Saturday 16 December 2017

In brief: US twister leaves 10 people dead

AT least 10 people, including three children, were killed after an enormous tornado swept through Mississippi.

With many people trapped in their homes yesterday, Haley Barbour, Mississippi's governor, declared a state of emergency, describing the damage as "utter obliteration". Officials said the twister, which struck on Saturday and was at least three-quarters of a mile wide, was the worst to hit the area for decades.

Hungarians elect new government

Hungary's centre-right Fidesz party won a two-thirds majority in yesterday's election, giving the new government the power to enact reforms and boost the recession-hit economy.

Meanwhile Austria's president easily won a second term yesterday, deflecting a challenge by a far-right politician who had denounced the country's anti-Nazi law. Incumbent Heinz Fischer, a Social Democrat, had won 78.7pc of the vote with 55.7pc of ballots counted, according to the projections broadcast on public television ORF.

Zuma's tests are HIV-negative

SOUTH Africa's President Jacob Zuma, who has faced criticism that his love life is undermining safe-sex campaigns, revealed test results yesterday showing he was HIV negative.

Mr Zuma, who has three wives, has generated controversy by fathering a child out of wedlock and having unprotected sex with a HIV-positive woman. At least 5.7 million people in South Africa are HIV positive.

Two die in Dubai balloon crash

A HOT air balloon carrying 14 people crashed early yesterday in the desert south of Dubai, killing at least two.

Aviation authorities said the accident happened near Suwaihan and Nahel, a pair of villages about 45 miles south of Dubai. Authorities say at least two other people were injured in the crash, including a ground crew member who is in serious condition.

US marines asked to leave Okinawa

TENS of thousands of Okinawan residents and leaders demanded a US Marine base be moved off the island at a rally yesterday, inflamed by speculation the government may merely relocate it to another part of the southern Japanese island.

Okinawans have long complained of the burden of hosting most of the 47,000 American troops in Japan. Okinawa was under US occupation until 1972 and many residents resent the US military presence as legacy of Japan's World War II defeat.

Irish Independent

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