News stories from around the world
NORWAY: UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon called on Monday for universal access to electricity by 2030, warning that the lack of energy in the deveoping world is hindering economic growth and job creation.
Addressing an energy conference in Oslo hosted by the Norwegian government and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Mr Ban urged governments and the private sector to pursue “a clean energy revolution,” so that the use of renewable sources could be doubled in 20 years.
The IEA said 20 per cent of the world’s population has no access to electricity.
MYANMAR: The newly elected civilian government announced today that it is releasing 6,300 prisoners in a widely expected amnesty.
State media said 6,359 inmates would be released beginning today under an amnesty for inmates who are old, disabled, unwell or who had shown good behaviour.
The new government is seen as remaining closely aligned with the military but has said it will ease restrictions on civil rights.
UKRAINE: Former pro-Western PM Yulia Tymoshenko was found guilty of abuse of office today and sentenced to seven years in jail.
Judge Rodion Kireyev also barred Ms Tymoshenko, now the country’s top opposition leader, from occupying government posts for three years after the completion of her prison term and fined her 1.5 billion hryvna (£120 million) in damages to the state.
Ms Tymoshenko was found guilty of exceeding her authority during the signing of a natural gas import contract with Russia in 2009.
VATICAN: Two Italians who say they were sexually abused by priests have completed a 340-mile protest march to the Vatican and demanded an independent inquiry.
The trek from Savona in northern Italy to St Peter’s Square took 19 days.
Francesco Zanardi and Alberto Sala arrived in Vatican City today, where they were denied an audience with the Pope.
They handed over a letter demanding the Italian bishops’ conference open the inquiry into priestly sex abuse and draft norms requiring paedophiles be defrocked “without exception.”
VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez will return to Cuba next week for a series of medical tests to evaluate his cancer treatment.
“I’ll be in Cuba next week because they have to conduct very rigorous examinations that are possible thanks to Cuban technology,” Mr Chavez said on Monday in a brief telephone interview broadcast on state television.
He underwent surgery in Cuba in June to remove a tumour from his pelvic region.
He has not revealed what type of cancer it is but he has said that tests have shown no signs of a recurrence.
LATVIA: Three right-wing parties anounced today they have agreed to form a coalition to squeeze out the left-wing Harmony Centre party that topped the polls in last month’s election.
Together former president Valdis Zatlers’s Reform party, the Unity association and the All for Latvia movement will have 56 seats in the country’s 100-strong parliament.
The Harmony Centre stays in opposition with 31 seats.
PALESTINE: An explosion in the blockaded Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian militant on Monday.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said the man was a guerilla killed as he was carrying out his “national duties.”
The Israeli military said it was not involved.
Army officials said they believed explosives detonated as militants tried to plant a bomb.
GERMANY: The Interior Ministry has insisted no federal security services were involved in using a so-called Trojan program to spy on people through their computers.
The Chaos Computer Club hacker network said on Monday that it had analysed a copy of the malware received from unidentified sources and claimed it was a government surveillance programme.
But Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Beyer maintained that no federal agencies were involved and said that the programme used was around three years old and widely available.
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