Briefs, October 22, 2012

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, 4:26am

Beirut gunfight raises fears war may spread

BEIRUT - Lebanese troops and gunmen exchanged fire in Beirut's southern suburbs yesterday, wounding five people and deepening a political crisis following the assassination of a senior intelligence official. The violence heightened fears that the civil war in neighbouring Syria could be spreading into Lebanon. Reuters


Jordanian authoritiesthwart al-Qaeda plot

AMMAN - Jordanian authorities arrested 11 suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants for allegedly planning to attack shopping malls and Western diplomatic missions in the country. State television broadcast the names and headshots of the suspects - all men in their 20s and 30s. AP


Halloween reveller, 9, shot by relative in US

PENNSYLVANIA - A costumed nine-year-old girl was accidentally shot by a relative who thought she was a skunk outside a western Pennsylvania home during a Halloween party. New Sewickley Township police said the girl wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. The girl was talking when she was flown to a hospital. Police said the man had not been drinking. AP


Pussy Riot pair sent to 'cruellest' prison camps

MOSCOW - Two members of punk band Pussy Riot have been taken to remote Russian prison colonies notorious for their harsh conditions in Perm and Mordovia regions, their lawyer said. A Twitter account organised by the band's supporters also said the two band members were taken in a "special" convoy to the prison camps. "Of all the possible options, these are the cruellest prison camps," the Twitter account said. AFP


Spanish PM garners mixed results in polls

MADRID - Spain's governing Popular Party retained control of Galicia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's home region, in an election that was seen as a significant bellwether for Rajoy's austerity measures. In the neighbouring Basque region, however, voters preferred parties favouring self-determination, presenting another challenge for Rajoy. NYT


People smuggler jailed for 14 years in Australia

SYDNEY - An Iranian-born man was jailed for 14 years for organising at least four people-smuggling boats from Indonesia to Australia, including an ill-fated vessel that crashed off Christmas Island in 2010, killing 50 people. Ali Khorram Heydarkhani, 41, was ordered to serve 91/2 years without parole after pleading guilty. AFP


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Briefs, October 22, 2012

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