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Around The World London Tabloid editor guilty

London
Tabloid editor guilty: Prime Minister David Cameron’s former communications chief Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiring to hack the cellphones of celebrities, politicians, crime victims, and even the royal family in a trial stemming from his earlier role as editor of the now defunct News of the World. Coulson left the tabloid in 2007, after a staffer and a private investigator hired by the paper were jailed for hacking phones, and a few months later became head of communications for Cameron’s Conservative Party. An embarrassed Cameron apologized this week for hiring Coulson, saying, “I am extremely sorry that I employed him; it was the wrong decision.” Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, was cleared of all charges this week.

Paris
Roma youth targeted: A vigilante mob in a housing project outside the French capital beat a Roma boy nearly to death last week, and his family has fled its encampment. The 16-year-old, known only as Darius, was suspected of stealing from a poor immigrant family, and the rumor ignited simmering tensions between African immigrants and the Roma newcomers who had set up camp nearby. The boy is barely surviving on life support in a Paris hospital, but his family, fearful of the authorities, abandoned its camp and has not visited him. France has some 20,000 Roma—known pejoratively as Gypsies—and has failed to integrate the stigmatized ethnic minority into society.


Tijuana, Mexico
Cartel head nabbed: The suspected leader of the Tijuana drug cartel was arrested this week while watching a Mexico World Cup match on TV. Fernando Sánchez Arellano was captured after authorities received a tip that he would be in a certain house in the border city during the Mexico-Croatia game. His arrest is another damaging blow to the once important Tijuana cartel, whose top five leaders, all brothers, have been killed or captured in the past 12 years. Sánchez Arellano is a nephew of those men and was seen as the next generation’s leader. He’s not the only suspected drug lord to be brought low by soccer: Alleged methamphetamine trafficker José Díaz Barajas was arrested in Rio de Janeiro last week on his way to watch Mexico play Brazil.

La Paz, Bolivia
Counterculture clock: Leftist Bolivia has changed the clock on its Congress building to run toward the left, counterclockwise, instead of the right. Legislators ordered the numbers to be painted over and the clock retooled to run in reverse. Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said the “clock of the south” was intended to show Bolivians that they can question authority. “Who says that the clock always has to turn one way?” he said. “Why do we always have to obey? Why can’t we be creative?” Under President Evo Morales, an indigenous Aymara, Bolivia has been reviving indigenous culture and challenging practices imposed from the colonial era.

Warsaw
Dissing the U.S.: Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is in hot water after being caught on tape slamming the U.S.-Polish alliance as “worthless, even harmful because it gives Poland a false sense of security.” On the audiotape, leaked to Polish magazine Wprost, Sikorski says to a former government official, “The U.S. alliance is complete bulls---. We’ll get into a conflict with the Germans and the Russians, and we’ll think that everything is super because we gave the Americans a blowj--.” The Polish government had no comment, but Sikorski said the full transcript of the recording would show his comments were taken out of context. Sikorski is married to the American newspaper columnist Anne Applebaum.

São Paulo
No protests: The World Cup has been largely protest-free because Brazilian police are depriving the people of their right to demonstrate, Amnesty International said this week. Since the competition began, there has been no sign of the massive anti–World Cup demonstrations that drew hundreds of thousands of people over the past year, because police use rubber bullets and pepper spray to quickly disperse any crowd that isn’t made up of soccer fans. “We are issuing military police in São Paulo with a yellow card for attacking peaceful protesters,” said Amnesty. Some small demos have been allowed, but the few hundred protesters were outnumbered by riot police.

Kiev, Ukraine
Still shooting: A cease-fire in Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian rebels was in jeopardy this week after separatists shot down a Ukrainian helicopter, killing nine. “We see no signs that Russia is respecting its international commitments,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. NATO officials said member states were considering new sanctions against Russia if it does not pull its troops away from the Ukrainian border and encourage separatists to disarm. Russia may be listening: After a phone call with President Barack Obama this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the Russian legislature to rescind its March 1 resolution authorizing Russia to use force in Ukraine.

