Friday, April 26, 2013

News around the world

Former Romney intern charged with stalking, extortion

A former intern for former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan was arrested Tuesday and charged with cyber-stalking and Internet extortion. Adam Savader, 21, is accused of illegally obtaining nude pictures of 15 women and threatening to publicize the images if the women, many of whom he knew from high school, didn’t send more. Victims reported receiving as many as eight text messages a day from May 2012 through February 2013. During his time as a Newt Gingrich staffer Savader was frequently assigned to dress as Ellis the Elephant, the hero of Calista Gingrich’s children’s books. The former intern has been photographed with influential Republican politicians and amassed 17,000 followers on Twitter, where he advertised himself as an “American patriot and Reagan Republican.” He faces five years in prison if convicted. 

France to introduce law to monitor politician’s assets

France has proposed draft legislation to monitor the wealth and business activities of politicians and civil servants. The law is intended to introduce transparency and to expose lawmakers' and politicians’ assets and providing the means to bar them from non-governmental posts if personal and civil interests clash. The draft bill follows the recent scandal that erupted over the secret bank accounts of former minister Jerome Cahuzac. The state council, the government's legal watchdog, would decide how much information to make public, once the personal assets of the individuals are disclosed. Failure to comply could lead to a three-year prison term and a 45,000 euro fine. A minister caught evading taxes faces a five-year jail sentence and a 75,000 euro fine.

21 dead in western China clashes

Clashes between authorities and assailants have left 21 dead in Xinjiang, a province in northwestern China. The violence began with what authorities described as an act of terrorism, after local officials reported suspicious men wielding knives hiding in a home just outside the town of Kashgar. Fifteen local officials are reportedly among the dead, with six of the alleged terrorists also killed and a further eight captured. Although restive in recent months, Xinjiang has witnessed brief outbreaks of violence since 2009.

French FM vows Libya embassy attackers will pay

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has warned that “the terrorists who wanted to attack France and Libya and undermine the friendship between them will pay" for Tuesday's devastating car bomb attack on the French Embassy in Tripoli. Fabius spoke shortly after visiting the wrecked embassy in the hours after the bombing, AFP reported. Tripoli's security chief Mahmud al-Sherif said the blast occurred when a car parked outside the mission's front door exploded, adding that it had not been a suicide bombing. One guard was seriously wounded and another lightly injured in the attack on the mission, and a girl living in the neighborhood was also reportedly hurt.

Venezuelan government launches probe into post-election violence


 Citing the violence which followed Venezuela’s presidential elections, which left nine dead and several hundred injured, the country’s National Assembly has announced a committee to further investigate any responsibility on the part of the country’s Justice First opposition party. Henrique Capriles, who lost the April 14 presidential elections by a thin margin to Nicolas Maduro, has been the target of heated rhetoric from the incumbent socialist party. Heading the investigative committee, which will include no opposition members, will be Pedro Carreno, a legislator who on Wednesday branded Capriles a “murderer.” 


South Korea warns of ‘grave measures’ if North rejects dialogue on joint industrial zone

Seoul has warned that it could take “serious” action if North Korea does not engage in dialogue with a view to restarting the Kaesong joint industrial zone by Friday, Yonhap reports. “We make an official offer to North Korea to hold a working-level meeting to discuss ways of normalizing the suspended Kaesong Industrial Complex and providing humanitarian aid to South Korean workers there,” the Ministry of Unification said in a statement on Thursday. Amid ratcheted military tensions earlier this month, North Korea announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and a halt in operations at Kaesong. The Kaesong industrial zone, which opened in 2004 and produces a range of consumer goods, had previously seen its operations unaffected be past crises.



3 Tibetans self-immolate in western China 

Three Tibetans died after setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in one of the country’s western regions, exiled Buddhist monks and reports said Thursday. Two of the three protesters were monks at a monastery in Ruoergai county of Aba prefecture, according to exiled monks and the Free Tibet group. The two monks, aged 20 and 23, set themselves on fire in a corner of an assembly hall of the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti monastery. A Tibetan woman, aged 23, in Rangtang county in the same prefecture also reportedly died after self-immolating Wednesday. More than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2011 in protest against Chinese policies.



PM designated Letta starts talks to form Italian govt

Italian Prime Minister-designate Enrico Letta, the deputy head of the center-left Democratic Party, began negotiations on Thursday to form a new government and end a nearly two-month-long stalemate. The government will include Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, as well as caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti’s centrist bloc. Berlusconi said “the important thing is that there is a government and that there is a parliament that can approve measures that we absolutely need to emerge from the crisis of recession.”

French unemployment hits record 3.2 million


The number of jobless people in France reached 3.2 million in March, the country’s labor ministry reports. The figure is 11.5 per cent higher than in the same month last year and 1.2 per cent higher than in February. The number of unemployed is the highest since the records began in 1996. The French labor ministry doesn’t express the jobseeker figure as a percentage of the work force as it’s done by the International Labor Organization

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