Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

FRANCE

Teacher retracts IS claim

A nursery-school teacher who said on Monday that he was stabbed in his classroom by an Islamic State (IS) group supporter has admitted to prosecutors that he invented the story. The 45-year-old teacher at a school in Aubervilliers, northeast of Paris, was hospitalized with light stab wounds in his side and throat. He had said that a man in overalls and a balaclava had arrived while he was preparing his class on Monday, grabbed a box cutter and scissors that were in the room, and attacked him. Prosecutors said they were still questioning the teacher, whose injuries were not considered life-threatening, over why he lied.

UNITED KINGDOM

EU referendum a step closer

A bill for a referendum on the nation’s EU membership cleared a key hurdle on Monday when the House of Lords narrowly rejected an opposition proposal to give younger voters the right to take part. “A key manifesto commitment delivered as the EU Referendum Bill clears Parliament. Voters will have an in/out choice before the end of 2017,” Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter after the debate. The vote was rejected by 263 votes to 246.

UNITED STATES

Truck sale sparks lawsuit

A Texas plumber whose company pickup truck — with the firm’s logo and name clearly visible — appeared in a photograph of a militant wielding an anti-aircraft weapon in Syria has sued the dealer he sold it to, saying the harassment it generated has damaged his business. Mark Oberholtzer, the owner of Mark-1 plumbing, said he sold the pickup in October 2013. The photograph was tweeted in December last year by a group called the Ansar al-Deen front, the lawsuit said. “By the end of the day, Mark-1’s office, Mark-1’s business phone, and Mark’s personal cell had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation,” the lawsuit said.

UNITED STATES

Cosby initiates countersuit

Comedian Bill Cosby on Monday sued seven women who had accused him of defaming them, saying they lied when they accused him of sexual assault. The countersuit, filed in US district court in Springfield, Massachusetts, contends that the women defamed his “honorable legacy and reputation” by accusing him of sexual misconduct. The countersuit seeks unspecified financial damages.

NIGERIA

Army raids Shiite sect

At least 60 people were killed last weekend when the army raided a minority Shiite sect and arrested its leader in the northern city of Zaria, the director of a local hospital said on Monday. The army said the Islamic Movement in Nigeria tried to assassinate Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, with members of the sect blocking his convoy in Zaria on Saturday last week. On Sunday, the army raided several buildings connected to the sect and the home of its leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky. They arrested him and killed members of the group.

ARGENTINA

Bus crash kills 43 police

At least 43 police officers died on Monday and several more were injured when their bus plunged off a bridge and into a dry riverbed in the north of the country, authorities said. The cause of the accident is under investigation but officials believe a tire might have blown out and caused the bus to veer off the bridge before dawn, Salta Province emergency chief Francisco Marinaro said.

AUSTRALIA

Laundry day blocks funding

A Sydney youth, who was allegedly given US$9,000 to send to the Islamic State group, failed to transfer the money after his mother found the cash in his shorts while cleaning his bedroom. The male has agreed to testify against the two men accused of giving him the money, Omarjan Azari, 23, and Ali al-Talebi, 26, a court heard on Monday. Crown prosecutor Peter Neil told a committal hearing on Monday the pair had engaged a younger man they had met at the Parramatta mosque to take the cash to Western Union outlets in western Sydney in August and September last year and make the transfer. Two transfers were made in August, but an attempt the following month faltered when the young man balked at the fees. He took the money home, where his mother discovered it hidden it in his shorts as she was collecting laundry.

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