Wednesday 13 December 2017

In Brief: Prayer bus crashes

Twenty-FOUR people, including two children, have died after their double-decker bus crashed on a mountain pass near Cape Town in South Africa.

The bus was carrying around 80 people from a mass prayer meeting when the driver lost control. Rescue teams had to use a crane to lift the bus and cut away bodywork to extract trapped victims.

Mum 'selling kids'

A US woman accused of offering her children for sale to raise money to bail her boyfriend out of jail has pleaded not guilty to child trafficking charges.

Misty VanHorn (22), from Oklahoma, was arrested after an acquaintance told police that VanHorn contacted her in an effort to sell her two-year-old and 10-month-old to raise bail for her boyfriend. Investigators say VanHorn was asking for $4,000 (€3,000).

Accused 'spread HIV'

A so-called acupuncturist has been arrested by Swiss police after refusing to attend a trial at which he was accused of intentionally infecting 16 people with HIV. A SWAT team stormed his home in the capital Bern after a day-long stand-off during which he threatened officers with a sword and a gun.

Prosecutors accuse the man of using various pretexts to prick his victims with a needle and infect them with HIV between 2001 and 2005. They asked judges to sentence him to 15 years in prison. The man denies the charges.

116,000 dead in Iraq

The war in Iraq claimed more than 116,000 civilian lives over eight years and cost the US about €610bn, according to research. A study in 'The Lancet' lays bare the price of the Anglo-American invasion that began 10 years ago.

By the time the last US soldiers left in December 2011, "at least 116,903 Iraqi non-combatants" had been killed, according to researchers. In addition, 4,487 American and 179 British troops were killed.

Italy in political chaos

ITALIAN legislators have met for the first time since inconclusive elections last month, but failed to select speakers for the houses of parliament in a sign of the country's growing political gridlock. Both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies will hold a new ballot today after the first vote failed to select speakers in either house.

Irish Independent

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