British hostage rescued from Al-Qaeda in Yemen
ABU DHABI • Forces from the United Arab Emirates have rescued a British hostage held for more than a year by Al-Qaeda in Yemen, the authorities in London and Abu Dhabi said yesterday.
A statement carried by WAM news agency said 64-year-old Douglas Robert Semple, a petroleum engineer, had been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in February last year in Yemen's Hadramawt province. Kidnapping has long been rife in Yemen, which has been affected by conflict since March, when a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
State of emergency in Venezuela border area
CARACAS • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro declared a state of emergency in an area bordering Colombia after an attack on Venezuelan soldiers who were conducting an anti-smuggling operation.
One of the busiest border crossings has been closed, with the state of emergency extending across five municipalities.
The move to beef up government forces came after three soldiers were injured in a shoot-out on Wednesday.
The Venezuelan and Colombian foreign ministers are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss the border issue.
Aussie beaches closed after fresh shark attack
SYDNEY • Several beaches on Australia's east coast remained closed yesterday after a bodyboarder was hurt in a shark attack on Saturday.
The police said the 38-year-old man suffered "life-threatening injuries" off Lighthouse Beach, about 400km north of Sydney.
The attack came less than a month after two others were badly mauled at a nearby region.