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BRIEFS

Briefs, December 13, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2012, 5:58am

Venezuela's Chavez recovers after surgery

CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was yesterday recovering from six hours of surgery for cancer, his vice president said, while calling on the nation to pray for his health. Surrounded by members of the cabinet, Nicolas Maduro said in a nationally televised address that Chavez was convalescing following a "complex" operation and would take a few days to recover. Bloomberg
 

Army postpones talks to end Egyptian protest

CAIRO - Egypt's army abruptly postponed "unity" talks that the opposition had minutes earlier said they would attend. Confirmation that the secular, liberal opposition coalition would join the meeting after boycotting reconciliation talks hosted last week by Islamist President Mohammed Mursi had raised hopes of an end to street protests. The army did not immediately say when the talks might be reconvened. Reuters
 

Suicide-bomb plotter jailed for 10 years

CHICAGO - A man who pleaded guilty to a plot to attend a Somalia training camp with the dream of becoming a suicide bomber was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. Standing in orange jail clothes, his hands behind his back, 29-year-old Shaker Masri looked calm as a judge imposed the sentence for one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a terrorist group. AP
 

Northern Ireland lawmaker threatened

LONDON - A second Northern Ireland lawmaker received a death threat as tensions continued to mount over the Belfast city council's decision not to fly the British flag all year round. Democratic Unionist Party member Jeffrey Donaldson was told by police that he, his family and a DUP minister in Northern Ireland's power-sharing government had been threatened. AFP

 

Pope Benedict sends first tweet to followers

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict blessed his new internet flock with his first Twitter message to the hundreds of thousands of followers already signed up to receive the holy tweets. "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart," read the tweet, which the 85-year-old pope sent from a tablet at the end of his weekly general audience. AFP

 

Copt sentenced over anti-Islam film

CAIRO - An Egyptian Copt arrested on suspicion of posting online an anti-Islam film that ignited Muslim protests around the world was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison. Computer science graduate Alber Saber, 27, was arrested at his Cairo home on September 13 after neighbours accused him of uploading sections of the film Innocence of Muslims and making another movie mocking all religions. Saber can appeal against the ruling issued by a Cairo court after paying bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (HK$1,260). Reuters

 

13 acquitted of sex slavery charges

BUENOS AIRES - Judges found all defendants innocent in a high-profile case of an Argentine woman who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution a decade ago. The 13 people on trial in the province of Tucuman had faced up to 25 years if convicted on charges that they abducted Maria de los Angeles "Marita" Veron in 2002 and made her work as a prostitute. Veron's mother, Susana Trimarco, launched a one-woman campaign to hunt for her daughter, and rescued hundreds of women from sex slavery along the way. Her daughter, however, is still missing. AP

 

Star's aircraft 'plunged almost vertically'

MEXICO CITY - The plane carrying Mexican-American music superstar Jenni Rivera plunged almost vertically from more than 8,500 metres and hit the ground in a nose-dive at a speed that may have exceeded 965kph, the Secretary of Communications and Transportation, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, said: "The plane practically nose-dived. The impact must have been terrible." AP

 

Two jailed for race attack on Asian student

MELBOURNE - Two men who claimed to be members of a neo-Nazi group have been jailed for the brutal beating of an Asian student that left him "almost unrecognisable as a human being". Two men, along with a youth who cannot named because of his age, set upon Vietnamese student Minh Duong, 21, in an unprovoked attack on June 27. He was racially abused and repeatedly hit, kicked and stabbed by the trio and smashed over the head with a brick with such force it broke. AFP

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