Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 1st 2014 Contents A37
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Brunei will introduce a
tough Islamic penal code
from today, its leader has
Sharia punishments that
will include the severing of
limbs for theft and death by
stoning for adulterers will be
brought in over three years.
Brunei already adheres to
a stronger form of Islamic
law than neighbouring
Malaysia and Indonesia,
banning the sale and con-
sumption of alcohol.
The tiny state, on the is-
land of Borneo, is ruled by
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and
has grown rich on oil and gas
Almost three-quarters of
those who live there are
Malay Muslims, but there
are sizeable Buddhist and
The penal code will be in-
troduced over three years,
with offences in the first
phase covered by fines and
prison sentences, the Brunei
Amputations come under
the second phase, and ston-
ing, for crimes including
adultery and homosexual
acts, under the third phase.
The move sparked a rare
strong response on social
Ukraine s acting President Olexander
Turchynov has admitted his forces are
"helpless" to quell unrest driven by pro-
Russian activists in the eastern regions
of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Activists have seized scores of govern-
ment buildings and taken hostages includ-
ing international monitors.
The events in Ukraine are increasingly
like watching the proverbial train wreck
in slow motion.
Acting President Olexander Turchynov s
admission that the government is "help-
less" and has lost control over large parts
of the country s east only solidifies that
Turchynov said the focus now was to
stop the unrest from spreading to other
regions, especially Odessa and Kharkiv. So
far these cities have seen some turbulence,
but nothing on the level of what has hap-
pened in Donetsk and Luhansk.
The government s hope is to keep a lid
on the situation until the 25 May presi-
dential elections. That date now seems an
eternity away, and one wonders if the gov-
ernment, or the country, will last that
"I would like to say frankly that at the
moment the security structures are unable
to swiftly take the situation in the Donetsk
and Luhansk regions back under control,"
he said during a meeting with regional
He admitted security personnel "tasked
with the protection of citizens" were
"More than that, some of these units
either aid or co-operate with terrorist
groups," he said.
The acting president said that the tens
of thousands of Russian troops stationed
just over the border meant that "the threat
of Russia starting a war against mainland
Ukraine is real."
Russia, which annexed the Crimea region
from Ukraine last month, has said it has
no plans to invade the east.
President Vladimir Putin has insisted
there are "neither Russian instructors, nor
special units nor troops" inside Ukraine.
However, Moscow has also warned that
its soldiers are ready to act if Russian inter-
ests are threatened.
Pro-Russian militiaman in Donetsk, 30
April Pro-Russian activists in Donetsk.
Kiev says some security forces are acting
with the militiamen.
Eastern Ukraine, which has a large Russ-
ian-speaking population, was a stronghold
for former President Viktor Yanukovych
before he was overthrown by protesters
in February. (BBC)
Derailed US train
bursts into flames
A freight train carrying crude oil has derailed
and burst into flames in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from
a number of buildings in the city, but no injuries
have been reported.
Oil has been spilling into the James River,
according to reports. Three or four tanker cars
carrying crude oil were breached, according to a
tweet by the city of Lynchburg, and more than a
dozen tanker cars were involved in the collision.
A city spokeswoman said several train cars
derailed and about 300 people have been
evacuated from nearby buildings. It happened
very close to the city centre. (BBC)
Puerto Rico debates
plastic foam container ban
SAN JUAN---Legislators in Puerto Rico are
holding hearings on a proposal to ban the use of
plastic foam food containers in the US territory.
The measure would prohibit importing, selling,
distributing or using polystyrene containers,
which are often used at fast-food outlets. The
containers already are banned in San Francisco,
Seattle and dozens of other US cities.
The island's House of Representatives was
debating the measure yesterday. (AP)
Power restored to
PM office after bills paid
PAKISTAN---Power supplies to the Pakistani
prime minister's office have been restored after
they were disconnected because of unpaid bills,
according to officials.
Power and gas were cut off after Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered a crackdown
against defaulters. Other government buildings
including parliament and the PM's residence
were also affected, reports say.
Correspondents say non-payment of bills is a
big issue in Pakistan, with millions of dollars
outstanding. Blackouts are nothing new in
Pakistan because of chronic power shortages
and many people are forced to go without
electricity for some 12 hours a day.
Officials said the PM's office had not paid its
bill for six months and after reminders they
disconnected supplies on Sunday. (BBC)
Kenyan president signs bill
making polygamy legal
NAIROBI---Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
has signed into law a bill that legalises
polygamous unions and opens the door for
men to marry as many wives as they want.
Lawyer Judy Thongori Tuesday said the
Marriage Act 2014 is long overdue and has
more positive than negative attributes. She
says the number of women a man can marry
depends on the traditions of his tribe. Kenya
has 42 tribes and many do not put a cap on the
number of wives a man can marry as long as
he can afford it.
Thongori said previous laws governing
marriages and unions were made by British
colonialists before Kenya gained independence
in 1963 and did not capture the value systems
of the indigenous populations. (AP)
Brunei introduces tough Islamic penal code
A Pro-Russian activist waves a Donbas Republic flag over a crowd celebrating the capture of an administration building in the centre of
Luhansk, Ukraine, one of the largest cities in Ukraine's troubled east, on Tuesday. AP PHOTO
Kiev 'helpless' in east
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