Prince Charles

Briefs, October 17, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2012, 5:41am


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Prince Charles letters blocked from public

LONDON - Britain's Attorney General Dominic Grieve has overruled three judges who last month decided the public had a right to see Prince Charles' letters to government officials. The royal has been open about his opinions on a range of subjects, but Britons reading the "particularly frank" letters might not think the prince is politically neutral, as a monarch must be, thus undermining the institution, Grieve said. AP


Cuba to scrap travel restraints on citizens

HAVANA - Cuba will scrap broad travel restrictions from January, state media said, easing most Cubans' exit and return in the communist island's first major immigration reform in half a century. The Cuban government imposed restrictions on travel in 1961 to try to stop a mass migration of people fleeing after the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power. The government will lift the much- reviled requirements to obtain an exit visa and letter of invitation and allow Cubans to simply show a passport and a visa from the country they are travelling to. Reuters


1,400 evacuated after toxic fumes accident

BERLIN - About 1,400 people in a small town in northern Germany were evacuated after an accident at a factory caused a cloud of toxic gas. Authorities said residents living around the Kraft Foods factory in Bad Fallingbostel were being kept away from the area for a second day and local schools and kindergartens remained closed. No injuries were reported. The accident occurred when acid was put into a tank containing highly concentrated sodium hydroxide used for cleaning, creating a chemical reaction. AP


Clinton: 'Benghazi was attack my failing'

LIMA - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken responsibility for last month's deadly attack on the United States' diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya - an issue in the US presidential campaign. Regarding the September 11 attack, Clinton told CNN that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden would not be responsible for specific security instructions for US diplomatic facilities. Clinton's comments followed stepped-up criticism from the Republicans of the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack. Reuters


Two other drugs linked to meningitis outbreak

CHICAGO - Two other drugs made by the Massachusetts pharmacy at the centre of a deadly meningitis outbreak may be linked to the disease, US health regulators said, potentially widening the scope of the health crisis. The US Food and Drug Administration said it was looking into reports of a patient with possible meningitis who received an injection of a different steroid than the one found to have caused 15 deaths. Two transplant patients were infected with the rare fungus linked to the outbreak after receiving a heart drug also made by the New England Compounding Centre of Framingham, Massachusetts, it said. Reuters


Smoking in cars breaks pollution threshold

PARIS - Smoking in cars raises levels of dangerous fine-particle pollutants to many times the WHO's recommended limit, a study said. Doctors in Britain measured concentrations of fine particles over three days in cars driven by 17 people, 14 of them smokers. On smoking journeys, levels of fine particles were 85 microgram per cubic metre on average, compared to guidelines of 25 mcg per cubic metre for indoor pollution set by the UN's World Health Organisation. Even when the window was opened, levels were often still above the benchmark. AFP


Hearing begins for 2002 Prestige oil spill

A CORUNA - Ten years after the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off Spain, four men went on trial for the disaster which caused the worst oil slick in the country's history. The first day of the trial, held in the northern city of A Coruna, was expected to be dominated by procedural questions. The accused are likely to take the stand only next month. Greek captain Apostolos Mangouras, 78, is charged alongside two other officers and a Spanish official over the oil spill, which beaches in Spain, Portugal and France. AFP