UN chief race: Bulgaria switches support
SOFIA • Bulgaria yesterday switched its support from Unesco chief Irina Bokova to European Commission vice-president Kristalina Georgieva as its candidate for UN secretary-general, potentially shaking up the race. Ms Bokova failed to make a strong showing in an informal vote by the 15-member council this week, placing only sixth in the fifth straw poll.
Ms Georgieva is seen as having a better chance to succeed South Korea's Ban Ki Moon when he steps down on Dec 31 as the world's top diplomat.
"If (Bulgaria) presented another candidate at this stage, it would be a serious political error," Ms Bokova had told the media on Tuesday.
'2 million hectares of Siberian forest razed'
MOSCOW • Fires have hit two million hectares of Siberian forest, where global warming has caused an "exceptional drought", environmental group Greenpeace has said. The Russian federal forestries agency confirmed the problem while giving a much lower estimate of the land affected, putting the figure at 125,000ha. The fires peaked last Thursday around the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk near Lake Baikal, where nearly five million people live, and some schools had to be closed.
Cop kills black man in California
LOS ANGELES • Police in a California city fatally shot a black man who had been acting erratically, prompting protesters to quickly gather and accuse officers of an unjustified killing.
The unidentified man, who was in his 30s,was spotted walking in traffic by officers.
As they tried to talk to the man, he drew an object from his front trousers pocket and placed both hands in a shooting stance. The officer whom the man was pointing at fired his weapon "several times", while the second officer fired his Taser. The shooting on Tuesday afternoon in El Cajon, 24km east of San Diego, was the latest in a string of killings of black men by the police that fuelled outrage across the US.
Turkish coup bid: 32,000 arrested
ISTANBUL • Turkish courts have placed 32,000 suspects under arrest ahead of trial on charges of links to the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a July 15 coup attempt, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said yesterday.
He told NTV television that 70,000 people had been investigated after the failed coup and 32,000 of them were remanded in custody.
The number of those arrested marks an increase of more than 10,000 from the figure previously given by the government. Mr Bozdag said there could be new arrests, while some of those currently arrested could be released under judicial control or freed entirely.
Pippa wins court ban on hacked photos
LONDON • Ms Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, won a court injunction yesterday banning publication of 3,000 photos allegedly hacked from her iCloud account.
No details of the photos have been made public but newspapers have speculated they included images of the Duchess, Kate, her husband, Prince William and their children.