PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 4:04am


Breivik vows to fight any 'insane' ruling

OSLO - Anders Behring Breivik's defence lawyers said the confessed mass killer will not appeal if he is sentenced to prison but he will challenge any ruling that declares him insane. Breivik's mental state will be the focus when the Oslo district court presents its judgment against Breivik today for the bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people in July last year. Breivik has confessed to the killings but he has pleaded not guilty to "acts of terror", arguing that his actions were "cruel but necessary" to protect Norway from multi-culturalism. AP

Russia asks US to return arms smuggler

MOSCOW - Russia has formally asked Washington to extradite arms smuggler Viktor Bout after a United States court jailed him for 25 years for conspiring to supply weapons to anti-American guerrillas in Colombia. Moscow's justice ministry said it sent the petition for Bout to serve his time in Russia after getting written permission from his wife Alla, a condition it said was imposed by justice officials in the United States. AFP

Gaddafi's son to go on trial in September

TRIPOLI - Late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam will go on trial next month in the town of Zintan, where he has been held since November, the prosecution's spokesman said yesterday. The International Criminal Court in The Hague had issued a warrant for Saif Gaddafi 's arrest on charges of crimes against humanity during the conflict that overthrew his father last year, but the new Libyan authorities have insisted that he stand trial in his home country. AFP

Egyptian newspaper editor held in custody

CAIRO - An Egyptian court remanded editor Islam Afifi in custody as he went on trial on charges of spreading false news and inciting disorder. The judge ordered Afifi held until the next hearing, which he set for September 16. Afifi, editor of the small independent Al-Dustour newspaper, is the first journalist to go on trial since veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February last year. AFP

Korean student dies after sand pit collapses

CALIFORNIA - A 20-year-old exchange student from Korea died after he lay down in a 1.8-metre-deep sand pit he and some fellow students had dug on a southern California beach and it collapsed on him. Students from Masters College had dug the pit while spending the day at Oxnard Beach Park and the man became buried after climbing into it. Firefighters arrived and immediately began digging with tools and hands, but it took 15 minutes to free him. CPR was performed on the man, but he was declared dead at the hospital. AP

Argentine leader stops work after health scare

BUENOS AIRES - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was forced to suspend her official activities after a sudden drop in her blood pressure. Fernandez, 59, has had to interrupt her duties several times since taking office in 2007 for various health concerns, and has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Re-elected in October 2011 for a second four-year term, she underwent a procedure to remove her thyroid gland in January. AFP

40pc rise in Australia's yearly refugee intake

SYDNEY - Australia said it would bump up its annual refugee intake to 20,000 a year, a 40 per cent increase and the biggest in 30 years as part of a people-smuggling deterrence plan. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the boost, recommended by an inquiry into refugee policy, would include the immediate resettlement of 400 asylum-seekers from Indonesia as a gesture of goodwill. The boost, accompanied by a A$10 million (US$10.5 million) funding injection to regional refugee programmes, is part of tough new policies aimed at stopping people-smuggling. AFP

Kiwi jailed for ostrich egg assault on wife

WELLINGTON - A New Zealand man who assaulted his wife with an ostrich egg after her pet pig ran amok has been jailed for six months. Phillip Russell lost his temper when he discovered the pig had damaged his power saw, verbally abusing his wife, spitting at her then grabbing an ostrich egg from the kitchen table and hurling it at her. The ostrich egg caused bruising to the chest of Russell's wife. Russell's defence lawyer said his client, who has a record of domestic violence, had expected his wife to catch the egg. The report did not explain why he had an ostrich egg, a species not native to New Zealand. AFP