would limit genital surgery on newborns with both male and female characteristics. The Association of Intersexed People in Germany calls for a ban on medically unnecessary surgeries until the child turns 16, so the intersex individual can decide for themselves whether to live as a man, woman or neither.
Cannabis workers sickened
At least 700 people, mostly women, have sought medical help for apparent drug intoxication in a village believed to be the largest marijuana producer in the Balkans, doctors said on Friday. All the patients, suspected workers in cannabis fields in the southern village of Lazaret, had similar symptoms and “serious disorders from cannabis intoxication,” doctor Hysni Luka of the hospital in nearby town Gjirokaster told reporters. “The patients, among them also teenagers and even children younger than 15 years, have suffered from bouts of vomiting, stomach pain, heart problems and high blood pressure,” Luka said. The symptoms were clearly related to their work in planting, harvesting, pressing and packing the cannabis, Luka told Top Channel TV station.
Marikana probe extended
President Jacob Zuma on Friday extended by six months the inquest hearings into the shooting of 34 striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine last year. Zuma gave the commission an extra six months to finalize its probe into the events that led to the massacre on Aug. 16 last year, including the conduct of police. The commission should hand in its report by mid-June next year. On Aug. 16 last year, police opened fire on miners at platinum giant Lonmin’s mine in Marikana, killing 34 and leaving at least 270 injured during a strike over wages. Police have maintained that they were acting in self-defense against armed miners. The killing, caught on camera, shocked the world and reminded many in the country of apartheid-era police brutality.