News In Brief
Texas executes 500th inmate
The US state of Texas on Wednesday executed its 500th convict since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, a record in a country where capital punishment is in decline elsewhere.
Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was declared dead by lethal injection at 6:37 pm (23:37) GMT in the "Walls Unit," a red brick prison in the small town of Huntsville, prison officials said.
After 14 years on death row, time stopped for the former crack addict who was condemned to death for the savage murder of 71-year-old retired college professor Dorothy Booth in 1997.
Turkey PM to visit Gaza July 5
Afp, Gaza City
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the Gaza Strip next week, a senior official in the ruling Hamas movement told a newspaper yesterday.
The Turkish leader has long pledged to push ahead with plans to visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, despite opposition from the United States which says it would be a "distraction" from efforts to revive the peace process.
Washington also fears such a visit could damage the rapprochement between Israel and Turkey which was personally brokered by President Barack Obama in March.
Incumbent reelected in Mongolia
Afp, Ulan Bator
Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj won a second term, according to preliminary results yesterday, defeating a wrestling champion and the country's first woman presidential contender in an election dominated by a debate over mining wealth.
The incumbent gained 50.23 percent of votes, Mongolia's General Elections Commission chief Sodnomtseren Choinzon said, after announcing that all ballots had been counted.
But the result of Wednesday's election would not be official until the ballot papers were counted again on delivery to the capital Ulan Bator, Choinzon said.
Mass demos in Chile for education reform
Chilean riot police fired water cannons and hurled tear gas at protesters in downtown Santiago Wednesday at the end of a massive, otherwise peaceful march demanding sweeping education reform.
Hooded protesters smashed windows and threw Molotov cocktails at police and for a time halted traffic on Avenida Alameda, a main city thoroughfare. Organizers said that nearly 100,000 people marched in the Santiago demo. Police arrested 98 protesters, sources said.
Philippines, US hold naval drill
A US destroyer joined the Philippine Navy's flagship for war games that started yesterday close to a flashpoint area of the South China Sea, adding to tensions with China over rival territorial claims.
The exercises are a boost for the Philippines' poorly equipped military as it struggles with perceived rising Chinese aggression, and follows repeated pleas to longtime ally the United States for protection.
The Chinese embassy in Manila released a statement on Thursday cautioning the Philippines and the United states not to exacerbate tensions in the area with its exercises.