Abuja, Nigeria
Mall blast: Islamist militants are suspected in a bombing that killed at least 21 people at a shopping mall in the Nigerian capital this week. The explosion scattered body parts in the streets and set cars on fire. Suspicion centers on Boko Haram, the group that abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in April and has been spreading terror through bombings and kidnappings across northern Nigeria. The group wants to set up an Islamic state in Nigeria, a country split between a largely Muslim north and a mostly Christian south, and it has recently begun striking at Abuja. So far this year, some 2,000 people have been killed, and another 90 people were abducted just this week.

Yulin, China
Dog-meat fight: The annual dog-meat festival in the central Chinese town of Yulin was disrupted this week by an influx of animal-rights activists demanding that dog slaughterhouses be shut down. In the week ahead of the holiday, Chinese activists had numerous run-ins with butchers, and there were some cases of vendors torturing dogs to extort money from activists. Most years, some 10,000 dogs are killed and eaten during the summer solstice festival, but this year vendors said consumption dropped sharply. The traditional but unofficial festival may be on its way out as city authorities are no longer promoting it, apparently because the bad press it brings to Yulin outweighs the tourism bump.

Damascus, Syria
Chemical weapons gone: The final stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons left Syria this week, according to the U.N. group overseeing the weapons’ destruction. Under a deal brokered by Russia and the U.S., Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to turn over his chemical arms last year, after credible reports that his regime was using them on civilians. The U.N. said Syria was now rid of all the stockpiles that weapons inspectors were aware of. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict,” said Ahmet Uzumcu, chief of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


Cairo
Reporters jailed: Egypt drew international condemnation this week for sentencing three Al Jazeera journalists to prison sentences of seven to 10 years. Peter Greste, one of Australia’s most famous foreign correspondents, Canadian reporter Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian reporter Baher Mohamed were convicted of collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood by reporting on the civil unrest that broke out after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi last year. The trial was widely seen as a sham, as the prosecution offered no evidence of any inaccuracy in the men’s reporting. Egypt now has more than 16,000 political prisoners.

Khartoum, Sudan
Christian woman rearrested: A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy was set free this week, only to be arrested and charged with fraud when she tried to leave the country using documents bearing her Christian name, not the Muslim name she was given at birth. U.S. officials said they were now trying to ensure that Meriam Ibrahim and her children could join her American husband, Daniel Wani, in the U.S. Born to a Christian mother, Ibrahim was raised a Christian after her Muslim father abandoned the family, but a sharia court in Sudan considered her a Muslim and last month convicted her of illegally renouncing her faith. An appeals court overturned the conviction this week following an international outcry, but Ibrahim now faces up to seven years in jail on the fraud charges.


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Around The World Mexico City Oil fraud

Mexico City
Oil fraud: Mexican authorities have arrested a top oil executive for allegedly defrauding Citigroup of up to $400 million. Prosecutors say Amado Yáñez Osuna’s Oceanografía oil services company falsified invoices used as collateral for loans from Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary. They believe some of the money was laundered through a soccer team Yáñez owns. But the opposition National Action Party contends the case may be politically motivated. Oceanografía was awarded many lucrative contracts by the state-owned oil giant Pemex while the National Action Party was in power. The NAP is refusing to support President Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform bill until the case is resolved.

Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
Terrorist plan worked: Al Qaida wanted to provoke the U.S. into war, said accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Speaking to lawyers for Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, who was on trial in New York, Mohammed said that the attacks were intended to drive the U.S. out of Muslim lands. “Every state of emergency declared and every change of alert level that inflicts specific procedures on military and civilian sectors costs the country millions of dollars,” he said. “The U.S. government has incurred losses upwards of a trillion dollars in the wars it has waged in the aftermath of 9/11, the bleeding of which continues to this day.”


Caracas, Venezuela
Booted out: A Venezuelan opposition lawmaker has been kicked out of parliament for giving a speech in Washington. María Corina Machado went to the headquarters of the Organization of American States last week to inform the delegations about the recent protests against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Panama ceded its seat at the OAS meeting so that Machado could speak, and Venezuelan authorities say Machado betrayed her country by “acting as a Panamanian official.” They stripped her of her seat and her parliamentary immunity, and say she could be arrested for “inciting violence.” More than 30 people have been killed in anti-government protests in the past month.

