World Briefs: Trump critic tapped as next German president

Trump critic tapped as next German president

BERLIN • Germany's ruling coalition backed Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the country's next president yesterday, paving the way for an outspoken critic of American President-elect Donald Trump to become head of state.

Party leaders have been wrangling for months over who to nominate as a successor to President Joachim Gauck, a 76-year-old pastor from the ex-communist East Germany who is stepping down due to his advanced age.


Chief opponent stirred hatred: Bahrain govt

DUBAI • The Bahraini authorities have accused a prominent opposition figure of "inciting hatred and contempt against the regime" in a statement to foreign media, a local newspaper reported yesterday.

The prosecution said on Sunday it had summoned Mr Ibrahim Sharif after he made a statement that "harms the kingdom's constitutional system" to a foreign press outlet.


Assange grilled by Swedish prosecutor

LONDON • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faced questioning yesterday by prosecutors at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up for four years, over allegations he committed rape in 2010.

Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren arrived at the embassy to pose questions to Assange through an Ecuadorian prosecutor over the allegations which Assange has denied.


Pro-Russian Moldova leader in election push

CHISINAU • The pro-Russian winner of Moldova's presidential election Igor Dodon said yesterday he would push for early parliamentary elections next year to sweep out a government that favours closer ties with the European Union (EU).

New elections would mean yet more instability for Moldova, where a US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) graft scandal in 2014 badly damaged trust in pro-EU leaders and resulted in the prime minister being jailed.

The impoverished country has had four premiers since then.


Rare suicide attack kills 8 near Baghdad

KARBALA (Iraq) • A rare suicide bombing in an oasis town south of Baghdad killed eight people yesterday, Iraqi officials said, an attack claimed by terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The attack in Ain al-Tamer, which also wounded at least six people, involved multiple suicide bombers, some of whom may have been killed by security forces before they could blow themselves up, officials said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe