Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Trafficking sanctions waived

President Barack Obama has decided not to impose sanctions against Malaysia and Thailand for failing to meet minimum standards in combating human trafficking. In June, the two Southeast Asian nations were downgraded in the Department of State’s annual assessment of how governments around the world have performed in fighting the flesh trade and other forms of exploitative labor. The president can block various types of aid for governments that are blacklisted. However, Washington often chooses not to, based on its national security interests.

SWEDEN

Rape ruling overturned

A man who had sex with a woman while he was asleep was acquitted of rape because he suffers from “sexsomnia,” according to a court ruling obtained on Thursday. The 26-year-old man did not have “the intention” to have sex, the Sundsvall appeal court said, as it overruled the previous two-year-prison sentence. The argument that the defendant “was in a state of sleepiness, unconscious of what was happening, does not seem absurd,” the court said in its judgement, issued on Sept. 8. The decision was mainly motivated by the intervention of a doctor specializing in sleep disorders who said that the defendant could suffer from sexsomnia, a state in which a person can have sex while asleep.

INDONESIA

US man confesses to murder

Police say a US man has confessed that he killed his girlfriend’s mother in a Bali hotel and the girlfriend has acknowledged helping him stuff the body into a suitcase.Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, both from Chicago, were arrested in Bali on Aug. 13, a day after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St Regis Bali Resort. Police chief Colonel Djoko Heru Utomo said yesterday that Schaefer confessed during an interrogation on Monday and that Mack acknowledged her role in separate questioning later this week.

CHINA

Liu Tienan trial to begin

A court will next week try a former deputy head of the nation’s top planning agency on corruption charges, state media said yesterday, after allegations against him were posted online and as the government pursues a high-profile campaign to root out graft. Liu Tienan (劉鐵男) was sacked in May last year. Luo Changping (羅昌平), deputy editor-in-chief of the investigative magazine Caijing, posted accusations online in late 2012 that Liu was involved in a number of illegal activities. Liu’s trial will open on Wednesday in Langfang in the northern province of Hebei, close to Beijing, the China News Service said. Liu is accused of abusing his government positions and taking bribes, the state prosecutor said in June.

PHILIPPINES

Military withdraws troops

The military says the bulk of peacekeepers have pulled out two weeks early from the UN mission in the Golan Heights due to escalating fighting in the region. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said 244 troops will arrive in Manila on a UN-chartered plane on Friday. A smaller batch of 85 soldiers will arrive on Sunday from the Golan Heights, ending a five-year peacekeeping role that has been marred by Syrian rebel kidnappings and attacks. Zagala said the long-planned withdrawal is not connected with differences between security officials and the UN peacekeeping force commander over a hostage crisis involving the troops in the area.

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