Montevideo, Uruguay
U.s. detainees welcome: Uruguay has become the first Latin American country to agree to accept prisoners released from Guantánamo Bay. “I was imprisoned for many years, and I know how it is,” said President José Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla jailed under Uruguay’s dictatorship in the 1970s and ’80s. “They are coming as refugees, and there will be a place for them in Uruguay if they want to bring their families.” Uruguay is expected to accept five of the 154 detainees who remain in Guantánamo. The U.S. government said no deal has been finalized and wants assurances that resettled prisoners will be required to stay in the country for at least two years.

Madrid
Rallying against austerity: Hundreds of thousands of citizens marched across Spain this month, meeting up in Madrid for a rally against rampant poverty and EU-imposed austerity measures. The “marches for dignity” drew protesters from cities across the country decrying unemployment and cuts in housing, health, and education services. Banners called on the government to stop paying international debt and start investing in jobs instead. One banner read “Bread, jobs, and housing for everyone,” while another read “Corruption and robbery, Spain’s trademark.” A quarter of the Spanish workforce is unemployed, and there has been a wave of eviction-related suicides.

Rio de Janeiro
Troops raid favelas: With less than three months to go before the World Cup, Brazil is sending soldiers into the slums around Rio to stem surging violence. Last week, the gangs that control the favelas firebombed police stations in a coordinated attack. “Criminals want to weaken our policy of pacification and take back territories that were in criminal hands for decades,” said Rio state Gov. Sérgio Cabral. Activists say the violence is rising because of police brutality. Residents have been tortured and killed by police, and the rioters contend that the cops are more corrupt than the criminals.

Bandar Abbas, Iran
warship just a prop: Iran is building a replica U.S. warship that it says will be used for a movie shoot. Satellite photos show what appears to be a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in an Iranian shipyard, which U.S. intelligence suspected would be blown up for some propaganda purpose, according to The New York Times. Iran claims the ship is part of the set for a new movie by Iranian director Nader Talebzadeh about the 1988 downing of an Iran Air passenger jet by missiles fired from the American missile cruiser USS Vincennes. All 290 passengers and crew were killed in what the U.S. called a tragic mistake. “Without any proof or real basis,” said the Alef.ir news site, “Western media have jumped again to paint a more negative picture of Iran.”

Kampala, Uganda
Get Kony: The U.S. is doubling its military effort to help African Union forces find fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The new deployment of advanced Osprey helicopters and other aircraft, along with 150 special operations forces, will join the 100 U.S. troops already in the region hunting for the leader of the rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army. At its height in the 1980s and ’90s, the cult was notorious for mutilating villagers and kidnapping thousands of their children for use as soldiers and sex slaves. His influence waning, Kony is now believed to be hiding along the border between Central African Republic and Sudan. The search to date has been hampered by a lack of aircraft that can penetrate the dense jungle.

Pyongyang, North Korea
Missile test: North Korea conducted its first tests of midrange rockets in nearly five years this week, firing two Rodong missiles into the sea toward Japan. The missiles were fired from mobile launchers, in what South Korean officials believe was a demonstration of the North’s ability to launch a surprise attack. The tests were timed to coincide with President Obama’s nuclear nonproliferation summit in Europe, where he met with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss the North Korean issue. “We are monitoring the situation closely,” said Kim Min-seok of the South Korean Defense Ministry, as previous tests “had been preceded or followed by additional provocations.”

Tokyo
nuclear fuel relinquished: Japan has agreed to hand over hundreds of pounds of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium and plutonium to the U.S. The fuel, which has been poorly guarded, was purchased from the U.S. in the 1960s and has been used for research. But enough material remains to build dozens of nuclear weapons. Japan’s relinquishment is the largest single accomplishment yet for President Obama’s global nonproliferation initiative. The agreement was announced at the president’s third summit on securing nuclear materials, held this week in The Hague, Netherlands. China and Iran have criticized the stockpile in the past, saying that it would enable Japan to make nuclear bombs in short order should it so choose.


Cairo
Mass death sentence: Protests erupted across Egypt this week after 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death following a two-day show trial that drew instant international condemnation. The defendants were convicted of attacking police in August during riots that broke out after police cleared a Muslim Brotherhood camp that had been set up to protest the coup that deposed President Mohammed Morsi. Days later, undeterred Egyptian authorities opened another mass trial of 682 Brotherhood members, including their spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie. Defendants’ lawyers weren’t allowed to present evidence in either case. Amnesty International called the verdicts “a death sentence for the credibility and independence of Egypt’s criminal justice system.”

