South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius granted parole
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was granted parole on Friday, more than a decade after shooting his girlfriend through a toilet door at his home in South Africa in a killing that jolted the world. He will be released from prison on Jan. 5, but will be constantly monitored by parole officials for five years until his sentence expires, the Department of Corrections said. Pistorius’ parole will come with other conditions, Department of Corrections spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said outside of the prison where Pistorius has been incarcerated in the South African capital, Pretoria, for killing Reeva Steenkamp.
Afghan Embassy says it’s permanently closing in New Delhi
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi is permanently closed, it announced Friday, due to challenges from the Indian government and a lack of diplomatic support. In a press release, it said the decision was already effective from Thursday and follows the embassy’s earlier move to cease operations starting Oct. 1 due to the absence of a recognized government in Kabul. At the time, it had said it would continue to provide emergency consular services to Afghan nationals.
The Netherlands’ longtime ruling party says it won’t join a new government
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A senator from the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom was appointed Friday to investigate possible governing coalitions after the far-right party’s election victory, while the party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said it would support a center-right administration in parliament but not join the next government. The Party for Freedom, or PVV, led by veteran anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, won 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house, indicating a seismic shift to the right for the Netherlands. Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy won 24 seats, 10 fewer than in the previous election, according to a near complete count of Wednesday’s votes.
Ukraine aims a major drone attack at Crimea
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine launched one of the biggest drone attacks on the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula since the full-scale war that started with Russia’s invasion 21 months ago, Russian officials said Friday. They did not mention any casualties or damage. At the same time, Ukrainian officials reported that the Kremlin’s forces escalated their weekslong and costly attempt to storm Avdiivka, a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine.