World newsbits for July 4, 2014
US WOMAN NABBED
DENVER (AP) – Newly unsealed court documents show the FBI thwarted a US woman’s attempt to help a terrorist organization by arresting her before she boarded a flight in April. A federal judge yesterday ordered documents unsealed in the case against 19-year-old Shannon Maureen Conley, who was charged with conspiring to help a foreign terrorist organization. The documents say that when agents arrested her at Denver International Airport, she told them she planned to fly to Turkey and then travel to Syria to meet a suitor she met online. The suitor apparently was a Tunisian man who claimed to be fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL or ISIS.
LONDON (AP) – British regulators are investigating revelations that Facebook treated hordes of its users like laboratory rats in an experiment probing into their emotions. The Information Commissioner’s Office said Wednesday that it wants to learn more about the circumstances underlying a 2-year-old study carried out by two US universities and the world’s largest social network. The inquiry is being coordinated with authorities in Ireland, where Facebook has headquarters for its European operations, as well as with French regulators.
TOKYO (AP) – A video clip of a weeping Japanese politician accused of dubious spending on trips to a hot springs has gone viral, leaving many outraged and puzzled. The video shows Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk. “To change Japan and society,’’ he said in a choked voice, stopping mid-sentence, sometimes sobbing so loud he was shouting. “I’m putting my life on the line.’’ One site for the video drew nearly 640,000 views, as of Thursday. His news conference Tuesday followed a Kobe Shimbun newspaper report this week that raised questions about Nonomura’s visiting the hot springs 106 times last year, using public money.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – A Malaysian military official, identified as Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, who is being sent back to New Zealand to face sexual assault and burglary charges will no longer be protected by diplomatic immunity, New Zealand officials confirmed Thursday. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said in an email his Malaysian counterpart had told him Malaysia was now willing to waive the man’s right to immunity, after invoking it in May to bring him home. McCully said a date hasn’t been finalized for the military official to return, although it’s likely to be “days, not weeks.’’
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Buddhist mobs on motorbikes drove through the city of Mandalay throwing stones at mosques and Muslim-owned shops in a second night of violence that left at least two people dead, authorities said Thursday. One victim was identified as a Muslim man, said U Tin Aung, a Muslim official who was arranging his funeral. Residents said the man was believed to have been on his way to a mosque before dawn Thursday when he was attacked by the mob and left dead in the street. The second fatality was a Buddhist, according to a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.