Nelson Mandela

Briefs, December 12, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 5:08am

Mandela responding to treatment for infection

JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment for a lung infection, the South African government said yesterday. The news eased days of speculation about the health of the ageing statesman, being treated at a Pretoria military hospital. But medical experts warned that for a 94-year-old, any infection can be serious. Mandela's wife Graca Machel admitted it was painful to see him growing frail. "I mean, this spirit and this sparkle, you see that … it's fading," she told eNews Channel Africa. AFP


2DayFM's ad profits pledged to nurse's kin

SYDNEY - An Australian radio station pledged at least A$500,000 (HK$4 million) to help the bereaved family of a nurse duped by a prank phone call. Jacintha Saldanha, who transferred the hoax call from Sydney station 2Day FM to the Duchess of Cambridge's nurse at London's King Edward VII's Hospital, was found on Friday after apparently committing suicide. The station initially suspended all advertising after the death, but said it would resume yesterday with all profits until the end of the year given to an "appropriate fund". AFP


Gunman flees after hit near Manhattan school

NEW YORK - A man was shot in the back of the head in a densely populated area of midtown Manhattan and lay mortally wounded in a pool of blood as his killer escaped with a getaway driver. The shooting occurred on Monday afternoon outside a boarding school on a fairly quiet street between busy avenues teeming with tourists and Christmas shoppers. AP


Recreational marijuana use okayed in Colorado

COLORADO - Pot smokers formally gained the right to light up in Colorado as Governor John Hickenlooper ratified a controversial ballot measure legalising marijuana for adult recreational use. Hickenlooper's signature, largely a formality, made Colorado the second US state after Washington to legalise recreational pot use. Reuters


Haiti urged to stop quake-camp evictions

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Oxfam urged the Haitian government to halt evictions from encampments still home to more than 357,000 people nearly three years after a devastating earthquake. The bulk of the removals are led by landowners eager to reclaim their property, the international aid group said. AP


15 die after Islamists bomb police in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - A shoot-out between security forces and members of a radical Islamist sect killed at least 15 people, including a local police chief. The shootings took place in the northeastern city of Potiskum, increasingly the scene of violent attacks by the Boko Haram sect. The attack began late on Sunday night and went on for hours after suspected sect members bombed a police station and attacked a bank. AP


Cayman Islands' Premier arrested

GEORGE TOWN - Cayman Islands' Premier McKeeva Bush was detained by police yesterday in connection with a series of police investigations in the normally tranquil offshore financial centre. Bush, 57, had been arrested by members of its Financial Crime Unit at his home on suspicion of theft and the alleged misuse of a government credit card. Other charges include abuse of office and breach of trust, stemming from the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits, an official statement said. Reuters


Kazakh guard jailed over mass murder

ALMATY - A Kazakh border guard was jailed for life for murdering 14 fellow soldiers and a herder in a mass killing in May that shocked the Central Asian nation. The bodies were discovered with gunshot wounds at a burnt down border post near the mountainous frontier with China. The only surviving guard from the border post, Vladislav Chelakh, was found at a herders' winter camp. A stolen laptop, a pistol and money off the dead guards were found in his hideout. Yesterday, he was found guilty of murder, theft, desertion and destruction of military property. Reuters

Police car torched amid UK loyalist protests

BELFAST - Police were attacked in Belfast on Monday night by loyalists enraged by a decision to remove the British flag from its city hall, which has sparked eight consecutive days of protests. About 15 masked men smashed the windows of a police car and threw a petrol bomb into it while an officer was still inside. The officer escaped unharmed. Police were treating the attack as attempted murder. Reuters

Stephen Hawking wins richest prize in science

LONDON - Stephen Hawking, the British cosmologist, has landed the richest prize in science for his work on quantum gravity and how black holes emit radiation. Wheelchair-bound Hawking won US$3 million from Russian internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who set up his prize this year to address what he regards as a lack of recognition in the modern world for leading scientists. A second US$3 million award has gone to the scientists behind the discovery this year of a new subatomic particle that behaves like the theoretical Higgs boson. Reuters


China and Turkey jail the most journalists

ADDIS ABABA - The Committee to Protect Journalists said more journalists around the world were sitting in prisons than ever before. The US-based group said Turkey, Iran and China had imprisoned the most journalists. The committee has identified 232 writers, editors and photojournalists that are behind bars. AP