Mon, Jun 12, 2017 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

PHILIPPINES

Duterte unaware of US help

President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said that he was not aware the US government was providing assistance to government troops in its battle against Muslim militants in Marawi. He also said he “never approached America” for help. “I am not aware of that until they arrived,” he told a media briefing when asked about US support in the fighting in Marawi. The military said on Saturday that US forces were providing technical assistance.

AFGHANISTAN

Three US soldiers killed

Three US soldiers were killed and another was wounded on Saturday in Nangarhar Province, the Pentagon said. A local official said the deaths and injury stem from an attack by an local soldier, who also died. A spokesman for the provincial governor said in a statement that the attack took place in the Achin District. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

PAKISTAN

Facebook post earns death

Taimoor Raza has been sentenced to death for committing blasphemy on Facebook, lawyers said on Saturday, the first conviction on charges arising from social media. Judge Shabbir Ahmad Awan handed down the verdict in Bahawalpur, finding Raza guilty of insulting the prophet Mohammed, prosecutor Shafiq Qureshi said. Raza had a Facebook argument about Islam with someone who turned out to be a counter-terrorism department official, defense lawyer Rana Fida Hussain said. The official brought charges based on the comments made on the social networking site. Hussain said his client was innocent and that he would appeal the conviction.

VIETNAM

Dissident loses citizenship

The government has stripped a French-Vietnamese former political prisoner and mathematics lecturer of his citizenship. Pham Minh Hoang, 62, who has dual nationality, was sentenced to three years in jail for attempted subversion in 2011, but was released after 17 months and ordered to serve three years’ house arrest. He was convicted for writing a series of articles under the pen name Phan Kien Quoc that prosecutors said tarnished the country’s image and were aimed at overthrowing the government. Hoang said that he had continued to publish “peaceful” articles on social media that were critical of the government since his release from prison. Revoking his citizenship effectively renders his status in the country illegal. “I am very upset and I’m waiting, I’m waiting to be expelled,” an emotional Hoang said by telephone yesterday. He said he received a copy of the letter on Saturday, and was surprised not to find a clear explanation for the decision. He is the only dissident to have his citizenship revoked in modern memory.

ISRAEL

Netanyahus win libel case

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, yesterday won a libel suit against a journalist who claimed that Sara once kicked her husband out of their car during an argument. A Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court ordered Igal Sarna to pay the couple about US$32,500 in damages over what it said was his unproven account in a Facebook post last year. Netanyahu testified that the alleged incident, which Sarna said he learned about from an acquaintance who cited one of the prime minister’s security guards, never took place. “He crossed the line,” Netanyahu said of Sarna, who writes for the mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth.

GERMANY

Thirty-seven injured in blaze

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