Sun, Jan 06, 2019 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

POLAND

Five die in escape room

Five teenage girls died and one man was seriously injured on Friday when a fire broke out in a room where they were playing an escape game in the city of Koszalin, officials said. “The victims of this tragedy are 15-year-old children, girls celebrating a birthday,” Minister of the Interior Joachim Brudzinski told broadcaster TVN24. Fire brigade spokesman Tomasz Kubiak could only confirm that the dead were women, telling reporters that “one man with severe burns was taken to an intensive care unit.” The injured man was thought to be 25 years old, local police told reporters. Police and fire officials said they did not yet know what started the blaze in the escape room.

PERU

Maduro urged to step down

A dozen Latin American governments and Canada on Friday delivered a blistering rebuke to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, questioning the legitimacy of his soon-to-begin second term and urging him to hand over power as the only path to restoring democracy in his crisis-wracked South American country. The sharp criticism came at a meeting in Lima of foreign ministers from countries including Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, all of which have been weighing how to confront the increasingly authoritarian Maduro while absorbing a growing exodus of Venezuelans fleeing economic chaos. In a statement, the Lima Group urged Maduro to refrain from taking the presidential oath on Thursday and instead cede power to the opposition-controlled congress until new, fairer elections can be held.

BRAZIL

Bolsonaro mulls US base

The country is open to hosting a US military base to counter Russian influence in the region, President Jair Bolsonaro said. Bolsonaro, who took office on Tuesday, is a fan of US President Donald Trump and a fierce critic of Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has close ties with Russia. In an interview with the SBT network Thursday night, Bolsonaro said that “my approximation with the United States is economic, but it could also be warlike,” adding that the base would be “symbolic,” as US military power can reach any part of the globe.

MEXICO

Police close migrant shelter

Police on Friday took steps to close a migrant shelter in Tijuana, sparking protests from some of the dozens of US-bound people who had been staying there after traveling in a caravan from Central America. The arrival of several thousand migrants in the past few months has challenged the country’s new president to make good on pledges to protect migrants. Tijuana officials cited sanitary reasons for closing the shelter, a two-story warehouse in a zone known for crime and prostitution near the US border.

UNITED NATIONS

New envoy to be appointed

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday agreed to appoint a new envoy to Somalia after its president refused to reverse a decision to expel a representative for raising human rights concerns. Guterres on Friday spoke by telephone with Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed — his second call to the Somalian leader in three days — to once again urge him to change his mind, diplomats said. However, the president dug in his heels and said envoy Nicholas Haysom would remain persona non grata and would not be allowed to return to Somalia, they said.

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