Saturday 17 February 2018

In brief: Gas explosion kills six in Mexico

An explosion believed to have been caused by an accumulation of natural gas killed six people and injured 15 yesterday at a resort hotel on Mexico's Caribbean coast, local authorities said.

Initial reports indicate that three Canadian tourists may be among those who lost their lives in the blast, said Quintana Roo state attorney general Francisco Alor. Two of the dead were believed to be hotel employees.

UK police told to keep £1m find

BRITISH police who found more than £1m (€1.2m) in cash in an attic have been told by magistrates they can keep the money.

Officers made the discovery, which is the largest in the force's history, at a semi-detached house in the Stechford area of Birmingham, West Midlands, as part of an investigation into drug-dealing activity. An industry-sized cash counting machine was also found in the attic in September, a West Midlands police spokeswoman said.

'Muggles' get to join Potter game

More than 40 broomstick-riding teams from around the world are competing in the two-day Quidditch world cup tournament in New York City.

Long a fictional fixture of the Harry Potter novels and movies about teenage wizards, the sport features players who fly on broomsticks. But in real life, the rules have been adapted to a ground game for "muggles" -- humans without magical powers.

Chavez claims his life is in danger

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that he has proof of an assassination plot that is being financed by private bankers inside and outside the country.

"There are private bankers that left the country, others still here and insurance firm bosses that are gathering money together to pay someone to kill me," he said last night on state television. "I prefer death than to sell myself to this exploitative bourgeoisie," he added.

Two die as floods strike in Belgium

Belgian authorities last night called in the army to assist with evacuations after severe flooding killed two people in the south-western Hainot province.

A 72-year-old woman drowned overnight near Beaumont after her husband lost control of their vehicle, firefighters said. A second victim, who was on his way home, was found just metres away. "This is a catastrophe for our region," the mayor of Beaumont said.

Irish Independent

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