Briefs, November 27, 2012

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2012, 5:46am

UN launches talks to seal new climate pact

DOHA - Nearly 200 nations launched a fresh round of UN climate talks in Doha yesterday amid urgent appeals to scale up the fight against greenhouse-gas emissions. "Time is running out," climate chief Christiana Figueres said. "The door is closing fast on us because the pace and the scale of action is simply not yet where it must be." The run-up to the 12-day conference coincided with a welter of warnings that violent weather events will become commonplace if efforts fail. AFP


91-year-old former Nazi charged over execution

BERLIN - A 91-year-old former Nazi has been charged with murder in the 1944 killing of a Dutch resistance fighter who was allegedly executed shortly after being captured. Dutch-born Siert Bruins served time in the 1980s for the wartime murder of two Jews. Dortmund prosecutor Andreas Brendel said the suspect is now accused of killing Aldert Klaas Dijkema near the German border in the northern Netherlands. AP


Paedophile wanted in Australia flees from NZ

SYDNEY - A former Catholic brother wanted in Australia on more than 250 child-sex charges was reported to have fled New Zealand for Sri Lanka before his extradition could be secured. Bernard McGrath is facing 252 charges in Australia relating to his time at church-run institutions in the 1970s and '80s. According to Fairfax newspapers, McGrath was now living on a tea plantation in the Sri Lankan highlands. He was paroled in New Zealand in 2008 after serving jail time for offences at a Christchurch school in the '70s, his second prison stint for such crimes. AFP


Mass graves unearthed near Mexico-US border

CIUDAD JUAREZ - Nineteen bodies have been discovered in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, including 11 apparently long-dead men found in mass graves and eight others who were tortured and killed in recent days. The state prosecutor's office for missing people said 11 bodies were found near the US border about 40 kilometres southeast of Ciudad Juarez. AP


Musical blocked from using Winehouse songs

COPENHAGEN - A play on the life of late British singer Amy Winehouse has been blocked by her father, the Danish copyright collecting society said. Amy was due to open at the Royal Danish Theatre in January but was cancelled because KODA withdrew its permission to use Winehouse's songs in the play. "It is Amy Winehouse's father who has thrown a spanner in the works," said KODA spokesman Nicolaj Hylten-Cavallius. AFP


Custom-built Leica camera fetches €1.6m

VIENNA - A custom-built Leica camera that once belonged to influential American photographer David Douglas Duncan fetched more than €1.6 million (HK$16 million) at a Vienna auction. Duncan used the 1955 black M3D Leica when he worked for Life magazine. The final sale, including fees, was €1.68 million. Leica built the camera especially for Duncan, according to the WestLicht photo gallery, which ran the auction in the Austrian capital at the weekend. Duncan is best known for combat photos from the Korean and Vietnam wars, and his close friendship with painter Pablo Picasso. AFP


Evidence of poisoning in death of Ozal

ISTANBUL - An autopsy on the exhumed body of late president Turgut Ozal, who led Turkey out of military rule in the 1980s, has revealed evidence of poisoning, a newspaper reported. There had long been rumours that Ozal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was murdered by militants of the "deep state" - a shadowy nationalist strain within the establishment of the day. His body, dug up last month on the orders of prosecutors, contained the banned insecticide DDT and the related compound DDE at 10 times the normal level, Today's Zaman said.


Medvedev won't rule out return to Kremlin

MOSCOW - Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he is not ruling out a return to the Kremlin after his 2008-2012 single term as Russian head of state but is happy working as premier under his mentor Vladimir Putin. "If I have sufficient strength and health, if our people trust me in the future with such a position, then of course I do not rule out such a turn of events," he said. AFP