Nairobi, Kenya
wildlife service corruption: The founding former chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service says the agency has been infiltrated by a poaching cartel that is slaughtering elephants and rhinos. Richard Leakey claims the government knows who the poaching ring’s leaders are and has urged Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to act against them. “I call on him now personally to take the next step and get this under control,” Leakey said. The KWS says that poaching is down and that only about 30 elephants have been killed this year, a claim Leakey called “patently not true.” Impunity for poachers is well documented in Kenya. According to a study by Wildlife Direct, a conservation group headed by Leakey, only 4 percent of offenders convicted of wildlife crimes do any jail time.


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Around The World Vatican City Ex-bishop held for abuse

Vatican City
Ex-bishop held for abuse: The Vatican has charged a defrocked archbishop with sexual abuse of children in the highest-profile sex-abuse case to reach the Holy See’s criminal court. Jozef Wesolowski was the papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013, when he was recalled after allegations that he had been abusing boys in Santo Domingo. He was defrocked in June after a Vatican tribunal found him guilty of sexual abuse, and now he faces criminal charges that could lead to a prison sentence. A Vatican spokesman said the charges reflected Pope Francis’s wish “that such a grave and delicate case be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigor.” Wesolowski, 66, is under house arrest.

Madrid
Abortion stays legal: The Spanish government has dropped its effort to outlaw abortion in the face of widespread protests. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People’s Party, which has had a majority in parliament since 2011, announced last year that he planned to ban abortion except in the case of rape or to save the mother’s life. Some 75 percent of Spaniards opposed the plan, and tens of thousands turned out for rallies against it this year. This week Rajoy said he would scrap the draft law and instead push a reform to require 16- and 17-year-olds to get a parent’s permission to have an abortion. “We can’t have a law that will be changed when another government comes in,” he said.


Guadalajara, Mexico
Congressman murdered: A congressman from Mexico’s governing Institutional Revolutionary Party and an assistant were killed this week after being abducted on their way to the airport. Gabriel Gomez Michel was a pediatrician and medical-school professor who served on legislative committees for human rights and the environment. Authorities said they weren’t aware of any threats against him. The bodies, found in Gomez Michel’s SUV, were burned beyond recognition, so DNA tests will be performed to confirm their identities. More than 50 local and federal officials have been murdered in Jalisco state in the past seven years.

Tlatlaya, Mexico
Army massacre? Mexico’s attorney general is investigating allegations that the army shot and killed 22 gang members after they had surrendered. A witness said she had gone to a warehouse in Tlatlaya in June to rescue her 15-year-old daughter from the gang when soldiers arrived and started shooting. She said her daughter was wounded and lying on the ground when a soldier walked up and shot her through the head, and that other gang members were shot after they came out of the warehouse with their hands on the backs of their necks. The army said the 22 had died in a firefight; only one soldier was wounded.

Donetsk, Ukraine
Truce in jeopardy: Rebels in areas of eastern Ukraine are refusing to recognize parts of the cease-fire pact reached last month that ended the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-supported separatists. Under the deal, the rebel territories are to hold a referendum on self-rule in December, ahead of Ukrainian general elections. But this week leaders from the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic said they would organize the vote themselves in November. In the meantime, they have not abandoned the fight for the Donetsk airport, which is controlled by Ukrainian forces but remains unusable, its runway pockmarked with craters from heavy shelling.

São Paulo
More superrich: Latin America’s population of billionaires grew faster than that of any other region in the world last year, even though many of the area’s overall economies are ailing. Some of the growth appeared to stem from large wealth transfers from elderly billionaires to multiple children. “Much of the wealth in Latin America is actually vestiges of old wealth, concentrated in a few families, and is not original wealth creation,” said David Friedman of Wealth-X, a company that tracks the ultrarich around the globe. Latin America now has 153 billionaires, with roughly one third of them living in Brazil. The U.S. still has the highest number of billionaires, with 571.

