Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

COLOMBIA

Police spoil cannabis rally

Riot police on Thursday broke up a pro-marijuana demonstration in the capital city, as the South American nation takes a harder stance on drugs. Dozens of people showed up at Bogota’s planetarium with posters and small amounts of marijuana to stage a “smoke-a-thon” to defend recreational use of the plant. However, the crowd was dispersed by police in riot gear minutes after protesters began to light up their marijuana cigarettes. At least half a dozen people were arrested as clashes broke out. The constitution enables marijuana users to possess small doses meant for personal consumption, but President Ivan Duque is tightening drug laws and recently issued a decree that enables police to confiscate any drug consumed in public.

ECUADOR

Quake injures one person

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Thursday struck central Ecuador, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, injuring one person and disrupting power supply to nearby areas. It hit 94km south of the city of Ambato at a depth of 112 km, the USGS said. The quake knocked down power cables, leaving the areas of Puertas Negras, Guano and Chunchi without electricity, the Risk Management Secretariat said in a statement. There was slight damage to homes and landslides hit a road, it said. A resident of Babahoyo town suffered a broken bone and authorities were assessing whether any houses had collapsed, the secretariat said. Tremors were felt in the capital, Quito, and in the industrial port city of Guayaquil, where people ran into the streets, a Reuters witness said. The nation’s geological institute said the earthquake, which hit a remote area with a low population, caused five smaller aftershocks. The Andean nation has frequent seismic activity. In 2016, a devastating magnitude 7.8-earthquake struck Ecuador’s Pacific coast, killing more than 650 people.

PARAGUAY

Israel move ‘exaggerated’

President Mario Abdo Benitez on Thursday urged Israel to reconsider the closing of its embassy in Asuncion, calling it an “exaggerated” response to the South American nation’s decision to move its embassy back to Tel Aviv. The diplomatic dispute began in May when then-president Horacio Cartes authorized moving the Paraguayan embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the US and Guatemala had already done. The move pleased Israel and Washington, but infuriated the Palestinians and their supporters. Benitez had yet to take office when Cartes announced the move in one of his final acts as president and said he would review the decision. On Wednesday, he reversed it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately ordered the closure of the Israeli embassy in Asuncion.

UNITED STATES

Burt Reynolds dies at 82

Actor Burt Reynolds, best known for his roles in Deliverance and Boogie Nights, died on Thursday, his publicist said. The 82-year-old actor died in a hospital in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told the Hollywood Reporter. Reynolds, whose career spanned six decades, received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of porn director Jack Horner in the 1997 film Boogie Nights. Last year, he received critical acclaim for his performance in the indie movie The Last Movie Star. Reynolds was considered box office gold in the 1970s and early 80s with such hits as Smokey and the Bandit, Starting Over and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

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