World Digest: Sept. 14, 2016

September 15, 2016 12:04 AM

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World Digest: Sept. 14, 2016

A former Guantanamo prisoner on a hunger strike slipped into a coma Wednesday, said a doctor in Uruguay, where the ex-detainee was taken in as a refugee nearly two years ago but has been demanding to move elsewhere to reunite with his family.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab was unconscious and extremely dehydrated when paramedics arrived at the apartment where he is staying in Montevideo, said Julia Galzerano of the Medical Union of Uruguay, who was treating the former prisoner from Syria. The doctor said she was told Dhiab had gone 12 days without water.

Dhiab was being treated at an apartment in keeping with his wishes not to be hospitalized during his protest.

He drew international attention by hunger-striking during his 12 years of occasionally confrontational confinement at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was released from Guantanamo in December 2014 but could not return to his homeland and was allowed to resettle in Uruguay.

Dhiab had grown increasingly disgruntled in the South American country and launched the hunger strike to pressure the government to allow him to join his family in Turkey or to go to another country.

Christian Mirza, the former prisoner’s liaison with the Uruguayan government, said officials have been working “at the highest levels” to find another country to accept him.

The 45-year-old Syrian was one of six freed Guantanamo prisoners taken in by Uruguay as a humanitarian gesture by then-President José Mujica. While the others settled in, Dhiab has struggled.

Rangers in South Africa’s biggest wildlife park are killing about 350 hippos and buffaloes in an attempt to relieve the effect of the region’s most severe drought in more than three decades.

The numbers of hippos and buffaloes in Kruger National Park, about 7,500 and 47,000, respectively, are at their highest level to date, according to the national parks service. Officials plan to distribute meat from the killed animals to poor communities on the park’s perimeter.

The drought has left millions of people across several African countries in need of food aid.

Hippos and buffaloes consume large amounts of vegetation, and many animals are expected to die anyway because of the drought, said Ike Phaahla, a parks service spokesman.

The hippo species in Kruger park is not defined as endangered, though it faces threats from poaching and human encroachment elsewhere in Africa. There are large populations of buffaloes in parts of the continent.

Turkmenistan removes age cap for president: Turkmenistan’s lawmakers adopted constitutional amendments that pave the way for a lifelong presidency for the incumbent leader. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has ruled the former Soviet republic since 2006, when he succeeded Saparmurad Niyazov, who had been granted a lifelong presidency. Turkmenistan’s parliament and Council of the Elders voted to extend the presidential term from five to seven years and to do away with the 70-year age limit for the head of state.

Britain and Argentina agree to Falklands measures: Britain and Argentina have agreed to lift restrictions affecting the Falkland Islands, in a thawing of ties between the former wartime enemies. After meetings in Buenos Aires, the two sides agreed to “remove all obstacles limiting the economic growth and sustainable development” of the islands and to increase the number of flights between the Falklands and Argentina. Argentina lost a 1982 war with Britain after Argentine troops seized the archipelago.

Date set for Assange questioning in rape case, Sweden says: Swedish prosecutors said an official from Ecuador will interrogate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on their behalf next month in the South American country’s embassy in London. The Swedish investigators will be allowed to be present and ask follow-up questions through the Ecuadoran official. Assange is accused of rape in an investigation stemming from his visit to Sweden in 2010. He denies the allegations and has avoided extradition by seeking asylum at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

British nurse who contracted Ebola cleared of charges: A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone has been cleared of misconduct charges. The Nursing and Midwifery Council said three allegations against Pauline Cafferkey, who was accused of concealing her elevated temperature from officials when she returned to London in December 2014 after a stint in West Africa treating Ebola victims, had not been proven. An elevated temperature can be an early sign of infection. Cafferkey, 40, became critically ill with Ebola shortly after her return and recovered after treatment in an isolation unit.


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