World News Quick Take


Tue, Mar 21, 2017 - Page 7


Protest over Dalai Lama

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reacted angrily after the Dalai Lama attended a Buddhist conference last week supported by the Indian Ministry of Culture. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader opened the conference on Friday in Rajgir, Bihar state, and then shared the stage with Indian government officials. “Recently, India ignored China’s solemn representations and strong opposition and insisted on inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to attend an international Buddhist conference organized by the Indian government,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (‘) said. “China is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this… We urge the India side to … abide by its promises on the Tibet issue, respect China’s core interests and avoid further disturbances and harm to China-India relations.”


President appears in video

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Sunday appeared in a video for the first time in a month since his abrupt cancelation of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Algiers triggered speculation over his health. Bouteflika, 80, has appeared rarely in public since a stroke in 2013 and usually only in state news images with visiting dignitaries. In the video broadcast on Sunday on state television, Bouteflika was seen receiving his minister of Africa and Arab affairs, Abdelkader Messahel.


Falling trees kill 20 teens

Twenty students died after trees fell on them while swimming in a river during a storm, emergency officials said on Sunday. National Fire Service spokesman Prince Billy Anaglate said the “unusual incident” happened on Sunday afternoon, when a group of high-school students were swimming at the Kintampo waterfalls, a popular tourist destination in the Brong-Ahafo region. A brewing storm caused trees to topple and fall on the teens, he said, adding that 18 died at the scene while two others died after being taken to a nearby hospital. Eleven people were injured, including one of the school administrators in charge of the trip.


US officials on Nauru

Asylum seekers say US Department of Homeland Security officers have begun fingerprinting refugees held on Pacific islands in the final stage of assessing who will find new lives in the US. The officers are taking biometric details from refugees on Nauru, including fingerprints, heights and weights, according to a document circulated among asylum seekers and provided to reporters yesterday by a refugee on Nauru who did not want his family name published for security reasons. The US officials also began scheduling appointments with asylum-seeker families, he said.


Strikes strand travelers

Tourists and travelers at airports across the nation faced delays and canceled flights yesterday, thanks to strikes by air traffic controllers and air transport workers. The nation’s flagship carrier, Alitalia, said it was cancelling about 40 percent of its domestic and international flights. Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and other carriers also were canceling flights due to a four-hour work action by air traffic controllers and a 24-hour strike by transport workers. It was the first day of a difficult week for transport, with a taxi strike planned for Thursday and traffic chaos expected in Rome on Saturday when the city hosts EU leaders for a summit.


Protesters clash with police

Police on Sunday fired tear gas in clashes with hooded demonstrators in Paris as thousands marched against “police brutality” after the alleged rape of a black youth with a police baton. The 22-year-old man, identified only as Theo, last month sustained severe anal and rectal injuries, as well as wounds to his head and face. Police said about 7,000 to 7,500 people joined the march to Place de la Republique, where demonstrators chanted “no justice, no peace” and “emergency, emergency, police are killing with impunity.” Two police officers were lightly injured in the clashes and taken to hospital, and 11 people were arrested, authorities said.


Assailant was drugged

Blood tests on Sunday determined that a suspected extremist consumed drugs and alcohol before a frenzied spree of violence that ended when he took a soldier hostage at Paris’ Orly Airport and was shot dead by her fellow patrolmen. The Paris prosecutors’ office said toxicology tests conducted as part of an autopsy found traces of cocaine and cannabis in the blood of the suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem. He also had 0.93g of alcohol per liter of blood when he died on Saturday, the prosecutors’ office said. The 39-year-old Frenchman had a long criminal record of drugs and robbery offenses. In an interview Sunday with French radio Europe 1, a man identified as the suspect’s father said Belgacem was not a practicing Muslim and drank alcohol. Europe 1 did not give his name.


Refugees rescued at sea

About 3,000 refugees were rescued off the coast of Libya on Sunday as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The rescue was undertaken in 22 separate operations coordinated by the coast guard. One participant was the Aquarius, a humanitarian ship run by the non-governmental organizations SOS Mediterranean and Doctors Without Borders, which said it saved 946 people, including 200 unaccompanied minors. According to the government, 16,206 people have been rescued at sea by Friday, compared with 11,911 in the same period last year.


WWII singer honored

Renowned World War II singer Vera Lynn was yesterday to celebrate turning 100 with a special tribute: Her portrait was to be projected onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. Known as the “forces’ sweetheart,” Lynn famously boosted troops’ morale during World War II, traveling thousands of kilometers to Egypt, India and Myanmar to entertain soldiers with her songs. Lynn’s name has been strongly associated with the world-famous cliffs since she released The White Cliffs of Dover in 1942. She also celebrated the milestone by releasing a new album, Vera Lynn 100, becoming the first to do so at the age of 100.


California waiter fired

A waiter was fired from a Southern California restaurant after asking customers to prove they had legal residency before serving them. The Los Angeles Times on Sunday reported that Brenda Carrillo, 23, said she and a friend got the question at Saint Marc in Huntington Beach. Carrillo said the waiter later asked her sister and another friend to see their proof of residency. She said the women complained to the manager and left. The restaurant said in an online post that the waiter was fired and that it would donate 10 percent of its weekend’s sales to a nonprofit chosen by the women.