Fugitive who taunted police online is arrested, the world's largest search engine threatened to pull out of China and rebels apologised for Togo deaths. Cassie Biggs reviews the week.
Facebook runner, Google rider
A three-year-old boy embarked on an unusual tour of Copenhagen airport after clambering on to the baggage conveyor belt and being carried through the inner workings of the system. The toddler, who was standing with his mother at the check-in, managed to climb unnoticed on to the belt along with the family luggage. He went through an X-ray machine before being carried on to an area reserved for unrecognisable objects. As he lacked a readable barcode, he was automatically sent on to the area reserved for manual handling, where he was finally noticed by an airport worker who handed him back to his mother.
The co-leader of Northern Ireland's devolved government stepped down temporarily amid a sex-and-cash scandal surrounding his wife, also a politician. Peter Robinson, who has jointly led the British province's power-sharing government since 2007, was shocked by his wife's affair with a teenager for whom she had organised US$80,000 (Dh294,000) in loans so he could open a coffee shop. Mr Robinson insists he had no involvement in the loans, but stepped down saying he wanted to focus on repairing his relationship with his wife, Iris, who is no longer seeing her 19-year-old boyfriend.
Sarah Palin, a household name in the US since running on John McCain's presidential ticket in 2008, has been recruited by Fox News, known for its right-wing views, as a commentator. The former governor of Alaska will contribute to news broadcasts and present an occasional series involving ordinary "American heroes". It is also seen as an opportunity to keep alive her prospects for running for the presidency in 2012.
Angolan rebels who fired on a bus carrying the Togolese national football team, killing three people including the assistant coach, apologised for what they said was a case of mistaken identity. Rodrigues Mingas, secretary general of the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (Flec), said his fighters meant to attack security guards accompanying the team on their way to the Cup of African Nations. He offered condolences to the relatives of those killed and injured. Flec has fought for decades for the independence of Cabinda, an Angolan territory sitting wholly inside Congo. Togo withdrew from the tournament after the attack.
Google, the world's biggest internet search engine, threatened to pull out of China because of increasing censorship. Google said it would no longer block searches in the country, and within minutes internet users there were able to call up any listing on Tibet, Tiananmen Square and the Falun Gong sect - all subjects blacklisted as part of an agreement to let Google operate in China three years ago. Google said it lifted the block after discovering that hackers inside China were targeting the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights dissidents and some 20 Chinese and international companies. China defended its web policy as in accordance its laws.
Abu Dhabi insisted its proposed nuclear power plants would be secure amid concern that the facilities could be a target for terrorists. Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with a South Korean conglomerate to build four nuclear plants by 2015. The UAE said it planned to adopt the recommendations laid out in a security conference this week, including increasing manpower at the plants and ensuring staff have the technical knowledge to deal with radiation leaks.
An immigrant taxi driver in New York tracked down a passenger who left $21,000 in the back of his cab, but refused any reward. Mukul Asadujjaman, a medical student from Bangladesh, drove 80km to an address where he believed the woman who left the money, an Italian grandmother visiting the US, was staying. Felicia Lertieri, 72, from Pompeii, arrived in New York with six relatives and flagged down his cab on Christmas Eve. She left her purse, containing more than $21,000 of the group's travelling money, jewellery and passports, in the car. Mr Asadujjaman said his mother was his inspiration. "She always said to be honest and work hard."
Britain banned an Islamist group, Islam4UK, which planned to march through Wootton Bassett to protest about Britain's role in Afghanistan. Membership of the group and its affiliates was made punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The law makes the "glorification" of terrorism a crime and was "a tough but necessary power to tackle terrorism", the government said. Islam4UK chose Wootton Bassett because it is close to the military airport where the bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan are brought back. Residents hold silent tributes as hearses carrying soldiers' bodies drive through the town. But the ban provoked criticism that the government was stifling dissent.
After four months on the run, during which he taunted police with his Facebook updates, Britain's infamous criminal Craig "Lazie" Lynch, 28, was arrested. Visitors to his website, including police, would have seen updates about how he enjoyed a traditional Christmas lunch on December 25 and watched fireworks with friends on New Year's Eve. Lynch absconded in September from Hollesley Bay open prison, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, where he was serving a seven-year jail term for aggravated burglary. Facebook shut down his page after being contacted by police.
Abu Dhabi entered the world of mixed martial arts when Flash Entertainment confirmed it had bought a 10 per cent stake in the Las Vegas firm that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UAE's first event, UFC 112, will be staged on April 10. It is expected the contest will be held outdoors and at night. Early contenders as venue for the event, according to a source close to the negotiations, are the Emirates Palace hotel and Yas Marina Circuit.
A report found that rising sea levels caused by climate change could swallow about six per cent of the UAE's populated and developed coastline by the end of the century. A rise of one metre, the most modest scenario presented as not "unlikely" in the government-sponsored report, would put 1,155 square kilometres of the country's coast under water by 2050; while nine metres - the most dire - would see almost all of the capital and much of Dubai submerged. The news came just as Abu Dhabi prepared to host the World Future Energy Summit.
* The National