Briefs, October 25, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 4:44am

Protesters 'against emir' freed in Kuwait

DUBAI - Kuwait has released three former opposition lawmakers accused of criticising the emir and four people arrested for taking part in protests last week. The lawmakers were arrested after they made comments seen as critical of the country's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States was closely following the situation. Reuters


Australia to register all foreign farm owners

SYDNEY - Australia will create a national register of foreign ownership of agricultural land, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, after concerns over the sale of valuable farming assets. Conservative politicians in rural constituencies have warned against selling valuable farming land to foreign investors, such as China, which is Australia's top trading partner. AFP


French first lady wins case over bikini snaps

PARIS - Three French magazines have been fined for publishing photographs of President Francois Hollande's companion, Valerie Trierweiler, in a bikini which were taken when they were on a summer break. The judge ordered glossies Voici and Closer to pay €1,500 (HK$15,100) while the third magazine, Public was fined €1,000. The snaps were taken when she and Hollande were holidaying in the Bregancon presidential retreat on a small island off the Mediterranean coast. AFP


Artist sends toenails to Chinese embassy

JOHANNESBURG - A South African artist has mailed his toenails to the Chinese embassy in Pretoria to protest against the trade in rhino horn, which is fuelled by demand for Asian medicines. In a YouTube video, Mark Wilby called on compatriots to post toenails, fingernails or hair to Beijing's representatives. "I'm not blaming the Chinese government, or the Chinese people, I just don't know who else to appeal to," Wilby said. AFP


Shark kills surfer off California coast

CALIFORNIA - A shark killed a surfer off a beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base after a summer of shark sightings along California's central coast. Francisco Javier Solorio , 39, died in the attack off the coast at Surf Beach in Lompoc. AP