Kidnapped Aussie appears in video

Updated 27 December 2012
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Kidnapped Aussie appears in video

MANILA: An Australian man held hostage by militants in southern Philippine jungles for more than a year has appeared in a video looking thin and haggard as proof that he is alive while negotiations for his release drag on.
Warren Richard Rodwell, who was kidnapped from his seashore house and taken by speedboat to nearby mountainous islands where the militants are hiding, said on the video that he was being held in isolation and knew little of what was going on around him. He said he understood there are negotiations under way.
“This video clip is to say that I’m alive. I am waiting to be released,” he said, then added a few second later: “I personally hold no hope at all for being released.”
“The people who are around me normally don’t speak English. I understand something is happening but I don’t know when. I do not expect to be released before the year 2013, at the earliest,” said the 54-year-old, dressed in a black shirt and holding a copy of a local newspaper.
Philippine intelligence officials said yesterday that they believe the video, which has been circulated on YouTube, is authentic.
Separately, angry residents beat a man to death and threw rocks at firefighters after a shantytown fire left thousands of people homeless, and another Christmas Day blaze in the Philippine capital left seven people dead, officials said yesterday.
A resident was beaten to death by his neighbors after shouting that he started Tuesday’s shantytown fire in suburban San Juan city, Senior Fire Officer Domingo Cabog said.
The man was reportedly drunk and was not responsible for the fire. Cabog said the fire started in a house where children were playing with lighted candles.
Some 5,000 people were left homeless and 13 people were hurt in the shantytown. The injured included two firefighters and a volunteer hit by rocks that were thrown by residents who were impatient and tried to grab fire hoses to save their own shanties, Cabog said.
As firefighters struggled to penetrate the narrow alleys, one of them was mauled by a mob and rescued by a police officer, Cabog said. Two fire trucks also were damaged in the violence.


Corbyn: Labour government would quickly recognize Palestine

Updated 8 min 16 sec ago
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Corbyn: Labour government would quickly recognize Palestine

  • British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state "very early on" and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
  • Corbyn spoke during his first international trip outside Europe since he was elected Labour Party leader in 2015.

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan: British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state "very early on" and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
Corbyn spoke during his first international trip outside Europe since he was elected Labour Party leader in 2015.
On Friday, he toured Zaatari, Jordan's largest camp for Syrian refugees. On Saturday, he is to visit a decades-old camp for Palestinians uprooted during Arab-Israeli wars.
In Zaatari, he walked through the camp market, lined by hundreds of stalls, where he sampled falafel and chatted with a sweets vendor who told him his dream is to return to Syria as soon as possible. Corbyn also inspected a sprawling solar power installation that provides about 12 hours a day of electricity to the camp's 80,000 residents.
Labour under Corbyn gained parliament seats, but narrowly lost to Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party in 2017 snap elections.
Opinion polling suggests the two parties are neck and neck. Britain is not scheduled to have another election until 2022, but there could be an early vote if May's fragile minority government suffers a major defeat in Parliament.
With his visit to Jordan, Corbyn appeared to be burnishing his foreign policy credentials.
Taking questions from reporters in the Zaatari market, he said that a Labour government would "work very, very hard to regenerate the peace process" in Syria. He said two parallel sets of talks about a solution for Syria would need to "come together," but did not offer specifics.
Without a solution in Syria, "the conflict will continue, more people will die in Syria and many many more will go to refugee camps, either here in Jordan or come to Europe or elsewhere," he told The Associated Press.