Around the world

2013-06-30T00:00:00Z Around the worldFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
June 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Turkey

Thousands protest again in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Thousands of protesters returned to Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday, demanding justice for a demonstrator slain by police fire during demonstrations that have swept Turkey this month. Police later forced the protesters out of the square, pushing them back using their shields.

In the capital, Ankara, police fired tear gas and pressurized water to break up a similar protest by a group of about 200 people.

Turkey has been hit by a wave of protests this month that were ignited by a brutal police crackdown on a peaceful environmental sit-in at a park near Taksim. The demonstrations soon turned into a wide outpouring of discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government. Four people - three demonstrators and one police officer - have been killed and thousands injured.

The demonstrations have largely subsided in recent days, but thousands converged back on the square on Saturday, angry over a court decision last week that released a police officer from custody pending his trial for the killing of a protester in Ankara.

Iraq

11 killed in attacks on market, police

BAGHDAD - Bombs and a shooting targeted a marketplace and off-duty policemen in Iraq on Saturday, killing at last 11 people in the latest attacks by militants seeking to destabilize the country.

Iraq has been experiencing one of its deadliest waves of violence, raising fears that the country is heading toward a new round of sectarian conflict like that which pushed it to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

Police officials said the first bombing took place near an outdoor market in the morning in the capital's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing four people and wounding 12 others.

Also, police said attackers using guns fitted with silencers killed three off-duty policemen in a drive-by shooting near Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Pakistan

Girl cleared of burning Quran flees country

ISLAMABAD - A Christian girl who was accused of burning Islam's holy book in a case that focused international attention on Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws was forced to move to Canada over security concerns, her lawyer said Saturday.

The girl left Pakistan with her parents, three sisters and a brother on March 14, attorney Tahir Naveed Chaudhry said.

A Muslim cleric who lobbied for her release, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, said she had been facing threats and was moving constantly.

"I am sad that this innocent girl had to leave Pakistan. She had been acquitted by the court, and despite that it was not possible for her to live freely," he said.

Canada's immigration service said privacy concerns prevented them from saying whether she was in the country.

The girl was arrested in August in Islamabad after a Muslim cleric accused her of burning the Quran.

The cleric was later accused of fabricating evidence, and the girl was acquitted.

Grenada

Legislators toughen rules on Net content

ST. GEORGE'S - Legislators in Grenada approved a bill that makes it a crime to offend people through websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The measure was part of an electronic-crimes bill passed late Friday in the tiny eastern Caribbean island. The same bill also imposes penalties on other online activities including electronic stalking and identity theft.

"We have problems when some use the technology to engage in mischief," said Legal Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod. "We have to put structures in place to ensure that persons and, in some cases, companies and characters are not tarnished."

According to the bill, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, complaints about offensive comments would be filed with police. A judge would then decide if the message was offensive.

Those found guilty could be fined up to $37,000 or face three years in prison.

The bill also makes it a crime to distribute child pornography, imposing fines of up to $111,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The Associated Press

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