Quake of M6.0 – EASTER ISLAND REGION
UN: 4,000 people killed in Ukrainian conflict
Over 4,000 people have died in the bloody eastern Ukrainian conflict over half a year of fighting, according to the latest UN data. 300 people have been killed in the past 10 days alone. On October 21, the death toll was 3,724 people.
Topol-M ballistic missile tested from Plesetsk cosmodrome
Today at 9:20 am Moscow time, Russian Strategic Missile Troops (SMT) conducted a test launch of the silo-based intercontinental Topol-M (RT-2PM2) nuclear ballistic missile. The warhead hit the target at the Kuru range in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Pacific region. The missile was launched from Plesetsk military cosmodrome in Mirny, in Russia’s northern Arkhangelsk region. The launch confirmed the exceptional precision and technical reliability of the missile, reported STM spokesman Col. Igor Yegorov.
3 girls killed in hit-and-run while trick-or-treating in California
A speeding car has hit and killed three girls, all 13 years old, while they were trick-or-treating in Santa Ana, California, according to local authorities, as quoted by CNN. Two of the girls were twins, they were wearing Halloween costumes and carrying bags of candy. A car struck them at a pedestrian crossing near an elementary school, and drove away. The girls were declared dead at the scene, CNN affiliate KABC reported. The driver was allegedly speeding, according to witnesses. The police are now looking for two male suspects, after discovering the car abandoned nearby.
2 buses crash head-on in Nepal:
A collision involving two commuter buses in Nepal’s Makwanpur District resulted in 10 deaths and 30 injuries, among them one Russian female tourist, Darya Mlochkova. Eight victims died on the spot and two died after medics had arrived at the scene. The wounded have been taken to a hospital in Biratnagar. Police say the crash occurred at 2 am, as reported in the Himalayan Times. A driver of one of the buses was speeding and lost control of the vehicle, causing the fatal crash. Soon after the incident, the culprit apparently fled the scene.
Burkina Faso ‘military putsch’ as Lt. Col. Zida claims to be ‘in power’
A statement aired on Burkina Faso’s Omega Radio early Saturday claimed that Lieutenant Colonel Issac Zida has taken over the post of head of state, Reuters reported. “I assume the functions of head of state and I call on [West African regional bloc] ECOWAS and the international community to demonstrate their understanding and support the new authorities,” it said. If true, the statement reportedly announced by the man himself shows an apparent putsch against the country’s Army chief Gen. Honore Traore, who earlier said he assumes the power for the transitional period. It comes after reports of heavy gunfire coming from the presidential palace in the capital Ouagadougou in the early hours of Saturday morning, and follows the Friday resignation of President Blaise Compaore on his 27th year of rule.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko supports Yatsenyuk for new PM term
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko threw his support behind Arseny Yatsenyuk for a new term as prime minister on Friday. “I have proposed to the faction of the Poroshenko bloc that it submits Arseny Yatsenyuk as a candidate for prime minister,” Poroshenko said in a tweet. The move ends speculation that the president might seek to bring in his own candidate as head of the government, Reuters said.
12 miners trapped as Colombia mine flooded with water
Colombian officials have said that 12 miners trapped in a coal shaft are presumed dead after the mine was flooded with water, AFP said. The 12 men, aged between 23 and 55, became trapped on Thursday in a mine in Amaga in northwestern Colombia. Officials said that the water would be pumped out of the mine on Friday.
Public radio complex in Paris on fire, staff evacuated
A fire broke out at France’s public radio headquarters in Paris on Friday, forcing live programs off the air, Reuters said. Staff evacuated the vast complex. France Info said that building work had been underway recently at the building, where thousands of journalists and other staff work.
Burkina Faso president ‘no longer in power’
Burkina Faso’s embattled President Blaise Compaore has been ousted, AFP quoted an army official as saying on Friday. “Compaore is no longer in power,” Colonel Boureima Farta told tens of thousands of protesters in front of the army’s headquarters.
At least 5 killed by car bomb in NE Nigeria
A car bomb exploded in the northeastern Nigerian city of Gombe on Friday, killing five people and wounding 15 others, Reuters reported, citing a source in the emergency services. “It just happened, and our men and the security agencies are on the scene dealing with the fallout,” the source said. An AFP report said a triple bombing at a bus station killed at least eight people and wounded 34 others.
