World news in brief
14 killed in Mexico gunfight
Mexico City, July 6 (IANS): At least 14 people were killed during a gunfight in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, police said. The gunfight between members of the La Linea group against the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel took place near the Las Varas area on Wednesday, Efe news reported. Security forces seized 20 guns and 10 vehicles at the scene and three gunmen – two from La Linea – are in custody. Police “were met by gunfire” when they reached the site, but soon managed to bring the situation under control, Chihuahua Security Commissioner Oscar Alberto Aparicio said. “These criminals were the ones who killed two state police officers in Las Varas last week,” the commissioner added. The office of the State Prosecutor General (FGE) issued a statement, saying: “A security and surveillance operation was deployed in the communities of Las Varas, Largo Maderal and Mesa del Huracan following the clashes that took place between criminal groups.”
Turkey nabs 25 IS suspects in anti-terror operations
Ankara, July 6 (IANS): Turkey security forces has said at least 25 suspects linked to Islamic State (IS) terrorist group were detained in anti-terror operations on Wednesday. The raids were aimed to thwart planned attacks and uncover the organisation’s activities, Xinhua quoted security forces as saying. The anti-terror operations were carried out simultaneously in nine provinces — Van, Agri, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli, Bingol, Adiyaman, Denizli and Mardin. In Istanbul, the IS suspects targeted have been on a security watchlist for four months. Separately, 12 other IS suspects, arrested in two recent operations in the southern province of Adana, were referred to the court on Wednesday. Two of the suspects were planning to conduct attacks abroad while some others were plotting to attack meetings of local religious communities in the provinces of Konya and Gaziantep.
Five die in Indonesia plane crash
Jakarta, July 6 (IANS): At least five persons aboard an Indonesian plane that crashed in Papua province were confirmed dead on Thursday, the country’s search and rescue office said. Dozens of rescuers from the local search and rescue office had arrived at the scene and began an evacuation process on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency quoted the spokesman for the office, Marsudi, as saying. “We have removed (taken) four of the dead to Wamena town, but another remains at the scene,” Marsudi said. The five people on board the plane, operated by Associated Mission Aviation (AMA), a private firm operating flights in and around Papua province, included a pilot, a co-pilot and three passengers.
US lifts electronics ban on Qatar Airways flights
Mumbai, July 6 (IANS): Qatar Airways on Thursday announced the US has lifted the ban on carrying of personal electronic devices on board on all flights from Doha’s Hamad International Airport with immediate effect. “Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines,” an official statement said. In March, the US imposed a ban on carrying of large electronic devices like laptops as cabin baggage on all Qatar Airways flights to the US originating from Doha, hitting thousands of international passengers including Indians.
3,000-yr-old tombs excavated in China
Beijing, July 6 (IANS): At least 224 tombs believed to be over 3,000 years old have been unearthed in central China’s Henan province. The tombs, which archaeologists date from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC), are located across a river in Qixian county, Xinhua news agency reported. Archaeologists have also excavated five pits containing the remains of horses and the ruins of a house, unearthing nearly 400 items including pottery, bronze weapons and carts, shells, jade and lacquerware. Most of the tombs were small in size and carefully planned, which showed that they belonged to ordinary people, according to Han Zhaohui, head of the team and associate research fellow with the Henan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.
Trump’s FBI Director pick gets confirmation hearing date
Beijing, July 6 (IANS): A Senate judiciary committee has announced the date for its confirmation hearing for Chris Wray, President Donald Trump’s pick for the new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director, the media reported. The hearing is slated to take place on July 12 and would come more than two months after Trump fired James Comey as head of the FBI, reports CNN. The Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, followed up its hearing announcement on Wednesday by tweeting the timelines for previous FBI Director confirmations. The table notes that the confirmations under committees chaired by Democrats had moved nominees forward to the full Senate after less than 10 days.
UN official to visit Lanka for info on human rights situation
Colombo, July 6 (PTI): UN rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson will visit Sri Lanka next week to gather first-hand information on human rights situation in the country, especially in the Tamil-dominated north, officials said today. This will be the first mission by a UN expert on counter-terrorism and its affect on human rights to Sri Lanka, office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. Based on his first-hand experience, the special rapporteur will present a comprehensive report with his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council on March 2018, it said. During his five-day mission to Sri Lanka, starting from July 10, the UN special rapporteur will meet high-level government representatives and key officials of the law enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka.
Terminally ill Chinese dissident’s condition worsens
Beijing, July 6 (IANS): The health of dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who has terminal stage liver cancer, has worsened, according to the hospital where he is being treated. Liu’s abdominal swelling has deteriorated due to an accumulation of liquid. A medical team led by liver cancer specialist Mao Yilei has been sent to examine him and decide the further course of treatment, EFE news cited a hospital statement as saying. Authorities have asked Liu’s family to be available around the clock in case his condition deteriorates further, family friend Ye Du said. Mao is a professor at Peking Union Medical College Hospital’s liver surgery department. Official media said he is also the deputy director of the Chinese Medical Association’s liver surgery committee.