Saturday 25 January 2020

Last body is pulled from collapsed Moroccan mosque leaving 41 dead

Rescuers yesterday dug out the last corpse of more than 40 worshippers crushed to death when a 400-year-old Moroccan mosque minaret collapsed.

"The authorities wrapped up the rescue operation and they have cleared the rubble. The last body has been pulled out," official Abdallah Bouanou said from the scene. He gave the death toll at 41, with 86 people injured.

The Lalla Khenata mosque minaret in the old Bab el Bardiyine neighbourhood of Meknes, about 140km southwest of Rabat, collapsed during Friday's mass prayers, burying most of the 300 worshippers gathered there.

Ukraine PM withdraws poll challenge

Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday dropped her legal case challenging the election of rival Viktor Yanukovich as president, saying the court could not be trusted to reach a fair verdict.

The about-turn by the fiery Tymoshenko left the way clear for Yanukovich to be inaugurated as president on Thursday as scheduled -- though she herself still insisted he had not been legitimately elected.

Brown launches election campaign

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched his election campaign yesterday, saying only the Labour Party can help the British economy recover without making big cuts to social programmes.

Mr Brown's party has said it would postpone major cuts until 2011, hoping to stimulate economic growth. The Conservatives say that, if elected, they would cut spending to tackle a deficit likely to top €194bn this year.

Sean Penn charged with assault in LA

Oscar-winner Sean Penn has been charged with two crimes after a run-in with a photographer last year and could face jail if convicted, prosecutors said on Friday.

Penn, 49, was charged with misdemeanor battery and vandalism after allegedly kicking a photographer in the leg and breaking his camera last October at an upscale shopping centre in LA, the city attorney's office said.

32 killed on tourist island of Madeira

Flooding and landslides swept away cars and knocked down houses as a violent storm killed at least 32 people yesterday on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The vice president of the Madeira regional government, Joao Cunha e Silva, said another 68 people have been hospitalised in the island's main city of Funchal.

No orphans were in Haiti's DIY rescue

TheRE was not one orphan among the 33 children that a US Baptist group tried to take from Haiti in a DIY-rescue mission following the island's earthquake.

In a visit to the rubble-riddled slum where 13 of the children lived, parents who gave their children away confirmed that each of the youngsters had living relatives.

Their testimony echoed that of parents in other towns who said desperation and blind faith led them to hand 20 children over to the religious Americans who promised them a better life.

Number of Catholics on rise globally

The Vatican says the number of Catholics as a percentage of the worldwide faithful is growing slightly. The Holy See says that from 2007 to 2008 Roman Catholics grew from 17.33 per cent of the global population to 17.4 per cent.

The number of priests rose but the number of nuns fell 7.8 per cent. Nuns rose significantly in Asia and Africa but not enough to make up for drops in Europe and America.

EastEnders proves a killer in ratings

Last night's live episode of EastEnders, which saw Stacey Branning revealed as Archie Mitchell's killer, pulled in 16.6 million viewers, the BBC has said.

Fans were kept waiting until the final minutes of the 25th anniversary programme to discover the identity of his killer which followed weeks of feverish speculation.

EastEnders executive producer said the audience rating was "the icing on our silver anniversary cake".

Josephine Carroll

In an article in our edition of February 7, 2010, concerning convicted brothel keeper Thomas Carroll, we stated that "when gardai raided his home in Bagenalstown they found €100,000 cash".

Solicitors for Thomas Carroll's estranged wife Josephine Carroll have contacted us to state that their client and Thomas Carroll have been separated for many years and that no sum of money whatsoever was found by gardai in their client's home in Bagenalstown.

We wish to take this opportunity to apologise to Josephine Carroll for our error and to acknowledge that she had no involvement whatsoever in Thomas Carroll's criminal activities.

Sunday Independent

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