Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Saturday sacked the deputy defence minister, Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, just a month and a half after appointing him. A royal decree cited by the official SPA news agency said the decision was taken at the request of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who also holds the defence portfolio. The reasons for the move were not immediately known, and no successor was announced for Prince Khaled, who was named to the post on May 14. Saturday's move comes amid fears in Saudi Arabia of a spillover of the violence in neighbouring Iraq from a Sunni militant offensive in the Shiite-majority country.
Brasília (AFP) - Hackers broke into the Brazilian federal police's Twitter account on Saturday and posted a message about a bomb threat at the stadium hosting the Brazil-Chile World Cup game. "The (Twitter) account of the Federal Police was hacked," the agency said in a statement. "The information about a bomb scare at Mineirao Stadium on Saturday afternoon during the Brazil-Chile game was false," it said.
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday hit an industrial zone in Sderot in southern Israel, setting a building on fire but without causing casualties, police said. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP a second rocket struck open ground. A military spokesman said the building hit was a factory, and that firemen were on the scene. Saturday's attack came a day after two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed in an Israeli air raid after a bomb exploded near troops manning Israel's security fence.
The suspected ringleader of a deadly 2012 attack on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi arrived in the United States on Saturday in the custody of US authorities. Four Americans including US ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed on September 11, 2012 when gunmen stormed the US consulate and set it on fire and a CIA outpost was also targeted, in an attack that shocked Washington and has become a highly charged political issue. "Ahmed Abu Khatallah arrived in the District of Columbia (Washington) this morning to face prosecution for his alleged role in the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya," Department of Justice spokesman William Miller said. The US State Department has identified Khatallah as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan Islamist group it brands a "terrorist" organization responsible for a spate of attacks and assassinations.
More than 1,000 illegal African immigrants in Israel staged a sit-in Saturday near the southern border with Egypt after a protest march against conditions in their internment camp. "We are going to stay near the border with Egypt until a solution is found so our rights are respected," a statement by asylum-seekers at the Holot camp in southern Israel said. The sit-in came a day after Israeli soldiers stopped the demonstrators, most from Eritrea and Sudan, nearly 300 metres (yards) from the border. They ignored the rule that they must spend the night in the camp, which houses some 2,300 illegal immigrants, by camping out on the border.
Al-Qaeda gunmen opened fire on an army position in Yemen's southeast Saturday, sparking a clash that killed two soldiers and four attackers, a military official told AFP. The dawn clash in Hadramawt province lasted an hour and left three more soldiers wounded. The assault comes two days after suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen briefly seized Sayun airport in Hadramawt in a deadly assault just as a civilian airliner was landing, before the airfield was retaken by the army. Hadramawt's rugged terrain provides hideouts for militants of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by Washington as the jihadist network's most dangerous affiliate.
As his now-former comrades hugged their goodbyes and wished each other a safe journey home, Junior Sergeant Pavel Stupka explained why he refused to renounce his oath of allegiance to Ukraine. I took an oath to the Ukrainian people," Stupka said, pushing his beret back on his head. For around a year Stupka had been carrying out his obligatory military service at a Ukrainian interior ministry base housing a munitions plant on the outskirts of his hometown Donetsk.
Thousands of ranchers and farmers concerned about their livestock demonstrated in southwestern France on Saturday against plans to introduce a group of wild bears as well measures to protect wolves and vultures. Some demonstrators dumped sheep carcasses and manure in front of the local town hall to protest against the "re-wilding" of the mountains near Foix on the edge of the French Pyrenees, which they say is affecting their livelihoods. Police said 2,500 protesters took to the streets although organisers said the figure was higher, at 4,000, with many protesters bringing their livestock and tractors with them for a go-slow around the town. Ranchers and farmers are angry at what they call the "uncontrolled expansion" in the number of wolves across the country and a plan to introduce a dozen wild bears in the region.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic was booed during a visit to Kosovo on Saturday by ethnic Serbs who accused his government of betrayal for agreeing to normalise relations with the breakaway state. Nikolic was addressing around 1,000 Kosovo Serbs at a ceremony marking the anniversary of an historic 14th century battle at Gazimestan, around five kilometres (three miles) southwest of the capital Pristina. Many Kosovan Serbs are angry over a landmark agreement signed last year that normalised ties between Serbia and Kosovo, a majority ethnic Albanian region that declared independence in 2008. He was forced to cut short his speech at the historic site where the Serbian army was defeated by the Ottoman Empire in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo.
The suspected ringleader of a deadly 2012 attack on the American consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi arrived in the United States on Saturday in the custody of US authorities. Four Americans including US ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed on September 11, 2012 when gunmen stormed the US consulate and set it on fire and a CIA outpost was also targeted, in an attack that shocked Washington and has become a highly charged political issue. "Ahmed Abu Khatallah is in law enforcement custody," a Department of Justice spokesman said in an email to AFP, declining to give further details. The US State Department has identified Khatallah as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan Islamist group it brands a "terrorist" organization responsible for a spate of attacks and assassinations.
Mexican officials on Friday announced the arrest Jose Manuel Mireles, the face of a powerful anti-crime vigilante group in the western state of Michoacan. A medical doctor by training, the tall Mireles, who sports a thick moustache and usually wears a cowboy hat, co-founded the group and was for months it's chief spokesman and its most visible personality. Mireles was arrested with "weapons of exclusive military use," the Michoacan state government said via Twitter. Along with Mireles more than 100 armed men who claimed to be self-defense force members were also arrested, an army source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The United Nations is determined to help Kenya and other countries in Africa fight "terrorism" following a series of deadly attacks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday. Speaking in the capital Nairobi, he said he had talked with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta "at length" about how the UN and Kenyan government can work together in countering "heinous" attacks. "(The) UN is determined to work together with the Kenyan government in helping enhancing the capacities of the Kenyan government and many African countries who are suffering from this international terrorism," he said, although he did not give further details of what form any assistance might take.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute on Saturday to the army officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler towards the end of the Second World War. "It showed how men in an extremely difficult situation were able to take a decision in accordance with their conscience, to not be guided by unconditional loyalty but form their own idea of what was necessary for Germany," she said during her weekly podcast. The "20 July plot", as it came to be known, saw German army officers from Hitler's inner circle team up with members of the resistance to try to blow up the Nazi leader at his headquarters in Rastenburg, Eastern Prussia, now part of Poland. The Wehrmacht officers aimed to seize political control of Germany and make peace with the Allied forces.