Gov't cracks down on demonstrations
Sudan's top police chief ordered his forces Saturday to quell "firmly and immediately" anti-government demonstrations that have entered their seventh day, while opposition groups reported a security crackdown on their leading members.
Gen. Hashem Othman al-Hussein told his aides to confront the "riots … and the groups behind them," the official SUNA news agency reported. It was a rare acknowledgement by the state media of demonstrations that have been concentrated in Khartoum but have also spread to a provincial capital.
Protesters are rejecting a government austerity plan that slashed subsidies and doubled the price of fuel and food. But they also appear to be inspired by Arab uprisings in neighboring Egypt and Libya and are demanding the ouster of longtime Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Al-Qaida media HQ reportedly overrun
SANAA - Yemen's army recaptured a new al-Qaida stronghold in the south on Saturday, officials said, the latest success in a two-month government offensive aiming at uprooting the militant group from large swaths of lands captured during last year's political turmoil.
Three days of shelling of al-Qaida positions and warnings to local tribal leaders of further escalation drove the militants out of Azzan town, Ali al-Ahmadi, governor of the province of Shabwa said. He said the militants fled into the mountains and to camps in the deserts of two nearby provinces, taking captured armored vehicles with them. He had no word on casualties.
Azzan had been used by the militant group as a media headquarters, producing audiovisual material for distribution on militant websites.
Government expected to take summer break
BAGHDAD - Iraq's government, already infamous for lethargy and red tape that has snarled national progress, may soon shut down for much of the summertime.
A proposed new law, which a parliamentary committee plans to discuss today, aims to shorten workdays and help public employees avoid searing temperatures that commonly exceed 120 degrees and blanket the country during summer's peak. It will also cut work hours during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins in late July, Younadam Kanna, chairman of parliament's labor and social affairs committee, said Saturday.
Much of the government's work has been slowed by a political crisis, fueled by ethnic and sectarian tensions, that flared immediately after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq last December and has produced demands for the Shiite prime minister's ouster.
8 Czech tourists killed in bus rollover
ZAGREB, Croatia - At least eight Czech tourists were killed and 44 injured when a bus crashed and overturned on a major highway in Croatia on Saturday, police said.
The accident happened about 4 a.m. local time about 125 miles south of Zagreb, on a highway connecting the Croatian capital with the central Adriatic coastal city of Split, according to a police statement.
Croatia's state TV said the bus crashed through metal barriers in the middle of the highway, and overturned in the opposite lane near a tunnel.
State TV quoted eyewitnesses as saying the bus started "swaying" moments before the crash, suggesting the driver apparently lost control after he fell asleep.
The Associated Press