Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

BRAZIL

Partygoers trash beach

The 2 million revelers who celebrated New Year’s Eve on Rio de Janeiro’s famed Copacabana Beach left behind a calling card on Friday: 315 tonnes of trash for the Olympic host city to cart away. An army of nearly 1,200 workers and a fleet of 250 trash trucks began working at dawn to haul away the mountain of refuse strewn over 6km of beach. In some instances, workers had to continue their clean-up duties while weaving between exhausted New Year’s partygoers who stayed on the beach catching up on their sleep long after most of the merry-makers had gone home. Within about four hours of starting their labors, the beach was restored to its mostly pristine state, and was ready to welcome a new round of visitors on what looked to be scorching beach weather to start the New Year: Sunny and about 40°C.

EL SALVADOR

Murders mark new year

The nation, suffering an epidemic of violence, opened the new year with 15 more people gunned down, officials said on Friday. Among them were two men, two women and an 11-year-old child slain in the early hours by men dressed as police, who stormed into two humble dwellings and sprayed them with gunfire. The killings occurred in the Los Cerritos community about 160km east of San Salvador. In a second incident, National Police Commissioner Veronica Uriarte said agents on patrol encountered five alleged gang members in Valle Nuevo just south of San Salvador and exchanged gunfire, killing five. Five more people were killed in various incidents, two in rural Nueva Concepcion north of the capital, two in the municipality of San Miguel in the east, and a suspected gang member in El Espino, near the capital. According to official statistics, 2014 ended with 3,942 homicides in the country, 1,429 more than 2013. According to preliminary figures, last year will have ended with more than 6,670 homicides, an average of 18 violent deaths per day.

GUATEMALA

Prison fight turns deadly

A fight at an overcrowded prison killed at least eight prisoners and wounded 20, Minister of the Interior Eunice Mendizabal said on Friday. An altercation between two inmates turned into a battle between rival gangs at the prison in Puerto Barrios, about 185km northeast of the capital, said Mendizabal, who arrived at the prison after the incident. Mendizabal said there were nearly 1,000 prisoners in the prison that was designed to hold 400. The incident was the latest in a string of deadly prison fights in the Central American country in recent years. In November, 16 prisoners were killed in a prison riot.

VENEZUELA

Climate delays gas export

The nation’s state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), has delayed the export of natural gas to Colombia because of climate factors, the Colombian Mines and Energy Ministry said on Friday. In a letter to the Colombian government on Wednesday, PDVSA said the exports would not begin because of “climate variability,” the ministry said in a statement. The exports are part of a deal between the two countries, which includes provisions for the neighbors to supply their own markets if necessary before exporting. “The contract specifies the delivery of 39 million cubic feet [1.1 million cubic meters] a day from Venezuela, which corresponds to just over 3 percent of daily supply in Colombia,” the statement said. Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol has asked PDVSA to give a new date by which the exports could begin.

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