Thursday, July 12, 2012


THE HAGUE — Former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic was rushed from a U.N. courtroom to a hospital Thursday after complaining of feeling unwell at his genocide trial.

Mladic, 70, was checked by a nurse at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal after feeling ill and then sent to a hospital “as a precautionary measure,” tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said.

Mladic’s trial on 11 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity was adjourned for the day. It was scheduled to continue Friday with witness testimony or an update on Mladic’s health.


At least 95 killed in tanker truck fire

LAGOS — A truck carrying fuel caught fire and exploded in Nigeria on Thursday after it veered off the road into a ditch, killing at least 95 people who had rushed to the scene to scoop fuel that had spilled, an official said.

At least 50 others were injured in the incident in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta region, said Rivers State spokeswoman Ibim Semenitari.

The fuel tanker was trying to avoid a head-on collision with buses when it swerved into a ditch at about 7 a.m. Thursday, said Rivers State police spokesman Ben Ugwuegbulam.

It overturned in the bushes, leaving its fuel to spill. People then swarmed to the scene to collect fuel.


Tricky parking spaces for ‘men only’ in town

BERLIN — A town in southwest Germany has drawn accusations of sexism after designating two particularly tricky parking spaces “men only.”

The mayor of the Black Forest town of Triberg says women would find it difficult to park there because drivers need to back in diagonally without hitting a pillar or a wall.

Gallus Strobel noted that 12 places in the 220-capacity car park are reserved for women. Many German cities designate a small number of parking spaces, usually near exits, for women concerned about their personal safety in poorly lit garages.

Mr. Strobel told the Associated Press on Thursday that he had received overwhelmingly positive reactions from men who feel discriminated against by “women only” parking. But the Triberg mayor said some “humorless people” have criticized the move.


Hate-crime bill signed into law

SANTIAGO — Chile’s president signed an anti-discrimination law Thursday following the killing of a gay man beaten by attackers who carved swastikas into his body.

The law was approved in May after being stuck in Congress for seven years. President Sebastian Pinera had urged lawmakers to speed its approval after the death of Daniel Zamudio in March set off a national debate about hate crimes in Chile.

Zamudio was found beaten and mutilated in a city park.

The U.N. human rights office had urged Chile to pass new laws against hate crimes and discrimination after his death and many in Chile refer to the measure as the Zamudio law.


Islamists open first party congress

TUNIS — Tunisia’s ruling Islamists emphasized their commitment to a civil, democratic state - as opposed to one under hard-line religious rule - as they opened Thursday their first party congress since taking power.

The comments appear aimed at easing concerns of many in the opposition who fear an erosion of Tunisia’s secular, progressive heritage now that the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party is in charge.

The party invited leaders from across the Middle East, including Khaled Meshaal of the Palestinian Hamas movement, who entered the room to thunderous applause and cries of “the people want the liberation of Palestine.”

Tunisians overthrew a dictatorial regime last year, sparking similar movements across the Arab world and paving the way for October elections won handily by Ennahda. The party was banned under the previous government, and the four-day congress that began Thursday is the first it has been able to hold in public.


9 dead, 11 hurt, 4 missing in avalanche

PARIS — French authorities said a summer avalanche on the Mont Blanc range swept nine European climbers to their deaths and left 11 others injured and four missing.

The gendarme service in the Alpine city of Chamonix said the victims are from Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. It said two climbers were rescued and search efforts were under way to find the missing.

All were part of an expedition to climb Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, when they got caught in an avalanche early Thursday on the north face of Mont Maudit.

Regional authorities had warned climbers this summer to be careful because of an unusually snowy spring.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports