Video grab of man arrested in Sydney. Photo: Reuters

Briefs, September 13, 2012


CHICAGO - A strike by Chicago teachers that has closed America's third-largest school district dragged on after unions and negotiators for Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to agree. Negotiations adjourned with both sides saying they had made progress but had not secured a deal to get 29,000 teachers and support staff back in inner-city schools. Reuters

MOSCOW - Ten people died and four were badly injured when a small plane crashed in Russia's Far East. The An-28 passenger plane, on a flight from Kamchatka, came down 10 kilometres short of its final destination, Palana, on the Okhotsk coast. The twin-engine aircraft had 14 people on board including two crew. The four survivors were two women, a man, and a 13-year-old boy. AFP

SYDNEY - The Australian government breached the rights of a nine-year-old girl it detained for more than nine months, during which time she witnessed others self-harming, the country's human rights commission has said. It said the immigration department should pay Judy Tuifangaloka A$250,000 (HK$2.01 million) in compensation. The young girl, her mother and five siblings were taken into detention in 2004 after their father was wrongfully deported to Tonga. AFP

MOSCOW - The self-exiled Russian oligarch and Kremlin foe Boris Berezovsky, convicted and jailed in absentia by Russian courts on embezzlement charges, was involved in organising Pussy Riot's performance in a Moscow cathedral, Russian state television has claimed in its latest show denouncing the punk rock collective. Pussy Riot's legal team denounced the claims as absurd. AFP

SYDNEY - Australian police have arrested a man in relation to terrorism offences after co-ordinated raids on several Melbourne premises. Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police executed simultaneous raids in several Melbourne suburbs, seizing a computer file containing violent extremist materials and registered firearms, among other items. A 23-year-old man was arrested Reports earlier said the raids were linked to the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in the suburb of Springvale. AFP

Boy wasn't kidnapped, just out for joyride

CHEEKTOWAGA, New York - A boy aged eight escaped injury after taking his mother's car for a spin through his suburban neighbourhood in Buffalo, New York, and hitting several objects before his joyride ended on a neighbour's lawn. The boy's mother woke up to find her son missing and called police because she thought he had been kidnapped. The boy was already in the car driving down the street. When he came to a nearby road with heavy traffic, he decided to turn around and head back home. On the way, he jumped a kerb and ran over a street sign, a fire hydrant and a fence before the car came to a rest on a neighbour's lawn. Police say the boy will not be charged. AP

Jury awards US$20m more to Steve Wynn

LOS ANGELES - A jury has doubled the damages it awarded to the casino mogul Steve Wynn, ordering the Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis to pay an additional US$20 million for claiming Wynn threatened to kill him. The decision came a day after the same nine men and three women awarded Wynn US$20 million after determining Francis's allegations slandered Wynn, who developed casinos in Macau and Las Vegas. Francis plans to appeal against the verdicts. "If you think you're taking a cheap shot, it may be a lot more expensive than you had imagined," Wynn said. AP

UN criticises Liberia over blood diamonds

UNITED NATIONS - Liberia is showing only limited commitment to efforts to stop the trade in blood diamonds that has fuelled conflicts in Africa, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the UN Security Council. The report said Liberia's capacity to control diamond mining and trade, a vital part of the global Kimberley Process agreed in 2003 to regulate the US$30 billion rough diamond industry and cut off the illegal trade in diamonds that has fuelled conflicts, remained weak. Liberia's presidential taskforce on diamonds had not met in a year, while its technical committee convened in July for the first time in seven months. Reuters

Leading Mexican drug boss extradited to US

MEXICO CITY - A founding member of the brutal Zetas drug cartel who is suspected of involvement in the killing of a US customs agent, has been extradited to the United States. Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar was turned over to US authorities to face drug-trafficking charges in Washington, Mexico's Attorney General's office said. AP