Fri, Aug 11, 2017 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Election changes advance

The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) on Wednesday took a key step toward allowing non-party members, such as Minister of Finance Jose Antonio Meade, to run for president in next year’s election. A commission reviewing PRI statutes voted to make the change, reports said, but the move must still be approved by a wider group tomorrow, according to a source close to PRI secretary-general Claudia Ruiz Massieu. The change would open the door to the candidacy of Meade, a softly spoken technocrat who has served various Cabinet posts in both PRI and National Action Party (PAN) governments. President Enrique Ochoa said there was a need for the party to change its ways ahead of the election. “A modern party should establish open and flexible mechanisms for citizen participation, both those who are party activists, and those who support us,” he said in remarks distributed to reporters.


War involvement denied

The nation yesterday denied accusations of involvement in Tajikistan’s civil war in the 1990s, calling the claims an attempt to damage bilateral ties. In a documentary aired by Tajik state television on Wednesday, three Tajiks said that, following training in Iran, they had killed politicians and other prominent figures inside Tajikistan during the 1992 to 1997 war and attacked a Russian military base there. The embassy in Tajikistan said the accusations were unfounded. “The airing of such biased films ... shows that certain circles do not want to see ... stronger friendship between the two countries,” it said in a statement.


Whale found on ship

A cruise ship on Wednesday reached an Alaskan port with a surprise on its bow: the carcass of a humpback whale. The Grand Princess, a 290m ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, pulled into Ketchikan with the animal lodged on its submerged, bulbous bow, a device designed to avoid wave-making. Princess Cruises spokesman Brian O’Connor said the company was surprised and saddened to discover the whale. “It is unknown how or when this happened as the ship felt no impact,” he said in a statement. “It is also unknown, at this time, whether the whale was alive or already deceased before becoming lodged on the bow.” O’Connor said that navigators spotted no whales near the ship as it sailed overnight toward Ketchikan. Photos indicated that the whale might be a juvenile. The cruise line has a comprehensive whale avoidance program, O’Connor said, adding that ship crews have guidelines on how to operate after spotting whales and alter courses and reduce speed to avoid them.


Titanosaur given name

A new species of titanosaur, discovered in Patagonia three years ago and perhaps the largest known dinosaur to have existed, on Wednesday was formally bestowed a new name: Patagotitan mayorum. The name translates as giant from Patagonia, paleontologist Diego Pol told an unveiling ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where a cast of the colossal creature has been on display since last year. It is so large that its head and neck extend into a lobby. Mayorum was selected after the name of the family on whose Argentinian ranch the remains of the giant herbivore were excavated in 2014. The young adult is thought to have weighed up to 70 tonnes.

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