10 in TEN
'US, China agree on nuke sanctions'
THE world moved closer yesterday to tightening sanctions on North Korea for its latest nuclear test after UN diplomats said the US and China had reached an agreement on a punitive draft resolution.
In response, Pyongyang threatened to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War but did not amount to a peace treaty.
The UN Security Council was due to hold closed consultations on North Korea and nuclear non-proliferation yesterday as tensions over the Korean Peninsula soared again.
North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to deter "US aggression".- Sapa-AP
Fifty hurt in port city as police battle protesters
SECURITY forces battled stone-throwing youths in the Suez Canal city of Port Said yesterday, reflecting a country beset by discontent over a host of grievances.
By far the most serious trouble was in Port Said, where 50 people were wounded in clashes between police and hundreds of protesters in a third day of unrest.
Security forces shot into the air and fired tear gas at the protesters gathered in front of a local government building in the city.
A young man who was shot in the head was in a serious condition .
"The police are thugs," the protesters chanted. - Reuters
UN rights chief blasts attacks on albinos
THE UN's top human rights official has condemnedattacks on albinos in Tanzania and urged the country to do more to prevent the "abhorrent" crimes.
Navi Pillay pointed to three incidents in late January and early last month in which albinos were killed or mutilated, and one in which an attack was thwarted.
Such attacks are fuelled by superstitions that human albino body parts will bring wealth and success.
Pillay said "people with albinism have the right to start living, like anyone else, without fear of being killed or dismembered." - Sapa-AP
'Cannibal cop' kidnap conspiracy trial resumes
FOR more than a week, jurors in the federal kidnapping conspiracy trial of the so-called New York "cannibal cop" have been exposed to talk, imagery and video detailing extraordinary brutality against women.
Defence attorneys were yesterday due to begin presenting their case but jurors will not get a chance to hear from Gilberto Valle himself .
"I just learned that defendant Valle is not testifying," Stephanie Cirkovich, of the US District Court in Manhattan, said. Witnesses read out excerpts from web chats and e-mails in which Valle allegedly talked about raping, murdering, cooking and eating women. - Reuters
Far-right party suffersmajor court setback
THE constitutional court yesterday rejected an attempt by the far-right National Democratic Party to win greater legal protection by having the court declare that it was in conformity with the constitution.
The NPD, branded "racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist" by Germany's domestic intelligence service, had hoped the court would rule that it was "loyal to the constitution" and thus undermine a bid by lawmakers to have it banned.
The court said a political party could not ask for a ruling on its own constitutionality. It also rejected it s complaints against the government and parliament . - Reuters
Powers want results soon in Iran talks
SIX world powers will call for quick tangible results in nuclear negotiations with Iran, according to a draft joint statement shortly after the resumption of the talks after eight months.
The draft, being considered by the US, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain, describes last week's talks with Iran as "useful".
"We seek tangible results in this diplomatic process at an early stage," said the statement, expected to be presented at a board meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog today.
"We reaffirm our continuing support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue." - Reuters
Rebels battle regime holdouts in Raqqa
SYRIAN rebels battled pockets of regime loyalists in the northern city of Raqqa yesterday after capturing the governor of the northern province in fierce clashes overnight, activists said.
Rebel fighters pushed government troops from most of Raqqa, a city of about 500000 people on the banks of the Euphrates River, on Monday.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said opposition fighters captured governor Hassan Jalili after clashes overnight. The observatory said the head of the ruling Baath party in the province was also in rebel custody. - Sapa-AP
Dead 60 years, but Stalin's legacy lingers
A CONFERENCE under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church is perhaps the last place you might expect to hear a good word said about Josef Stalin.
The church was persecuted by the Soviet dictator, who died 60 years ago on Tuesday after three decades of dictatorship during which he was responsible for the deaths of millions of people.
But there is still a place for Stalin in President Vladimir Putin's Russia, and there was plenty of praise for him at a discussion, under paintings of cherubs, at a church hotel adorned with icons and a portrait of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. - Reuters
Eighty percent of raw sewage dumped in rivers
EIGHTY percent of sewage in India is untreated and flows directly into rivers, polluting the main sources of drinking water, a study has shown.
Indian cities produce nearly 40000million litres of sewage daily and barely 20% of it is treated, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment.
"The untreated waste dumped into rivers seeps into groundwater, creating a ticking health time bomb in India," says the report.
Weak enforcement of environmental laws, rapid urban development and lack of awareness are all blamed for water pollution. - Sapa-AFP
Sex scandal a 'serious blow' to Scottish church
THE resignation of Britain's top Catholic cleric over allegations of sexual misconduct has dealt the Scottish church a "serious blow", his replacement admitted on Monday.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned last week as the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, admitted on Sunday that his sexual conduct had "fallen below the standards expected of me".
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who has temporarily taken over O'Brien's role as administrator of the Archdiocese of Edinburgh and StAndrews, said at an evening Mass that it was "a sad moment for the church in our country". - Sapa-AFP