27
Monday
January 2020
2:22 AM IST
News Headlines
Padma Vibhushan for Jaitley, Sushma, Fernandes posthumously; Parrikar given Padma Bhushan        Coronavirus scare: Nearly 100 people under observation, PMO reviews India''s preparedness        China facing ''grave'' situation, says Xi as coronavirus death toll rises to 41        Quake kills 22 in Eastern Turkey        Nepal offers to play role of mediator between India and Pakistan        India can play Asia Cup matches at neutral venue, but call is ACC''s: PCB CEO Khan        South Africa crumble after Broad, Wood help England rack up 400        Hugo Boumous inspires FC Goa to a thrilling 3-2 win over Kerala Blasters FC in Hero ISL        Growth slowdown in India temporary, expect momentum to improve going ahead: IMF chief        SC refuses to entertain plea against imposition of NSA amid anti-CAA protests        'Batman' script is beautiful, dark and moving: Colin Farrell        Scriptwriting is underrated: Ayushmann Khurrana        Agarkar applies for national selector's job, frontrunner for chairman's post, Prasad in running too        Rahul relishing dual role, says staying behind stumps helps batting too        Samsung moves India chief HC Hong to Latin America        WEF 2020 meeting ends with hopes for better and cleaner economy        Sebi fines Scan Steels Rs 18.8 lakh for fraudulent trading        Italy threatens Facebook with new fine for selling users' data        Nepal says if India can resolve boundary issue with Bangladesh, why not Kathmandu        Houston building explosion shakes city, scatters debris        
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International News
2 Algeria ex-PMs get heavy jail terms in graft trial
 
Algiers: An Algerian court sentenced two former prime ministers to long jail terms on Tuesday in the first of a series of high-profile corruption trials launched after longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the face of mass protests in April. The verdicts come just two days before Algeria is due to elect a president to replace Bouteflika in a vote bitterly opposed by the country''s nine-month-old protest movement, which sees it as a regime ploy to cling to power. Former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, who were both close to the ousted president, were sentenced to 15 years and 12 years respectively. It was the first time since Algeria''s independence from France in 1962 that former prime ministers have been put on trial.

The state prosecutor had sought 20-year prison sentences for the two ex-premiers. In all, 19 defendants were tried on charges ranging from money laundering to abuse of office and granting undue privileges in the vehicle assembly industry. The nascent Algerian automotive sector got its start in 2014, via partnerships between foreign groups and large Algerian corporations, many of which are owned by businessmen linked to Bouteflika''s entourage. One former industry minister, Abdeslam Bouchouareb, who is on the run abroad, was sentenced in absentia to 20 years. Two other former industry ministers, Mahdjoub Bedda and Youcef Yousfi, were handed 10-year terms. Businessman Ali Haddad, founder and CEO of private construction firm ETRHB and former head of Algeria''s main employers'' organisation, was sentenced to seven years.

Three businessmen who own vehicle assembly plants -- Ahmed Mazouz, Hassen Arbaoui and Mohamed Bairi -- were sentenced to seven years, six years and three years respectively. Defence lawyers boycotted the trial, alleging the proceedings were "politicised" and impacted by a climate of "settling scores". The high-profile prosecutions have done little to win over the protesters, who have continued to take to the streets since Bouteflika''s resignation, demanding the total dismantling of the military-dominated system that has ruled Algeria since independence. Many fear the trials are little more than a high-level purge in a struggle between still-powerful regime insiders, rather than a genuine effort to reform the state.

The military high command, which has long wielded power from behind the scenes, has now been forced to take a visible, front-line role in government -- but has rejected the demands of protesters and civil society for sweeping reforms. It has paid little attention to popular calls to replace the constitution that served to legitimise Bouteflika''s grip on power. Instead, the army has pushed for a swift election to pick a replacement for Bouteflika, saying it is the only route to resolving the political crisis. While no opinion polls have been published, observers expect high levels of abstention, in keeping with previous elections in a political system seen by voters as rigid and unaccountable. The five candidates in the poll have run low-key campaigns. All are considered "children of the system", having either supported Bouteflika or participated in his government -- two as ministers and two as prime ministers. Protesters accuse them of protecting the regime by standing for election.


China facing ''grave'' situation, says Xi as coronavirus death toll rises to 41
Quake kills 22 in Eastern Turkey
Nepal offers to play role of mediator between India and Pakistan
Italy threatens Facebook with new fine for selling users' data
Nepal says if India can resolve boundary issue with Bangladesh, why not Kathmandu
Houston building explosion shakes city, scatters debris
Lanka Prez Rajapaksa stays arrest of judge in tape controversy
Queen gives assent for Britain to leave EU
UN court orders Myanmar to prevent Rohingya genocide
Trump trial opens with clash over witnesses
Trump 'would have loved' to have met Thunberg at Davos
China''s ex-Interpol chief sentenced to over 13 years in prison for corruption
Thousands of missing persons during Lanka''s civil war are ''dead'': President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
China coronavirus: Death toll rises to 6 as leaders warn officials against cover up
IMF lowers 2019 India growth to 4.8 per cent
BBC boss Tony Hall to step down in six months
More than 80 soldiers killed in Yemen missile, drone attack
Indian school teacher undergoes treatment for Streptococcal infection in China
Putin's, Xi's ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West
Ukraine PM offers to resign after leaked recording
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
'Batman' script is beautiful, dark and moving: Colin Farrell
 Los Angeles: Hollywood actor Colin Farrell has revealed that the script of Matt Reeves' "The Batman"  
Scriptwriting is underrated: Ayushmann Khurrana
Abhishek Bachchan starts filming 'Bob Biswas'
Signed 'Radhe' for story and my character: Disha Patani
KERALA NEWS
Man killed with soil excavator
 Thiruvananthapuram: A 36-year-old man was killed with an excavator near here when he objected to a g
Delhi court extends ED custody of NRI bizman C C Thampi
Congress president restructures KPCC
Kerala Guv again criticises LDF govt for passing resolution in Assembly against CAA
NATIONAL NEWS
Padma Vibhushan for Jaitley, Sushma, Fernandes posthumously; Parrikar given Padma Bhushan
 New Delhi: Former union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, Olympian boxer M
Govt will not allow universities to become political battlegrounds: Ramesh Pokhriyal
Maha phone tapping row hots up; Fadnavis rejects charge
Bru settlement: Tripura begins survey to identify beneficiaries
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