Outsider wins presidency
A candidate who was virtually unknown just months ago was elected president on Sunday, becoming the first third-party member to win the highest office in decades. Luis Guillermo Solis of the moderate Citizen Action Party soundly defeated ruling party candidate Johnny Araya in a run-off vote that followed a first round of balloting on Feb. 2. Araya dropped out of the race last month when surveys showed he had no chance of winning, but his name remained on the ballot.
Militia agree to oil deal
The country’s main militia in the east agreed on Sunday to hand back control of four oil terminals it captured and shut down last summer in its demand for a share of oil revenues, the official news agency LANA quoted Justice Minister Salah Margani as saying. The militia would immediately hand over the terminals of Zuwaitina and al-Hariga. Two other oil terminals, Ras Lanouf and Sidrah, would be returned to government control in two to four weeks, LANA said. The deal was signed by Ibrahim Jedran, head of a movement demanding more autonomy for eastern Libya, it said.
Maid torturer gets 15 years
A Dubai court has upheld a 15-year jail term for an Emirati woman who tortured her Ethiopian maid to death by forcing her to drink pesticide, media reported yesterday. Her husband, also an Emirati, was jailed for three years for “aiding and abetting the crime,” Gulf News reported. The husband had confined the maids to a room in the couple’s villa and sealed the windows, it said. The Filipina maid testified at Sunday’s hearing that the housewife beat them with sticks, banged their heads against walls until they bled and forced them to drink detergent because she disapproved of the way the bathroom was cleaned. “She used to strip us, take pictures of us naked and threaten to send them to our friends,” the daily quoted her as saying.
Diplomat may face charges
Police yesterday said they have detained and filed a complaint of child trafficking against a vacationing Italian diplomat found at a resort south of Manila allegedly in the company of three street boys aged nine to 12. Senior Superintendent Romulo Sapitula said the diplomat was based in Turkmenistan. Members of the child rights group Bahay Tuluyan who were on an outing in the same resort in Laguna became suspicious and alerted authorities, he said. Sapitula, the provincial police chief, said their investigation showed that prior to bringing the children to Laguna, the diplomat took them to his accommodation in Manila. The Italian embassy in Manila was aware that police have taken the man into custody, but it did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
Street party turns violent
At least 44 people were injured and more than 100 were arrested after a California student street party turned into a huge brawl, police said on Sunday. A spring break party in Isla Vista drew about 15,000 people and a “major disturbance” broke out after a University of California Santa Barbara Police officer was hit on the head with a backpack filled with large bottles of alcohol. As the authorities moved in to make arrests, “a large crowd gathered for several blocks and threw objects at law enforcement personnel, including rocks, bricks and bottles,” the sheriff’s office said. Partygoers ripped up stop signs, lit small fires and damaged property, including officers’ vehicles.