Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

Web freedom waning: report

Global online freedom declined for a fifth consecutive year as more governments stepped up electronic surveillance and clamped down on dissidents using blogs or social media, a survey showed yesterday. The annual report by non-government watchdog Freedom House said the setbacks were especially noticeable in the Middle East, reversing gains seen in the Arab Spring. Freedom House found declines in online freedom of expression in 32 of the 65 countries assessed since June last year, with “notable declines” in Libya, France and Ukraine. The researchers found 61 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where criticism of the government, military or ruling family has been subject to censorship, while 58 percent live in countries where bloggers or others were jailed for sharing content online on political, social and religious issues, according to the Freedom on the Net 2015 report.

UNITED STATES

Afghan sex abuse probed

US defense officials on Tuesday said they were opening an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Afghan security forces and reports that US personnel deliberately overlooked it. The probe by the Pentagon’s inspector general comes after the New York Times last month reported that US troops in Afghanistan had been instructed by their superiors to overlook cases of Afghan police or commanders sexually abusing teenage boys, even if it took place on military bases.

IVORY COAST

Ouattara re-elected

Alassane Ouattara was re-elected as president of Ivory Coast, official results showed yesterday, in a vote seen as key to cementing peace in the west African country after years of violence and upheaval. The 73-year-old won a second term outright by garnering almost 84 percent of ballots in the first round of polls on Sunday, when more than half of voters turned out, despite calls for a boycott by some opposition candidates.

CHINA

Shanghai denied air routes

Nearly half of the flights leaving the main international airport of the commercial hub, Shanghai, were delayed in August, regulators said, punishing the facility by denying it new routes. Air travel in the world’s most populous country has boomed as incomes rise, but the industry scores poorly for customer satisfaction and constant flight delays top the list of complaints. The phenomenon is often blamed on the military, which controls most of the skies over the country. Only 51.16 percent of departures from Shanghai Pudong airport left on time in August, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

VATICAN CITY

‘Nostra Aetate’ remembered

It was credited with revolutionizing Catholic relations with Judaism: Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Church’s “Nostra Aetate” declaration that challenged religious prejudices and urged bridge-building with other faiths. A special papal audience for interfaith relations was to be celebrated in Saint Peter’s Square to remember the moment on Oct. 28, 1965, when former pope Paul VI adopted what was a ground-breaking declaration lambasting anti-Semitism in particular. The Nostra Aetate was drawn up at the end of the Second Vatican Council and repudiates the centuries-old charge that all Jews should be held responsible for the death of Jesus.

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