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THE WORLD THIS WEEK.

Indian performers ride cars and motor bikes inside a makeshift wooden cylindrical 'Wall of Death' during the annual Farmers' Fair at Shama Chak Jhiri, some 22km from Jammu.

BLAST ROCKS SYRIAN GOVERNMENT BUILDING

A bomb attack on a Syrian government building in the suburb of Harasta near Damascus, killed 31 people, including four generals, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The explosives are thought to have been placed in the baseA[degrees] ment, meaning opposition fighters were able to breach security to get into the building.

Damascus has experienced increasing violence recently, as clashes between government forces and rebels in the suburbs intensify. Three people were killed last week by bombs and mortar fire near the historic Old City of Damascus. A driver of a school bus and four chilA[degrees] dren died when a mortar hit their vehicle late last week.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights A[degrees] a UKA[degrees]based activist network A[degrees] said it was not clear what type of bomb was used, but that the force of the blast completely levelled the building. The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al Assad began in 2011. More than 2.2mn Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries while an estimated 4.25mn have been displaced internally.

1000000Sony PlayStation 4 consoles were sold in 24 hours in a buying frenzy mere hours into the official availability. The figure is even more impressive considering it is only available in the US and Canada. Sony expects to sell 3mn units by the end of the year.

Kenyans chase down and catch cheetahs

Four villagers from a village near Wajir town in northA[degrees]east Kenya, chased down and captured two cheetahs which were killing their goats. The owner of the goats, Nur Osman Hassan, said that the cheetahs had been picking off his animals one by one, day by day over several weeks. The men waited until the hottest part of the day, knowing the cheetahs usually rest in the shade during that time, before launchA[degrees] ing the chase over a distance of 6.4km. The cheetahs got so tired they could not run any more. The villagers captured them alive and handed them over to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Sri Lankan men in traditional costume hold national flags of the Commonwealth countries as they sit atop elephants outside the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo.

24people were killed and 28 injured as a train crashed into a minibus and other vehicles south of Egypt's capital Cairo, officials said. The freight train, travelling from the city of Bani Swaif, hit the vehicles at a crossing about 40km from Cairo. Many of those killed on the bus were members of an extended family returning from a wedding.

Mt Etna, Europe's most active volcano, spews lava during an eruption as seen from Acireale, near the Sicilian town of Catania, Italy

UK border officials make massive contraband seizure

Eight live big cats, tortoises, hippo teeth and a Rolls Royce upholstered with alliA[degrees]

gator skin were seized by UK border offiA[degrees] cials in a record year for endangered animal items. More of these items were confiscated in the year up to April than in any other year, the Home Office has said. One of the biggest shifts was the increasing use of these species in bodybuilding supplements and facial creams, a border official said.

More than 690 seizures were made, up from 516 seizures the year before. It included 3,890kg of medicine containing extracts of endangered species, 326 ivory items and 93 live animals. Wildlife groups said they feared the problem will only get worse.

150new Boeing 777 mini-turbos, valued at US$76bn, will join Dubai-based Emirates Airline's fleet after the carrier placed the order at the Dubai Air Show. Other orders from Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Lufthansa totalled 109 aircraft making it the largest product launch in commer- cial jetliner history by dollar value according to Boeing.

Amnesty International slams Qatar for exploitation

Amnesty International's latest report The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar's construction sector ahead of the World Cup, has slammed Qatar's construction sector for being 'rife with abuse'. The report comes out as work begins on Fifa World Cup 2022 stadiums. Amnesty says migrant workers are often subjected to nonA[degrees]payment of wages, dangerous working conditions and squalid accommodation.

The rights group said one manager had referred to workers as 'animals'. Qatari officials have said conditions will be suitable for those involved in construction of World Cup facilities, but they have not yet commented on the latest report. Amnesty said it conducted interviews with 210 workers, employers and government officials for its report.

The report includes testimony from Nepalese workers employed by a company delivering supplies to a construction projA[degrees] ect associated with the planned Fifa headquarters. The workers said they were 'treated like cattle', working up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, including during Qatar's hot summer months. More than 1,000 people were admitted to the trauma unit at Doha's main hospital in 2012 having fallen from height at work, Amnesty said, citing an unnamed hospital representaA[degrees] tive. Some ten per cent were disabled as a result and the mortality rate was 'significant', Amnesty said.

Kenichi Ito, known as the 'World's fastest man on four legs', trains before his challenge to break his Guinness World Record in Tokyo, Japan. The 31 year old, who developed his skills over ten years based on the running style of the African Patas monkey, set a new Guinness World Record, clocking in 16:87 seconds for a 100m run.

MALDIVES ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT

Abdulla Yameen, has been sworn in in the Maldivian capital of Male after winning the island nation's delayed presidential runA[degrees]off election. Earlier, his rival, former president Mohamed Nasheed, conceded defeat, saying that having an elected president once more made it a 'happy day'. Regional power India was among the first to congratulate Yameen. Maldivians and foreign diplomats hope that with the election complete, two years of political turmoil will end. This drawnA[degrees]out election process has been interrupted by interventions from the supreme court and the police which caused many to wonder whether there would be a conclusive result at all.

Yameen is a halfA[degrees]brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was president for 30 years until 2008 and imposed rigid control over the archipelago. According to the election commission, Yameen secured 51.3 per cent of the vote in the runA[degrees]off election.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 21, 2013
Words:1131
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