December 20, 2014
CAIRO — Egypt’s deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence for his role in killing protesters during a 2011 revolt, will stay in an army hospital for at least two weeks after his health deteriorated, his lawyer said yesterday. On Thursday evening, the 84-year-old former leader was transferred to an army hospital from his prison clinic after fracturing a rib in a recent fall.
RAMADI — Tens of thousands of protesters from Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority poured onto the streets after prayers yesterday in a show of force against Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, keeping up a week-long blockade of a major highway. Many Sunnis, whose community dominated Iraq until the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, accuse Maliki of refusing to share power and of being under the sway of Iran.
DUBAI — Iran started yesterday six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz, the official IRNA news agency reported, manoeuvres aimed at showcasing its military capabilities in what is a vital oil and gas shipping route. Naval commander Habibollah Sayyari said the “Velayat 91” drills would last until Wednesday across an area of about one million square kilometres.
PESHAWAR — Pakistani officials pressured tribal elders yesterday to help rescue 23 policemen believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban during attacks on their posts in the country’s troubled northwest tribal region. Also yesterday, missiles fired from unmanned US aircraft killed four suspected militants at a training centre elsewhere in the remote frontier area, the main sanctuary for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the country, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
JERUSALEM — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has claimed Israel has reduced its security cooperation with Palestinians in the West Bank to protest the successful bid for upgraded status at the United Nations. Israel’s military denied the charge, saying security cooperation continues.
BEIJING — China’s national legislature amended yesterday its law on the elderly to require that adult children visit their aged parents “often” — or risk being sued by them. The amendment does not specify how frequently such visits should occur. State media say the new clause will allow elderly parents who feel neglected by their children to take them to court. The move comes as reports abound of elderly parents being abandoned or ignored by their children.