Catholic Church

World news in brief - September 3, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2012, 5:44am


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4 hurt in attacks near Damascus complex

DAMASCUS - Twin bombs exploded near a tightly guarded government compound in the heart of Damascus yesterday, wounding four people. The bombings struck in the Abu Remmaneh district where several security service buildings and the office of vice-president Faruq al-Shara are located, state television said. The attack, which state media blamed on "terrorists" - the government's term for rebels - came a day after a bombing killed 15 people in a southern suburb of Damascus. AFP

'Seagull' author Bach injured in plane crash

SEATTLE - Richard Bach, the author of the 1970s bestselling book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was in a serious condition, after the small plane he was piloting flipped during a landing in Washington state. The plane's landing gear clipped a power line, leaving Bach, 76, suspended upside down and strapped in a harness. A group of tourists cut him loose. Reuters

Catholic Church '200 years behind the times'

ROME - The former archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, said the Catholic Church was "200 years out of date" in his final interview before his death. Martini, a prominent voice in the church until his death at the age of 85 on Friday, gave a scathing portrayal of a pompous church failing to move with the times. "Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous," Martini said in the interview published in Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Reuters

Angolan media declare Dos Santos poll winner

LUANDA - Angola's long-ruling Jose Eduardo dos Santos was declared president-elect in state media, even as votes were still being counted and the opposition said it was gathering evidence of fraud. The Jornal de Angola ran a front-page headline declaring victory for Dos Santos alongside a picture of him clapping. The National Electoral Commission said 72 per cent of polling stations reported results. AFP

Thousands pay respect at Zenawi's funeral

ADDIS ABABA - Thousands of mourners gathered near a public square in Ethiopia's capital yesterday to pay their final respects to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who was praised for lifting many out of poverty but vilified by some for restricting freedoms. Meles, who ruled for 21 years, died on August 20 of an undisclosed illness in a Belgian hospital. During his rule Ethiopia was a strong U.S. ally. Ethiopian officials said the state funeral in Addis Ababa was attended by hundreds of dignitaries from around the world. AP

Pirates kill hostage over ransom delay

MOGADISHU - Somali pirates who have been holding a hijacked ship for nearly two years killed a Syrian hostage crew member and wounded another to protest against delayed ransom payment. It is believed to be the first time Somali pirates have killed a hostage because of a delay in ransom. Pirate commander Hassan Abdi said the killing on Wednesday was a message to the owners of the ship MV Orna that was hijacked off Seychelles in 2010. The Orna is a Panama-flagged, bulk cargo vessel owned by a company in the United Arab Emirates. AP

Israelis leave illegal West Bank outpost

MIGRON, Palestinian Territories - Several Israeli families began leaving the West Bank settler outpost of Migron as a court deadline for their evacuation loomed. Migron, the largest and oldest settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank unauthorised by Israeli authorities, was built on private Palestinian land and Israel's Supreme Court ordered last year that it be cleared. AFP

Mali extremists seize key town

BAMAKO - Islamic extremists have seized control of the strategic town of Douentza, moving much closer to government-held territory in central Mali. Residents said that early in the morning, a convoy of pickup trucks carrying bearded men entered the town, 800 kilometre northeast of the capital, Bamako. While far from the capital, Douentza is only 190 kilometres from Mopti, which marks the line-of-control held by the Malian military. AP