Athens flooding death toll rises to 23
GREECE: Authorities raised the death toll from heavy flooding near Athens this month to 23 yesterday, after another body was found and an injured woman died in hospital.
The fire brigade discovered the man’s body buried in mud near a bus station in the small town of Mandra, which suffered the brunt of the November 15 flash floods.
Officials blamed the disaster on poor town planning and insufficient flood prevention measures, as much of the afflicted area had been built on filled-in torrent beds.
President meets Hezbollah leader
LEBANON: President Michel Aoun opened two days of consultations with political leaders yesterday over the government’s future in the light of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s suspended resignation.
Mr Hariri has demanded that coalition member Hezbollah remove itself from regional conflicts.
Mr Aoun met Hezbollah parliamentary bloc leader Mohammed Raad, who announced that they had discussed “reactivating” the government.
General appointed state oil firm chief
VENEZUELA: President Nicolas Maduro has chosen National Guard Major General Manuel Quevedo to lead the PDVSA state oil company.
The general, who was appointed on Sunday, will be PDVSA president and the country’s oil minister.
The appointment is part of a sweeping anti-corruption investigation ordered by the president into the company amid a fall in crude production that has worsened the oil-rich country’s financial crisis.
Opposition figure jailed for 9 years
KUWAIT: Leading opposition figure Musallam al-Barrack was among dozens sent to prison yesterday over the storming of parliament by protesters in 2011.
Mr Barrack, who was released from jail in April after already serving two years, received the harshest sentence of all — nine years.
More than 50 defendants, all previously acquitted by a lower court, were given prison terms from one year to five.