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The world in brief

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | April 8, 2021 at 3:34 a.m.
Police officers stand guard Wednesday outside a courthouse in Sincan, Turkey, during the trial of 497 defendants accused of a 2016 coup attempt. (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Dozens get life for failed Turkey coup

ANKARA, Turkey -- A Turkish court sentenced dozens of people, including former soldiers attached to the presidential guard regiment, to life imprisonment Wednesday over their involvement in the 2016 failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

A total of 497 defendants had been on trial since 2017 for attempting to seize the military headquarters in Ankara, occupying the headquarters of the state broadcaster TRT, and of forcing a television broadcaster to read out a statement on behalf of the coup-plotters.

The trial was one of hundreds of trials for suspected members of a network led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt. Gulen, a former Erdogan ally, denies the accusation.

The court in the outskirts of Ankara sentenced 38 defendants to life, including six who received aggravated life terms without the possibility of parole, Anadolu reported.

The court also sentenced one person to 61 years in prison while 106 defendants received terms ranging from six to 16 years. Other defendants were either acquitted or were not given prison terms, Anadolu said.

Reports: Burma town raid kills 11 people

RANGOON, Burma -- Security forces Wednesday stormed a town in northwestern Burma where some residents had used homemade hunting rifles to resist the military's February seizure of power, killing at least 11 civilians and injuring many others, local news reports said.

If the 11 deaths are confirmed, it would be one of the highest single-day death tolls outside the country's two largest cities, Rangoon and Mandalay.

The online news site Khonumthung Burmese said the attack on Kalay began before dawn. Videos on the site included what appeared to be sounds of rifle fire, high-caliber weapons and grenade explosions.

The news site said that in addition to the fatalities, many people were wounded and arrested in the town, also known as Kalemyo or Kale. Over half of the town's population are members of the Chin ethnic minority.

Security forces have killed at least 581 protesters and bystanders through Tuesday in their crackdown on protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which monitors casualties and arrests.

Navalny has spinal hernias, lawyer says

MOSCOW -- A lawyer for imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has complained of serious back and leg pain in custody, says doctors have found him to be suffering from two spinal hernias.

Vadim Kobzev told the Interfax news agency Wednesday that Navalny also has a spinal protrusion and is beginning to lose sensation in his hands.

Navalny went on a hunger strike last week to protest what he called poor medical care in a Russian prison. On Tuesday, the leader of the Navalny-backed Alliance of Doctors union was detained by police after trying to get into the prison to talk to doctors.

Navalny, 44, is Russian President Vladimir Putin's fiercest domestic opponent. He was arrested in January upon returning to Moscow from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation. Still, labs in Germany and elsewhere in Europe confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.

A Russian court ordered Navalny in February to serve 2½ years in prison for violating the terms of his probation, including when he was convalescing in Germany, from a 2014 embezzlement conviction. Navalny has rejected the conviction as fabricated, and the European Court of Human Rights found it "arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable."

Indonesia mudslides deaths rise to 140

LEMBATA, Indonesia -- The death toll from mudslides in eastern Indonesia has risen to 140 with dozens still missing, officials said Wednesday, as rain continued to pound the region and hamper the search.

The East Flores district on Adonara island suffered the highest losses with 67 bodies recovered so far and six missing. Mud tumbled down from surrounding hills early Sunday when people were asleep. Some were swept away by flash floods after overnight rains caused rivers to burst their banks.

On nearby Lembata island, the downpour triggered by Tropical Cyclone Seroja sent solidified lava from a volcanic eruption in November to crash down on more than a dozen villages, killing at least 32 people and leaving 35 unaccounted for, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

In all, landslides and flooding have killed at least 140 people across several islands in Indonesia as well as 27 people in neighboring East Timor. Thousands of homes have been damaged and thousands of people displaced by the rainy weather, which is expected to continue until at least Friday as the storm moves south toward Australia.

People survey the damage Wednesday at a flooding-struck village in Waewerang on Adonara Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia.
(AP/Rofinus Monteiro)
People survey the damage Wednesday at a flooding-struck village in Waewerang on Adonara Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. (AP/Rofinus Monteiro)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans as they are greeted while marching along a market street in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans as they are greeted while marching along a market street in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans against China during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans against China during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans calling for a boycott of Chinese products during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans calling for a boycott of Chinese products during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Residents flash the three-finger salute of resistance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Residents flash the three-finger salute of resistance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Protesters continue to hold daily demonstrations in some parts of Myanmar despite threats from government forces of arrest and dispersal as they rally against the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-fingered symbol of resistance while holding slogans bearing pictures of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-fingered symbol of resistance while holding slogans bearing pictures of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters burn a representation of the Chinese national flag during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters burn a representation of the Chinese national flag during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans bearing pictures of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
Anti-coup protesters hold slogans bearing pictures of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Threats of lethal violence and arrests of protesters have failed to suppress daily demonstrations across Myanmar demanding the military step down and reinstate the democratically elected government. (AP Photo)
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