World briefs : Experts examine new MH370 debris

Experts examine new MH370 debris

SYDNEY• • Investigators yesterday examined two more pieces of debris for clues to the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, along with marine life found on two other items which "almost certainly" came from the lost jet.

The two pieces - one found in South Africa and another on the island of Mauritius - were sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's laboratories for testing last week.

Australia is leading the search for the plane, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It had 239 passengers and crew members on board.


No Swiss citizenship for Muslim family?

GENEVA • Switzerland has suspended the citizenship process for the family of two teenage Muslim brothers after the boys' refusal to shake hands with their female teachers sparked a national debate over religious freedoms.

The brothers, aged 14 and 15, had informed education officials in the northern municipality of Therwil that physical contact with women who are not family members violated their faith. They were then exempted from a Swiss custom of students shaking teachers' hands.

A spokesman for Basel-Country, where Therwil is located, noted that suspensions of the naturalisation process are common as the authorities often require supplemental information.


Turkish leader: EU report 'provocative'

ANKARA• • A recent report by the European Parliament that criticised Turkey's record on human rights and media freedom is "provocative" at a time when relations with Europe are on a good track, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday.

Speaking to a group of local officials in Ankara, Mr Erdogan also said that most of the criticism of Turkey coming from the West had "bad intentions". The European Parliament last week approved its annual progress report on Turkey that criticised Ankara's record on rights and press freedom last year.


Anti-Islam group's founder on trial

DRESDEN (Germany) • The founder of Germany's xenophobic and anti-Islamic Pegida movement faced court yesterday on hate speech charges for branding refugees "cattle" and "scum" on social media.

The founder of the far-right Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (Pegida) movement, Lutz Bachmann, was charged in October last year with inciting racial hatred through Facebook posts.

The trial was held under tight security in Dresden, the birthplace of Pegida, which bitterly opposes Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal migration policy.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'WorldBriefs'. Subscribe