Briefs, September 14, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 September, 2012, 4:11am

Egypt's former PM jailed for three years

CAIRO - An Egyptian court sentenced former prime minister Ahmed Nazif to three years in prison and a fine of nine million Egyptian pounds (HK$11.4 million) for illegal enrichment. Nazif, who left office in January last year at the start of a popular revolt against then president Hosni Mubarak, was accused of abusing his post to make illegal gains, the official Mena news agency reported. The Egyptian judiciary has put on trial several officials and businessmen close to Mubarak's regime since it was ousted on February 11 last year. AFP

S African miners demand higher pay

RUSTENBURG - Striking South African platinum miners delivered much higher pay demands and threatened to spread industrial action further, deepening a crisis that is becoming the biggest threat to the ruling ANC since the end of apartheid. In the face of the spiralling labour unrest in Africa's biggest economy, President Jacob Zuma said the government would crack down on anybody stirring up trouble. At a soccer stadium in the heart of the platinum belt, thousands of workers heard a call from one protest leader for a national strike on Sunday to "bring the mining companies to their knees". It was unclear if the strike call would be heeded. Reuters

WHO warns of Ebola spread in Congo

KINSHASA - An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo risks spreading to major towns if not brought under control soon after the death toll doubled within a week, the World Health Organisation warned. The number of people killed by the contagious virus for which there is no known treatment has now risen to 31, including five health workers. Ebola kills up to 90 per cent of its victims. Reuters

Melbourne man in court on terror charges

CANBERRA - Australian police charged a 23-year-old man with four counts of "collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts" after a series of raids in Melbourne. Adnan Karabegovic appeared briefly in Melbourne's Magistrate's Court, where he did not enter a plea to the charges and did not apply for bail. The court was told Karabegovic had been living in Australia since he was a child. He will remain in custody until his next appearance in December. He could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted of the charges. Reuters

End of the line for X-Men team builder

PHILADELPHIA - Fifty years after Charles Xavier banded his first class of mutants together as the X-Men, the telepath-turned-team builder has been killed by one of them. The erstwhile teacher, who trained mutants in Marvel Entertainment's X-Men comics through the years, was felled in the latest issue of Avengers Vs X-Men by none other than Scott Summers. Summers, aka Cyclops, was one of the team's founding members. AP

Villagers take revenge for machete deaths

GUATEMALA CITY - Angry villagers in Guatemala killed a man by setting fire to him after he hacked two children to death with a machete in a school. The villagers in Tactic, about 85 kilometres north of Guatemala City, grabbed 35-year-old Julio Saquil, doused him with petrol and set him ablaze, local authorities said. Saquil had reportedly walked into one of the classrooms, completely beheading a 13-year-old boy and slitting the throat of an eight-year-old girl with a machete. Local security officials said the dead man had a history of drug problems and violence. Reuters