INDIA

Bollywood idol cleared

in '02 hit-and-run death

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was cleared Thursday of running over and killing a homeless man with his car in a case that has captivated India for 13 years.

An appeals judge in Mumbai, India's film capital, tossed out Khan's conviction for culpable homicide, saying there was insufficient evidence that he was behind the wheel of the Toyota Land Cruiser that slammed into a pavement where a group of men were sleeping one night in 2002. One man was killed, and four were injured.

Khan was found guilty in May and sentenced to five years in prison. The action hero, who made $40 million last year, was freed on $500 bail and filed an appeal while continuing to make films.

The appeals judge said prosecutors had failed to prove that Khan was driving the car or that he was intoxicated, citing "glaring anomalies" in evidence collected by Mumbai police investigators, including blood samples and receipts from a hotel bar where the actor spent the evening before the collision. - Los Angeles Times
SOUTH AFRICA

Finance minister fired

South Africa's financial markets were in shock Thursday after President Jacob Zuma abruptly fired his finance minister, triggering a rapid slide in the currency, the rand. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was dismissed late Wednesday. Markets were disconcerted because of the perception that Nene was fired for insisting on more discipline in government spending. The president replaced him with a lawmaker with limited financial experience, David Van Rooyen, a former mayor from a municipality west of Johannesburg.
- Los Angeles Times
AUSTRALIA

Five charged in terror plot

A teenager and four men were charged Thursday with planning a terrorist attack on an Australian government building, police said. Officials said the arrests were not related to a new terror threat, but linked to a plot they uncovered a year ago that prompted a series of raids in Sydney in December 2014. That plot involved a plan to target a government building in Sydney, possibly a federal police building.
- AP