January 15, 2013

World Dispatches

CAIRO

Tahir-ul-Qadri
click image to enlarge

Behind bulletproof glass, Pakistani Sunni Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, addresses his supporters about government corruption.

The Associated Press

19 killed, 100 injured as two railroad passenger cars derail

Egypt's state news agency says 19 people have been killed and more than 100 injured when two railroad passenger cars derailed just south of Cairo.

The official MENA news agency quoted Health Ministry officials as saying that the 107 wounded were being treated in hospitals near the site of the accident in Giza's Badrasheen neighborhood.

The train was carrying army recruits when it jumped the track Monday evening.

LONDON

Kate Middleton's health improves after hospital stay

The former Kate Middleton is due to give birth to her first baby in July, and her health is improving after a bout of severe morning sickness, palace officials said Monday.

The child of Kate and Prince William will be third in line to the British throne. The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, as she is formally known, spent several days in the hospital last month.

WASHINGTON

Clinton to testify Jan. 23 about deadly Benghazi raid

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify Jan. 23 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. mission in Libya.

That's the word from Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the panel. He said in a statement late Monday that Clinton will answer questions about the raid that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi. Clinton had been scheduled to testify last month but she suffered a concussion when she fell during an illness.

ISLAMABAD

Muslim cleric in speech calls for political leader to resign

A cleric who has fired up Pakistanis angry at perceived government corruption and indifference demanded the country's political leaders resign in a speech to thousands of his supporters who amassed in the capital early Tuesday.

The dramatic entry into Pakistani politics of Tahir-ul-Qadri, a preacher who until recently lived in Canada, has sparked concern from some that he is seeking to derail elections at the behest of the powerful army.

Polls are expected this spring.

Qadri has denied that and insisted his vague demands for election reform are simply meant to root out corruption in the political system. He pledged several weeks ago to lead a "million-man march" on Islamabad to press his demands.

During a 40-minute speech delivered behind bulletproof glass in the early morning, Qadri told his supporters that the government's mandate was finished.

"I give you time until tomorrow to dissolve national and all four provincial assemblies otherwise the nation will dissolve them on their own," he said. He vowed to address his followers again in the morning in front of the parliament building.

NEW DELHI

Lawyer says one of five in rape, killing only a minor

One of the five men charged with gang-raping and killing a 23-year-old student on a bus in India's capital is a minor, his lawyer said Monday as he demanded an age-determination test in what could be a tactic to delay the case from being tried in a fast-track court.

Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer for Mukesh Singh, said at a court hearing that his client is under 18, and that police documents indicating Singh is 26 had been "manipulated."

The five charged in last month's attack in New Delhi face a possible death penalty if convicted. A sixth suspect says he is 17 years old, and if he is tried in a juvenile court he would face a maximum sentence of three years in a reform facility.

BERLIN

Tunnel robbers make haul from safe deposit room

German police say robbers dug a 30-meter (100-foot) tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank and escaped with their haul, setting a fire as they left to cover their tracks.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf says the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe deposit room.

Neuendorf told The Associated Press Monday that the tunnel was "very professional" and must have taken weeks or even months to complete. It was elaborately constructed and even had ceiling supports.

– From news service reports

 

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