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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

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