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Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:58:18 -0500
By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African sign language interpreter accused of gesticulating gibberish during a memorial to Nelson Mandela defended his "champion" performance on Thursday, but said he may have suffered a schizophrenic episode while on stage. The interpreter, identified as 34-year-old Thamsanqa Jantjie, told Johannesburg's Star newspaper he started hearing voices in his head and hallucinating, resulting in gestures that made no sense to outraged deaf people around the world. Millions of TV viewers saw Jantjie interpreting on Tuesday at the Mandela memorial attended by leaders from around the world, but South Africa's leading deaf association on Wednesday denounced him as a fake, saying he was inventing signs. I think that I've been a champion of sign language," he told Talk Radio 702.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:58:16 -0500
The Russian Supreme Court has ordered a review of the guilty verdicts handed to two members of punk band Pussy Riot, three months before the pair are due to be released from prison, it said Thursday. The highest Russian court reviewed the appeal by jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and ordered the Moscow court that jailed them in August 2012 to review its guilty verdicts. The two young women are serving two-year sentences in Russian penal colonies after being convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for performing an anti-Kremlin protest stunt in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. "The court did not provide any proof that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were motivated by hatred toward any social group in its verdict," the Supreme Court said in a decision posted on its official website.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:57:00 -0500
Pro-EU demonstrators in Ukraine dug in Thursday as the United States warned of possible sanctions over Kiev's crackdown on opposition protests, urging authorities to show restraint. The demonstrators -- who have occupied the capital's Independence Square in anger at the rejection of a landmark European Union pact -- forced riot police to retreat following a pre-dawn raid Wednesday on their protest camp in a blow to the authority of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:51:18 -0500
Nigeria's Senate launched an investigation on Wednesday into a letter written by the central bank (CBN) which said that the state-oil firm NNPC failed to pay $50 billion of revenue from oil sales into government accounts. NNPC earned $65.3 billion from crude oil sales between January 2012 and July 2013 but only remitted 24 percent of this to the government's account and $49.8 billion was still outstanding, according to a letter from the CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi to President Goodluck Jonathan seen by Reuters.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:49:36 -0500
Members of a Rwandan Hutu militia in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have been surrending in large numbers to U.N. peacekeepers trying to neutralize armed groups in the region, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday. Congolese troops and the U.N. peacekeeping mission - which includes a unique Intervention Brigade mandated to eliminate armed groups in eastern Congo - have turned their attention to combating the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) after defeating the Tutsi-led M23 rebel group last month. Martin Kobler, head of the U.N. mission, said operations against the FDLR began on November 27. They were not involved in the 1994 genocide so it is easier for them also to surrender to us," Kobler told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Congo behind closed doors.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:48:12 -0500
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal against the death sentence for an opposition leader who was convicted of war crimes, clearing the way for his execution.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:45:28 -0500
By Ori Lewis JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The speaker of Israel's parliament ordered a blood-collection crew to leave the legislature's premises on Wednesday after it turned down an offer of a blood donation from an Ethiopian-born lawmaker. Knesset member Pnina Tamano-Shata, 32, wanted to donate blood to a routine visit by an ambulance service but was told by a member of the crew that set criteria disqualified her because she emigrated to Israel from Ethiopia at age three. Israeli Health Ministry criteria bar people born in most African countries since 1977 from donating blood due to a fear that there is an increased risk they may carry the HIV virus. Tamano-Shata said ministry guidelines determine that Ethiopian-born Jews who emigrated to Israel when they were over two years old are ineligible to be blood donors.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:41:53 -0500
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was indicted for murder Thursday in connection with a deadly military crackdown on mass opposition protests in Bangkok three years ago, prosecutors said. The move comes as fresh political turmoil rocks the Thai capital, with protesters backed by Abhisit's opposition party seeking to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and rid the kingdom of the influence of her brother, deposed former leader Thaksin. Some observers doubt British-born Abhisit will go to prison given his links to the Thai elite, and see the case as part of the country's political brinksmanship. Under Abhisit's government, more than 90 people died and nearly 1,900 were wounded in street clashes in the capital in 2010 between mostly unarmed pro-Thaksin "Red Shirt" demonstrators and security forces firing live rounds.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:38:53 -0500
(Reuters) - Global efforts to curb malaria have saved the lives of 3.3 million people since 2000, cutting global death rates from the mosquito-borne disease by 45 percent and by half in children under 5, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. WHO said in its World Malaria Report 2013 that expanded prevention and control measures helped produce declines in malaria deaths and illness. "Investments in malaria control, mostly since 2007, have paid off tremendously," said Ray Chambers, the United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for malaria. The estimated number of malaria cases per 1,000 at-risk individuals - a figure that takes population growth into account - shows a 29 percent drop globally between 2000 and 2012, and a 31 percent drop in Africa.
Publ.Date : Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:38:03 -0500
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