Mon, Nov 18, 2019 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take



Protesters block roads

Anti-government protesters yesterday blocked roads with burning tires in parts of the center and south of the country, halting traffic and paralyzing work following a call for a national strike. In the port city of Basra and in cities like Nasiriyah, Amara and Kut, protesters set tires ablaze to close off roads, keeping employees from reaching their work places. Schools, universities and other institutions closed for the day. In parts of Baghdad, particularly the sprawling Sadr City neighborhood, protesters sat in the middle of the streets to prevent employees from getting to their workplaces. They also blocked roads with motorcycles and tuk-tuks, snarling traffic. “There will be no offices open until the last corrupt person is removed,” one protester said, declining to be identified for security reasons.


New plague case reported

Inner Mongolia yesterday reported a fresh, confirmed case of bubonic plague, despite an earlier declaration by health officials that the risk of an outbreak was minimal. A 55-year-old man was diagnosed with the disease after he ate wild rabbit meat on Nov. 5. His case follows two that were confirmed earlier this month in Beijing in patients from Inner Mongolia. The Inner Mongolia health commission said it found no evidence so far to link the latest case to those in Beijing. The patient was isolated and treated at a hospital in Ulanqab, while 28 people who had close contact with him were under observation, it said.


Gas explosion kills seven

At least seven people were killed and 25 injured after a gas pipeline exploded at Patharghata area in Chittagong yesterday, police said. The explosion collapsed portions of a boundary wall of a nearby building, local police chief Mohammed Mohsin said. At least 25 people were hospitalized. It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion.


Ruling coalition loses vote

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition on Saturday lost its fourth electoral contest since coming to power in May last year. The opposition secured a majority of over 15,000 votes to wrest the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat in Johor State. The coalition had already been grappling with plummeting public approval over its management of the country. Discontent within the coalition over Mahathir’s reticence on when he would hand over power to rival-turned-ally Anwar Ibrahim surfaced even before the results were officially announced. “This is a referendum on the PH led by Tun Dr M,” Syed Husin Ali, a former senior leader with Anwar’s People’s Justice Party, said on Twitter, referring to Mahathir by his honorific. “The decision is clear. The people are disappointed and want to teach PH and especially Tun Dr M.”


ICC probe rejected

The government rejected the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to allow prosecutors to open an investigation into crimes committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Government spokesman Zaw Htay said at a Friday night news conference that the government stood by its position that the Netherlands-based court has no jurisdiction over its actions. The government has already set up its own independent commission of inquiry, which was making progress in its investigations, while the military had established a court of inquiry, he said.

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