Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AZERBAIJAN

Security minister fired

President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday fired his security minister in a surprise move that opposition politicians said highlights a lack of transparency in the former Soviet nation’s political system. “I decree to relieve Eldar Mahmudov of the position of the Azerbaijani Republic’s national security minister,” Aliyev said in a decree published on his Web site, giving no explanation for the decision. Widely seen as an Aliyev loyalist, Mahmudov, 59, served as national security minister since 2004. Prominent opposition politician Isa Gambar said the way Aliyev fired the veteran minister shows that “there is no transparency whatsoever in political decisionmaking. What happened to Mahmudov shows yet again how opaque Azerbaijan’s political system is,” Gambar said.

MONTENEGRO

Protesters tear gassed

Police on Saturday used tear gas to break up a protest by the opposition demanding the government’s resignation and an early election in the Balkan state. Several hundred opposition leaders and supporters gathered in downtown Podgorica, the capital, and tried to advance through a police cordon. Officers fired tear gas and pushed them away. Anti-government leaders had staged a days-long protest in a main street in Podgorica, but police removed their tents earlier in the day.

CUBA

Syria deployment denied

A senior official in Havana on Saturday “categorically” denied reports that troops were in Syria supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Talk of up to 300 soldiers sent to Syria originated in the US’ Fox News network on Wednesday, citing an unnamed US official as source. The Fox story also mentioned that the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies had learned that the head of the armed forces visited Syria with a military team to support the al-Assad regime. On Saturday, Gerardo Penalver Portal, the head of bilateral affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a brief statement that the nation “refutes and categorically denies the irresponsible and unfounded information on the alleged presence of Cuban troops in Syria, which some media have echoed.”

THAILAND

Man rescues birdwatchers

A construction worker on a fishing trip dramatically rescued two Norwegian bird watchers who were sinking into a mudflat in the south, lying down in the mud to allow the pair to use his body to pry themselves to safety. The incident on Friday morning in Krabi Province was caught on camera by an amateur photographer from Bangkok, who posted the video on Facebook. The posting got at least 1.6 million views, with many showering the rescuer with praise. The Norwegian pair, whose names were not released, had taken their cameras to a river estuary at first light, but the mudflats proved to be far less firm than they had thought. They quickly found themselves sinking. A construction worker, identified by media as Chat Ubonchinda, was heading home from a fishing trip by boat when he spotted them. First, he tried to pull the two out, but the mud was too thick. After taking their belongings to firmer ground, Chat lay down in the mud and let the two lift themselves up by pulling against his body. One of them even crawled across his back on the way to safety. “All Thais are proud of what you did, it’s great and no more words need to be explained,” Somchai Ouansakul wrote on Facebook.

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