international news briefs

Yemen’s president flies to Oman

Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen, flew to the Persian Gulf country of Oman on Sunday Jan. 22. He will continue to fly to the United States for medical treatment and arrive on Wednesday.

A Yemeni official said Saleh needed treatment outside of Yemen for injuries he received in June during a bomb attack on the presidential palace.

Saleh left Yemen’s capital city after a farewell speech where he passed power temporarily to his deputy Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, until the presidential elections on Feb. 21.

Saleh said he would return to Yemen after his treatment was finished.

Yemini protestors have been asking for an end of Saleh’s 33 year presidency for about a year.

The protestors and human rights groups have criticized the transfer of power deal because it grants Saleh immunity from prosecution.

Fifteenth body found in Italian cruise ship

Two more bodies were found in the wreckage of the Costa Concordia cruise liner on Monday Jan. 23, bringing the total confirmed dead to 15.

The cruise liner hit a reef on the island of Giglio on Jan. 13 that cut open its hull and caused the ship to turn over onto its side.

The body of a thirteenth passenger was found on Jan. 22 wearing a life jacket in the submerged portion of the ship.

Officials previously estimated that up to 20 people could have died but now are saying there could be more because there may have been unregistered passengers on the ship.

Franco Gabrielli, the official in charge of the rescue effort, said they have identified most of the 15 bodies that have been found thus far.

The captain remains under house arrest, as Italian prosecutors investigate the possibiliy of charging him with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while there were still passengers aboard.

12,000 climb Guatemalan volcano

As of Jan. 21 roughly 12,000 people have climbed an extinct volcano to protest domestic violence in Guatemala.

Activists created a human chain to the 3,765m peak of Volcan de Agua and called it the “Walk for Life.”

Guatemala has one of the highest murder rates in the world but less than four per cent of cases end in a successful conviction.

Last year 550 women were murdered.

Otto Perez Molina, Guatemala’s new president was part of the walk. Perez Molina was sworn into office last week and has promised action against violent crime.