Wed, Nov 19, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Keystone vote looms

The US Senate braced for yesterday’s cliffhanger vote on whether to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, with President Barack Obama signaling that he might veto the controversial bill. Congressional Republicans have long pushed the Obama administration to lift its hold on the US$5.3 billion project, which remains under extended review about six years after it was submitted. The pipeline, which would bring oil from tar sands in the Canadian province of Alberta to refineries on the US Gulf coast, easily passed the House of Representatives last week.


African birthrates lauded

Fewer babies could mean an “economic miracle” for sub-Saharan Africa, with gains of US$500 billion a year over three decades for the region, the UN Population Fund said yesterday. The State of World Population report said a total of 59 nations were poised for a “demographic dividend” when the working-age population outnumbers the rest due to declining fertility rates. The agency said these nations — almost all in Africa — could follow the example of East Asian economies like South Korea, whose rise since the 1970s was helped by demographics.


Family pleads for sisters

The family of the reigning Miss Honduras pleaded with police on Monday to find their teenage daughter, who was abducted just days before she was set to fly to London for the Miss World contest. Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofia Trinidad have not been heard from since they vanished on Thursday outside the northern city of Santa Barbara, and all signs are that the siblings have been kidnapped. “Days have gone by and we have not heard a thing. The police have to know something,” said a tearful Teresa Munoz, their mother. The sisters disappeared after attending a birthday party for Sofia’s boyfriend.


Second USC killer gets life

The second of two men convicted of murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of two University of Southern California (USC) graduate students from China was sentenced on Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Javier Bolden was found guilty last month of first-degree murder for the slayings of 23-year-old engineering students Qu Ming (瞿銘) and Wu Ying (吳穎), who were gunned down in a botched robbery attempt as they sat together in a car parked outside Wu’s rented home, a few blocks from campus. Bolden, 22, received two consecutive life terms without parole eligibility for the USC killings in April 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Bolden’s accomplice, 21-year-old Byran Barnes, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in February after pleading guilty to murder and admitting he was the actual shooter. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for the two men.


Hammer attacker sentenced

A judge on Monday handed out a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years in prison for a thief who brutally attacked three sisters from the United Arab Emirates in a London hotel room with a claw hammer. Drug addict Philip Spence, 33, attacked the tourists as they slept with their children at the four-star Cumberland Hotel on April 6, in an incident that raised concern about the safety of visitors from the Gulf.

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