World Bulletin / News Desk
An Egyptian court sentenced former oil minister Sameh Fahmy to 15 years in prison on Thursday for selling cheap gas to Israel and squandering public funds, a judicial source said.
Fahmy was arrested and held in custody in April 2011 and his trial began the next month.
Prosecutors said former president Hosni Mubarak's government sold gas at preferential rates to Israel and other countries, costing Egypt billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Suspicions of high-level corruption helped drive protests that unseated Mubarak in February 2011 and led to a string of lawsuits against him and several of his associates.
Mubarak was tried and handed a life prison sentence this month for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters against his rule.
Hussein Salem, a major shareholder in East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which exported the gas to Israel, was given a 15-year prison sentence in absentia by the court. Salem fled to Spain after the uprising.
Ten other petroleum ministry officials received jail terms of between three and 10 years in prison and fines totalling 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($412.47 million) on Thursday, the judicial source said. ($1 = 6.0610 Egyptian pounds)
Zuma was due to meet Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to try to resolve a political crisis in the small mountain kingdom after an apparent coup
The swift end to the ISIL's encirclement of the Shi'ite Turkmen town of 15,000 came amid a push by Kurdish peshmerga, Shi'ite militias and Iraqi troops, after U.S. air strikes
The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the 17 were were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 2-1/2 years to 26 years.
Berlin has announced it will send military supplies that will arm more than 4,000 Kurdish troops.
Mohammad Mohaqeq, one of Abdullah's vice presidential running mates, told Reuters the two sides could not agree on the powers of the chief executive, blaming the Ghani camp for hardening its position
Before his disappearance, activist and lawyer Mudar Hassan Khadur represented a rare but growing voice of public dissent among Alawites
The group was being held at a centre for illegal immigrants near the capital Skopje and that Macedonia plans to repatriate the immigrants to Greece.
If Ukraine scrapped its non-alliance status after the Oct. 26 vote, NATO would discuss with Kiev "how to move forward", Rasmussen said
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the government would not hesitate to enforce its writ and was considering cracking down against those attacking state institutions.
The government will seek to bring all abductees back regardless of whether they have been officially recognised as abducted
Negotiators hope a deal can draw a line under the decades of hostilities and instability in the desert north of the West African nation.
Protests descended into deadly chaos over the weekend, with demonstrators clashing with police in a central area near many government buildings and embassies
Israel announced the appropriation of land in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem, a move which an anti-settlement group said was the biggest such claim in 30 years
Miguel Vasquez, a spokesman for the Mayan elders, defended their decision, saying "the constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture."
Voters in Scotland will decide on Sept. 18 whether they want to form an independent state with opinion polls showing Scots are likely to vote to keep their 307-union with England intact.
Iceland cut the level back to orange - the next highest level - saying the eruption was not creating ash.