World Briefs: Two nabbed in Belgium over New Year terror plots

Two nabbed in Belgium over New Year terror plots

BRUSSELS • Belgian police have arrested two people suspected of plotting attacks in Brussels during New Year festivities, just weeks after the bombings and shootings in Paris which were allegedly planned in Belgium.

The federal prosecutor's office in Brussels yesterday said police seized military-style training uniforms, computer hardware and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda material during raids around the capital Brussels and in the Liege region. But investigators said police action was not linked to the wave of deadly attacks in Paris in November.

Meanwhile, an ISIS leader directly linked to the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks was killed in an air strike in Syria as he was plotting more attacks, the Pentagon said yesterday. US military spokesman Steve Warren said Charaffe al-Mouadan was a Syrian-based ISIS member "with a direct link to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris attacks cell leader". 


Train crash: Big leakage of sulphuric acid feared

SYDNEY • Tens of thousands of litres of sulphuric acid may have leaked from a freight train that derailed in Australia's outback, police said yesterday.

Queensland authorities also quadrupled the amount of acid the train was carrying when it crashed near the town of Julia Creek to 819,000 litres, equivalent to about one-third of an Olympic-size swimming pool. The freight train was originally thought to be transporting 200,000 litres when it derailed on Sunday.

The authorities have ordered a 2km exclusion zone around the area. Police said initial testing indicated that the nearby Horse Creek waterway had not been affected by any leakage.

But it could take weeks to clean up the wreckage as there is heavy mud and unstable ground between the road and the accident site, said Mount Isa police inspector Trevor Kidd.


Court rules ex-wife need not share $3m lottery win

AMSTERDAM • A woman who won a €2.1 million (S$3.2 million) lottery prize during a divorce has no obligation to share it with her former husband, according to a Dutch court decision published yesterday.

The Amsterdam District Court ruling said the couple had listed the shared assets they wished to divide at the time they filed for divorce on Oct 20, 2014, though the divorce was not formally granted until June 2015. The woman won the lottery on New Year's Day 2015.

The man had argued that he and his estranged wife always played the lottery using shared household funds during their 30-year marriage, and it should be included in their divorce settlement.

However, the judge noted they had separated their finances at least four years earlier when he went to live with his new girlfriend. His former wife paid for the winning ticket from her own bank account.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'WorldBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe