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Briefs, October 12, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 4:31am

Man burned alive by striking miners

JOHANNESBURG - Striking miners killed one man by setting him on fire while another was shot and seriously wounded in renewed labour unrest in South Africa that saw police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. The violence near an Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mine has escalated since the company dismissed 12,000 striking miners last Friday. Police said at least one person "is fighting for his life" in the hospital after being shot. It was unclear if the victim was a miner or whether the bullet had been fired by police. Another person died after being set alight by striking workers. AP
 

Al-Qaeda fingered in embassy shooting

SANAA - A masked gunman has assassinated a Yemeni security official at the US embassy in a drive-by shooting. Yemeni officials said the killing in the capital bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack, but it was too early to determine if the group was behind it. Anti-American violence in the Middle East has risen over the past month, most of it triggered by an anti-Islamic video made privately in the United States. The latest attack in Yemen, however, may be more tied to domestic tensions. The assassination resembles other attacks targeting Yemeni intelligence, military and security officials in retaliation for a military offensive by Yemen's US-backed government against al-Qaeda's branch in the country. AP
 

Dolly clone sheep scientist dies aged 58

LONDON - Keith Campbell, a prominent biologist who worked on cloning Dolly the sheep, has died at 58. The University of Nottingham said Campbell, who worked on animal improvement and cloning since 1999, died last Friday. The cause of death was not known. Campbell began researching animal cloning at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in 1991. His work led to the birth in 1997 of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. The sheep's creation became a scientific sensation and sparked debates about the ethics of cloning. Dolly died in 2003. AP
 

Nigerian farmers vs oil giant at Hague

THE HAGUE - Nigerian farmers have begun a landmark compensation case against Shell, in a bid to get the oil giant to clean up environmental damage they say is caused by its leaking pipes. The case at The Hague Civil Court in the Netherlands marks the first time a Dutch company has been sued for alleged environmental mismanagement caused by an overseas subsidiary and could pave the way for similar claims, if it succeeds. Royal Dutch Shell long argued the case should be heard in Nigeria. Lawyers for the Nigerians counter key policy decisions by Shell are made at its headquarters in The Hague. AP

Second bid to leap from edge of space

LOS ANGELES - An Austrian daredevil hopes to make a second record-breaking bid to jump from the edge of space after his initial attempt was aborted due to wind gusts, organisers said. Felix Baumgartner was seconds away from lift-off in New Mexico when mission control cancelled it because the huge balloon taking him up was buffeted badly. Baumgartner hopes to become the first person to break the sound barrier of around 1,100km/h in freefall. AFP

Pussy Riot member vows more protests

WASHINGTON - A Pussy Riot member, who was freed from prison unexpectedly, vowed that the anti-Kremlin punk band would stage more protests. Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, told CNN: "We are not finished, nor are we going to end our political protest." She was convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in August with Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, after performing illegally at a cathedral in February. AFP
 

Mubarak cronies not guilty in camel rush

CAIRO - Stalwarts of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak were acquitted of organising a notorious camel-borne assault on protesters during last year's uprising, state news agency MENA said. The court found all 24 defendants - including Fathi Srur and Safwat al-Sherif, then speakers of Egypt's two houses of Parliament - not guilty, the report said. Rights activists expressed disbelief. AFP
 

Netanyahu looks setto increase majority

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing religious bloc are poised for an easy victory in a snap election due early next year, two opinion polls showed. Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox parties allied with him stood to increase their majority in the 120-seat Knesset to 68. AFP

 

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