News roundup
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News roundup

Tuesday February 20, 2007

We pull together the week's international news highlights and upload them every Tuesday
International news roundup


Europe

French Nazi collaborator dies
Maurice Papon, the only French Nazi collaborator to be convicted for his role in the deportation of Jews during the second world war occupation of France and a former minister, died in Paris aged 96.


Maurice Papon Photo by Xavier Lhospice/Reuters

Turkey jails seven for bombings
Seven men, two of them members of al-Qaida, were sentenced to life in prison for bombs that killed 58 people in Istanbul in 2003. Two lorry bombs struck two synagogues, the British consulate and an HSBC bank branch, and left more than 600 people injured.

Russia army 'sold recruits for sex'
Russia's military faced charges that senior officers had forced young conscripts to work as male prostitutes. The rights group Union of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia said conscripts at a base in St Petersburg were compelled to perform sexual services for influential clients.

China film wins top Berlin prize

A Chinese arthouse film, Tuya's Marriage, about the impact of economic growth on the country's rural community, won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin film festival.


Africa

Floods leave 285,000 homeless
Floods in Mozambique have left 30 people dead and 285,000 homeless The Mozambican government is appealing for food and other aid for those driven from their homes after torrential rain caused the Zambezi river to burst its banks.

Anglicans gets tough over gays
The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, kept the worldwide Anglican communion together, at least in the short term, at the cost of imposing unprecedented sanctions on the US Episcopal church to abandon its liberal policies towards gay people. The deal concluded a five-day meeting of church leaders in Tanzania.


Rowan Williams Photo by ANSA/UPPA/Photoshot


Middle East

Iran car blast kills 11 soldiers
Sunni rebels allegedly linked to al-Qaida were blamed for a car bomb attack that killed at least 11 Iranian revolutionary guards in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Israeli police chief resigns
The Israeli police commander, Moshe Karadi, resigned after a government report said he should be fired for failing to ensure that police thoroughly investigated the killing of a suspected crime boss in 1999 and ignoring ties between senior police officers and top crime figures.

EU braced for influx of Iraqis
The European Union is considering emergency measures to cope with an expected influx of tens of thousands of refugees seeking to escape the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq. The EU justice and home affairs commissioner, Franco Frattini, said he would present plans within the next few weeks.


Americas

War death benefit bills presented
US lawmakers introduced bills in the House and the Senate that would allow grandparents and other relatives raising children of fallen soldiers to be designated as beneficiaries of a $100,000 "death gratuity".

DNA test frees man after 22 years
After 22 years in prison on a rape conviction, a man has been freed in the US state of Georgia after DNA evidence proved his innocence. O "Pete" Williams had been sentenced to 45 years in 1985.


Asia/Pacific

Suicide bomber kills 15 people
A suicide bomber killed 15 people, including a judge, in a Quetta courtroom, the latest in a series of suicide blasts in Pakistan.

Bombs in Thailand kill three
At least 28 bombs rocked southern Thailand, killing three people and wounding 53. The blasts came amid power blackouts and downed telephone lines in four provinces plagued by a Muslim insurgency.

Tokyo gang boss found shot dead
Japan's latest round of mob warfare took another turn when Kazuyoshi Kudo, 70, the boss of a gang with ties to the country's biggest underworld organisation, was found dead in an apparent suicide.

North Korea agrees to reactor deal

North Korea promised to shut down its nuclear reactor and re-admit international inspectors, as first steps toward eventual disarmament, in return for millions of dollars' worth of oil.

Drought threatens Australian wine
The cost of Australian wine is set to soar after droughts, frosts, bush fires and swarms of locusts have plagued vineyards and reduced production by up to 30%.


Australian wine Photo by Sarah Lee/Guardian





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