BELGIUM ““ (BBC) The jailed ex-wife of child killer Marc Dutroux has been released from prison, after Belgium’s highest court upheld her transfer to a convent. The controversial move for Michelle Martin comes 16 years into her 30-year sentence. Relatives of the pair’s victims have expressed outrage over the decision, with one describing it as “absurd.” Earlier, a court in Brussels rejected two appeals against the ruling. Martin was arrested in 1996 and was finally convicted in 2004 of complicity in the starvation deaths of two girls kidnapped by Dutroux and of helping him in the abduction of a number of others. Martin did not feed two eight-year-olds who were left in Dutroux’s basement dungeon while he served a three-month jail term for an unrelated offense. Dutroux himself is serving a life sentence for the kidnap and rape of six young and teenage girls. As well as the two who starved to death, Dutroux killed two others. Martin’s lawyer said she deserved to be given a chance to redeem herself. “There is something human remaining in Mrs. Martin, even though she acknowledges herself she is responsible for very serious acts,” Thierry Moreau told AFP. “She paid the price for it. She did it in respect of the law, and now there is this project where she wants to redeem herself and this will be another way to do her sentence.”
GERMANY ““ (BBC) A bomb disposal team has detonated an American bomb left over from World War II found in the German city of Munich. The detonation happened shortly before 22:00 local time in the Schwabing district and was heard across the city, local media report. There are reports that sparks from the explosion caused the roofs of some neighboring buildings to catch fire. The bomb was discovered Monday night by building workers at the site of an old bar that was being demolished. Overnight, 2,500 residents were evacuated from the area closest to the bomb, with others living further away being told to stay in their homes. Experts decided it was not possible to make the device safe because of its unusual fuse, which operated by means of a chemical fuse rather than the mechanical device that many Allied World War II bombs used. The bomb was described as a highly explosive, a 550lb device dropped by the Americans. About 600 tons of unexploded ordnance are discovered in Germany every year.
NORWAY ““ (BBC) A Norwegian court has found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail. Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp, told the court he would not appeal. He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, saying last year’s attacks were necessary to stop the “Islamization” of Norway. Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane.
UKRAINE ““ (BBC) Ukraine’s high court has rejected the appeal by jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko against her conviction for abuse of office. Tymoshenko, currently in hospital, was jailed last October for seven years – a term confirmed by Wednesday’s ruling. She was convicted over a gas deal she signed with Russia’s Vladimir Putin while in power in 2009. She says her trial was politically motivated. The European Court of Human Rights has begun considering her case. Many EU politicians have echoed her criticisms of the Ukrainian authorities and, in June, European leaders boycotted Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine to show their displeasure at her detention. Tymoshenko argues that her detention was politically motivated and that there has been no judicial review. She also says the authorities neglected her medical needs and kept up round-the-clock surveillance after moving her to a hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
UNITED KINGDOM ““ (BBC) The Paralympic flame has reached outer London as part of a 24-hour torch relay to herald the start of the 2012 Games. Four national flames, kindled last week, were united in a cauldron at a ceremony in Stoke Mandeville – the spiritual home of the Paralympics. A flame lit from that cauldron was carried 92 miles from Buckinghamshire to London’s Olympic Stadium. The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are among those who attended Wednesday’s opening ceremony. Running about 90 minutes late, the flame, which is being carried by some 580 torchbearers in total, arrived next at Britain’s first traditional Hindu temple, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple in Brent. It then visited Lord’s Cricket Ground, London Zoo, and the Abbey Road crossing made famous by the Beatles, among other famous landmarks in the capital. When it arrived at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, it was used to light the cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Games. The event, called Enlightenment and created by Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey, showcased the skills of disabled artists with a cast of 3,000 volunteers, including injured soldiers and past Paralympic athletes.