Briefs, October 3, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2012, 4:15am


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Gunmen kill 26 at Nigerian college

Kaduna - Gunmen shot dead at least 26 students in an attack on their college residence in northeastern Nigeria, a college spokesman said. The attack took place at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi in remote Adamawa state late on Monday night. "The killers went from room to room, slaughtering them one by one," said witness Mohammed Awal, who was not harmed in the attack. Adamawa state, like much of the north, has been targeted by Islamist insurgents, but police say the killings might also have been motivated by a political feud. Reuters


Runaway teacher wants to tell 'full story'

BORDEAUX - A married British teacher who fled with a 15-year-old schoolgirl to France agreed to be extradited, with his lawyer saying the arrested fugitive wants his "full story" to emerge. His pupil, Megan Stammers, was flown back to Britain on Saturday after the pair were found in this French city. The two had boarded a cross-Channel ferry together on September 20. Under French law, a 15-year-old is not considered a minor in sexual terms, unlike in Britain where the age of consent is 16. AFP


Abu Hamza appeals to avoid extradition to US

LONDON - Radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri and three other terrorist suspects appealed to Britain's High Court yesterday in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to the United States. Al-Masri's lawyers said his health was deteriorating and that it would be oppressive to send him to the US when he needed medical tests. Al-Masri, who turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a centre for radical Islam, is wanted in the US on charges that include helping set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon. AP


Oregon police to probe how pigs ate a farmer

COQUILLE, US - Authorities are investigating how a farmer in northwestern United States was eaten by his hogs. Terry Vance Garner, 69, never returned after he set out to feed his animals last week on his farm in western Oregon, local prosecutor Paul Frasier said. A family member found Garner's dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure several hours later, but most of his remains had been eaten. AP


Anti-Christian graffiti sprayed on monastery

JERUSALEM - Attackers spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti in Hebrew on a Franciscan monastery just outside Jerusalem's Old City, the church and Israeli police said. Photos on a church website showed blue graffiti on the monastery's front door denigrating Jesus, and adding the words "price tag" - a euphemism for revenge hate crimes by Israeli extremists. AFP


Chavez on song in run-up to election

SABANETA - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sang, greeted throngs of supporters and launched a searing attack on his rival as he stormed into the final stretch of his re-election campaign. Chavez remains the favourite to win Sunday's election, but opposition candidate Henrique Capriles had closed the gap by half to 10 points in the latest poll. Chavez on Monday accused Capriles' campaign of receiving cash from drug trafficking. They counter that the president misuses public funds to promote his re-election bid. AFP


Arafat remains to be tested for poisoning

RAMALLAH - Investigators from France and Switzerland will conduct parallel inquiries into the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat, Palestinian officials said. The late Palestinian leader's remains will be exhumed, on a date to be kept secret, to give each team a chance to draw samples to test for poisoning. The two teams are acting separately on behalf of Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, and the Palestinian Authority. The push to re-examine Arafat's death comes after a Swiss lab's recent discovery of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope, on clothes said to belong to the Palestinian leader. This fuelled new suspicions of poisoning. AP


Collision with truck derails train

HANFORD, US - Two carriages and the locomotive of an Amtrak train carrying about 169 passengers derailed after hitting a truck in California's Central Valley, authorities said. At least 20 passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, authorities said. The crash occurred when the driver of the articulated truck failed to yield and hit the train, which travelled 180 metres after the collision. AP