World briefs

US-NORTH KOREA Residents of the tiny Pacific island of Guam say they’re afraid of being caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea after Pyongyang announced it was examining plans for attacking the strategically important U.S. territory. People who live and work on the island, which serves as a launching pad for the U.S. military, said yesterday they could no longer shrug off the idea of being a potential target. 

PHILIPPINES The elections chief filed criminal complaints yesterday against his estranged wife, who has publicly accused him of amassing unexplained wealth and receiving commissions from a law firm whose clients include a company that provided vote-counting machines in last year’s presidential polls.

AUSTRALIA A fourth Australian senator was referred to the High Court yesterday to rule on whether he was legally elected due to a constitutional prohibition on dual citizens becoming lawmakers.

INDIA Tens of thousands of people waving saffron flags are marching through Mumbai demanding quotas in government jobs and education for the Maratha community in western India. The marchers covered a distance of more than five kilometres silently with no speeches or slogans raised. 

TURKEY-IRAN A media report says Turkey has begun construction of a wall along the country’s frontier with Iran, mimicking the Turkish barrier along the Syrian border.

FRANCE Police shot and arrested a man yesterday suspected of slamming a BMW into soldiers in a Paris suburb Wednesday, injuring six of them in what appeared to be a carefully timed ambush before speeding away, officials said. 

BELGIUM-NETHERLANDS Dutch authorities knew as far back as November that some eggs in the country were contaminated with an insecticide and they failed to notify their European partners at the time, Belgium’s agriculture minister said yesterday. Dozens of producers in Belgium and the Netherlands are being investigated for eggs containing Fipronil, which is harmful to humans.

VENEZUELA The new constitutional assembly assumed even more power in Venezuela by declaring itself as the superior body to all other governmental institutions, including the opposition-controlled congress. That decree came just hours after the assembly delegates took control of a legislative chamber and put up pictures of the late President Hugo Chavez.

ARGENTINA Human rights groups have demanded information about the whereabouts of a missing activist who was last seen when Argentine border police evicted a group of Mapuche Indians from lands in Patagonia owned by Italian clothing company Benetton.

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