Pope Benedict XVI

Briefs, December 21, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2012, 3:38am

UK wins case against Indian Ocean islanders

STRASBOURG, France - The European Court of Human Rights has thrown out an action against Britain over the expulsion of Indian Ocean islanders from their homes to enable the creation of the US military base on Diego Garcia. The court said a claim in the name of 1,786 former Chagos Islands inhabitants was inadmissible because they had already received compensation for their 1967-1973 expulsions through the British courts. AFP


Iraq's president in German hospital

BERLIN - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who has long sought to bridge political and sectarian divides in his war-scarred country, arrived in Germany yesterday for treatment. Talabani was taken to hospital on Monday after a stroke. AFP


Newspaper gives pope a new pulpit

ROME - In a first for a pontiff, Pope Benedict has written an article for a secular newspaper, advising in the Financial Times that Christmas is a time for serious thought. The op-ed says Christmas is a "time of great joy" and also "an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience". The Vatican said the pope "willingly accepted" the newspaper's request for his contribution. AP


Afghan child smuggled into Italy in suitcase

ROME - Police in Venice have discovered an undocumented five-year-old Afghan boy hidden in the suitcase of a man getting off a ferry from Greece. Ali Shaker, 35, told police he was a family friend who had been asked by the child's parents to take him to relatives in Germany. A border agent said: "The boy obviously seemed scared and exhausted. We don't know how many hours he spent inside the suitcase." AFP


Brazilian 'iPhone' to run on Android

SAO PAULO - It's not your usual Apple iPhone. A Brazilian company has begun selling smartphones with the iPhone brand after winning the legal right to use the name. Adding insult to Apple's injury, the phone runs on the Android operating system from arch-rival Google. Gradiente said that in 2008 the government gave it the right to use the brand on its cellphones until 2018. AP




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