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Monday, December 22, 2014

World briefs

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Canada
Authorities on Sunday afternoon resumed a search for remaining bodies buried in the ashes of a nursing home that burned down in L’Isle Verte, Quebec on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, authorities believe 22 bodies are still buried in the ruins, in addition to the 10 people already confirmed dead earlier that week. Crews suspended the search earlier that day because of freezing conditions in the area. Despite rumors that the blaze began because of a smoking resident, police have still not identified a specific cause.

China
The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on Sunday sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a national rights activist, to four years in prison. Xu, founder of the national New Citizens movement, was jailed for disrupting order in public places, according to the Associated Press. Hundreds of police officers safeguarded the courthouse and pushed foreign nationals away from Xu and his lawyer, AP reported. International organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as the United States government, have condemned the sentence.

Congo
An explosion in the Congolese diamond-mining city of Mbuji-Mayi killed 20 people Friday, according to the Associated Press. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported that an additional 50 people were injured and that several houses were destroyed in the blast. Congolese authorities claim the blast occurred after a lightning bolt hit a munitions depot in an army barracks in the city. The U.N. mission has started to give aid to local authorities and to affected locals.

France
Thousands marched along the streets of Paris on Sunday for a “Day of Anger” protest against French President Francois Hollande. Violent clashes erupted among protesters and police, ending in the arrest of 150 people, according to Agence France-Presse. In addition, 19 police officers were injured in the faceoff. Hollande recently filed for divorce with his partner Valerie Trierweiler after admitting to having an illicit affair with actress Julie Gayet, which contributed to the unrest.

Hungary
Holocaust survivor Randolph L. Braham is returning an award he received from the Hungarian government to protest the country’s alleged white-washing of Holocaust history. According to AP, Braham seeks to reject the Medium Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, which he received in 2011, to protest the erection of a monument commemorating the Nazi invasion of Hungary, which he deems seeks “to homogenize the Holocaust with the ‘suffering’ of the Hungarians.”

Kenya
Despite guards, poachers have shot one of the few remaining rhinoceri in Kenya in the Nairobi National Park, authorities reported Sunday. According to Agence France-Presse, the Kenyan Wildlife Service reported that poachers tore off the rhino’s horns after killing the beast. The most recent incident of poaching in the park happened in August last year despite the heavy number of guards at the facility. In Kenya, poachers face fines of 20 million shillings, per recently enacted laws. About 1,000 rhinos remain in Kenya, according to AFP.

Libya
Libya’s government on Sunday freed the five Egyptian diplomat hostages that it took after Egypt’s arrest of a Libyan militia commander. According to Reuters, gunmen snatched four of the hostages from their homes in Tripoli on Thursday, and kidnapped the remaining one on Friday. An Egyptian embassy employee held hostage with the diplomats was also released. Three of the hostages are already back in Egypt and three are back in Tripoli, Reuters reported. The Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries denied involvement in the kidnappings.