Poland court rejects Polanski extradition
Poland’s Supreme Court yesterday rejected a bid to extradite Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to the United States, where he faces sentencing over a decades-old case of statutory rape. The 83-year-old French-Polish national, who currently lives in France, did not attend the hearing and his lawyers testified in his place, local media reported. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had appealed to the court in May to overturn a 2015 ruling against extraditing Polanski, saying no one should be above the law. The Supreme Court “is dismissing the appeal,” said Judge Michal Laskowski, definitively ending Poland’s part in the 1977 case that continues in the United States. The government move had appeared to be part of what the rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) government, which took office a year ago, touts as a moral revolution in strongly Catholic Poland.Polanski is still wanted in the United States for sentencing over the 1977 statutory rape of Samantha Gailey after a photo shoot in Los Angeles. He was arrested after Gailey, now Geimer, accused him of forcing her to have sex after drugging her.
14 killed in shootout with Mexican police COATZACOALCOS:
Mexican police working with military troops killed 14 suspected criminals in a shootout in the crime-plagued state of Veracruz on Monday, officials said. Authorities have stepped up antidrug patrols in the Gulf coast state, where cartels are responsible for a spike in crime. Officials said police patrolling the region came under fire from a criminal gang hidden behind a small hill in the town of Suchilapan, a mountainous area on the border of Veracruz state and Oaxaca to the south. Marine troops were enlisted after the assault to help flush out the attackers, and an ensuing gunfight resulted in the deaths of the 14 suspected criminals, a government statement said. The village of Suchilapan is along the route frequently used by Central American migrants attempting to make the dangerous crossing through Mexico to the United States. It also has been the scene in recent days of various skirmishes between armed forces and criminal drug gangs, including Mexico’s notorious Zetas and the Jalisco New Generation, two of the country’s most powerful cartels.
Hamas forces clash with the hardliners
A police officer and a youth were hospitalized yesterday after Hamas forces clashed with hardline Islamists in the Gaza Strip, a medical source and witnesses said. Both men suffered bullet wounds during an attempt by Gaza security forces to arrest two men from a Salafist group, followers of an ultra-conservative form of Islam, a witness said. The young man, believed to be a Salafist, was in serious condition, while the policeman’s condition was not life threatening, the medical source said. The witness said a grenade was thrown at security forces raiding a house in Al-Fukhari in the southern Gaza Strip, sparking clashes. Hamas, which rules Gaza, is an Islamist party but is frequently criticized by more conservative Islamists, including hardliners who sympathize with the Islamic State group. The hardliners sporadically fire rockets at Israel, prompting retaliation against Hamas targets. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza, regardless of who launches it.
Islamist militants hit prison, free prisoners
Suspected Islamist militants attacked a prison in the town of Niono in central Mali overnight and freed all the prisoners, officials said yesterday. Militants based in northern Mali have staged a series of high-profile attacks since 2015, extending their campaign beyond their desert camps into the central and southern regions of the country and the capital. “Dozens of prisoners escaped. The army was able to catch some and is launching a pursuit,” said Defence Ministry spokesman Abdoulaye Sidibe. Army spokesman Diarran Kone said the attack bore the hallmarks of followers of radical Islamist preacher Amadou Koufa. It was unclear whether there were any suspected jihadists in the prison. Last month, gunmen broke into another prison in southern Mali with the aim of releasing two inmates who had already been moved, authorities said. Islamist groups hijacked a separatist Tuareg rebellion in 2012 to seize towns in Mali’s vast desert north.
GAZA: A seagull flaps its wings as it sits on the water in the port of Gaza City. — AFP