Friday, the Association of Indian Diplomats, comprising retired Indian ambassadors, condemned the handcuffing and strip-search of India's Deputy Consul General in New York Devyani Khobragade and urged the government to insist on withdrawal of all charges against her and an official apology by the US. In a statement, the association also said the government should insist on compensation by the US for the "mental agony and trauma" caused by the "illegal action" of the US authorities. Khobragade was handcuffed and strip-searched after her arrest on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her nanny.
Police in Ukraine on Friday accused five suspects detained over the savage beating of a reporter of links to the opposition, an allegation the opposition condemned as an attempt to deflect suspicions of government complicity. Tetyana Chornovil, 34, was chased down by car and beaten shortly after midnight on Wednesday, hours after posting pictures on her blog of a country home she said belonged to Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko. The attack threatened to breathe new life into more than a month of opposition protests in the capital, Kiev, over a decision by the government in November to spurn a landmark pact on closer ties with the European Union and turn instead to former Soviet master Moscow.
Israel plans to build 1,400 homes in its settlements in the occupied West Bank and will announce the projects next week after releasing a group of Palestinian prisoners, an Israeli official said on Friday. The Palestinians have said any further expansion of Israeli settlements on land they seek for a state could derail U.S.-brokered peace talks that resumed in July after a three-year break and are set to last until April.