Top court orders Italian marines tried in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's Supreme Court ruled Friday that two Italian marines accused of killing a pair of fishermen off the coast of India last year will be tried in a special court to be set up by the Indian government. Italy had argued that the shootings should be dealt with by an Italian court and said the killings took place in international waters, which India disputes. The trial is expected to further strain ties between Italy and India that have been frayed by the yearlong fight over the marines' fate. Top Italian officials have visited the marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, at a guesthouse in the southern state of Kerala to lend their support and the Indian government allowed them to go home for two weeks to celebrate Christmas with their families. The marines were part of a military security team aboard a cargo ship when they opened fire on a fishing boat last February they said they mistook for a pirate craft and killed two Indian fishermen. The court ruled Friday that the trial should take place in India in a special court to be set up by the central government in consultation with the chief justice, according to the Press Trust of India. The order removed the case from the jurisdiction of the southern state of Kerala, near where the shooting took place. The Italian government said in a statement it found the decision encouraging because it recognized that the state court in Kerala did not have jurisdiction. It said in a statement that the ruling "encourages further efforts" by the Italian government to bring the two marines home. "The Supreme Court confirmed that Kerala has no jurisdiction in this case, which is basically what we maintained from the very first day," Italian Consul-General Giampaolo Cutillo told The Associated Press. Piracy has emerged as a major threat to merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, with Somalia-based pirates hijacking ships and crew for ransom. Several countries, including India, allow ship owners to deploy armed security guards on ships.

  • Pakistani cleric ends rally after government deal

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani officials struck a deal late Thursday with a fiery Muslim cleric to end four days of anti-government protests by thousands of his supporters that largely paralyzed the capital and put intense pressure on the government. The demonstration came at a time when the government is facing challenges on several fronts, including from the country's top court. The Supreme Court यो [...]

  • West African troops arrive in Mali to aid French mission

    BAMAKO/SEGOU, Mali (Reuters) - The first West African regional forces arrived in Mali on Thursday to reinforce French and Malian troops battling to push back al Qaeda-linked rebels after seven days of French air strikes. A contingent of around 100 Togolese troops landed in Bamako and was due to be joined by Nigerian forces already en route. Nigerien and Chadian forces were massing in Niger, Mal यो [...]

  • Britain to drift out of European Union without reforms: PM

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will drift out of the European Union and the European project will fail unless the bloc tackles three serious problems it faces, British Prime Minister David Cameron had planned to say in a postponed speech on Friday. Cameron delayed the long-anticipated address on Europe at the last minute to deal with the hostage crisis in Algeria. Aides said a new date and venue wo यो [...]

  • Algeria ends desert siege, but dozens killed

    ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian forces stormed a desert gas complex to free hundreds of hostages but 30, including several Westerners, were killed in the assault along with at least 11 of their Islamist captors, an Algerian security source told Reuters. Western leaders whose compatriots were being held did little to disguise their irritation at being kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid - a यो [...]

  • Snow forces 3,400 to spend night at Tokyo airport

    TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo's Narita International Airport operator says 3,400 travelers spent the night in the terminal after snow caused airlines to cancel 71 flights. In the season's first snowfall in the Japanese capital, about 8 centimeters (3 inches) of snow fell in central Tokyo and around Narita on Monday — a national holiday in Japan. The snow snarled traffic and caused train delays. Airport o यो [...]

  • Judge sends India rape case to fast-track court

    NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian magistrate on Thursday ordered the trial of five men accused in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving bus to be shifted to a special fast-track court in New Delhi. The brutal rape of the 23-year-old student last month set off protests in New Delhi and sparked a national debate about the treatment of women across the country and the inability of law enforcem यो [...]

  • India, Pakistan agree to ease tensions in Kashmir

    NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Pakistan agreed on Wednesday to ease tensions in disputed Kashmir by strictly observing a decade-old cease-fire after five soldiers were killed in recent clashes, an Indian army spokesman said. The military commanders of the two armies spoke by telephone for 10 minutes and reached an understanding not to allow the situation to escalate further, spokesman Col. Jagdeep यो [...]

  • Massacre of over 100 reported in Syria’s Homs

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said women and children were among the 106 people killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad forces who stormed Bas यो [...]

  • Algerian forces launch operation to break desert siege

    ALGIERS (Reuters) - Twenty-five foreign hostages escaped and six were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces launched an operation to free them at a remote desert gas plant, Algerian sources said, as one of the biggest international hostage crises in decades unfolded. The standoff began when gunmen calling themselves the Battalion of Blood stormed the gas facility on Wednesday morning. They sa यो [...]


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