15 February 2007 Edition

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International News in Brief

'Boat people’ land

A stricken ship carrying hundreds of Asian and African migrants was finally allowed dock in the Mauritanian port of Nouadhibou on Monday 12 February, having spent a week at sea  after breaking down in international waters.

The vessel was allowed to dock after Spain, the intended destination, agreed to pay for the migrants’ medical treatment and travel.

Doctors were dispatched to the Marine 1, while it was at sea as Mauritania had insisted medical facilities had to be in place before docking could proceed.



Fatah and Hamas have announced on an agreement to form a government of national unity as part of a deal to end recent fighting between the two groupings.

The parties announced the coalition after two days of Saudi-brokered talks in Mecca. Khaled Mashaal, the Damascus-based leader of the Hamas delegation, insisted that violence should cease immediately.

“This is an agreement of the leadership of the biggest groups and none of you should accept any order from others to fire.”

It remains to be seen if the new deal will be enough to see the lifting of the 11-month old international blocakade of the Palestinian Authority.


Basque prisoner’s hunger strike

Spain’s Supreme Court will soon to decide whether to free Basque prisoner Inaki de Juana Chaos who this passed 100 days on hunger strike.

De Juana was due for release in 2004 but was illegally held while a state prosecutor prepared a new case to prevent his release. He was sentenced last year to a further 12 years for opinions expressed in the Basque daily, Gara.

Doctors have said he may have only have weeks to live, having lost more than 18kg (40lb). Thirteen magistrates of the Supreme Court are considering the legality of De Juana’s sentence in a closed-door session.

A picket will be held at the GPO in Duublin to support De Juana on Saturday, 17 February at 12 noon.

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