News stories from around the world
LATIN AMERICA: Venezuela and Bolivia hit back angrily over the weekend after a US report put them on a drug-trafficking blacklist.
The US said the countries had “failed demonstrably” to fight the drug trade.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said the US was using the so-called war on drugs for political purposes. Latin American countries have been deeply critical of the US over the drug trade, which is fuelled by US demand but disproportionately destabilises its southern neighbours.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Rugy star Nevin Spence drowned in a slurry pit on Saturday alongside his brother Graham and father Noel.
Mr Spence’s sister Emma was taken to hospital after inhaling dangerous fumes from the pit. It is believed that Noel Spence fell into the pit and his sons died while trying to rescue him.
Ulster Rugby chief executive Shane Logan said Nevin Spence’s loss would be “deeply felt” by the rugby community.
UNITED STATES: A woman has been appointed to head the training programme at Lackland air force base in San Antonio, Texas, after dozens of allegations of sexual assault and harassment by male instructors over the past year.
Colonel Deborah Liddick will take command of the 737th Training Group from next week.
Six instructors face charges relating to abuse of women recruits ranging from rape to adultery.
GERMANY: Pro-euthanasia group Sterbehilfe Deutschland has opened an office in Switzerland in case it is banned at home.
Proposed laws in Germany would make it illegal for groups to receive money from people they help to commit suicide.
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland but hugely controversial in Germany where many associate it with nazi euthanasia programmes that targeted the disabled.
PHILIPPINES: Taiwan called for the immediate deportation of 290 of its citizens from the country today as concerns mounted over the conditions of their detention.
Philippine authorities arrested 380 suspected members of a fraud syndicate, including 291 from Taiwan, on August 23 and is holding them in makeshift camps.
One has since died and others have fallen ill in the detention facilities.
TURKEY: Eight police officers were killed and nine wounded today when their minibus struck a landmine in Bingol province.
The incident follows an attack on a military convoy in Hakkari province which killed four soldiers on Saturday.
Officials believe that Kurdish nationalist group PKK is behind the attacks as it is known to be active in both provinces and the army had boasted at the weekend of killing 123 “terrorists,” as it refers to PKK activists.
PAKISTAN: A bus hit a roadside bomb in north-west Pakistan today, killing 15 passengers including two children and wounding 12.
Local police chief Ejaz Abid said the bomb appeared to have been detonated by remote control as the bus went over it.
“I don’t understand why the vehicle was targeted,” he said, noting that there had not been any security staff or anti-Taliban tribal elders on board.
CAMBODIA: The Khmer Rouge’s highest-ranking woman Ieng Thirith was freed today on the grounds of illness.
Ms Thirth, 80, is said to be unfit to stand trial as she has a degenerative mental illness, probably Alzheimer’s. She has been told to hand in her passport and is not allowed to leave Cambodia.
Ms Thirith served as social affairs minister during the Khmer Rouge’s rule and was charged with crimes against humanity, genocide, murder and torture.
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