Camp Saqlawiyah, Iraq
ISIS takes base: ISIS has captured an Iraqi army base just north of insurgent-controlled Fallujah and only an hour from Baghdad. Hundreds of ISIS fighters cut off roads and besieged the base for days until it ran out of food and water, then entered disguised as Iraqi army reinforcements. At least 300 soldiers were killed. ISIS continues to advance in Iraq partly because the Sunni tribes are still reluctant to side with the Shiite-led government in fighting the extremists. “The Sunnis in Anbar and other provinces are facing oppression and discrimination by the government,” said Mohamed el-Bajjari, spokesman for a coalition of Sunni tribes. “This government must be changed to form a technocratic government of nonsectarian secular people, or the battles and the anger of the Sunni people will continue.”

Hebron, West Bank
Teen murderers killed: Israeli forces have killed the two Hamas members suspected in the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. The suspects, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh, were killed in a shoot-out at the West Bank house where they had been hiding; they were given heroes’ funerals by Hamas. “We are proud of you, and our people will not forget your jihad,” Hamas spokesman Hussam Bardan said. “You trampled the occupation’s nose in the dirt.” The abduction of the teenagers sparked an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip that lasted seven weeks and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians. Also this week, Israel shot down a Syrian warplane over the Golan Heights, the first such encounter in decades. The plane’s crew ejected and landed safely in Syria.

Tehran
Mullahs divided on social media: Iran’s judiciary has ordered the government to block certain social-media platforms because they have been used to publish “immoral” photos and insults to the ayatollahs. Mobile-messaging services WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango were ordered to be shut down within a month. The ruling is a blow to President Hassan Rouhani, who has promoted Internet use and is active on Twitter. His communications ministry says it has agreed to remove offensive content but has balked at censoring the apps altogether. Officially, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are blocked in Iran, but many Iranians are able to access the sites through proxy servers.

Kabul
Power-sharing agreement: Ending months of political deadlock following a disputed presidential runoff, Afghanistan’s rival candidates have agreed to share power. Ashraf Ghani will become president, while Abdullah Abdullah, who had alleged massive fraud after he led strongly in the first round but lost the runoff, will take the new position of chief executive officer. The two will split cabinet appointments. The compromise, which will divert some presidential powers to the CEO, was reached in a backroom deal brokered by the U.S. “These two men have put the people of Afghanistan first,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry


Bangalore, India
Orbiting Mars: In a major success for its space program, India put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars this week, just days after NASA achieved the same thing on a muchlarger scale. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, or MOM, has just a few simple sensors and cost just $74 million to build and launch, considerably less than the budget of the movie Gravity. The probe will not be able to gather much information, and the expedition was primarily intended as a way to one-up rivals China and Japan, which have both tried and failed to put a craft into orbit around Mars. Children across India went to school just after dawn to watch the event on live television.

Wellington, New Zealand
Conservative re-elected: John Key won a third term as prime minister this week in a landslide victory after a campaign marred by allegations of scandal. Key’s National Party was accused of funding a right-wing attack blog that smeared government critics, and his justice minister was forced to resign over leaks of hacked emails. But voters happy with the country’s booming economy gave the National Party a likely 61 of the 121 seats, an unprecedented showing under New Zealand’s complicated electoral system. Key, a former investment banker, vowed to seek coalition partners despite the majority. “It’s a marvelous result that National may technically be able to govern alone,” he said. “But it’s a dangerous position for governments that let it go to their head.”


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Around The World Ottawa Richer than Americans

Ottawa
Richer than Americans: The Canadian middle class has now passed the U.S. middle class to be the richest in the world. A New York Times analysis found that after-tax middle-class incomes in Canada, which were well behind those in the U.S. just 15 years ago, caught up in 2010 and have now pulled ahead. The U.S. is still the richest nation overall, but most of the income goes to the wealthiest, while in Canada it is spread more evenly. The poorest 20 percent in Canada are also better off than the poorest Americans. “The idea that the median American has so much more income than the middle class in all other parts of the world is not true these days,” said Harvard economist Lawrence Katz.

