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Wednesday 24 January 2018

In brief: Spanish PM Zapatero announces he won't seek third term at next election

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced he will not seek a third term in office at general elections in 2012. His decision opens a process to elect his successor at the helm of the Socialist Party.

Mr Zapatero said yesterday he had decided to limit his time in office to two terms because it was the right thing for the country, his party and his family.

Nine charged in mobile phone scandal

INDIA's former telecommunications minister, Andimuthu Raja, two other officials, and six company executives have been charged with fraud and forgery in a scandal estimated to have cost the country billions of euro.

Officials reportedly awarded some mobile phone licences to ineligible participants who then sold their stakes at a high premium. The state auditor general says the government lost as much as €25.6bn in potential revenue by not auctioning the licences.

Poll chaos causes delay in election

Nigeria has postponed parliamentary elections until tomorrow after voting materials failed to arrive in many areas, a major blow to hopes of a break with a history of chaotic polls in Africa's most populous nation.

Fraud and violence in 2007 meant the elections then lacked credibility in the eyes of Nigerians and international observers. Confusion added to the frustration in Nigeria's biggest cities -- Lagos and Kano -- where voting went ahead in some places because election materials had arrived on time.

Maddie's parents in 10km charity run

Madeleine McCann's parents yesterday completed a 10km run in aid of a missing people's charity.

Kate McCann, whose daughter vanished while on a family holiday in Portugal almost four years ago, said: "We are running this year to remember our Madeleine and all children who are missing. We are very glad to be supporting the charity Missing People and helping them continue to be a lifeline when someone disappears."

Mugabe to defy regional 'dictators'

ROBERT Mugabe has vowed not to buckle to regional mediators' demands to end a stand-off in his troubled power-sharing coalition.

A summit of regional leaders, in their strongest rebuke yet of Zimbabwe's president, said they would appoint a panel to recommend "appropriate action" to help resolve disputes in the coalition government and rein in violence, intimidation and hate speech. But Mr Mugabe told his party leaders that mediators "should not be dictators", state radio reported yesterday.

Dalai Lama warns India about glaciers

INDIA should be seriously concerned about the melting of glaciers in the Tibetan plateau as millions of Indians use water that comes from there, according to the Dalai Lama.

The Buddhist spiritual leader yesterday quoted Chinese experts as saying that the Tibetan glaciers were retreating faster than in any other part of the world.

Gunmen kidnap teachers and children

GUNMEN linked to a criminal gang kidnapped 14 teachers and two children at a graduation ceremony in a remote southern Philippine town, police said.

The gunmen are demanding freedom for their fellow Manobo tribesmen who were jailed following an almost identical hostage-taking in the same town in 2009 by suspects wanted for murder and abductions, said regional police chief Reynaldo Rafar.

Giffords hero amazed by her recovery

THE man who won praise for going to the aid of US politician Gabrielle Giffords immediately after she was shot has said he is amazed by her recovery.

Daniel Hernandez said he had spoken to the injured congresswoman several times on the phone since the shooting in early January. Ms Giffords was critically injured by a gunshot to the head during a shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, which left six people dead.

Israel strikes first over kidnap claims

Israel warned its citizens in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to evacuate immediately yesterday, only hours after Israel launched an airstrike that killed three Hamas militants accused of planning to abduct Israelis over the upcoming Jewish festival of Passover.

Sunday Independent

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