Global roundup

Paris burning

The Paris offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were burnt on Wednesday, the day an issue satirising Islamic law was to be published. The publication director said the fire was caused by a Molotov cocktail.

China in space

The Chinese space programme has celebrated another milestone with an unmanned craft successfully docking with another on Thursday. About 343kms above earth it heralds its acquisition of docking technologies.

Gas Deal

The Russia and South Korean presidents have struck a pledge to cooperate on a new gas project through North Korea. A Russian delegation will encourage the reclusive north to six-party talks to allay the south’s security concerns.

Pirates to blame

A senior African Development Bank official says Somali pirates’ hijacking of ships has exacerbated the famine in the Horn of Africa. Professor Mthuli Ncube said it prevented vital the arrival of essential aid to the region.

Uncomfortable crush

Former American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s crush on her was “creepy”. Rice said she knew of a “fixation” before photos of her were found this year among his possessions.

Protesters tear gassed

Demonstrations against corporate greed resulted in 78 arrests in New York on Thursday after protesters clashed with police. The arrests came as tear gas was used by police on 300 protesters in Oakland, California.

Butt appeals jail

Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt will appeal his 30 month jail sentence meted out by a London judge for match fixing. Three other players received jail terms of up to 30 months.

Change in Spain?

Cash-strapped Spain could be set for a new prime minister as the polls predict opposition leader Mariano Rajoy will win the upcoming election. Parliamentary polls have been called four months early, for November 20.

Greek drama

Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou has backed away from a plan to put an international bailout to a referendum. After mounting political pressure at home and across Europe he said it was not needed with opposition support.

Asylum tragedy

An Iranian survivor from an asylum seeker boat accident in Indonesia said passengers asked to return to shore before the boat sank. Eight people died after the boast carrying 60 people, destined for Australia, took on water.

Poaching soars

Rhino poaching in South Africa has hit a record high with 341 animals killed by poachers this year, according to World Wildlife Fund. It surpasses the previous record of 333 deaths in 2010.

Cain in trouble

Leading Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain is under fire after three women have accused him of inappropriate sexual behaviour. The latest woman to come forward said he commented on her looks and invited her to his unit.

Pensioner jailed

A 65-year-old Chinese woman has been sentenced to 3.5 years’ jail in Shanghai for demanding better pensions for retirees. Hundreds of retirees joined her protest which saw her convicted of “disturbing public order”.

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