Nation/world news briefs

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: June 15, 2014 - 9:01 PM
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Firefighters pick through the rubble of a burned out home as they look for clues to a fire that authorities say killed six people in Newark, N.J., Sunday, June 15, 2014. The Essex County prosecutor's office says the fast-moving fire that roared through a single-family home in New Jersey's largest city, broke out at around 4 a.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Thailand

Tens of thousands of Cambodian workers flee

Tens of thousands of Cambodians working in Thailand have fled the country in a chaotic exodus that appears to be driven by fears of a crackdown on illegal foreign laborers by the military junta that seized power in Thailand last month. The abrupt departures could hurt both Thai industries that rely on Cambodian workers and the Cambodian economy, which benefits from the workers’ remittances.

 

Colombia

Voters re-elect Santos in endorsement of peace talks

Juan Manuel Santos convincingly won re-election Sunday in Colombia’s tightest presidential contest in years, an endorsement of his 18-month-old peace talks to end the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running conflict. Santos defeated right-wing challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who was backed by former two-term President Alvaro Uribe, whom many considered the true challenger. They accused Santos of selling Colombia out in slow-slogging Cuba-based negotiations, and insisted Zuluaga would halt the talks unless the rebel FARC ceased all hostilities. The outcome affirmed Santos’ claim to be steering Colombia to a historic crossroads after a crippling conflict that has killed more than 200,000, mostly civilians.

Washington

Starbucks to offer free online college to all workers

Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce Monday. The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 U.S. employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid.

 

Ukraine

Diplomat tags Putin with schoolyard epithet

Ukrainians have called Vladimir Putin many bad names, but nothing has caused a firestorm quite like a Ukrainian diplomat’s use of a schoolyard epithet to describe the Russian president during an unscripted moment Saturday night. Russian lawmakers called for the dismissal of Ukraine’s interim foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, after Deshchytsia tossed out the insult as he sought to halt an attack by demonstrators at the Russian Embassy in Kiev.

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