Wikinews Shorts: March 11, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, March 11, 2012.

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Arrests, disruptions in run-up to Bangladesh National Party rally

The Bangladesh National Party (BNP), the national opposition, claims mass arrests of hundreds or even thousands of people across the state are aimed at thwarting a BNP rally tomorrow. The protest in the capital, Dhaka, is also hampered by hotels declining bookings and travel services shutting down.

The BNP hopes to oust the government and wants a return to elections under a neutral caretaker, which was ended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's regime. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police respond that the arrests in the city aim to crack down on extortion, and illegal drugs and weapons. A spokesman said the timing was as much to do with an upcoming government rally and the Asia Cup as the BNP event.


Tanker grounds off Sicily

The Italian cargo tanker Gelso M hit rocks off the coast of Sicily near Syracuse in poor weather yesterday. Surrounding reefs meant rescue boats could not approach and lifeboats not be launched when the captain ordered the ship abandoned; four helicopters carried the nineteen aboard to safety.

The weather is considered a likely factor for the accident. The engine room has flooded but a double hull is considered likely to prevent pollution.


UK actress's brother charged with her murder

The brother of an actress who once starred in UK soap EastEnders has been charged with her murder. Tony McCluskie, 35, was arrested after the Metropolitan Police pulled 29-year-old Gemma McCluskie's torso from a London canal.

Searches continue for the rest of Gemma's remains. Tony remains in custody and is due to appear before Thames Magistrates' Court.