Czech PM to resign amid graft scandal
PRAGUE, 17 JUNE: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has said he would step down, amid a massive corruption scandal in which his top aide was indicted for bribery. “I will step down as prime minister tomorrow. I am aware of my political responsibility,” Mr Necas told reporters yesterday after talks in Prague with partners in his centre-right minority coalition government in power since July 2010. afp
Ex-BBC broadcaster jailed for assaults
London, 17 June: Former BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has been jailed for 15 months after he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault against girls as young as nine. The 83-year-old Hall had initially denied the charges. The prison sentence was handed down today, six weeks after he admitted responsibility for the crimes. ap
Bombs, suicide attack kill 12 in Iraq
BAGHDAD, 17 JUNE: Three bomb attacks in Iraq including a blast inside a roadside restaurant killed 12 people today, officials said, the latest in a surge of violence that has left nearly 2,000 dead since the beginning of April. ap
Attack on Afghan convoy kills three
KABUL, 17 JUNE: Insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns into a convoy carrying goods to the Afghan capital, killing three drivers and wounding two others, an official said. ap
Thai Buddhist monks criticised
BANGKOK, 17 JUNE: Thailand’s national Buddhism body said today it is monitoring monks nationwide for any inappropriate behaviour following complaints ignited by a video showing Buddhist monks flying on a private jet. The YouTube video emerging recently showed one of the monks was wearing stylish aviator sunglasses, carrying a luxury brand travel bag and sporting a pair of modern-looking wireless headphones. It attracted criticism from Buddhists nationwide. ap
South Korea calls for ‘concrete’ steps
SEOUL, 17 JUNE: South Korea today joined the USA in insisting that rival North Korea take “concrete” steps towards abandoning its nuclear weapons if it genuinely wants to end its international isolation. The South’s comment came a day after Pyongyang sought to circumvent Seoul by proposing direct talks with Washington. afp
Bomb hits military airport in Damascus
BEIRUT, 17 JUNE: A car bomb targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in an upscale neighbourhood of the Syrian capital has killed or wounded more than 20 soldiers, unconfirmed reports said. The attack, which took place late yesterday in the Mazzeh district in western Damascus, comes as President Bashar Assad’s forces press ahead with an offensive to regain territory they lost to the rebels trying to topple his regime. ap
New Zealander survives 15th floor plunge
AUCKLAND, 17 JUNE: A man was recovering in a hospital today after surviving a plunge from the 15th floor of his New Zealand apartment building. Police said the 20-year-old man discovered he was locked out of his 14th floor unit in the Volt Apartment building at about 2 a.m. yesterday. He decided to scale down the outside of the building from an apartment directly above his. Police said he was trying to land on his balcony when he fell, landing on the roof of an adjacent building far below. ap