World briefs: More people abducted in Nigeria

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Extremists have abducted 60 more girls and women and 31 boys in weekend attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria, witnesses said Tuesday, another sign of the Nigerian military’s failure to curb an Islamic uprising.

Some married women were taken along with their children who range in age from 3 to 15, said witnesses.

A local official confirmed the abductions but security forces denied them. Nigeria’s government and military have been widely criticized for their slow response to the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped April 15.

There was no way to safely and independently confirm the report from Kummabza, 95 miles from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and headquarters of a military state of emergency that has failed to curtail near-daily attacks by Boko Haram fighters.

 

Sentences to stand

CAIRO — Striking a defiant tone amid a cascade of international criticism, President Abdel Fattah Sisi declared Tuesday that he would not intercede in the case of three journalists from the broadcaster Al Jazeera, who were sentenced a day earlier to lengthy prison terms.

The sentencing of the three men to seven years in jail on terror-related charges, with an additional three-year term handed down to one of them for allegedly possessing ammunition, triggered denunciations by rights groups and calls for Mr. Sisi to step in. Western governments, including the Obama administration, condemned the court proceedings as unfair and the verdict as gravely harsh.

The three journalists — Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all with long resumes of work at well-regarded international outlets — have been held since December.

Christian woman re-arrested

JOHANNESBURG — A Christian woman in Sudan freed from death row Monday has been re-arrested a day later after trying to leave the country with her family, according to reports from Khartoum, Sudan.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, sentenced to hang last month for apostasy, was released after her conviction was overturned by Khartoum’s appeals court. But Ibrahim, her husband and two children were detained by security at the Khartoum airport where they sought to board a plane, Reuters reported, citing a security official. The reasons for her re-arrest were not immediately clear.

Appeal for kidnapped teens

GENEVA — Nearly two weeks after the abduction of three Israeli teenagers as they tried to hitchhike home from the West Bank, the mother of one of them appealed Tuesday at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva for more international action to secure their release.

With the mothers of the two other missing teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, 19, and Gilad Shaar, 16, sitting behind her, Rachel Fraenkel told the council, “I have come here before the U.N., before the world, to ask everyone to do whatever they can to bring our boys back.”

Ms. Fraenkel, the mother of Naftali Fraenkel, 16, thanked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the International Red Cross for condemning the kidnapping and calling for the teenagers’ immediate release. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has blamed the militant Islamic movement Hamas for the kidnapping. and in conjunction with the search for the kidnappers has opened one of the biggest Israeli military operations 

PM nominee bows out

SEOUL, South Korea — President Park Geun-hye, whose approval ratings have fallen since an April ferry disaster that left hundreds dead, sustained a new political blow Tuesday as her second consecutive nominee for prime minister stepped aside, amid a furor over his suggestion that Korea’s colonization by Japan had been “God’s will.”

Moon Chang-keuk, once a well-known conservative newspaper columnist, was Ms. Park’s second nominee for prime minister to withdraw before his confirmation hearings in the National Assembly could begin. The first, Ahn Dae-hee, a former Supreme Court justice, stepped aside last month because of a controversy over his post-retirement earnings.


-- Compiled from news services


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