World news briefs: 7/6/14

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Car bomb hits Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Four people were killed when a car laden with explosives blew up near the parliamentary building in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a police official said Saturday.

The Somali terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombing. Capt. Mohammed Hussein said the car exploded at a checkpoint where it had been stopped by Somali troops. The dead were soldiers and refugees from an internal refugee camp near the checkpoint, Capt. Hussein said. Seven children from the camp were wounded.

Egypt hikes gas prices

CAIRO -- Egypt's premier defended gasoline price increases of as much as 78 percent as necessary to fix an ailing economy and strike at a subsidy system past administrations have avoided to escape public backlash.

The increase, which also affects other refined fuels including diesel and natural gas, was announced late Friday in the Official Gazette. The decision, which reduces subsidies on the products, came into effect Saturday.

The decision could prove to be the first major test of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's ability to curb state spending and revive the economy.

Court condemns 10 to die

CAIRO -- An Egyptian court Saturday confirmed the death sentences of 10 top members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, on charges of inciting deadly violence last year and blocking a road north of Cairo while protesting the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

One of the 10 sentenced in absentia is Abdel-Rahman al-Barr, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's top executive office, known as the Guidance Council.

The sentencing initially was passed last month and referred to the country's chief Islamic legal authority, the grand mufti, for an advisory opinion.

GM stops production

JOHANNESBURG -- General Motors Co. and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG halted production at their South African plants as a strike by more than 220,000 metalworkers disrupted car component makers and turned violent.

Police arrested 26 people Friday after several incidents of attacks, intimidation and vandalism at factories around Johannesburg. Wage talks failed after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa rejected an improved offer from the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa, the employer group.

No bail for Georgian leader

TBILISI, Georgia -- One of Georgia's most prominent opposition leaders was denied bail and ordered jailed Friday until his trial on charges of threatening a regional election official.

Gigi Ugulava was ordered jailed for up to nine months. He is a member of the United National Movement and a close ally of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia.

Since Georgian Dream won control of the government, more than 10 senior United National Movement officials have been arrested on various charges, in what critics say is a wave of politically motivated prosecutions.

Mexico moves to regulate

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's Senate, after more than six months of delays and legal challenges, passed legislation that would force America Movil SAB and Grupo Televisa SAB to face penalties as long as they keep serving more than half of the country's telephone and TV users.

The legislation implements last year's constitutional telecommunications overhaul, seeking to generate more competition in an industry controlled by a handful of Mexico's richest people.

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