Mon, May 15, 2017 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take



Portugal wins Eurovision

Portugal’s Salvador Sobral on Saturday won the Eurovision Song Contest performing a jazz-style ballad written by his sister, taking the top spot for the first time in the country’s history and celebrating with a call to “put emotion back into music.” Along with singers from Italy and Bulgaria, Sobral was a favorite going into the final of the annual song fest, which was held in Kiev, and he led the voting throughout the evening. A soft-spoken 27-year-old with a scraggly beard, Sobral won with Amar Pelos Dois (Love For Both of Us). It is the first time Portugal won since it first entered the contest in 1964.


Thousands protest amnesty

Several thousand people marched through central Tunis on Saturday to protest against a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption when former president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was in power. Critics of the Economic Reconciliation bill say it is a step back from the spirit of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution to oust Ben Ali, but government officials say it is a way get the businessmen to inject some of their ill-gotten cash back into the economy. The draft law allows businessmen to reveal stolen funds and repay them.


Train derails, hits house

Three people died and 10 were injured when a train derailed in the county’s north on Saturday night and ripped through a house, police said. The train carrying 70 passengers and five crew was heading from Athens to the second-biggest city of Thessaloniki when it derailed in the town of Adendro, 37km from Thessaloniki, railway company TRAINOSE said. At least two carriages crashed into the ground floor of a house, ripping through its walls. Others toppled on to their sides, their windows smashed. It was unclear what caused the accident. “Death came calling,” the Athens News Agency quoted local resident Yorgos Mylonas as saying. “I heard a strange noise and then I saw the train approaching and ramming into my neighbor’s house.” Three of the injured are in serious condition, TRAINOSE said. Earlier, in a statement on its Web site, the company had said that four people were killed in the crash, but it removed that reference. At least two dozen fire trucks were deployed in the rescue operation.


Hundreds rescued from sea

Rescuers on Saturday saved 484 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean Sea and found the bodies of seven men who had died in the attempt to get to Europe, the coast guard said. The migrants were rescued from four separate rubber boats by the coast guard and navy, an aid group and two private vessels, the coast guard said in a statement.


Snap election for fall: Kern

The nation is to hold a snap parliamentary election this year, probably in the autumn, Chancellor Christian Kern told ORF TV yesterday, hours before the conservative party in his coalition was due to meet to choose a new leader. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration Sebastian Kurz, who is widely expected to take over as leader of the conservative People’s Party, has said he wants to hold a snap election, which Kern opposes. “There will definitely ... be an election, I assume in the coming autumn,” Kern told ORF, adding that he did not think carrying on with a minority government was a viable option.


Local elections held

Voting began yesterday in the nation’s first local elections in two decades. Polls opened in three provinces at 7am, with nearly 50,000 candidates vying for the position of mayor, deputy mayor, ward chairman and ward member in 283 municipalities. Long lines started to formed early outside polling stations in Kathmandu, where the paper ballot was about 1m long to accommodate names of the 878 candidates. “It is difficult to expect much from our politicians — they have always been selfish and not worked for the people — but I hope that with this election things will change,” housewife Shova Maharjan, 41, said after casting her vote in the capital. Results are expected later in the week.

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