News stories from around the world
RUSSIA: A top defence industry official said today that Russia plans to develop its own sea-based missile interceptor programme similar to the US Aegis system.
Anatoly Shlemov of the United Shipbuilding Company said the Kremlin “has definitely assigned a task” for the defence industry to come up with naval missile interceptors.
Aegis technology is carried by warships with missile interceptors and can destroy missiles in flight.
PAKISTAN: A Pakistani court has ordered a 14-year-old Christian girl with Down’s syndrome to be held in prison for two more weeks as police finalise charges following accusations of blasphemy.
The girl’s lawyer Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said that the court’s decision today was procedural, since her initial detention had ended the day before. He said that he hopes to see her freed on bail tomorrow.
US: Asylum has been granted to to an Ecuadoran journalist in what appears to be a swipe over Quito’s sheltering of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Emilio Palacio, who was found guilty of insulting President Rafael Correa, said today that he was granted asylum on August 17, the day after Ecuador offered asylum to Assange.
Mr Palacio was sentenced to three years in prison over a column he wrote in which he said Correa may have been guilty of “crimes against humanity.”
ISRAEL: Government officials rushed to claim that a new UN report added credibility to warnings about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and the need for possible intervention today.
The UN nuclear agency said Iran has shut down investigation of a site suspected of being used for nuclear weapons-related experiments, while doubling the number of centrifuges it has in an underground bunker.
SPAIN: Over 4,000 people were evacuated from their houses today as a wildfire being spread by strong winds has rapidly expanded through hills around the southern tourist city of Marbella.
The fire started early yesterday outside the town of Coin. Nearly all residents of the nearby town of Ojen were evacuated and given shelter in Marbella.
Firefighters were working to contain the blaze as it continued to spread towards Marbella itself.
CHINA: The death toll in the country’s worst mine accident in nearly three years rose to 37 today as high temperatures and dangerous carbon monoxide levels hampered rescuers fighting to free 10 survivors.
Of the miners who made it to the surface, 50 are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Seven are in critical condition.
The State Administration of Work Safety plans to close more than 600 small mines this year to cut fatalities.
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