NZ bans 'zero-hour' work contracts
WELLINGTON • New Zealand has passed legislation banning "zero-hour" contracts, in what is thought to be one of the first laws in the developed world to end the use of deals criticised as exploitative.
The Employment Standards Legislation Bill ends the use of the deals, under which employees are required to be available for work but have no guaranteed minimum hours.
Israel raids Palestinian broadcaster's offices
RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories) • Israeli forces raided the West Bank offices of Palestine Today television and arrested its manager over allegations of inciting violence, Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency said yesterday. The operation targeting the station's Ramallah offices was the latest attempt to silence Palestinian broadcasters Israel believes are fuelling a wave of violence.
Colombia crushes money laundering ring
BOGOTA • Colombia dismantled an international money laundering network on Thursday with the arrest of 13 suspects, including five flight attendants, prosecutors said.
Some of the detainees have ties to members of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, police said.
Scientologists cleared of crimes in Belgium
BRUSSELS • A Belgian court yesterday rejected charges that the local branch of the Church of Scientology was a criminal organisation. Eleven members had been charged with fraud, extortion, the illegal practice of medicine, running a criminal enterprise and violating privacy rights.