Monday 11 December 2017

In brief: Ten Libyan rebels killed in advance on strategic oil port town of Brega

Ten rebel fighters were killed in an advance on the strategic oil town of Brega in eastern Libya yesterday.

The advance came after Libya's main opposition group was recognised by more than 30 nations, including the US, as the country's legitimate government. That decision may free up billions in cash that the rebels urgently need.

Libya's civil war has fallen into a stalemate since the mass uprising broke out in mid-February and a rebel seizure of the front-line town of Brega would represent a breakthrough in the civil war.

Chinese bishop is excommunicated

A Chinese bishop ordained without papal approval has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church, the Vatican said yesterday, bringing relations between the Vatican and Beijing to a new low.

China's state-sanctioned Catholic Church ordained Joseph Huang Bingzhang as bishop in Shantou city in southern Guangdong province last Thursday.

Chinese Catholics, believed to number between eight and 12 million, are divided between those who are members of the church backed by the Communist Party and those loyal to the Pope.

First Lady Carla confirms pregnancy

France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, spoke openly about her pregnancy for the first time on Friday -- but kept the baby's gender a secret.

Rumours have swirled for months, followed by pictures of the 43-year-old's baby bump -- but the interview with daily Nice Matin was the first official confirmation that France's presidential couple are expecting their first child.

Nato trooper shot dead in Afghanistan

A man wearing an Afghan army uniform shot and killed a Nato service member yesterday in southern Afghanistan.

The shooting was part of a spate of attacks that killed at least nine people, including two other foreign troops. The uniformed gunman escaped after killing the trooper, and it was not known if he was a member of the Afghan army or a militant in disguise. Thirty international troops have died in Afghanistan so far this month.

Ted Kennedy's son Patrick marries

Former US congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, married school-teacher Amy Petitgout in a ceremony at the family's seaside compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, on Friday.

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer officiated at the private ceremony, held outdoors under a sunny sky.

Mr Kennedy is a former eight-term Democratic congressman from Rhode Island.

Ten bus passengers die in ambush

Gunmen ambushed a bus in northwestern Pakistan carrying Sunni Muslims and killed all 10 passengers yesterday. It is unclear who targeted the bus in Kurram province, which has witnessed attacks on Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims in recent years.

Suicide bombing kills two in Algeria

TWO people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a public security HQ in Algeria. A police officer and a city hall employee died in the attack in the restive northern Boumerdes region -- the deaths follow bombings in the same region last week which killed two soldiers.

Obama holds meeting with Dalai Lama

US President Barack Obama held a White House meeting with the Dalai Lama yesterday, hours after China called on the US to rescind an invitation that could sour relations with Beijing. The White House said the private meeting showed Mr Obama's support for Tibetan culture and human rights, as well as reaffirming his belief that China should engage with the Dalai Lama's representatives.

Sunday Independent

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