Hospital ward killer arrested
A woman suspected of murdering 13 patients in a Tuscan hospital between 2014 and last year has been arrested, Italian police said in a statement yesterday. Called “the hospital ward killer,” the woman allegedly committed multiple homicides while working as a nurse in the intensive care and anesthesia ward of a hospital in Piombino. The nurse’s alleged victims had “various pathologies,” police said, but no further details about the case were given. The national military police — the Carabinieri — detained the woman late on Wednesday.
Rousseff clinging to allies
President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday scrambled to hold together her crumbling ruling coalition by negotiating key government posts with remaining allies, aides said, as key partners discussed abandoning her amid impeachment proceedings. A day after Rousseff’s biggest coalition partner broke away and ordered its six ministers in her Cabinet to resign, another coalition ally — the Progressive Party — convened a meeting for April 11 to April 12 to decide whether to leave as well. A presidential aide said the government was reaching out to individual members of allied parties to offer positions that have opened up after the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party bolted on Tuesday.
Ford ‘mayor of heaven’
Toronto on Wednesday mourned its former mayor Rob Ford, whom his young daughter in a speech called the “mayor of heaven now.” Ford died last week at age 46 after fighting cancer. His four-year tenure as mayor of Canada’s largest city was marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. As he sought a second term in 2014, his cancer diagnosis forced him to do what months of scandals could not — drop his bid for re-election. He died less than two years later. “I remember at the hospital he smiled at me and he said: ‘Stephanie, I may not be here for too much longer, but I want you to remember that I will always love you. I need you and your brother to be strong for your mom,’” his 10-year-old daughter said on Wednesday.
Apology for ugly travel tip
The Department of State on Wednesday issued an apology after posting a tweet that seemed to proffer travel advice for those whose looks are less than a perfect “10.” “Some have been offended by our earlier tweet and we apologize that it came off negatively,” the Bureau of Consular Affairs posted on its Twitter account, after pulling down the offending message. Media outlets posted screenshots of the tweet, part of a campaign warning those headed overseas on spring break how to stay out of trouble while abroad. “Not a ‘10’ in the US? Then not a ‘10’ overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse — being robbed” the bureau advised on its @TravelGov account. What was apparently meant as a warning against potential scams initiated by unusual amounts of flattery or alcohol, quickly became the subject of mockery on the Internet. A spoof Twitter account that appeared in the wake of the post offered its own warnings: “If you’re not a ‘10’ in the United States consider whether travel is really going to fill the void inside you.” The Bureau of Consular Affairs said on Twitter it had only been trying to prevent Americans from becoming victims while overseas in the series of tweets, which were hashtagged #springbreakingbadly.
Woman chairperson named
The Communist Southeast Asian nation yesterday named a woman for the first time to the influential role of chairperson in its rubber stamp National Assembly — the country’s fourth most powerful position — state media said. Veteran lawmaker and senior Communist Party official Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was elected with 95.5 percent of votes after a poll in the country’s 500-strong legislative body, state-run VTV said. “I would like to thank the National Assembly for electing me,” Ngan said after the ballot, which was broadcast on VTV. “I vow my resolute loyalty to the nation, the people, and the constitution,” added Ngan, who is from the southern Ben Tre Province. Ngan, 61, was selected for the National Assembly chair position in January during the five-yearly Communist Party Congress, which was this year overshadowed by factional fighting.
Court rules on Zuma funds
President Jacob Zuma “failed to uphold” the constitution when he did not pay back some of the millions of dollars in state funds used to upgrade his home, the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday. The ruling could significantly weaken the leader, who is fending off multiple accusations of alleged misconduct at the highest levels of government though he still retained the support of powerful factions in his party, the African National Congress. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said it would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Zuma. While parliament has the power to remove him, ruling party lawmakers defeated a no-confidence vote against Zuma earlier this year. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng also said that parliament, which is dominated by the ANC, had failed in its obligations by not holding Zuma to account in the spending scandal.
Al-Qaeda raided in Aden
A top security official says pro-government forces have carried out a series of raids against al-Qaeda in the southern port city of Aden, arresting dozens of suspects and causing the militants to flee from key areas. Major General Shalal Shayaa on Wednesday said that southern fighters backing the government have set up checkpoints across the al-Mansoura neighborhood, a former militant stronghold. He said the raids are part of a security campaign aimed at consolidating the internationally recognized government’s control over Aden, its de facto capital. Shiite militias known as Houthis seized the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, in 2014. Aden was plunged into lawlessness after government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition drove the Houthis out last year.
Abuse probe widened
The UN on Wednesday said it has widened an investigation of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by foreign peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and notified authorities in France, Gabon and Burundi about the charges. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday said that the world body had received new sexual abuse allegations against UN peacekeepers from Morocco and Burundi in the Central African Republic, including one that involved a 14-year-old girl. The UN press office released new information about the probe late on Wednesday, saying that a UN team led by the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, known as MINUSCA, had traveled to the Kemo prefecture to investigate.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete