Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



IS gas use called ‘plausible’

A senior official on Thursday deemed it “plausible” that the Islamic State (IS) group used mustard gas against Iraqi Kurd fighters this week. “Based on previous information, we found these reports plausible,” the official said, referring to a Wall Street Journal story citing US and German sources that said the extremist group had used the banned chemical weapon. The Pentagon on Thursday said it is “seeking additional information” about the alleged attack.


Gang boss, reporter killed

Five gunmen burst into a bar early on Thursday and killed a reputed drug gang boss, a reporter and four other people in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said. The Veracruz State Prosecutors’ Office said the gunmen entered the bar and went directly for the victims, who included the local boss of the Zetas drug gang, identified as Jose Marquez Balderas. It said reporter Juan Santos Carrera was among those sitting with him. Two other reporters in the bar were not shot, but were fired by their newspaper for being at the scene with the local cartel boss.


Strike paralyzes capital

A general strike against President Rafael Correa virtually paralyzed the capital, Quito, provincial cities and major highways on Thursday and violent clashes broke out between protesters and police in several cities. A diverse coalition mobilized thousands of indigenous activists, unionists and environmentalists who blocked roads with tree trunks, rocks and burning tires, and public transport was scarce in Quito. Indigenous groups are upset by Correa’s refusal to consult them on mining and oil exploration on traditional lands, while unionists are angry at a new labor code.


Stolen Picasso returned

The government on Thursday returned to French authorities an oil painting by Pablo Picasso that was reported stolen from Centre Georges Pompidou museum 14 years ago. The Hairdresser, which Picasso created in Paris in 1911 during his Cubist period, was seized by US customs agents in New Jersey in December last year. Valued at US$15 million, it was authenticated in January by experts from the Pompidou museum.


Labour begins voting

The Labour Party started voting for a new leader yesterday, with Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who would move the party significantly to the left, favored to win. The 66-year-old only entered the race as a wildcard, but has attracted surging grassroots support. Many top Labour figures warn the party under him could not take power in a country where elections are typically won or lost on the center ground.


City deploys urine repellant

Public urination has become so bad in San Francisco that the city has painted nine walls with a repellant paint that makes pee spray back on the offender. Walls are coated with a clear, liquid-repellant material that goes on much like paint. Hit with urine, it splashes back on a person’s shoes and pants. San Francisco Public Works Department Director Mohammed Nuru said offenders will need to make the mistake only once to get the idea. “If you have to go,” he said, “go in the right place.” A San Francisco light pole corroded by urine recently fell on a car. Public urination is illegal, but a fine of up to US$500 passed in 2002 has seen little success.

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