February 18, 2013

Nation/World Dispatches

From news service reports

BAUCHI, Nigeria

Police: Seven foreigners kidnapped in north Nigeria

Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and the Philippines, authorities said Sunday, in the biggest kidnapping yet in a region under attack by Islamic extremists.

The attack Saturday night happened in Jama'are, a town in Bauchi state. There, the gunmen first attacked a local prison, burning two police trucks, Bauchi state police spokesman Hassan Muhammed said.

The gunmen then targeted a workers' camp for Lebanese construction company Setraco, which is building a road in the area, Muhammed said. The gunmen shot dead a guard at the camp before kidnapping the foreign workers, the spokesman said.

CHICAGO

Woman killed hours after sister attended gun speech

An 18-year-old Chicago woman was killed the same day her sister had sat on the stage behind President Obama, listening to him push for gun control legislation.

Janay McFarlane was shot once in the head around 11:30 p.m. Friday in North Chicago, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd told the Chicago Sun-Times. McFarlane, the mother of a 3-month-old boy, was in the Chicago suburb visiting friends and family.

North Chicago police said two people are being questioned in connection with McFarlane's death, but no charges have been filed.

Angela Blakely, McFarlane's mother, said the bullet that killed McFarlane was meant for a friend.

Hours earlier, McFarlane's 14-year-old sister was feet from Obama at Hyde Park Career Academy, where he spoke about gun violence and paid tribute to Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old honor student fatally shot last month in a South Side park. Police have said it was a case of mistaken identity; two people have been charged.

JERUSALEM

Premier defends Israel in prisoner death scandal

Israel's prime minister Sunday defended the actions of his country's security forces after a public uproar over the mysterious death of a man who apparently hanged himself while being held secretly in a maximum-security prison.

Israel has said little about the case. But Australian media have said the man, identified as Ben Zygier, was an Australian immigrant to Israel who served in the Mossad spy agency at the time of his death in December 2010. Zygier reportedly was imprisoned for unspecified security offenses.

In his first comments on the affair, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that freedom of expression is important, but Israel faces extraordinary threats and therefore must keep silent on some details of national security affairs like this one.

Critics have accused the Israeli government of trying to cover up the affair and are demanding a full investigation.

 

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