Prime minister

26 people sentenced to death in Egypt

Posted on

An Egyptian court has sentenced 26 people to death for founding a “terror group” with the aim of attacking ships using the Suez Canal.

Judges said the men were also accused of manufacturing missiles and explosives, local media report. The defendants were tried in absentia, Reuters news agency says.

The sentencing comes a day after the new Prime Minister designate, Ibrahim Mahlab, vowed he would “crush terrorism in all the corners of the country”.

Mr Mahlab has been put in charge of forming a new government following Monday’s surprise resignation of interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi and his cabinet. Mr Beblawi was appointed in July 2013 after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in the wake of mass protests.

Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of others detained in a crackdown by the security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Mr Morsi belongs.

Militants based in the Sinai peninsula have meanwhile stepped up attacks on government, police and the armed forces, killing hundreds.

Advertisements

Army-backed government resigns in Egypt

Posted on

Egypt’s army-backed government resigned Monday, state-run Nile TV said. The government headed by Prime Minister Hazem El Beblawi turned in its resignation to President Adly Mansour, the station said.

Analysts expect Army Chief Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, who served as defense minister, to run for president. In order to run, he will have needed to resign his military post.

Australian TV star found dead

Posted on Updated on

The Australian television personality and presenter Charlotte Dawson has been found dead at her home in Sydney. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the 47-year-old, who had a long history of depression.

Ms Dawson, a former model from New Zealand, was also a high-profile victim of cyber bullying.

_73153646_73153642
Charlotte Dawson

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he was “shocked” and “saddened” by her death.

Ms Dawson was best known for hosting reality TV show The Contender Australia, and for her role as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model.

In 2012, Dawson was admitted to hospital after being targeted by cyber bullies on Twitter. She went on to become an outspoken campaigner against internet trolls.

Ms Dawson, who left her native New Zealand at the age of 16 to pursue a modelling career, has been described by her friends as outrageous, outspoken and fragile.

Ukraine, interim president named

Posted on Updated on

Parliament in Ukraine has named its speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, as interim president.

Turchynov takes charge following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday (read more of this here) . Mr Turchynov told MPs they had until Tuesday to form a new unity government.

Parliament also voted to seize Mr Yanukovych’s luxury estate near Kiev, which protesters entered on Saturday.

The whereabouts of Mr Yanukovych, who described parliament’s decision to vote him out as a coup, remain unclear.

Thousands of opposition supporters remain in Independence Square, where the atmosphere is described as calm, after weeks of violent clashes ending in the death of dozens.

Lebanon, a new government

Posted on

A new Lebanese government was announced Saturday by Suhail Bawji, secretary general of Lebanon’s Council of Ministers. He announced the formation of the new Cabinet and named the new ministers in a televised news conference.

The new government brings months of political infighting to an end following Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s resignation in March 2013.

Tammam Salam was named in a presidential decree as the head of the new government, the state news agency NNA reported.

Another presidential decree accepted Salam’s suggested Cabinet and named the new ministers, while a third formally accepted Mikati’s resignation.

There have been increased tensions in Lebanon in recent months, where sectarian divisions reflect those in neighboring war-torn Syria, and a number of explosions have rocked the capital. Mikati urged the Lebanese people last month to overcome their differences and engage in dialogue or see the situation worsen.

Bombing kills two in Thailand

Posted on

Thailand’s Prime Minister on Sunday condemned weekend attacks on her opponents that killed three people, including two children, and pledged to bring the attackers to justice.

A 12-year-old boy and a woman about 40 died when a bomb exploded at an anti-government rally outside a shopping mall in the Ratchaprasong area of Bangkok, the Erawan Emergency Center reported. The 22 wounded included a preteen boy and girl who were in critical condition, said Lt. Gen. Paradon Patthanathabut, Thailand’s national security chief.

On Saturday night, A 5-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet when attackers opened fire on an anti-government demonstration in eastern Trat province, police Col. Jirawut Tantasri said. Another 34 were wounded, he said. The deaths were the latest to punctuate three months of protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Militants attack presidential palace in Mogadishu

Posted on

Militants carried out a deadly attack on Somalia’s presidential palace Friday, officials and eyewitnesses said. An explosion at the gate was followed by an exchange of gunfire between the fighters and security guards, police officer Abdi Mohamed said.

A U.N. representative said in a post on Twitter that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told him by phone that he was unharmed.

Terror network Al-Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Somalia’s national security minister, Adbikarin Hussein Guled, said at least 12 people, seven of them Al-Shabaab attackers, were killed in the attack Two government officials who died were named as the secretary to the Prime Minister and the former deputy national intelligence agency chief, Gen. Nur Shirbow.

Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said the group had achieved its objectives in the attack.

The attack comes just over a week after a car bombing near the airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killed two people and wounded four more, according to police, Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for that attack.

The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States. It hopes to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state by force but has launched attacks in other countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, that have killed dozens.