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World in Brief: 12/08/2014

TURKEY: Prime Minister and president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his country had started to evacuate wounded from Gaza to Turkey for treatment.

An air ambulance left for Israel late on Sunday to bring back four people, including at least one child, for treatment in hospitals in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Mr Erdogan made the announcement during a victory speech hours after he was elected president.


UNITED STATES: President Barack Obama helped kick off the international Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday night with a surprise video message shown at the opening ceremonies.

He claimed the US had come a long way in its commitment to equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and affirmed the US commitment to standing “with you and for your human rights.”


EGYPT: A mass trial starting this morning could see death sentences handed down to hundreds of prisoners including Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa.

Mr Halawa was 17 when arrested last August after being caught up in protests in Cairo followed the ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi. 

He has since been held in contravention of international law and Egypt’s child laws.

The authorities have refused to consider proof of age and nationality provided by his family, lawyers and consular officials.


BANGLADESH: Officials called off the search yesterday for an overloaded ferry that sank a week ago, leaving more than a hundred people dead or missing.

The MV Pinak, had a capacity of 85 passengers but was carrying more than 200 when it capsized last Monday in Munshiganj district.

Local chief administrator Saiful Hasan Badal said that 46 bodies had been recovered and that 61 people remained missing and were presumed dead.


SYRIA: Islamist extremists have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule after three days of clashes in villages near the Iraq border.

The armed revolt by the Shueitat tribe in eastern Deir el-Zour province had been the first sign of local resistance to the Islamic State group.

Islamic State fighters regained control of three villages on Sunday after being expelled earlier this month.

Clashes over the past two weeks have left more than a dozen people dead.


IRAQ: New President Fouad Massoum charged parliamentary Deputy Speaker Haider al-Ibadi with forming a new government in the next 30 days.

The president’s choice was a very public snubbing of incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who in an angry midnight speech all but demanded he be renominated for a third term.

Mr Maliki deployed his elite security forces in the streets of Baghdad as hundreds of his supporters took to the streets.


KOSOVO: Police arrested at least 40 people yesterday in a major operation targeting Islamic radicals suspected of fighting alongside extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Spokesman Baki Kelani said weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized as special police units raided 60 locations across Kosovo, including makeshift mosques believed to have served as recruiting centres.

The operation was the largest ever against suspected Islamist radicals.


NEPAL: Hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite people paraded through the capital Kathmandu yesterday on Gaijatra, a Hindu festival that is gleefully taken over each year by the LGBT+ community.

This year, they were celebrating recommendations by a government committee that same-sex marriage and wide-ranging rights be guaranteed in a new constitution.

All the country’s political parties have already backed the idea.


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