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Sunday 17 December 2017

In brief: Ivory Coast president is sworn in despite row over election result

Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in for a new term yesterday even though the United Nations and others maintain his opponent won the disputed election that was the West African nation's first since a civil war.

The ceremony at the presidential palace came only a day after one of Mr Gbagbo's allies went on TV to overturn previously announced results that showed opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had won. US President Barack Obama says Mr Ouattara's victory must be acknowledged, while the top UN official in the Ivory Coast is also standing by the earlier results putting Mr Ouattara ahead.

'Negligence to blame' for Israel's fire

Negligence, not arson, appears to have caused the worst forest fire in Israel's history, police said yesterday as firefighters from around the world worked to quell the deadly blaze for a third consecutive day.

Israel Radio reported that the blaze, which broke out on Thursday and tore through the Carmel Forest, was more than likely started by a family that failed to extinguish a picnic fire.

Iran welcomes nuclear talks

Iran's nuclear negotiator yesterday welcomed this week's talks with world powers as a way to thaw relations, but accused some of the countries involved of "terrorism" against the Islamic state's atomic programme.

Saeed Jalili will meet EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, who will conduct the meeting involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in Geneva tomorrow.

Two die in Russia plane crash tragedy

Two people died and dozens were injured yesterday when a Russian airliner reportedly ran off the runway during an emergency landing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

The Dagestan Airlines plane took off from Vnukovo, also outside Moscow, and made an emergency landing nearly 30 minutes later after all three engines failed.

Mexican teen 'killed for drugs cartel'

A 14-year-old boy, known as El Ponchis (The Cloak), has admitted taking part in four executions while working as an assassin for a Mexican drugs cartel.

The slight, dark-haired teenager calmly told police after his arrest at a Mexican airport that he had beheaded his victims. Edgar Jimenez was caught with two mobile phones that held photographs of his tortured victims.

PayPal freezes WikiLeaks' account

The backlash against WikiLeaks intensified yesterday after payments site PayPal revealed it had frozen WikiLeaks' account, saying it was being used to "encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity".

This is likely to harm WikiLeaks because PayPal is an important avenue for donations and arguably the most secure way to support the organisation. See Page 22

Help drafted in for flood victims

Authorities in Bosnia have called in the army, police, volunteers and divers to help evacuate people from areas flooded on Friday night in the northeast of the country.

Officials said that rescuers used boats to help 2,000 people flee their homes in Bijeljina. Several Bosnian rivers burst their banks three days ago because of heavy rainfall.

Polanski movie wins best film award

Roman Polanski's political thriller The Ghost Writer has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards. Polanski's movie also was the winner in five other key European Film Academy categories, including best director and best actor for Ewan McGregor. Sylvie Testud from France won best actress in Lourdes.

Sunday Independent

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