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Eleven dead in Saudi as fire sweeps through compound

Eleven people are dead and over 200 are injured after a fire swept through an oil workers residential compound in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco said the cause of the fire which broke out in a basement of the Radium residential compound in Khobar was not known.

The Saudi Civil Defense Department tweeted that 11 were dead and 219 people have been injured. Credit: Saudi Civil Defense Department/Twitter
According to Aramco's website, the Radium Residential Complex consists of eight six-storey buildings and comprises 486 units. Credit: Twitter/Saudi Civil Defense Department

Cars and furniture caught fire in the basement of one of the towers, heavy smoke bellowed, obstructing rescue and firefighting operations," the Civil Defense said in a statement. The fire is now under control, it said.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter with its entire output pumped by Aramco.

Ex-leader calls for 'people power' to topple Malaysia PM

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad has joined anti-government protesters for a second day and called for a "people's power" movement to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak over a financial scandal.

Mr Moham waves as he attends a rally organised by pro-democracy protesters. Credit: Reuters

Speaking to journalists ahead of the protests in central Kuala Lumpu, he said: "The only way for the people to get back to the old system is for them to remove this prime minister."

"And to remove him, the people must show people's power. The people as a whole do not want this kind of corrupt leader", he added.

Thousands of people have been protesting in Kuala Lumpur Credit: Reuters


UK ambassador 'summoned over Al-Jazeera verdict remarks'

Two of the journalists were led away after the verdict, while a third was sentenced in absentia. Credit: Reuters

Egypt's foreign ministry has summoned the British ambassador over comments he made on a court's decision to hand down prison sentences for three Al-Jazeera journalists, state television reported.

John Casson has suggested that Egypt's stability should be built on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

On Saturday, the journalists were sentenced to three years for operating without a press licence and broadcasting material said to be harmful to Egypt.

Mohamed Fahmy a naturalised Canadian who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were led away from court after the verdict.

Australian Peter Greste was sentenced in absentia after he was deported from the country in February.

Thai police search for more Bangkok bombing suspects

Police in Thailand have widened their search for more suspects in connection with the Bangkok bombing after a man was arrested yesterday.

The suspect, who was described as a 28-year-old "foreigner" by police, was detained during a raid at a flat in the north of the capital.

The suspect was arrested in Bangkok on Saturday Credit: APTN

Officers said fake passports and bomb-making materials including detonators and metal pipes were also found.

The man is being held on charges of possessing illegal explosives and has been in Thailand since January 2014.

Twenty people, who were mostly tourists, were killed when a bomb tore through the crowded Erawan Shrine on August 17, injuring more than 100 others.

Track immigrants like packages, says presidential hopeful

Chris Christie is vying for the Republican nomination. Credit: Reuters

Immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages, US Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has said.

The New Jersey Governor told a campaign event he would ask FedEx founder Fred Smith to devise a tracking system to help combat illegal immigration if elected president.

Mr Christie, who is vying for his party's nomination, said: "We let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.

"We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then when your time is up...however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me. Thanks for coming. Time to go'."

Baseball fan dies after falling from top deck of stadium

Fans looked on in shock as the man was treated at the scene. Credit: Reuters

A baseball fan has died after falling 50ft from the top deck of a stadium during a match.

The spectator plunged into the lower-level stands at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, during a game between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.

Witnesses said the man was shouting at Alex Rodriguez when the Yankees slugger came to the plate, lost his balance and fell onto the concrete below.

The man was treated at the scene for around 10 minutes before being taken to hospital, but medical teams were unable to save him.

The Atlanta Braves said in a statement: "We have received confirmation that the fan involved in an accident at this evening's game has passed away. The Atlanta Braves offer their deepest condolences to the family."


United States 'deeply disappointed' by Al-Jazeera verdict

Three Al-Jazeera English journalists were given three year sentences in Egypt. Credit: Reuters

The US State Department has said it is "deeply disappointed" by the verdict handed down to three Al-Jazeera English journalists in the Egyptian court today.

We urge the government of Egypt to take all available measures to redress this verdict, which undermines the very freedom of expression necessary for stability and development.

– Statement from the US State Department

The journalists were sentenced to three years in prison for operating without a press license and broadcasting material said to be harmful to Egypt.

European countries to increase security checks on trains

Theresa May and Patrick McLoughlin meet with European ministers in Paris. Credit: PA

European ministers have agreed to increase security on key international rail routes and improve intelligence sharing after the thwarted gun attack on a French train.

Home Secretary Theresa May and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin were among representatives of nine countries at a summit in Paris called to formulate a co-ordinated response to the threat of an atrocity.

Mrs May said the attack on the Thalys service was "a shocking reminder of the threats we all face".

"Only by working together can we protect our citizens and defeat those who want to harm us," she added.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the talks that it was "essential to put in place co-ordinated operations on certain targeted routes".

The nations taking part include Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, who have agreed to "co-operate more closely still" over intelligence about the movements of suspected terrorists.

Minister criticises Egypt over Al-Jazeera sentences

Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy talks to media before the verdict. Credit: Reuters

The Government has called on Egypt to take urgent action to resolve the position of two British reporters caught up in legal cases against journalists in the country.

Minister for Middle East and North Africa Tobias Ellwood spoke after an Egyptian court sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison for broadcasting false news.

Two British journalists, Sue Turton and Dominic Kane, have previously been tried in their absence, and found guilty.

I am deeply concerned by the sentences handed down today against journalists in Egypt. These sentences will undermine confidence in Egypt's progress towards strong long term stability based on implementing the rights granted by the Egyptian constitution.

We have repeatedly raised this case and the restrictions on freedom of expression in Egypt with ministers and senior officials. It is vital that the Egyptian authorities take urgent action to resolve the position of the two British nationals in this case.

– Tobias Ellwood
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