Hourly News 2013-06-25
    2013-06-27 13:54:06     CRIENGLISH.com       Web Editor: Han



Snowden "healthy and safe", whereabouts undisclosed


The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is continuing to grow.

Disappointed journalists in Russia were left empty handed, after Snowden failed to appear on a flight from Moscow to Cuba.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says Snowden and his council, who is accompanying him, are 'safe and healthy.'

It's widely expected Snowden is going to try to make it to Ecuador.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama says that Washington is following legal channels to try to bring Edward Snowden back to the country.



South Korean presidential office website under cyber attack


South Korean government has issued a cyber alert after these websites were found to have been hacked.

This comes after the presidential office, some government agencies and news media websites were reportedly under attack.

It is unclear who launched the attack, which came on the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War between 1950-and-53.

The home page of presidential office says it's been temporarily shut down for repair now.

Right after the hacking attack began though, the website is said to have displayed a message honouring the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.



Explosions, ensuing firing near presidential palace in Kabul


Several blasts and firing have taken place near the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul.

There have been no immediate casualties known yet, but heavy gunfire has been reported.

Local media is reporting that more than twelve explosions hit the area, with the attackers trying to assault the eastern gate of the palace.

The incident comes just hours before a media event in the palace where Afghan President Hamid Karzai was expected to deliver a speech.

Government troops have cordoned off the area shortly after the blast.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet.



Syrian foreign minister says syrian govn't to attend international peace conference


The Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem says the government is on track to attend a peace conference in Geneva and wants to build a "real partnership", but it won't handover power to other parties during the meeting.

Moallem adds the US decision to arm the rebels will further draw out the violence.

The shift in US policy came after evidence that the Syrian army had used chemical weapons.

Violence meanwhile has continued, with an overnight artillery shell striking a village in central Syria killing 11 people.



Military threaten to intervene in Egypt before Sunday's protests.


A new opinion poll is showing a 28 percent drop in Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's approval rating amid increasing protests.

Military chiefs are warning they will step in if there is no agreement made between protesters and the government before a planned demonstration this Sunday.

The poll also shows that 70 per cent of Egyptians are worried about the Muslim Brotherhood's growing influence on society.

Morsi was elected in 2012 representing the Freedom and Justice Party - or FJP set up by the religious Muslim Brotherhood.



Brazilian President Suggests a Referendum on Political Reform


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says she will push forward for a referendum on political reform.

This comes amid the pressure from over a week of anti-government protests nationwide against corruption, as well as demanding increased public spending.

Rousseff says the referendum will make the political reforms the country needs and fight against corruption.

She is also promising to boost spending on public transport and increase the focus on health and education.



FARC leaders sentenced


A local Colombian court has sentenced two top rebel leaders to 40 years in prison for crimes of terrorism, rebellion and murder.

Rodrigo Londono, also known as "Timoshenko", and Luciano Marin, who also goes by "Ivan Marquez" belong to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - or FARC.

Both are currently in Havana, Cuba.

20 other FARC members have also received sentences and fines for a bombing that left four dead and 30 others injured.

The FARC is Colombia's largest guerrilla group founded by landless peasant farmers fighting for land reform.

Rodrigo Londono says that the rebel group will not surrender its weapons nor will the members go to jail, even in a possible post-conflict situation.



Former Italy PM sentenced to seven years in sex-for-hire trial


Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to 7-years in jail for having sex with a minor.

Berlusconi has also been hit with a lifetime political ban in connection with the case.

The case involves Berlusconi's relationship with a then-underaged Moroccan dancer known as "Ruby Heatstealer."

Both he and the girl deny ever having sex.

Berlusconi has two levels of appeals to exhaust in this particular case.



Uranium enrichment plant opens to media


A uranium enrichment plant in Gansu's capital Lanzhou has opened up its manufacturing base to the media for the first time.

China National Nuclear Corporation says all the equipment in the facility has been developed independently in China.

The key equipment of uranium enrichment – centrifuge manufacturing technology – is classified as top secret, and was unavailable for the journalists present.



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