World Briefs: 136 from Turkey seek asylum in Germany

136 from Turkey seek asylum in Germany

BERLIN • More than 130 Turkish diplomats, soldiers and their family members have sought refuge in Germany since last July's failed coup, according to German government data in documents seen by Agence France-Presse yesterday.

"The government is aware of 136 asylum applications filed by diplomatic passport holders from Turkey. They also include family members," said Germany's interior ministry in a written reply to a query from a lawmaker.


Huge rise in heroin overdose deaths in US

ATLANTA • The number of deadly heroin overdoses in the United States more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, a federal agency said yesterday, as the price of the drug dropped and its potency increased.

There were 12,989 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2015, according to the National Centre for Health Statistics, compared with 3,036 such fatalities five years earlier.

In 2010, heroin was involved in 8 per cent of US drug overdose deaths, a study by the Atlanta-based centre said. By 2015, that proportion had jumped to 25 per cent.


Saudi minister in talks with Iran team over Haj

RIYADH • A Saudi minister held talks with an Iranian delegation about the possibility of Iranian pilgrims rejoining the annual Haj despite ruptured ties between the two countries, state media reported late on Thursday.

The kingdom's minister in charge of pilgrimages Mohammed Bentin discussed with the Iranians "arrangements concerning participation of the Iranian faithful in this year's Haj", the official Saudi Press Agency said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe