BBC News with Marion Marshall
Parliament in Bangladesh has passed a law allowing the state to appeal against any verdict from a special war crime’s tribunal. The move could lead to harsher sentences. It follows nearly two weeks of mass protests calling for the death penalty for those convicted of crimes against humanity during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971. Anbarasan Ethirajan reports.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in a busy intersection of Dhaka burst into cheers after the Bangladeshi parliament approved changes to the existing law. The government can now appeal against verdicts at the international crimes tribunal set up in 2010 to try those Bangladeshis accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces and committing atrocities during the war for independence. Critics say the provision is aimed at the Jamaat-e-Islami which opposed to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan.
Gunmen in the Nigerian state of Bauchi have abducted seven foreign workers in the biggest kidnapping in northern Nigeria in recent times. Italian, Filipino, British, Greek and Lebanese workers are said to be among those abducted at the Lebanese-owned Setraco Construction Company in the town of Jama’re. Caroline Hawley reports.
Nigerian police say the gunmen first attacked a police station and a prison before storming onto the construction company’s compound. A security guard was killed and the foreign workers who involved in the building of a road are reported to have been abducted from their accommodation. Northern Nigeria which is mainly Muslim is becoming increasingly dangerous with Islamist militants waging a campaign of bombings and shootings.
A highest court of appeal in Iran has confirmed death sentences passed on four men in the country’s biggest ever case of banking fraud. A spokesman said a fifth man had also lost his appeal against a life sentence. Castro Naji reports.
There is no mention of the names of the men or when they are going to be executed. The four are among dozens of men who are accused of involvement in a series of banking frauds. The case is the biggest in the history of Iran, worth billions of dollars. The case is also a major embarrassment for the Islamist state as many of the accused are government officials.
Car bombs have killed at least 21 people in mainly Shiite neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital Bagdad. The bombs exploded in several different districts with outdoor markets reported to have been the primary targets.
The head of Libya’s national congress has called for renewed efforts to deal with the chaos and corruption within Libyan society. In a speech in Benghazi marking the second anniversary of the start of the uprising which toppled Colonel Gaddafi, Mohamed el-Magariaf stressed the need for reconciliation. He said all religions needed to be treated equally and warned that a lack of security was holding back foreign investment.
World News from the BBC
The international envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has said peace talks should start on United Nations premises between the opposition and what he described as an acceptable delegation from the Syrian government. His remarks follow an offer by the opposition Syrian National Coalition to hold talks with any government representative not directly involved in repression. Mr. Brahimi said the offer challenged the Syrian government to live up to its claim that it was ready for dialogue and a peaceful solution.
The center-right candidate in Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has won just over 45% of the votes in the presidential election. Since he failed to get an absolute majority, he will face his left-wing rival Stavros Malas in the run-off next week. Mark Lowen reports.
The exit polls had suggested an outright majority but in fact the conservative Nicos Anastasiades failed just short. He will now face a run-off which he is expected to win. If he does, his task will be daunting to finalize a 17-billion Euro bailout with the EU and IMF in return for deep spending cuts after the Greek crisis had a knock-on effect in Cyprus. Whoever takes over will also be expected to restart talks with a Turkish-Cypriot community in the north and overcome the island’s four-decade long division.
A group of about 40 masked men have attacked a gold mining project in northern Greece setting fire to machinery and offices. At least one security guard was injured. It’s not clear who carried out the raid in the mine complex in the forested hills of the Halkidiki Peninsula.
Scientists in Russia say they have found fragments of the meteorite that struck the southern Ural’s region on Friday injuring about 1,000 people. A spokesman for the Ural’s Federal University said the material they found contained about 10% iron. The meteor is believed to have measured about 15 meters in diameter when it hit the atmosphere and exploded.
BBC World Service News