The world in brief: Kosovo protesters rally against official

Kosovo protesters rally against official

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Opposition protesters in Kosovo on Wednesday used flares and tear gas to protest against a senior war crimes court official in the capital.

Opposition leftist Social Democratic Party members tried to enter a hotel in Pristina, where Kosovo Specialist Chambers court President Ekaterina Trendafilova was holding a meeting with members of civil society. The demonstrators used tear gas to cross a police cordon.

"There is no transparency at that court which holds closed trial sessions, that does not show where it has found the evidence," protester Nol Nushi said. The court is "unfair and that is why we are protesting today."

Local media reported five arrests among the protesters.

The demonstrators believe that the Kosovo Specialist Chambers court unfairly accuses former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, who fought during the 1998-1999 war against Serbia, of war crimes.

Former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, Parliament ex-speaker Kadri Veseli and former lawmaker Rexhep Selimi and some others were all top leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army which waged Kosovo's 1998-99 war for independence from Serbia and are now on trial at The Hague.

First gay couple is married in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- A gay couple in Nepal on Wednesday became the first in the nation to receive official same-sex marriage status. The Himalayan nation is one of the first in Asia to allow it.

"After 23 years of struggle we got this historic achievement, and finally Maya and Surendra got their marriage registered at the local administration office," said Sunil Babu Pant, an openly gay former parliamentarian and leading LGBTQ+ rights activist.

Pant was present with Surendra Pandey and Maya Gurung when they registered their marriage at the Dorje village council office, located in the mountains west of the capital, Kathmandu.

Earlier this year, Nepal's supreme court issued an interim order enabling the registration of same-sex marriages for the first time.

Officials had initially refused to register the marriage. The couple and Pant filed cases with the Kathmandu District Court and High Court, but their pleas were rejected.

According to Pant, the Home Ministry this week made changes in the process enabling all local administration offices to register same-sex marriages.

U.K. boy, 13, gets 2 years for killing

LONDON -- A British foster child who told police "Looks like I got my first kill" after he ran over the 60-year-old woman caring for him with her own car was sentenced Wednesday to two years in custody.

The boy, who was 12 at the time, fatally struck Marcia Grant when she tried to stop him from taking her car and fled the scene on April 5. When he was arrested about an hour later, he used a series of expletives and threatened to kill the family of a police woman, prosecutors said.

"Is she dead?" he asked officers, according to prosecutor Gary Crothers at an earlier hearing. "Looks like I got my first kill." He then swore it had been an accident.

The boy, now 13, cannot be named because of his age. He previously pleaded guilty in Sheffield Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving. Prosecutors dropped a murder charge.

Grant had been a foster mother since 2016 and was considered a pillar of the community in the Greenhill area of Sheffield in Northern England, police said.

Her daughter, Gemma Grant, told the court through tears that her mother "wanted to pull the world into a hug" and would lift up anyone facing adversity.

Australian officer charged in death

An Australian police officer has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a 95-year-old woman who was tasered after authorities were called to her nursing home on reports that she was armed with a knife.

Clare Nowland, who had dementia, fell to the floor and hit her head after being shocked with the Taser during the May 17 encounter in a nursing home in Cooma, a small town about 250 miles south of Sydney. She died a week later.

New South Wales police said in a statement Wednesday that the charges against a 33-year-old senior constable who allegedly Tasered her had been upgraded on the advice of public prosecutors. Previously, he was facing charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

The senior constable, Kristian White, and another officer allegedly found Nowland alone in a treatment room with a serrated-edge steak knife. The officers spent several minutes trying to persuade her to drop the knife, but she did not, police said. When Nowland, who was 5-foot-2, 95 pounds and used a walker, began slowly approaching them, the officer allegedly used his Taser on her.

Under official police guidelines, a Taser should not be used against the elderly or disabled, unless "exceptional circumstances exist." There is body-camera footage of the incident, but police have previously said that it will not be released to the public.

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