Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

FIJI

PM not to face charges

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will not face charges over an alleged assault due to double-jeopardy rules, Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde said yesterday, despite finding that there would be enough evidence to take the case to court. Bainimarama was accused of assaulting opposition lawmaker Pio Tikoduadua outside parliament in August, shortly after the pair had engaged in a heated debate in the chamber. Tikoduadua accused Bainimarama of “thuggery,” saying that the prime minister threatened him and shoved him, breaking his spectacles. Mobile phone footage shared widely online showed an argument between the pair, with Bainimarama advancing on Tikoduadua and appearing to grab his suit jacket. Pryde said he would not press any charges, because parliament’s privileges committee had already dealt with the issue. Pryde said that as the altercation took place on parliamentary grounds, the committee had the power to make a ruling on it and had done so. This meant that pursuing the matter through the criminal courts would expose Bainimarama to double jeopardy, which was against the constitution, he said. “Had the matter not been heard by the privileges committee and dealt with by parliament, there was sufficient evidence for the matter to proceed to court,” Pryde said.

SAUDI ARABIA

Bus crash kills 35

Authorities said yesterday that 35 people have been killed in a bus crash near Mecca. The Saudi Press Agency reported that four others were injured in the crash. The agency, quoting police in Medina Province, said the crash happened at about 7pm on Wednesday on a road linking Mecca to Medina. The chartered bus carried Asian and Arab nationals, it said, without elaborating. Police were investigating the incident. Authorities gave no immediate cause for the crash.

SPAIN

Protesters block roads

After another night of clashes in Catalonia that left nearly 100 people injured according to emergency services, activists again blocked roads yesterday in the northeastern region. For the third night running, protesters clashed violently with riot police in the Catalan capital of Barcelona on Wednesday night, torching cars and garbage bins, as they expressed their fury over the sentencing of nine Catalan separatist leaders to long jail terms over their role in a failed independence bid. Emergency services said 58 people were injured, including a 17-year-old who was hit by a police van. Another 38 people were injured in protests in other Catalan cities.

UNITED STATES

Blood floods basement

Blood might be thicker than water, but it can still flood your basement. Nick Lestina found this out the hard way two weeks ago when he discovered 13cm of blood, fat and other animal tissue flooding his family’s basement in Bagley, about 72km northwest of Des Moines, Iowa. He told the Des Moines Register that he has not been able to clean it up because it is still seeping in. The waste is coming from a neighboring meat locker, where blood and tissue from slaughtered animals was washed down a drain. Officials say a clog or break in the pipe sent the waste into Lestina’s basement through a floor drain. A state environmental specialist traced the waste to Dahl’s Custom Meat Locker and says the company is now pumping it into a large tank. The Lestina family has temporarily moved in with a relative.

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