President urges unity
President Enrique Pena Nieto is commemorating Cinco de Mayo by urging his countrymen to tackle current problems with the same “unity and commitment” that defeated the French 151 years ago. Pena Nieto says the holiday celebrates principles that, in his words, “encourage the political forces and federal government to pursue a transformative reform agenda that the country demands and needs.” Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops defeated a French army, then considered the mightiest military in the world. The anniversary was marked on Sunday with a military parade in the city of Puebla, where the battle took place.
Ballistic missile test fails
A test of an M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile failed on Sunday as it self-destructed off the coast of Brittany, officials said. “It was a failure, the reasons will be determined by an investigation,” said Lieutenant Commander Lionel Delort, a spokesman for the Atlantic Naval Prefecture. He said the missile “self-destructed during its first propulsion phase ... for an unknown reason.” The missile was test fired, without a nuclear warhead, from the Vigilant — a strategic nuclear submarine — from the Bay of Audierne and had been due to go down in the isolated north Atlantic. The defense ministry said in a statement that it “was destroyed shortly after launch, over the ocean,” without providing further details.
Freud couch needs therapy
Perhaps the most memorable item of furniture in the world — the couch in Sigmund Freud’s consulting room, sagging under the weight of more than a century of recollected dreams, terrors, traumas and phobias — needs a facelift. The Freud Museum in London has launched an appeal on the 157th anniversary of his birth for funds to reupholster the couch. Many of Freud’s most famous patients, whose psychological traumas helped him to formulate his theories of psychoanalysis, lay on the couch.
Jet crashes at airshow
A historic jet plane crashed into a hangar and exploded in a fireball at an airshow southwest of the Madrid on Sunday, severely injuring its pilot who later died in the hospital, officials said. A spokesman for Spain’s Defense Ministry said the pilot, Ladislao Tejedor Romero, 35, an experienced jet pilot and assistant to Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes, died of his injuries in the serious burns unit of Getafe hospital. About 3,000 people were at Cuatro Vientos airfield watching a showcase of aerial acrobatics and vintage aircraft when the plane crashed, sending a fireball and thick black smoke into the air.
Military to fight crime
The nation’s top security official announced on Sunday that the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will use the military to fight rampant violent crime, raising concerns among activists who warned the initiative could lead to human rights violations. Venezuelan Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez said personnel from the army, navy and air force will join National Guard troops as part of a forthcoming anti-crime initiative. Rodriguez did not provide details of the plan, but he said tapping the military would give the government “potential that we can use to quickly reduce the crime rate. It will be a good tool that is going to bring peace to citizens,” he said.