In Short


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Tuition fee increases spark UK protests

In fiery exchanges in parliament, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, leader of the coalition’s junior Liberal Democrats partner, defended the fee hike – which his party had promised to vote against during campaigning for May’s election.

– (Reuters)

Release of students and teacher held hostage in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE – A gunman released unharmed all 23 students and a teacher held hostage for more than four hours in a stand-off with police on Monday at a high school in Marinette, Wisconsin, Marinette County emergency management director Eric Burmeister said.

An unidentified student armed with a loaded handgun allowed the students to leave the situation unharmed. The fate of the gunman was not immediately known.

The armed student had earlier in the day taken the class of 23 high school students and the teacher hostage, and initially refused to negotiate with police. He then released five of the students and later all those remaining. Police were dispatched to the school after a call at 3.48pm local time. Emergency personnel converged on the scene and the school perimeter was secured, officials said. – (Reuters)

More of Pompeii site collapses

ROME – Another part of the 2,000-year-old Roman-era site at Pompeii crumbled yesterday, provoking attacks on the Italian government from critics who say that two collapses in a month underscore a need for urgent action.

Officials said a seven-metre long section of a modern retaining wall in the garden of the “House of the Moralist” at the archaeological site collapsed after heavy rains.

The wall, made of tuffo stone and mortar, was part of a perimeter area of the house complex, which is also known as the House of Epidius Hymenaeus. – (Reuters)

Moroccan floods kill at least 30

RABAT– At least 30 people have been killed in Morocco after heavy rain and floods, official sources said yesterday.

The official MAP news agency said 24 people died when a bus carrying them was swept away by a flooding river in Bouznika. Four people, including three from the same family, died when heavy rain brought down their homes near the city of Khenifra and in Sale, it said.

A young girl drowned yesterday in Tiflet when was swept away while trying to cross a bridge. In the north, a man drowned and rescue services were seeking seven other people swept away by a flooding river. – (Reuters)