October 6, 2012

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is warning Syria not to carry out more cross-border attacks. He spoke Friday in Istanbul. The prime minister urged Syria not to test Turkey's ability to strike back. His comments came after Turkey shelled Syrian targets Thursday in answer to a cross-border attack by Syrian forces on a Turkish border town Wednesday. Five civilians died in that attack. Separately, Syrian activists say Syrian warplanes and artillery struck the city of Homs on Friday. It was said to be the heaviest attack on the city in five months. Fighting between rebels and military forces was also reported in Deir Ezzor.

Terrorist suspect Abu Hamza will soon be sent from Britain to the United States to face charges. Britain's high court rejected his final appeal Friday. The court ruled that he and four other terror suspects are healthy enough to travel to the United States to be tried. His defense lawyers had argued that Abu Hamza, who was born in Egypt, should not leave Britain until after he completes medical tests. Intelligence officials say Abu Hamza worked with would-be terrorists at a London Islamic center. American officials have accused him of attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in the western American state of Oregon. He is also accused of helping al-Qaeda seize hostages in Yemen.

The world's largest producer of platinum has dismissed 12,000 mineworkers in South Africa. Anglo American Platinum says the workers from its Rustenberg mine failed to appear for hearings related to what it calls an illegal strike. The company said the three-week-long strike reduced its income by $80-million. South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers says it will try to negotiate with the company in an effort to avoid unrest. On Thursday, a mineworker was found dead after police stopped a protest near the Rustenberg mine. The country's mining industry has been hit by strikes and protests since a deadly strike at a platinum mine in Marikana township in August. Forty-six people died during the strike, including 34 miners who were shot by police.

The main opposition leader in Uganda says the government is trying to block protests next week during celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. Kizza Besigye spoke to VOA after police arrested him for the second time this week in Kampala. He was later released without charge. The opposition leader said since most Ugandans live in poverty, activists were planning a march to mourn the state of the country. A top adviser to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni accused the opposition of planning a violent demonstration in Kampala's business center. Kizza Besigye has lost three presidential elections to Mr Museveni. Mr Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986.

The Tibetan prime minister in exile says rising tensions and pressure from China on dissenters will not stop him from seeking talks with China's leaders. Lobsang Sangay spoke to reporters in New Delhi, India, on Friday. Mr Sangay said he fears recent protests and Tibetans setting themselves on fire are causing China to resist Tibetan demands for greater self-rule. He said Chinese police are making stronger efforts to control Tibetan villages and towns. His comments come just one day after a Tibetan man set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule. Forty-three-year old poet and blogger Gudrup died Thursday. One of his last blog posts called on fellow Tibetans to win the battle through truth.

Mourners in Guatemala attended the burial of six people Friday who were killed a day earlier in clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. More than 30 people were wounded. The burial took place in the town of Totonicapan, 144 kilometers west of Guatemala City. Local activists say soldiers and police shot at protesters on Thursday. The protesters were blocking a road near the town. They were angry with President Otto Perez Molina. Mr Molina wants to make changes in the country's constitution. That would increase energy costs and create more requirements for teachers. Mr Molina has denied that the military was involved in the shooting. The United Nations has sent human rights officers to investigate.

Israeli police have shot and killed an American man at a hotel in the Red Sea city of Eilat. Officials say 23-year-old William Hershkovitz stole a gun from a security guard and began shooting in the hotel. He shot a hotel cook, who died. Reports say the Israeli victim was a 33-year-old Christian Arab. Police say officers shot and killed the American when he opened fire during negotiations for his surrender. Reports say the shooter had been asked to leave his job at the hotel. He had been taking part in an Israeli government program that combined Hebrew language study and part-time work.

And President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized each other Friday over a new report on unemployment. The report said unemployment in the United States had fallen to less than 8 percent for the first time in almost four years.