Masked agents nab Belarus students
MINSK • Masked security agents dragged students off the streets and bundled them into vans as new protests broke out against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko yesterday on the fourth weekend since his disputed re-election.
Up to 30 people were detained for taking part in unsanctioned protests, Russian news agency Tass quoted the Minsk police as saying.
Draped in red and white opposition flags, students staged protests in several places in the capital, including outside the Minsk State Linguistic Institute where police had arrested five people on Friday, local media footage showed.
Burning tanker off Sri Lanka's coast towed away
COLOMBO • The distressed oil tanker MT New Diamond, which caught fire in the seas off Sri Lanka's eastern coast on Thursday, has been towed 70km away from shore and the fire is under control, the Sri Lanka Navy said yesterday.
The oil tanker was heading to Paradip Port in India carrying 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait when a fire broke out in its engine room, threatening to cause a massive oil spill in the Indian Ocean.
The navy said that by Friday evening, several ships and tugs were engaged in firefighting efforts. As of yesterday morning, there was no threat of an oil leak as efforts were under way to prevent the fire from reaching the cargo area.
Mourners seek justice for S. African teen gun victim
ELDORADO PARK (South Africa) • Dozens of mourners yesterday attended the funeral of a teenager with Down syndrome who was allegedly shot on Aug 26 by police, setting off protests against racism and police brutality.
Nathaniel Julies, 16, was shot dead near his home in Eldorado Park, a township ravaged by drugs and crime. Wearing T-shirts with Nathaniel's face, mourners sang apartheid struggle songs and demanded justice.
His family said the boy, whose speech was impaired, was out to buy biscuits from a shop when he was shot by police on patrol.
Community members claim he was killed by police after they became frustrated with his responses to their interrogations.