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World news briefs — compiled Jan. 12

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THAILAND

Country braces for unrest

Thailand braced for a new wave of mass unrest today as anti-government demonstrators blocked major roads to “shut down” Bangkok in a bid to thwart February elections and overthrow the nation’s democratically elected prime minister. The intensified protests, which could last weeks or more, raise the stakes in a long-running crisis that has killed at least eight people in the last two months and fueled fears of more bloodshed to come and a possible army coup.

LIBYA

31 killed in tribal clashes

Three days of fighting between tribes in a restive city in southern Libya killed 31 people, the country’s Health Ministry reported Sunday, as gunmen assassinated the country’s deputy minister of electricity in a separate attack. The fighting pitted the African-origin Tabu tribe against the Arab-origin Awlad Soliman tribe in Sabha, some 400 miles south of Tripoli. The ministry said the fighting, which began Friday, wounded 65 people.

CAMEROON

‘Prisoner of conscience’ dies

A gay man in Cameroon who was jailed for sending a text message to another man saying “I’m very much in love with you,” and who was later declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, has died, according to a lawyer who worked on his case. Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34, died Friday roughly one month after his family removed him from the hospital where he had been seeking treatment for a hernia, lawyer Alice Nkom said. “His family said he was a curse for them and that we should let him die,” she said.

AUSTRALIA

U.S. hypnotist falls to death

U.S. stage hypnotist Scott Lewis plunged to his death from the balcony of a Sydney apartment, Australian police said Sunday. Lewis was in Sydney performing his act along with six other performers in the show The illusionists 2.0, which opened at the Sydney Opera House last week. Media reports said Lewis had fallen from an 11th floor balcony to the fourth floor. Officials had yet to determine whether Lewis’s fall was the result of “misadventure or self-harm,” a police spokeswoman said.

Compiled from wire reports.


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