Mon, Feb 12, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

INDONESIA

Church attacker shot

Police shot a sword-wielding man who attacked a church congregation during Sunday Mass, injuring four people, including a German priest. The reason for the attack yesterday morning in Sleman District in Yogyakarta Province was not immediately clear. The 22-year-old attacker decapitated statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary during the incident, photographs showed. Video showed people in the church throwing books at the man as he lunged toward them with his sword. Witnesses and police said the injured included a police officer who tried to subdue the attacker and the 81-year-old priest Karl Edmund Prier, a longtime resident of Indonesia. They suffered back, neck and head wounds and are in stable condition. The suspect, identified only as Suliyono, was hospitalized.

SOUTH AFRICA

ANC committee to meet

The African National Congress (ANC) would tomorrow convene a special meeting of its decisionmaking executive, its spokesman said, amid mounting pressure on President Jacob Zuma to step down. The ANC called off a similar meeting scheduled for Wednesday last week to discuss Zuma’s future after the president and party leader Cyril Ramaphosa agreed to hold talks for a transition of power. The party has only said that those talks were “constructive.” ANC spokesman Pule Mabe could not say whether the special meeting of the National Executive Committee would discuss Zuma’s political future. The committee is a key ANC decisionmaking body that has the power to instruct Zuma to resign.

SAUDI ARABIA

‘Abaya’ not a must: cleric

Women should not have to wear the loose-fitting abaya robe to shroud their bodies in public, a senior cleric said, in the latest sign of a far-reaching liberalization drive. “More than 90 percent of pious Muslim women in the Muslim world do not wear abayas, said Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars — the kingdom’s highest religious body. “So we should not force people to wear abayas,” he told a TV program broadcast on Friday. The government has not said whether it will change the law, but this is the first such comment from a senior religious figure.

AUSTRALIA

PNG urged to help refugees

Papua New Guinea (PNG) is responsible for the human rights of refugees sent to a remote island by Australia, the UN human rights chief has said. In a day-long visit to PNG on Thursday last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein voiced his concerns about the refugees’ plight during meetings with the government. “The government has the responsibility to ensure that while these individuals are on their territory, they have access to their basic necessities and their basic rights, including the right to adequate housing and food,” Zeid’s spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters yesterday.

SRI LANKA

Vote to upset government

A political party backed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa looks set for a landslide victory in local polls, early results showed yesterday, potentially undermining the country’s unity government and its reform agenda. The unexpectedly strong showing could lead to defections away from the center-left party led by President Maithripala Sirisena, a partner in the country’s coalition government, analysts said, creating instability in the legislature.

ICELAND

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