Thu, Dec 18, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

GREECE

Snap elections possible

Lawmakers were set to vote from yesterday for a new president in a ballot that would lead to snap general elections if they fail — putting on the line years of efforts to turn around an economy in crisis. The government brought forward the indirect election from February, when it is likely to be locked in delicate negotiations with the cash-starved nations’s creditors, the EU and the IMF. The administration headed by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has little chance of mustering the 200 votes it needs in the first and second rounds to elect its candidate to the largely ceremonial post, former EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas. If no majority emerges for a name in the third or final round on Dec. 29, when 180 MPs’ votes are needed, early elections have to be called.

UNITED STATES

Cosby escapes charges

Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file any charges against Bill Cosby after a woman claimed the comedian molested her around 1974. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came roughly 10 days after the woman, Judy Huth, met with Los Angeles police detectives. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office rejected filing a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 because the statute of limitations had passed. Days before Huth spoke to police, she accused Cosby in a civil lawsuit of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion when she was 15 years old. Cosby’s attorney said that Huth attempted to extort US$250,000 from the comedian before she sued.

VATICAN CITY

New tone taken on US nuns

An unprecedented Vatican investigation of US women’s religious orders that alarmed Roman Catholic sisters when the inquiry began years ago ended on Tuesday with a report signaling a softer approach under Pope Francis. The report praised sisters for their work caring for the poor and promised to value their “feminine genius” more, while gently suggesting ways to serve the church faithfully and survive amid a steep drop in their numbers. There was no direct critique of the nuns, nor any demand for them to change — only requests that they ensure their ministries remain “in harmony with Catholic teaching.” The laudatory language contrasted sharply with the atmosphere in which the review started under Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Franc Rode, who in 2008 initiated the nationwide study when he led the Vatican office that oversees religious orders, said there was concern about “a certain secular mentality that has spread in these religious families and, perhaps, also a certain ‘feminist’ spirit.”

UNITED STATES

Chinese man pleads guilty

A Chinese man on a student visa pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiring to export illegally to China high-tech sensors used by the defense industry, a federal prosecutor in New Mexico said. Cai Wentong, 30, is set to serve 18 months in prison after he and a cousin traveled to New Mexico in December last year where they obtained one of the sensors from US Department of Homeland Security undercover agents. Cai was a graduate student at Iowa State University at the time, studying microbiology, and officials said his 29-year-old cousin Cai Bo worked for a technology company in China. Days after they met the agents, Cai Bo was arrested in Los Angeles as he prepared to board a flight to China with the sensor concealed in a computer speaker in his luggage.

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