News in Brief

Toronto, Canada 

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dodged allegations of crack cocaine use for months. On Monday, Nov. 4, Ford made an admission to reporters outside his office. “You didn’t ask the correct questions,” Ford said, referring to his previous denial of drug use. “No, I’m not an addict. And no, I do not do drugs. I have smoked crack cocaine probably approximately about a year ago.” Many, including Toronto City Councilor John Filion, hold that the mayor’s admission was prompted by the Toronto police chief’s recovery of a video of Ford allegedly smoking a crack pipe.

Paramus, New Jersey, USA

Authorities are wondering, “What was Richard Shoop’s intent?” after the 20-year-old gunman entered an upscale shopping mall, fired six shots without striking anyone and finally took his own life with a single shot to the head. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told CNN that Shoop could have targeted mall shoppers but instead chose to “shoot randomly at different locations.” Bergen County law enforcement officers have yet to confirm the reasons behind the shooting, but Molinelli said that they had uncovered a note from Shoop indicating that the “end was coming.”

Khartoum, Sudan 

After a month-long closure imposed by state security, Sudan’s most widely read newspaper, Al-Intibaha,  is printing again. As a strong critic of the government’s decision to raise fuel prices, Al Intibaha ignited nationwide protests that left dozens killed and hundreds detained, Agence France-Presse reports. Government censorship heightened and the paper shut down indefinitely, until finally censorship eased on Nov. 3. “Thanks be to God; we are back,” said Al-Tayeb Mustafa, editor-in-chief and uncle of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

At least 152 soldiers, mostly Bangladeshi border guards, were sentenced to death for mutiny crimes. Another 161 soldiers have been sentenced to life in prison. The cause: a 2009 border guard mutiny that left 57 senior officers and 17 family members dead. Historians attribute the uprising to resentment against the officer class — the average border guard in 2009 earned about $70 a month, less than half the salary of a first-year lieutenant, the BBC reports. The Human Rights Watch recently criticized trial proceedings, claiming that over 50 additional suspects either died in or escaped from custody.

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