Sat, Feb 09, 2019 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

SOUTH AFRICA

President calls elections

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that general elections would be held on May 8 as the ruling African National Congress looks to reverse falling popularity due to weak growth, unemployment and corruption. Ramaphosa sought to strike an optimistic tone and said that South Africans are “much more hopeful” since he took over one year ago from Jacob Zuma.

SYRIA

IS leader survives coup

Islamic State (IS) group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last month survived a coup attempt launched by foreign fighters in his eastern Syrian hideout and the terrorist group has since placed a bounty on the main plotter’s head, intelligence officials said. The incident is believed to have taken place on Jan. 10 in a village near Hajin in the Euphrates River valley, where the militant group is clinging to its last sliver of land. Regional intelligence officials said that a planned move against al-Baghdadi led to a firefight between foreign fighters and al-Baghdadi’s bodyguards, who spirited him away to the nearby deserts. The IS has offered a reward to whoever kills Abu Muath al-Jazairi, believed to be a veteran foreign fighter, one of an estimated 500 IS fighters thought to remain in the area. While IS did not directly accuse al-Jazairi, placing a bounty on the head of one of its senior members is an unusual move and intelligence officials said they believe he was the central plotter.

TURKEY

At least 10 dead in collapse

The death toll from the collapse of an Istanbul apartment block on Thursday rose to 10 as more bodies were pulled from the rubble, authorities said. The eight-story building in the city’s Kartal District collapsed on Wednesday, but the cause is not yet clear. Rescuers initially put the death toll at two, but Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said that the figure had leapt to 10 as more bodies were pulled from the rubble, Anadolu news agency reported. Another 13 people were injured, three of them seriously, he said. Forty-three people were registered in the building, Anadolu said.

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