Mexico City
Farewell to novelist: The presidents of both Mexico and Colombia delivered eulogies this week at the funeral of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez in Mexico. Born and raised in Colombia, Gabo, as he was known, lived in Mexico for decades and wrote some of his best-known works there, including One Hundred Years of Solitude, a masterpiece of magical realism. The author’s birthplace in Colombia, the town of Aracataca, held its own memorial service as well, and the country declared three days of mourning. Both ceremonies featured mourners waving hundreds of yellow paper butterflies, a nod to one of the most enduring images from Solitude.


Havana
Condom shortage: Cubans are having trouble finding condoms. The shortage started in a central province last month and has now spread to the suburbs of Havana, including an area with a relatively high HIV rate. The price for a single condom has risen to $1.30, the average daily wage in Cuba. The state-run wholesaler Ensume blamed the shortage on the need to repackage 1 million condoms that were wrongly labeled as expiring in 2012 but are still good through 2014. Officials said they would allow pharmacies to sell the mislabeled condoms.

Rio de Janeiro
slum riot: Anger over the death of a famous dancer sparked a riot that left at least one person dead in a Rio de Janeiro slum near Copacabana beach this week. Residents torched cars, threw bottles, and set off makeshift bombs in a busy avenue in the main tourist zone, and when police moved in, gunfire broke out. The violence began after locals found the bloodied body of Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, 25, a dancer on a popular TV show, who residents claimed was killed after police mistook him for a drug dealer. “The police beat my friend to death, just like they’ve tortured and killed in other communities,” said resident Johanas Mesquita. “This effort to pacify the favelas is a failure; the police violence is only replacing what the drug gangs carried out before.”

Paris
Reporters return: Four French journalists held for a year by al Qaida–linked rebels in Syria returned home this week after being released by their captors. The reporters, who were kidnapped in June while covering the Syrian war, are being debriefed by French intelligence and have said publicly only that they were held by “a jihadist group”— believed to be the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant—and treated poorly. Officials denied paying ransom to secure the men’s release, but said they had met “certain conditions.” A French negotiator told Le Monde that the men were held among a group of 35 hostages of many nationalities, most of whom had governments or private entities negotiating for their release.

Pretoria, South Africa
Just an act? A prominent South African journalist has accused murder defendant Oscar Pistorius of taking acting lessons to prepare for his trial in the killing of model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Jani Allan, a former columnist for the Johannesburg Sunday Times, said “extremely reliable sources” told her that the double-amputee Olympic runner was being coached by an actor friend, who is famous in South Africa. She said on her blog that his frequent “mewling and puking” on the stand was a sham. A spokeswoman for the Pistorius family said the accusation that he had taken acting lessons was “totally devoid of any truth.”

Kfar Zeita, Syria
Chlorine attack alleged: The U.S. is investigating reports that Syria’s government bombed civilians with deadly chlorine gas, a violation of the international ban on chemical weapons. Activists in the rebel-held village of Kfar Zeita uploaded video of people choking after gas bombs were reportedly dropped from government helicopters, and they posted photos online of canisters bearing the chemical symbol for chlorine. They said one child died and 50 people were injured in the attack. Under a deal reached with the U.S. and Russia last year following a deadly sarin gas attack, Syria has disposed of more than 86 percent of its chemical weapons stockpile, but chlorine, which has legitimate industrial uses, was not specified in that deal.

Bentiu, South Sudan
Horrific massacre: Rebels have massacred hundreds of civilians in the South Sudanese city of Bentiu in the worst atrocity of the young country’s civil war. Bodies, including those of children and old people, were piled in heaps in a mosque, a church, and other buildings all over town. The ethnic Nuer rebels killed all non-Nuer they found, egged on by rebel-controlled radio. “Use of hate speech via a public radio station to incite violence is a game-changer,” said Toby Lanzer, the U.N.’s top official in South Sudan. The fighting broke out in December after a political struggle between President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, and former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer, and has now broadened into an ethnic civil war.

Everest Base Camp, Nepal
sherpas on strike: Nearly the entire staff of 400 Sherpa guides who risk their lives carrying equipment up and down Mount Everest quit for the season after 16 of them died in an avalanche last week. “It is just impossible for many of us to continue climbing while our friends are buried in the snow,” said guide Dorje Sherpa. The Sherpas grew angry after the Nepalese government offered the victims’ families just $400 each in compensation, and they are now demanding the government share the proceeds of the multimilliondollar Everest industry. Hundreds of foreign climbers who paid tens of thousands of dollars each to make the ascent must now decide whether to try it without Sherpas or abandon the attempt.

