Briefs, December 14, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 5:51am

Israeli foreign minister charged over finances

JERUSALEM - Israel's powerful foreign minister was charged with breach of trust, but escaped more serious charges in a fraud and money-laundering case that could jeopardise his political career and upend the Israeli political system just a month before elections. The decision by Israel's attorney general capped an investigation into Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that stretched back more than a decade. Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to come under heavy pressure to resign. Lieberman has denied all accusations, saying they were politically motivated. AP


Andersen's first fairy tale unearthed

COPENHAGEN - A Danish researcher has stumbled across the first fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark's national archives. Entitled The Tallow Candle, the tale tells the story of a candle that has difficulty finding its place in the world until a tinder box discovers its worth and lights its wick. National Archive director Mads Peter Christensen told Politiken newspaper that staff had been contacted by the researcher who disclosed the discovery. Lacking the polished standards of Andersen's later fairy tales, it is believed to have been written when he was a schoolboy. AFP


Anti-virus pioneer McAfee arrives in US

MIAMI - Computer software engineer John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of a fellow American, arrived in Miami after he was deported by Guatemala. McAfee, 67, was escorted from the plane by airport security officers, passengers said. McAfee had been held for a week in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading police in Belize for nearly a month following the killing of American Gregory Faull. Reuters


Crown prince calls for talks with opposition

MANAMA - Bahrain's crown prince has made a renewed appeal for dialogue to end the political impasse in the Gulf kingdom. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, widely viewed as a moderate member of the Sunni ruling dynasty, took the opportunity when hosting a global security conference to invite the Shiite opposition to sit down and talk. Al-Wefaq, the largest Shiite opposition formation, responded positively, but demanded a "serious dialogue" with the results subject to a referendum. AFP

Ex-president implicated in cash-for-votes probe

SAO PAULO - Pressure is growing for prosecutors to open an investigation into Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva amid new accusations he knew about a cash-for-votes in Congress scheme that has seen 25 people convicted, including his one-time chief of staff. Silva, who left office in 2010, denies any wrongdoing. But pressure is mounting on him after claims by a top figure in the corruption case that Silva approved of the scheme and used cash from it while in office. AP