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World Headlines: Saudis Crack Down On Undocumented Workers

An Ethiopian worker argues with a member of the Saudi security forces as he waits with his countrymen to be repatriated in Riyadh on Monday.
Reuters /Landov
An Ethiopian worker argues with a member of the Saudi security forces as he waits with his countrymen to be repatriated in Riyadh on Monday.

Saudi Arabia, Arab News

Police in Jeddah have arrested 20 Ethiopians on charges of instigating and leading a mob to lay siege to a deportation center.

It's the latest development since the Saudi government began cracking down on workers who are in the country illegally.

In a separate story, the newspaper reported that 4,060 undocumented workers were detained in Mecca. They will be deported.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that 23,000 Ethiopians have surrendered since Saudi authorities began their crackdown on migrant workers last week. The crackdown has led to clashes and at least five deaths.

Some 9 million migrant workers earn a living in Saudi Arabia, filling mostly manual and service jobs. They account for roughly one-third of the people living in the kingdom.

The government says it wants to reduce the unemployment rate among Saudis, which is currently around 12 percent.

However, the Arab News reported that the crackdown has caused a labor shortage in Saudi Arabia's farms.

Brazil, O Globo

The Supreme Court has upheld prison terms against most of those convicted in a high-profile corruption trial, including the former chief of staff of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Jose Dirceu and 21 others were convicted of paying opposition lawmakers to support Lula's government. Dirceu was handed a sentence of 10 years and 10 months.

Lula wasn't implicated.

The allegations came to light in 2005, and sentences were first handed down three years ago.

India, Press Trust of India

India's Sachin Tendulkar, one of cricket's all-time greats who is playing in his 200th and final test match, walked out to a guard of honor Thursday from the West Indies team in Mumbai as the two sides began the second game of the series.

The semi-official news agency described the occasion as a "phenomenal outpouring of emotions by the fans."

"The 40-year-old walked in to bat following Murali Vijay's dismissal, amid a deafening chant of his name by the crowd even as the giant screen flashed the message — 'don't even blink,'" PTI reported. "Tendulkar, who seemed calm in body language despite the frenzy, bowed at the boundary rope and then looked heavenward before entering the ground."

At the end of the day's play, Tendulkar was unbeaten on 38.

Much of India has come to a standstill as the cricketer winds down a career that began in 1989.

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.