Lingxi, China
Mob beats cops: Hundreds of furious Chinese battered five socalled chengguan, officers from a hated national law-enforcement agency, in the eastern town of Lingxi this week. The officers had been hassling a female street vendor, and when a bystander started taking photos of the dispute, the officers attacked him with a hammer. Passersby then turned on the officers. Pictures and video posted on the Internet show the crowd punching the officers, hurling bricks, and stamping on them, shouting, “Kill them! Kill them!” The incident went viral on Chinese social media. The chengguan are responsible for enforcing city regulations in areas such as commerce and sanitation.


Ramallah, West Bank
Political alliance: The two rival Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, agreed this week to try to form a unity government, in an apparent attempt to present a single Palestinian leadership to bolster a bid to join the U.N. The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah controls the West Bank, while the Islamist militant group Hamas, which has sworn to destroy Israel, controls the Gaza Strip. The two groups aim to announce a joint government in five weeks and hold elections by year’s end. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas was sabotaging peace talks. “Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?” he asked. “You can have one but not the other.”

Al Lahab, Yemen
Anti-terror offensive: A large, multiday U.S. and Yemeni operation killed at least 65 suspected terrorists in Yemen this week, near a site where some 100 al Qaida militants were recently videotaped while meeting. U.S. drone strikes targeted a training camp and weapons caches, while U.S. special operations pilots flew Yemeni commandos to a militant compound where a gun battle ensued and scores of militants were killed. The Yemen-based branch of al Qaida is blamed for a string of plots against Americans, including the failed underwear bombing of a U.S.-bound jet in 2009.


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Around The World Vienna Iran talks extended

Vienna
Iran talks extended: Iran, the U.S., and five other countries failed to meet their deadline this week to resolve the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program and agreed to extend their talks through November. The countries said in a statement that they had made “tangible progress” so far, but both sides seem further apart than ever. The U.S. side wants Iran to be limited to up to 1,200 centrifuges, which would enrich uranium for a nuclear power plant. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insists the enrichment program requires more than 100,000 centrifuges. Sanctions against oil sales and other major sources of income remain in effect during the extension.

London
Polonium hit: Eight years after the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, the British government has ordered an investigation that will examine a possible Russian government role in his murder. Litvinenko defected to the U.K. in 2000 after accusing the Kremlin of orchestrating the bombing of four Russian apartment blocks to provide a pretext for the second Chechen war and rally the country around Vladimir Putin. At the time, Putin was an intelligence chief who had just been appointed prime minister and was all but unknown to the Russian public. Litvinenko was hospitalized with radioactive polonium poisoning in 2006 and died soon after. The main suspect in the killing is another Russian agent, Andrei Lugovoi. Litvinenko’s widow recently sued the British government to force it to reopen the case.


Budapest
Rewriting history: A statue that depicts a falsified version of Hungarian history was erected last weekend and promptly pelted with eggs. The statue, a project of the right-wing nationalist government, shows Hungary as the archangel Gabriel being set upon by an imperial eagle representing Germany. In reality, Hungary’s wartime government was a fully complicit ally of the Nazis and willingly rounded up 437,000 Jews for deportation to death camps. Authorities put up the statue in the middle of the night and surrounded it with protective bars to thwart protesters who have picketed the site for months.

Zamora, Mexico
Shelter scandal: Mexicans are shocked at allegations that a well-respected children’s home has been a den of abuse. For nearly 60 years, the Great Family home run by Rosa del Carmen Verduzco had sheltered troubled and poor children whose parents couldn’t take care of them. But after a TV news investigation found that parents were denied access to their children and many of the kids said they had been starved, beaten, or raped, police raided the site this week and arrested “Mama Rosa,” 79, and eight other caretakers. Investigators said Mama Rosa had apparently lost control of the home over the years, and the place turned into a lawless commune. Children had grown up there and had children of their own in squalor.

San Salvador, El Salvador
Scary cartoon: The government of El Salvador has created a frightening animated commercial aimed at dissuading children from trying to immigrate to the U.S. The ad, which ran on Salvadoran TV this week, features children narrating their harrowing tales of being betrayed by the “coyotes,” the people smugglers who promise to deliver them across the border. “It’s all lies,” one child says. “We spent days without eating.” Another child tells of being sold into forced labor. The clip will also air in U.S. states with large Salvadoran populations.

