Mon, Apr 17, 2017 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AFGHANISTAN

Karzai criticizes US bomb

The US military’s use of the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on a cave complex being used by Islamic State group fighters has stirred up political trouble for the government, as former president Hamid Karzai on Saturday called his successor “a traitor” and declared that he wanted the Americans gone from the country. In an interview with the New York Times, Karzai said there was no justification for the US to drop the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. He accused the US military of using the presence of Islamic State militants to turn his country into a laboratory for testing its weapons.

GUATEMALA

Mexican fugitive arrested

The former governor of Mexico’s Veracruz state, Javier Duarte, who is accused of running a corruption ring that allegedly pilfered from state coffers, has been detained after six months on the run. A statement from Mexico’s federal Attorney General’s Office said Duarte was detained on Saturday with the cooperation of local police and the country’s Interpol office in Panajachel, a town on Lake Atitlan in the highlands that is popular with tourists. Duarte is wanted on suspicion of money laundering and organized crime. He was to be transferred to Guatemala City yesterday and would later appear before a judge for a hearing on Mexico’s extradition request.

ITALY

Refugees drown in sea

At least 20 refugees trying to reach Europe yesterday drowned in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, a Reuters photographer said. Darrin Zammit Lupi, who is aboard the rescue ship Phoenix, said he saw 20 bodies while a dinghy was being helped by the crew of the ship, run by the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station. On Saturday, coast guard and other boats rescued about 3,000 migrants from unseaworthy boats, as the good weather pushes the numbers up. A total of 35 rescue operations were launched during the day, the coast guard said. Pauline Schmidt, a spokeswoman for Jugend Rettet, a German non-governmental organization that participated in the rescue efforts, said that her group “have never had to deal with so many people at the same time.”

VATICAN CITY

Easter Mass draws crowds

Tens of thousands of faithful yesterday braved heavy security checks for a place in St Peter’s Square as Pope Francis celebrated Easter Sunday Mass on the steps leading to St Peter’s Basilica. In an impromptu homily delivered during the Mass, the pope encouraged people to hold fast in their “fearful hearts” to faith despite all the wars, sickness and hatred in the world, acknowledging that many wonder where God is amid so much evil and suffering. Easter “isn’t a party with lots of flowers,” he said, but an occasion to ponder the mystery of faith. Security included armed police positioned on rooftops and metal detectors.

SPAIN

Britons arrested for drugs

Authorities on Saturday said that they had arrested two Britons after intercepting a stash of synthetic drugs “80 times stronger” than cannabis that had been smuggled inside sacks of coffee into the southeastern city of Alicante. Police said drugs were hidden in packets posted from Hong Kong. Police, who valued the street value of the 12.2kg stash at 3.5 million euros (US$3.2 million), said the second suspect was seeking “to flee justice” when he was tracked down.

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