Probe blocked, official says
Turkey’s legal morass thickened after a prosecutor said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is obstructing a graft probe by preventing detentions, disobeying court orders and allowing suspects to flee. Istanbul prosecutor Muammer Akkas said late Thursday he was taken off of an investigation into bribery and fraud. Police refused court orders to search and detain suspects and the judiciary is under pressure, he said. The complaint comes after more than 500 police chiefs were dismissed since the sons of three Cabinet ministers were among those detained on Dec. 17.
Central African Republic
Attackers at palace
Assailants armed with heavy weapons attempted late Thursday to attack the presidential palace as well as the residence of the Central African Republic’s embattled leader, but were pushed back, officials said. Reached by telephone, Guy Simplice, spokesman for President Michel Djotodia, said there had been heavy fighting near the seat of government, before the army blocked the aggressors. The attackers were not immediately identified.
Town’s deal for food
Residents of a blockaded rebel-held town near Damascus raised the flag used by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a deal that sees them accept symbolic humiliation in exchange for food, activists said Thursday. The deal accepted by the town of Moadamiyeh includes the rebels handing over heavy weapons.
Fish maim swimmers
An attack by a school of carnivorous fish injured 70 people bathing in a river, including seven children who lost parts of their fingers or toes. Director of lifeguards Federico Cornier said Thursday that thousands of bathers were cooling off from 100-degree temperatures in the Parana River in Rosario on Wednesday when bathers suddenly began complaining of bite marks. He blamed the attack on palometas, “a type of piranha, big, voracious and with sharp teeth that can really bite.”
Compiled from wire reports.