Mon, Jun 04, 2018 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

ISRAEL

Armenian bill delayed

The government postponed voting on a bill to recognize the “Armenian genocide” over concern its advancement could benefit Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the June 24 elections, an official said yesterday. A ministerial committee was due to hold a preliminary vote on the bill yesterday. “The foreign ministry advised prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] to postpone the discussion on recognizing the Armenian genocide until after the elections in Turkey, since such a discussion is liable to aid Erdogan in the elections,” ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement. “The prime minister accepted the foreign ministry’s recommendation.

CUBA

New constitution planned

Legislators on Saturday took the first step toward drafting a new constitution. President Miguel Diaz-Canel convened a special session of parliament to propose a list of people to undertake a rewrite of the Soviet-era charter. Delegates gave their approval for a commission presided over by former president Raul Castro and about 30 others, including Diaz-Canel. There is no pending draft, but officials have made clear that the constitution will maintain a Communist Party-led system in which freedom of speech, the press and other rights are limited by “the purposes of socialist society.” One change expected to be adapted would limit presidents to two five-year terms and impose an age limit.

VENEZUELA

More activists released

The government on Saturday freed dozens more opposition activists from jail, bringing to almost 80 the number of prisoners whose release authorities hope will unite the nation. Among the 40 people released were two substitute lawmakers, one of whom had been held since 2014 for allegedly inciting violence in protests that year. Authorities said more releases could take place this week. Those freed have been barred from speaking with the press or on social media.

CANADA

Ontario premier concedes

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on Saturday conceded defeat ahead of Thursday’s election, but called on voters to vote for her party to keep the next government in check. Wynne, who has been premier since 2013 and whose Liberal Party has governed for 15 years, told reporters she will not be premier after the poll. Her decision came as the left-leaning New Democrats have gained ground, according to opinion polls, setting up a two-way race with the right-leaning Progressive Conservatives.

UNITED KINGDOM

Cumberbatch a hero

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been hailed as a hero for an incident in November last year in which he chased away four assailants trying to steal a delivery cyclist’s bicycle in London. Cumberbatch, 41, jumped out of his Uber tazi and ran to the aid of the Deliveroo cyclist as he was set upon by the muggers, the Sun reported on Saturday. “The cyclist was lucky, Benedict’s a superhero,” the Uber driver, Manuel Dias, told the paper. “Benedict was courageous, brave and selfless. If he hadn’t stepped in the cyclist could have been seriously injured.” “One of the males attempted to grab the victim’s cycle... He was then punched in the face, struck on the head and hit with his helmet,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, adding that no arrests have been made.” No explanation has been given as to why the incident was only just reported.

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