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Cambodian garment industry protesters go on trial PHNOM PENH: Twenty-three Cambodian activists and workers arrested during a deadly crackdown on a garment industry strike in January went on trial Friday despite international appeals for their release.The case has deepened concerns among human rights defenders about the recent suppression of street demonstrations intended to challenge strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen's nearly three-decade rule.Rights groups say if convicted the 23 defendants -- most of whom have been detained for months without bail -- could face up to five years' imprisonment on charges including committing intentional violence.Several hundred demonstrators gathered near the Phnom Penh Municipal Court as the trial began, holding a prayer at a police barricade amid cries of "Free the 23!"At least four civilians were killed in early January when police opened fire on protesting textile factory workers who were calling for a minimum wage of $160 a month to make clothes for brands including Gap, Nike and ...

France, US back sanctions against South Sudan: diplomats UNITED NATIONS: France and the United States called Wednesday for the UN Security Council to consider sanctions against South Sudan over spiraling violence in the country's civil war, diplomats said.US ambassador Samantha Power relayed Washington's position in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member Council, diplomats said, and France's Gerard Araud told reporters before the session that it was time to think about sanctions against those responsible."I think we should consider sanctions because it is horrendous," ...
South Sudan's president sacks army chief JUBA: South Sudan's President Salva Kiir dismissed General James Hotmai from his position as the head of the country's army on Wednesday, according to a decree read out on national television.No official reason was given for the decision, but sources pointed to recent setbacks for South Sudan's army in the north of the country, where troops have been struggling against rebel forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Bomb blast wounds UN peacekeeper in Mali: UN UNITED NATIONS: A roadside bomb struck a UN vehicle in northern Mali on Wednesday, wounding a peacekeeper from Guinea during a UN visit of foreign dignitaries, an official said.The improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at around 1130 GMT at least 400 meters from the Kidal air strip, said the head of the UN mission in Mali, Albert Koenders."Initial reports indicated that the peacekeeper, who was in a vehicle and bumped into this IED, seriously damaged ...
Bomb kills police general in Cairo: security CAIRO: An Egyptian police brigadier general was killed on Wednesday by a bomb placed under a police car in Cairo, security officials said.The killing of Ahmed Zaki in a western suburb was the latest in a spate of attacks by militants targeting the security forces since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Somali lawmaker shot dead in Mogadishu, second in 24 hours: police MOGADISHU: Insurgents assassinated a Somali lawmaker Tuesday, the second in 24 hours, police and witnesses said, the latest in a series of attacks in the war-ravaged capital.MP Abdiaziz Isak was shot "several times and he died instantly," police officer Mohamed Dalane said, close to where the lawmaker was killed in the capital's Madina district. On Monday, an MP was killed and another wounded in a car bomb.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Mauritania sets June 21 date for presidential election NOUAKCHOTT: Mauritania will hold presidential elections on June 21, according to the presidency, despite a lack of agreement on the reform of election rules that some opposition leaders argue will likely ensure the return to power of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.Abdel Aziz is yet to say if he will stand, but some observers say he will likely run.He came to power in an army coup in 2008, won an election the next year and ...


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