World briefs: Charges dropped against S. African miners
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JOHANNESBURG -- South African prosecutors provisionally dropped murder charges against the 270 jailed miners who had been accused under an obscure legal doctrine of killing 34 of their own colleagues when the police opened fire on them while engaged in a wildcat strike.
The police fired live ammunition into a crowd of about 3,000 platinum miners armed with clubs and machetes while trying to disperse the illegal strike on Aug. 16. When the firing stopped, 34 miners were dead and South Africa was outraged by the bloodiest confrontation between police and civilians since the end of apartheid. The police have claimed they acted in self-defense.
The outrage grew when prosecutors announced last week that under a legal doctrine known as "common purpose," the miners themselves would be charged with murdering their colleagues. Under the doctrine, which was frequently used in the waning days of apartheid to charge members of protesting crowds with serious crimes committed by a few individuals, people in a mob can be charged as accomplices.
ISLAMABAD -- Mohammad Khalid Chisti, 30, the Muslim cleric at the forefront of a campaign to prosecute a Christian girl for blasphemy, has suddenly found himself at risk of facing the same charges, after one of his colleagues went to the authorities and accused him of falsifying evidence of burned holy papers.
The surprise arrest might change the direction of a case that has brought the world's attention to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws, which critics say are regularly used to exploit and intimidate minorities. And it bolstered the possibility of a speedy release for Rimsha Masih, the girl awaiting trial in prison on charges she burned Muslim sacred documents; her bail hearing is scheduled to resume today. Family members and police officials say Rimsha is a developmentally disabled minor.
JERUSALEM -- The six-year legal battle over Migron came to an end Sunday as residents left the flagship Jewish outpost in the West Bank, leaving security forces to deal with outside pro-settlement activists on the site throughout the morning.
Police teams delivered eviction notices throughout the outpost earlier in the morning, requiring that the settlers comply with last week's ruling by Israel's Supreme Court that the 50 families living in the outpost -- the largest unauthorized Jewish community in the West Bank -- vacate the site by Tuesday. The homes will be removed next week.
TRIPOLI, Libya -- A Libyan security official says an intelligence officer has been killed when a bomb blew his vehicle up in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Abdel-Moneim al-Horr, spokesman for the Libyan security committee, said another intelligence officer traveling with Col. Jumaa al-Kadiki was seriously injured.
The Sunday blast was the latest in a series against security officials affiliated with the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's media said Sunday the country has suspended a $2.6 billion gas project with a Chinese consortium over a funding dispute.
The semiofficial Mehr agency quoted an unnamed official as saying the consortium failed to provide financing for a liquid natural gas plant more than three years after it signed an agreement to build it.
Iran has turned to Chinese firms for its oil and gas projects in recent years, as the country has faced tightening international sanctions because of its disputed nuclear program.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published September 3, 2012 12:00 am