Panama City
Noriega sues: Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is suing videogame-maker Activision Blizzard for using his likeness without permission in the best-selling Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Part of the game is set during the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, and the Noriega character—repeatedly referred to by name and as “Pineapple Face,” the nickname given him by Panamanians because of his acne scars—helps American forces hunt for the game’s villain before double-crossing them. The ex-military strongman isn’t alleging libel; he just wants a cut of the profit. Noriega was convicted in a U.S. court of drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder, and is serving out his prison sentence in Panama.

Mosul, Iraq
Christians flee: The last few thousand Christian families in one of the world’s oldest Christian communities fled their homes in northern Iraq this week after Islamic militants threatened to kill them. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has taken over Mosul and the surrounding territory, announced that Christians must either convert to Islam or pay an exorbitant sum, or they would be beheaded. Most fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, where regional authorities told their people to help the Christians and asked the international community for aid. Kurdistan is already sheltering some 500,000 displaced Iraqis and 200,000 refugees from Syria. Meanwhile, in Mosul, the militants have destroyed ancient churches and desecrated the tomb of the prophet Jonah.

Seoul
Ferry owner dead: South Korea’s most wanted man, the fugitive businessman who owned the Sewol ferry that sank in April and killed more than 300 people, has been found dead. The body of Yoo Byung-un, 73, was discovered last month, surrounded by liquor bottles and decomposing in an apricot orchard near his vacation home. DNA tests confirmed that the corpse was Yoo’s, although the cause of death hasn’t yet been determined. Yoo, a billionaire tycoon who also ran a cult, faced charges of tax evasion and negligence and was believed to have embezzled money intended for ferry maintenance.

Shanghai
Rotten meat: A U.S.-owned meat supplier in China has been selling expired beef and chicken to American fast-food chains there, including McDonald’s, KFC, and Starbucks. An investigation on Chinese TV showed that workers from Shanghai Husi Food Co., owned by the Aurora, Ill.–based OSI Group, had repackaged old meat and given it a new expiration date. Five Husi employees have been arrested. OSI said in a statement it was “appalled” by the report and would fully cooperate with the police investigation. The discovery of spoiled meat in foreign chains is particularly upsetting for Chinese consumers, who trusted those outlets more after a series of scandals in which people were killed or sickened by tainted Chinese-made infant formula, drugs, and pork products.

Jakarta
Man of the people: Two weeks after a closely contested election, Indonesia has declared Joko Widodo its new president, with 53 percent of the vote. The president-elect, who goes by the name Jokowi, was born in the slums and started out selling furniture, and his story has inspired millions of people in the world’s most populous Muslim country. As governor of Jakarta, he was known for an informal style; he would drop in unannounced to inspect government offices or visit urban neighborhoods. His rival, Prabowo Subianto, a general and son-in-law of former dictator Suharto, alleged fraud and pledged to challenge the vote count in court; experts say he has little chance of winning that case.


Kenema, Sierra Leone
Ebola spreads: The worst outbreak of Ebola in history is still spreading in Sierra Leone, as the doctor leading the fight came down with the disease. Sheik Umar Khan, a 39-yearold virologist, was found this week to have the deadly virus, which causes bleeding from the skin and eyes. “Health workers are prone to the disease, because we are the first port of call for somebody who is sickened,” he said. “Even with the full protective clothing you put on, you are at risk.” The outbreak began in Guinea in February and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone; it has killed more than 600 people in those countries.

Kruger National Park, South Africa
Rhino killer jailed: In a rare victory against rhinoceros poaching, a South African hunter was sentenced this week to 77 years in jail. Mandla Chauke was convicted of rhino horn theft, illegal hunting, and trespassing in Kruger National Park. He was also held accountable for the death of an accomplice killed in a shootout with police. Rhino horns, used in Asia and the Middle East in aphrodisiacs and folk medicines, fetch around $33,000 a pound on the black market—more than gold. Last year, poachers killed a record 1,004 rhinos in South Africa, home to 70 percent of the world’s rhino population.


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