Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2013 Contents A45
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ROME---Italian police have
arrested 29 airport baggage
handlers accused of stealing
cameras, cellphones and
other loot from passengers
luggage, a bust made possi-
ble after hidden cameras
were installed in airplane
cargo holds where the thefts
Italian national carrier Al-
italia said Friday it co-oper-
ated with police at Rome s
Leonardo da Vinci airport
and in Lamezia Terme, in
the "toe" of boot-shaped
Italy, where the investiga-
tion began in 2011 and
spread to a half-dozen air-
ports across the country.
Lamezia Terme airport
deputy police chief Ferruc-
cio Martucci said investiga-
tors were stumped where
the loot was being stolen
and theorised that the only
place where handlers could
be assured of secrecy was in
the cargo holds. He said po-
lice installed temperature-
cameras in the holds and
identified the thieves. (AP)
TEHRAN---For eight years, Iran s President Mah-
moud Ahmadinejad has played the role of global
provocateur-in-chief: questioning the Holocaust,
saying Israel should be erased from the map and
painting UN resolutions as worthless. His provoca-
tive style grated inside Iran as well---angering the
country s supreme leader to the point of warning
the presidency could be abolished.
Now, a race is beginning to choose his successor
and it looks like an anti-Ahmadinejad referendum is
shaping up. Candidate registration starts Tuesday
for the June 14 vote.
Leading candidates assert that they will be respon-
sible stewards, unlike the firebrand Ahmadinejad,
who cannot run again because he is limited to two
One criticised Ahmadinejad for "controversial but
useless" statements. Others even say the country
should have a less hostile relationship with the United
Comments from the presumed front-runners lean
toward less bombast and more diplomacy. They are
apparently backed by a leadership that wants to reha-
bilitate Iran s renegade image and possibly stabilise
relations with the West.
The result however may be more a new tone rather
than sweeping policy change. Under Iran s theocratic
system, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wields supreme
power, making final decisions on nuclear and military
questions. However, the president acts as the public
face of the country, traveling the world.
A new president might embark on an international
image makeover and open the door to less antagonistic
relations with Iran s Arab neighbours and the West.
The vote comes at a critical time in Iran, a regional
powerhouse with about 75 million people and some
of the largest oil reserves in the world. (AP)
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel
Evans has been arrested on suspicion of rape
and sexual assault, Conservative sources say.
The Conservative MP, 55, is being
questioned about alleged attacks on two men
in their 20s, the BBC understands.
Police said a 55-year-old man was being
interviewed by officers.
The alleged offences
took place between July
2009 and March 2013 in
It is understood that
Prime Minister David
Cameron has been made
aware of the arrest.
In a statement, a Lancashire Constabulary
spokesman said: "A 55-year-old man from
Pendleton in Lancashire has today, Saturday,
4th May 2013, been arrested by Lancashire
Constabulary on suspicion of rape and sexual
"The man will be interviewed at a police
station in Lancashire during the course of the
day. The offences are alleged to have been
committed in Pendleton between July 2009
and March 2013.
"We take all allegations of a sexual nature
extremely seriously and understand how
difficult it can be for victims to have the
confidence to come forward.
"As a constabulary, we are committed to
investigating sexual offences sensitively but
robustly recognising the impact that these
types of crimes have on victims.
Evans, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992, was
elected one of three Commons deputy
speakers three years ago.
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson
described Mr Evans, who came out as gay to a
Sunday newspaper in 2010, as gregarious,
energetic and well-liked across the political
Hundreds of Syrians have fled
coastal areas where activists accuse
government forces of carrying out
massacres in a campaign of sectarian
Footage of mutilated and burned
bodies, allegedly from the town of
Baniyas, have been posted online.
Activists said at least 77 people---20
from the same family---were killed, a
day after 72 died in nearby al-Bayda.
The government said it had fought
back "terrorist groups" and restored
peace and security to the area.
It s hard to know whether these
atrocities are part of a plan of some
sort, or simply part of the ebb and flow
of action and reaction as the struggle
for control of Syria intensifies.
What activists omit to say is that
there was fighting in the area before
the village of al-Bayda was overrun by
government forces and militia on
Some activist footage posted on the
internet shows men in military fatigues
with walkie-talkies (presumably rebel
fighters) milling round in streets strewn
with the bodies of young men who look
as though they are the victims of sum-
The Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights says there were clashes there
and soldiers were killed before army
and militia forces finally stormed in.
That in no way justifies the apparent
massacre of women and children. But
there is a distinction between brutal
reaction, and spontaneous execution
of a cold-blooded plan to displace the
Activists have reported two massacres
in two days in the coastal area of central
They say the first was at the Sunni
village of al-Bayda, which was overrun
by regime forces on Thursday.
Activists groups have named 72 peo-
ple they say were massacred in al-
Bayda, some of them women and chil-
Now they are reporting similar scenes
at the Ras al-Nabaa quarter of the near-
by coastal town of Baniyas, where they
say at least 77 people died.
They have posted gruesome video
clips to back up their claims.
Hundreds of families are reported to
have fled Baniyas southwards towards
the city of Tartus, but activists say they
have been blocked from taking shelter
Cameras in planes show Italy thieves
24 killed in Nigerian ethnic clash
YOLA, Nigeria---A health official says at least
24 people have been killed in ethnic violence in
a rural town in Nigeria.
The attack happened Friday in Wukari, a town
in Nigeria's Taraba state.
A state health official said yesterday that
others were also injured in the violence that
sparked during a funeral service that pitted the
Jukun people against the Hausa Fulani.
Officials later placed the town on a 24-hour
curfew, forcing everyone indoors.
A similar round of violence in February in the
town killed more than 20 people.
Nigeria, home to more than 160 million
people, has more than 250 different ethnicities.
Violence can start over politics, business,
grazing rights, religion and other issues. (AP)
Iran's former nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rohani, a
potential front-runner in the presidential race, centre
right, is greeted by a supporter, in a campaign rally in
to have gentler touch
Anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a caricature placard during a demonstration,
at Kafr Nabil town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday. Syria's main
opposition group on Friday accused President Bashar Assad's regime of
committing a "large-scale massacre" in a Sunni village near the Mediterranean
coast, killing scores people, according to activists. AP PHOTO
British MP arrested
over rape allegations,
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