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U.S. couple gets three years in Qatari jail for adopted child's death

DOHA (Reuters) - A Los Angeles couple was sentenced to three years in jail in Qatar on Thursday for causing the death of their adopted African-born daughter, who was found to have died of starvation, in a case that has raised concern in Washington. Matthew and Grace Huang were arrested in January last year after their 8-year-old daughter, Gloria, died unexpectedly.

Qatari given death sentence for killing British teacher

A Doha court on Thursday sentenced a Qatari national to death for the murder last year of 24-year-old British teacher Lauren Patterson, a judicial source said. A second Qatari, Mohammed Hasan Abdulaziz, was given three years in prison for aiding the first convict, Badr Khamis Abdullah Hashim in "burning the body of Lauren Patterson and erasing evidence" of the murder, the source said. The men were arrested after the teacher's charred remains were found by campers near Doha.

Labour report on World Cup full of errors

Qatar said Sunday that an international labour union's report accusing it of mistreating workers constructing venues for football's 2022 World Cup was riddled with "factual errors". The energy-rich Gulf emirate has been under mounting pressure to improve the working and living conditions of migrant labour building the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure for the tournament. The International Trade Union Confederation report is "littered with factual errors and attempts to discredit the positive work we are undertaking," Qatar's World Cup organising committee said.

Saudis, Emiratis quit Qatari media outlets

Saudi and Emirati pundits have quit major media outlets in Qatar, including the broadcaster of top-flight European football, they said on Sunday, as tensions soar between Doha and Gulf states. In an unprecedented decision on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their envoys to Qatar, which they accused of meddling in their internal affairs by supporting Islamists. Doha has dismissed the charge, citing instead differences in regional politics.

Twelve dead in Qatar restaurant gas explosion: news agency

By Amena Bakr DOHA (Reuters) - Twelve people including two children were killed on Thursday when a gas tank exploded at a Turkish restaurant in the Qatari capital Doha, authorities in the Gulf Arab state reported. About 30 others were injured in the blast at the Istanbul Restaurant that one security source said was accidental. Another security source at the scene said two Asian children were among the dead.

Four killed in 'gas cylinder' blast in Qatar: state TV

Four people were killed Thursday in a blast caused by a "gas cylinder" explosion in the Qatari capital, state television reported, airing footage of serious damage. The explosion happened a restaurant attached to a mall in Doha, Qatar Television said. It was not immediately clear whether the blast was accidental. bur-ak/lyn/jk

More than 450 Indian migrants dead in Qatar in 2012-13

More than 450 Indian migrants working in Qatar have died in the last two years, according to new data from the Gulf state which is under pressure over its rights record ahead of the 2022 World Cup. In response to a Right to Information request filed by AFP, the Indian embassy in Qatar gave figures detailing the number of deaths in 2012 and the first 11 months of 2013. On average about 20 migrants died per month, peaking at 27 in August last year. There were 237 fatalities in 2012 and another 218 in 2013 up to December 5.

Qatar Petroleum unit plans $880 million IPO in January

DOHA (Reuters) - Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co, a unit of state-owned energy giant Qatar Petroleum <QATPE.UL>, will conduct a 3.2 billion riyal ($880 million) initial public offer of its shares in the local market in January, the finance minister said on Sunday. It will be the first IPO on Qatar's stock market, which was hit hard by the global financial crisis, since 2010.

Qatar sacks Dutch head of media freedom centre

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom said on Monday that it has sacked its Dutch director general, Jan Keulen, without giving a reason for his departure. Keulen took up the post in 2011, two years after his predecessor Robert Menard resigned and complained that the organisation was "stifled" by authorities and lacked independence. "Doha Centre for Media Freedom has announced the departure of its general director, Jan Keulen, who was relieved of his duties on November 26," it said.

Football: Qatar says World Cup worker claims 'exaggerated'

Qatar on Thursday described as "exaggerated" foreign allegations of the abuse of migrants working on football World Cup construction projects in the Gulf state, while vowing to take them seriously. "These evaluations exaggerate the allegations reported in press articles," a foreign ministry spokesman said, quoted by the official QNA news agency. After embarking on a multi-billion-dollar plan to host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has come under the spotlight as migrant workers pour into the gas-rich nation.
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