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World in Brief: 18.11.14

News stories from around the world

HONG KONG: Workers removed some barricades from student protest sites yesterday, meeting no resistance from protesters.

A student-led movement demanding changes to electoral rules has lost ground in recent weeks, alienating Hong Kong residents with its confrontational and intransigent stance.

A weekend survey by the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that two-thirds of respondents wanted the students to go home, with just 13.9 per cent backing continued action.


IRAN: Parliament rejected another of President Hassan Rouhani's nominees for science minister yesterday.

Mr Rouhani lost minister one for allegedly letting people involved in the 2009-10 election protests continue their studies at university and choice two reportedly allowed male and female students to mix.

The latest, Fakhroddin Ahamadi Danesh Ashtiani, had supposed links to anti-Ahmadinejad protests.


DR CONGO: Police in Kinshasha killed at least 51 unarmed young men and boys in an anti-gang operation, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

The group said Operation Likofi involved "dozens" of extrajudicial killings, with people shot dead "in open markets" to maximise intimidation.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende Omalanga said that the charity's claims were "exaggerated."


INDIA: Police armed with tear gas, batons and bulldozers stormed an ashram yesterday in a bid to arrest guru Sant Rampal.

Mr Rampal has repeatedly ignored court summons to appear for questioning over the 2006 killing of a villager by his devotees.

Thousands formed a human chain around the sprawling complex he has taken refuge in to try to block the police.


BURKINA FASO: Former UN ambassador Michel Kafando was sworn in as transitional president yesterday, tasked with overseeing a return to civilian rule.

Mr Kafando will not be allowed to run in the elections his government is organising to find a successor to Blaise Compaore, who fled the country after mass protests at the start of the month.


JAPAN: The Fisheries Agency slashed its Antarctic whale catch target by two-thirds yesterday in a bid to get International Whaling Commission approval to proceed.

The International Court of Justice ruled in March that Japan's whaling, justified on grounds of scientific research, was not scientific and produced "little" research.

It criticised the number of whales Japan claimed to need to kill "to gauge population numbers."


UNITED STATES: Opponents of the death penalty testified yesterday against a fast-track Bill backed by state Republicans to shield the names of companies whose drugs are used to conduct executions.

By insisting that information about lethal injection drug-makers cannot be disclosed in court the Bill raises "separation of powers issues and would likely be ignored by a federal judge," state public defender Tim Young said.


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