News In Brief
S. Sudan president says coup defeated
The president of South Sudan said yesterday he had defeated a coup attempt following a night of fierce fighting in the capital of the newly-independent nation.
The clashes broke out in a barracks close to the city centre shortly before midnight and spread across the city, diplomats and witnesses said, adding that heavy machine guns and mortars were used.
Tikrit council hostages freed
Iraqi security forces yesterday freed hostages at the Tikrit city council headquarters, which was occupied by militants, while three people died in the violence, officials said.
A police major and a doctor told AFP a city council member and two police were killed, though it was unclear whether they died during the initial attack north of Baghdad or the later assault by security forces.
Israel fire on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing
The Israeli army said yesterday it fired across the Lebanese border in retaliation after accusing Lebanese troops of gunning down one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier.
The shooting was the first time an Israeli soldier had been killed along the border with Lebanon in more than three years, although commentators said it was unlikely to spark a confrontation.
Jerusalem yet to recover from snowstorm havoc
Jerusalem was still partially paralysed yesterday following a rare snowstorm last week, with schools in the city shut down, thousands left without power and only some public transportation working.
The storm started Wednesday and battered the region intermittently for four days, dumping up to two feet of snow on Jerusalem, which often goes entire winters without snow, and forcing some 40,000 Gazans to flee their flooded homes.
N. Korean soldiers swear loyalty to young leader
Thousands of North Korean soldiers vowed yesterday to protect leader Kim Jong-Un with their lives at a memorial rally for his late father, days after the stunning execution of the leader's uncle.
Kim Jong-Un apparently missed the event.