World briefs - November 14
Stabbing of former Gadhafi female bodyguard probed
CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian authorities are investigating the killing of a former female bodyguard of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, She was found stabbed to death in her Cairo apartment.
Egyptian officials said Tuesday Zahraa al-Bouaishi, 31, was found dead in a pool of blood in her apartment in Nasr City district in Cairo over the weekend.
Authorities suspect al-Bouaishi’s brother. The officials said al-Bouaishi was planning to begin an acting career in Cairo, considered a disgrace by some in her family.
Brazil prosecutors ask court to order ’God be Praised’ off currency
BRASILIA, Brazil — A prosecutor is trying to get God off of Brazilian bank notes.
Public prosecutor Jefferson Dias argues that the country is a secular state and that the phrase “God be praised” disregards the rights of non-Christians, and on Tuesday he asked a federal court to order the phrase removed.
“The fact that most Brazilians are Christian does not justify the ”violation of the fundamental rights of those that follow different religions or do not believe in God,“ Dias said in the motion he filed with the court.
UN once again votes to condemn
U.S. embargo against Cuba
The UN General Assembly on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba for the 21st year in a row.
The final tally Tuesday was 188-3, with Israel and Palau joining the United States. The Marshall Islands and Micronesia both abstained. Last year’s tally for the symbolic measure was almost identical, 186-2, with three abstentions.
The embargo was first enacted in 1960 following Cuba’s nationalization of properties belonging to U.S. citizens and corporations. Sanctions against the Caribbean nation were further strengthened to a near-total embargo in 1962.
Speaking before the General Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez railed against the embargo calling the U.S. policy “inhumane, failed and anachronistic.”
“Keeping this policy in force is not in the national interest of the United States. Quite on the contrary, it harms the interests of its citizens and companies — especially in times of economic crisis and high unemployment — which, according to every poll, are demanding a change of policy,” Rodriguez said. “What’s the point of encroaching on the constitutional and civil rights and the freedom of travel of Americans by preventing them from visiting the Island when they can visit any other place in the planet, including those where their country is waging wars?”
Sandy, ‘fiscal cliff’ and election
revive global warming talk
WASHINGTON — Climate change is suddenly a hot topic again. The issue is resurfacing in talks about a possible new tax.
Superstorm Sandy, the rare and devastating Northeast storm, and a U.S. election that gave Democrats gains have put global warming back in the picture. So has the hunt for answers to a looming budget crisis.
What was once an unlikely solution is now being discussed unofficially— a carbon tax. People would pay the tax whenever they use fossil fuels like coal and oil that produce heat-trapping carbon dioixide.
Former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis said such a thing may be inevitable.
The conservative American Enterprise Institute held an all-day discussion of a carbon tax on Tuesday. On Wednesday, former Vice-President Al Gore launches a 24-hour online talkfest about global warming and disasters.
Border state hopes ads on tortilla wrappers will help find missing people
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — A border state in northern Mexico is trying something it hopes will be more effective than photos on milk cartons to help find missing women and children. It’s using advertisements on tortilla wrappers.
At least three dozen tortilla shops have joined in the Chihuahua state campaign to print appeals for help on the thin paper wrappers that shopkeepers use to wrap up a pound or two of hot tortillas at a time.
The campaign started this week, and has been welcomed by shopkeepers and customers in the violence-wracked border city of Ciudad Juarez.
Ciudad Juarez was hit by a series of eerily similar killings of more than 100 mainly young women beginning in 1993. While those killings have tapered off, killings and disappearances continue.
Thousands watch as solar eclipse
casts shadow across north Australia
SYDNEY, Australia — From boats bobbing on the Great Barrier Reef, to hot air balloons hovering over the rainforest, and the hilltops and beaches in between, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists and amateur astronomers watched Wednesday as the sun, moon and Earth aligned and plunged northern Australia into darkness during a total solar eclipse.
Stubborn clouds that many feared would ruin the view parted — at least partly — in some areas of north Queensland, defying forecasts of a total eclipse-viewing bust and relieving spectators who had fanned out across the region to catch a rare glimpse of the celestial phenomenon.
“Total eclipses are one of the most dramatic sites that you can ever see,” said Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, who has seen a dozen of them over the years. “I reckon everybody owes it to themselves to see at least one total eclipse in their life.”