Afghanistan declares day of mourning after deadly landslide
The Afghan government has declared a day of mourning for the thousands of victims of a landslide that engulfed a village in northeast Afghanistan on Friday. According to officials, over 2,000 people were in their homes when the mudslide struck and are now feared dead. The landslide happened in the province of Badakhshan on the border with neighboring Tajikistan.
Kazakhstan plans to enter WTO in 2014
President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, believes the country will become a WTO member this year. The negotiating process has gone through its final stage, Nazarbaev said at the opening ceremony for the 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in Astana. He added that membership of the WTO will help the country’s development as it interrelates with more partners. Nazarbaev also spoke of plans for the revival of the Silk Road, which would, according to him, connect countries of major economic potential.
Gunman shoots six in Arkansas
Six people have been shot in Arkansas, after a gunman opened fire on a home, killing a man and a 13 year-old girl. Two boys aged 8 and 10 were also critically wounded in the incident and are now in hospital in a critical condition. The gunman then left the scene and shot a worker at a nearby business park, police said. The suspected attacker was later found dead in a car with a gunshot wound to the head. It is unclear whether he was killed or if he committed suicide. The incident happened in Jonesboro and police say they do not know of a motive for the attack, which happened on Saturday evening.
23 dead in Haiti bus crash
A bus crash in the southwest of Haiti has killed 23 people and left 17 injured, authorities from the country said. Ronald Etienne, who is the Mayor of the city of Jeremie, says that it is not known what caused the accident, which happened on Saturday. The crash occurred near the coastal town of Roseau, which is on the far western tip of Haiti’s southern peninsula.
11 Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists arrested in connection with missing MH370 flight
Authorities have arrested and interrogated 11 Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in connection with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Daily Mail reported. The suspects were arrested last week in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur and in the state of Kedah. The detained individuals are reportedly members of a new terror group that was planning bomb attacks in Muslim countries. They are said to be between 22 and 55 and comprise of students, a young widow, odd-job workers, and business professionals, according to the paper. “The possibility that the plane was diverted by militants is still high on the list and international investigators have asked for a comprehensive report on this new terror group,” an officer with the Counter Terrorism Division of Malaysia’s Special Branch said Saturday.
N. Irish police request more time to question Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Police investigating the 1972 murder of Jean McConville are preparing to request more time to question Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein. It comes as Stormont Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness claimed Adam’s detention was political policing and alleged there was a “cabal” in the police force. McGuinness challenged what he said was an inconsistency, in that members of the British military had not been arrested over the Bloody Sunday killings and other controversial shootings during the troubles in Northern Ireland. 65-year old Adams has always denied allegations by former republican colleagues that he ordered the murder of Ms. McConville who was wrongly suspected of being a British army informer.
Turkey drops case against 60 people in corruption probe
Turkish persecutors dropped a case against 60 people on Friday, including the son of a former minster, in a graft probe that has unsteadied the Islamic-rooted government. They were detained in December and charged with accepting and facilitating bribes for construction projects and getting hold of building permits in protected areas.The prosecutor handling the case into Turkey’s TOKI housing agency decided not to pursue it, citing “lack of evidence” as the cause.
Kerry in South Sudan to push for end of conflict
US Secretary of State John Kerry is in South Sudan on Friday, where he will push for an end to the four-months-old conflict in talks with President Salva Kiir. His trip comes a day after the US threatened sanctions and held out hope of more peace keepers. More than 1 million people have fled their homes since fighting erupted in December between those backing President Kiir and soldiers loyal to his former deputy, Riek Machar. The fighting has largely run along ethnic lines and Kerry also warned that the violence could descend into genocide.
Moscow urges US to clarify incarceration, interrogation of Russian detainee
Moscow expects clarifications from Washington about the latest incident connected with the Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, said the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov. Earlier, Yaroshenko’s lawyer said that the detainee was placed in solitary confinement in Fort Dix prison, where he was interrogated for four hours. “If these facts are true, if he was thrown into solitary confinement, these actions cannot be justified,” said Dolgov adding that the US actions were “outrageous.” Pilot Yaroshenko was arrested by US officers in May 2010 in Liberia and accused of cocaine smuggling. He was sentenced to 20 years in September 2011.
France bans imports of pork based products
France is to ban imports of pork based products, live pigs and pig sperm from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan because of a virus that has killed millions of piglets in North America and Asia, a ministry official said, Reuters reports. The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) has killed around 7 million piglets since it was first identified in the US about a year ago.
6.0-magnitude earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck of eastern Indonesia on Friday, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake struck at 4:43pm local time (08:43 GMT) 70 kilometers south-southeast of Namela in the Maluku chain of islands at a depth of 54 kilometers. Local officials said there was no risk of a tsunami.Indonesia is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where there is frequent volcanic and seismic activity.
The World Bank to loan $12 billion to Pakistan over next 5 years
The World Bank has extended its financial assistance to Pakistan to the tune of $12 billion for a five-year period, the country’s finance ministry said on Friday. According to Pakistani officials, the loan will target“energy, economy, (fighting) extremism and education.” Within the framework of a 2 percent interest rate loan program the first $1 billion will be transferred to the country, hit by an energy crisis and a shortfall in tax revenues, next week.
Five killed, ten wounded in militia attack in Libya’s Benghazi
Five people were killed and ten wounded in a militia attack on the security headquarters in the Libyan port city of Benghazi on Friday, according to army officials. The fighting broke out when the militia tried to storm the building early in the morning. The clashes between the security forces and Islamist militants are regular in this city, which is located in a volatile eastern region.
Suicide bomber attack kills two in Egypt’s Sinai
A suicide bomber has struck a security checkpoint in the South Sinai region of Egypt, killing himself and one other person, security officials told Egyptian publication Al-Ahram. The attack happened in the town of El-Tur, on the main road between Cairo and the popular tourist destination of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Ukrainian military has started an operation against pro-autonomy activists in the city of Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine and the town of Konstantinovka, according to local self-defense activists.
The troops have moved into Mariupol and have surrounded an administrative building held by anti-government protesters. The protesters have set up barricades and are burning tires.
There are a few hundred activists inside the building. They told media that the army is warning them that if they do not leave the building in the coming minutes, they will be fired at and the building will be seized.
“I am in the center of the city, there are a lot of ambulances outside the local administration building, gunfire is being heard, armored vehicles have entered the city and are moving towards the center,” witness Tatyana told media by phone. “People are going there as well, to prevent the soldiers from shooting. We are hoping they won’t shoot at civilians, though from what we’ve seen before, we are not sure anymore.”
Mikhail Krutko from the self-defense headquarters told Interfax news agency: “Residents are unarmed, they blocked roads in the city center, built up barricades from tires and other things not to let hardware pass. They set tires on fire.”
People on the ground told RT’s Paula Slier that there are 300-500 anti-Kiev protesters there and they are unarmed. There have so far been no reports of injuries.
“There is no fatalities so far, but I can’t say anything about the number of injured. Right now police have returned from the scene, but people in dark uniforms can be seen in other parts of the city,” another witness named Dmitry told RT.
A bank building has been set ablaze in Mariupol, local news website 0629 reported.RT News