Tuesday 20 February 2018

Attack on school by Nigerian Islamists leaves 30 students and a teacher dead

SUSPECTED Islamist gunmen have killed 30 students and a teacher in a boarding school in the north-eastern Nigerian town of Potiskum, a police source said. The attackers set fire to buildings and shot pupils as they tried to flee. Several of the students were treated for burns.

It was the deadliest of three attacks on schools since the military launched an offensive to try to crush Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group whose nickname translates as 'Western education is sinful'. President Goodluck Jonathan ordered extra troops into Yobe State in May in an attempt to quell the rebellion.

STATE OF EMERGENCY LIFTED FOR ELECTION

MALI has lifted a state of emergency ahead of the start of political campaigning for a presidential election on July 28, a spokesman for the West African nation's army said.

The state of emergency, which handed the army sweeping powers and banned gatherings of over 50 people, was imposed in January following a French-led military offensive aimed at driving out Islamist militant groups that had taken control of the north of the country.

VOLCANO FORCES AIRLINES TO HALT FLIGHTS

US airlines have cancelled more flights in and out of Mexico City's airport as a precaution as the nearby Popocatepetl volcano continues to emit vapour and ash.

At least six US airlines cancelled more than 40 flights last Thursday as the volcano spewed a mile-high plume of ash that drifted over large parts of Mexico City.

WOMAN CRIES OVER JOHN PAUL 'MIRACLE'

A COSTA Rican woman whose brain aneurysm reportedly disappeared after she prayed to Pope John Paul II broke down in tears as she spoke publicly for the first time about the miracle underlying the case for sainthood.

The Roman Catholic Church presented Floribeth Mora, 50, and her doctor to reporters after Pope Francis had approved the miracle needed to canonise John Paul II. Mrs Mora said she was sent home with no apparent hope for treatment after her 2011 aneurysm diagnosis. But a photograph of the late Pope seemed to speak to her during his beatification, she said, and her doctor said the aneurysm disappeared for no apparent reason.

MPS' BLUNDER LEGALISES GAY MARRIAGE

CONSERVATIVE Costa Rican MPs were mortified after realising that they may have accidentally approved language making same-sex unions legal. President Laura Chinchilla signed the bill governing marriage regulations for young people – but members of congress did not notice that its final version had changed earlier language defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The Christian Costa Rican Renovation Party and other right-wingers will now launch a legal challenge.

UN PROMISES HAITI HELP FOR CHOLERA

UNITED Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon told members of the US Congress that the UN was committed to helping Haiti overcome a cholera epidemic, even though it is refusing to pay compensation to victims who blame UN peacekeepers for starting the outbreak.

Health chiefs say over 657,000 people have fallen ill and more than 8,000 have died from cholera since it was probably introduced by UN troops from Nepal in 2010.

CHILE AGONISES OVER RAPE AND ABORTION

THE case of a pregnant 11-year old raped by her mother's partner has set off a debate about abortion in Chile, one of the most socially conservative countries in Latin America.

Chileans were outraged after state TV reported that the girl was raped repeatedly over two years. Doctors say the girl's life and that of the foetus are at high risk, but in Chile, ending the pregnancy is not an option. It allowed abortions for medical reasons until they were outlawed in 1973 by General Pinochet's dictatorship. The current government has opposed any loosening of the ban.

FLIGHT CRASH-LANDS AT US AIRPORT

An Asiana Airlines flight from South Korea crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport yesterday. It is thought that there is one person dead and 20 to 30 injured It appears the plane landed and then crashed.

9/11 FIREFIGHTER'S BODY IS IDENTIFIED

THE remains of a firefighter killed in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks have been identified more than 11 years after his death at the World Trade Centre.

Lt Jeffrey Walz, 37, was killed in the trade centre's north tower, leaving behind a wife and their small son.

POLICE USE TEAR GAS IN PARK PROTEST

Turkish police fired tear gas at protesters who tried to enter a cordoned-off park near Istanbul's Taksim Square yesterday, hours after the city governor said the protest was illegal and participants would be dispersed.

DRUG TRAFFICKER ARRESTED IN COLOMBIA

AN Italian mafia boss described as "Europe's most wanted drug trafficker" and the "world's biggest cocaine importer" was arrested in Colombia yesterday and deported to Italy.

Roberto Pannunzi, compared with the late drug lord Pablo Escobar by Colombian authorities, was caught in a Bogota shopping centre carrying a false Venezuelan identity card. Pannunzi is tied to the 'Ndrangheta, a Calabrian crime syndicate associated with Colombian drug cartels. He is alleged to have imported two tons of cocaine into Europe every month.

TRAIN DERAILMENT FORCES EVACUATION

A large swathe of a town in eastern Quebec was destroyed yesterday after a train carrying crude oil derailed, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.

One person was found dead and several people were reported missing but Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet said it was too early to say if there were any casualties in the town of Lac-Megantic, about 250km east of Montreal.

Irish Independent

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