- - Tuesday, June 19, 2012

LONDON — A Russian-operated ship said to be carrying military helicopters to Syria appears to have turned back after its British insurer removed coverage for the vessel, U.K. officials said Tuesday.

Britain’s Foreign Office said the ship, the MV Alaed, changed course off the northwest coast of Scotland, the BBC reported, after news reports emerged about its contents. Earlier, the Foreign Office confirmed it was aware that a ship carrying a consignment of refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters was heading to Syria.

The ship has “turned back now, apparently toward Russia,” Foreign Secretary William Hague told British lawmakers in Parliament. The vessel appeared to have been avoiding U.K. territorial waters and EU territorial waters, his ministry added.

The news came after the U.K.-based marine insurer Standard Club said it removed coverage for the ship’s owner when it became aware it was carrying munitions, a clear breach of its rules.

Russian officials have not commented on the ship or its reported contents. The vessel’s Russian operator, Femco, refused to comment Tuesday.

GREECE

Coalition government possible Wednesday

ATHENS — A coalition government could be formed by Wednesday, the head of Greece’s socialist party said Tuesday, easing the nation out of a political limbo as it struggles to deal with a financial crisis that is already affecting Europe’s economy and markets around the world.

Evangelos Venizelos, whose PASOK party finished third in Sunday’s elections, said the socialists “will support this government sincerely and will participate in it in the most beneficial way in order to make it effective and credible.”

At the core of any administration would be the conservative New Democracy party, which won 129 of Parliament’s 300 seats - short of the 151 needed to govern alone. The radical left Syriza party, which finished second with 71 seats, has refused to join any government that will implement the terms of Greece’s European Union bailout.

INDIA

Father unrepentant after beheading daughter

JAIPUR — A father in northwestern India remained unrepentant Tuesday after beheading his daughter with a ceremonial sword in a rage over her relationships with men, police said.

The father surrendered at a police station, carrying the head in one hand and the bloodied sword in the other, police said.

Residents of Dungarji village expressed shock as they performed the last rites for the 20-year-old woman.

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