Doha, Qatar – The emir of Qatar handed power to his son Tuesday at a time when the country has parlayed its media empire and natural gas riches into prominent regional influence that includes arming Syrian rebels and building a grandiose Museum of Islamic Art.
In a nationally televised speech, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani tapped his fourth son, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, to succeed him.
A Cabinet shuffle is expected in the transition, but it was not clear whether there would be a significant shift in foreign policy under the new leader.
The outgoing emir did not indicate why he was stepping aside – a rare move in the Arab world – except to say that it was time for younger leadership.
Rescue helicopter crashes; 8 dead
Gauchar, India – An air force helicopter returning from a rescue mission in flood-ravaged northern India hit a mountain and fell into a river, killing the eight people on board, officials said.
Bad weather has hampered rescue efforts in Uttarakhand state, where more than 1,000 people are believed to have died and thousands of others remain stranded in remote areas because of landslides and floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains. Other air force helicopters were unable to take off due to poor visibility.
Ex-dictator suspect in Bhutto killing
Islamabad – Pakistani investigators Tuesday named former military dictator Pervez Musharraf as the prime suspect in the December 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto, raising the tally of capital charges leveled against the once all-powerful army chief over the last week to four.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008.
The Federal Investigation Agency, Pakistan’s national police force, named Musharraf in a document seeking his indictment by the court hearing the Bhutto case.
The Federal Investigation Agency gave little indication of what evidence would be submitted against Musharraf, but it did say it included sworn statements from two Bhutto associates, Briton Victoria Schofield and American Mark Siegel.