Protesters demand Burkina Faso leader’s resignation
Tens of thousands of protesters on Friday demanded the resignation of President Blaise Compaore, AFP reported. After a day of unrest that saw parliament set ablaze, opposition chief Zephirin Diabre urged supporters to “keep up the pressure by occupying public spaces.” Thousands of people took to the streets of the West African country on Thursday in protest at plans by the legislature to change the constitution. The move would have allowed Compaore to extend his 27-year rule.
Vnukovo airport service chief engineer charged in Falcon crash
The chief service engineer at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, Vladimir Ledenev, faces a criminal charge over the crash of a French jet Falcon, in which France’s energy giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie died, TASS reported. Ledenev was charged with violation of jet operation rules that resulted in four people’s deaths through negligence, according to spokesman of the Russian Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin. Ledenev, who was earlier questioned as a defendant, is now under arrest, Markin said.
China prepares elite army unit to help fight Ebola in Liberia
China will send an elite unit from the People’s Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The PLA squad, which has experience from a 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), will build a 100-bed treatment center in Liberia, Reuters reported. This is the first such facility in the three countries most impacted by Ebola to be constructed and run by a foreign country. Beijing made the decision responding to UN calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa.
Russia to resume gas supplies ‘48 hours after Ukraine repays 1st $1.45bn of debt’
Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said on Friday that Russian natural gas deliveries to Ukraine will resume 48 hours after Kiev repays the first $1.45 billion portion of its gas debt and makes an advance payment, TASS reported. The Russian government may sign a resolution on a $100 gas price discount for Ukraine on Friday, Miller told the Rossiya-24 TV Channel. The two states earlier signed an agreement on gas supplies.
Russia delivers humanitarian aid to Donetsk in E. Ukraine
A Russian Emergencies Ministry convoy delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Friday, TASS reported. About 50 trucks brought 500 tons of food and construction materials. The convoy earlier in the day crossed the border with Ukraine at the Donetsk-Izvarino checkpoint, and one part of it headed for Donetsk and the other for Luhansk. The regions will get a total of 1,000 tons of humanitarian supplies.
Burkina Faso president declares state of emergency
The president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, has declared a state of emergency due to violent riots in the country’s capital, local radio reports. People took to the streets of Ouagadougou, burning government buildings and storming the presidential residence, after Compaore announced plans to extend his 27-year rule in the West African country. The head of state has called on the opposition to end the protests and return home.
Burkina Faso protesters set parliament main chamber ablaze
Protesters, who stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament on Thursday, dragged furniture and computers onto the street and set the main chamber ablaze, AP said. The attackers wanted to block a vote in parliament that would have allowed President Blaise Compaore to run for a fifth time. The prime minister’s office issued a statement saying it was canceling the vote. The demonstrations are continuing in the West African country’s capital, Ouagadougou, and other places. Military leaders met on Thursday afternoon with the influential chief of the country’s largest ethnic group, the Mossi.
Hundreds evacuated in fire at central railway station in Helsinki
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the central railway station in Finland’s capital Helsinki on Thursday over a fire at a restaurant, TASS said. No one was injured, according to an STT report, which states police aren’t ruling out arson.
Berlin to ban anti-Islamist rally after Cologne riots
The German capital will ban a planned rally against Islamists by neo-Nazis and soccer fans after rioting in Cologne, Reuters reported. On Sunday, some 4,000 hooligans and neo-Nazis hurled objects at police who responded with pepper spray and water cannon. Police said 49 officers were injured. The organizers in Berlin plan to stage a protest against ultra-conservative Islamic Salafists at the Brandenburg Gate on November 15, a week after the capital celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.9
Russian helicopter pilot captured last year by Afghanistan’s Taliban released
The pilot of an Mi-8 helicopter, who was captured by Taliban in Afghanistan in April 2013, has been released, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Petrenko was released on October 29 “as a result of concerted efforts,” the ministry said, as cited by TASS. The pilot had made an emergency landing in the Afghan province of Logar and has been held in captivity by the Taliban since April 2013. Petrenko is currently at the Russian embassy in Kabul and will soon return to Russia, the ministry said.
US forces stage airstrikes on ISIS targets near Kobani – Central Command
US forces have staged 10 airstrikes on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets near the Syrian city of Kobani since Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing US Central Command. The raids in the Kobani area hit two small IS units and destroyed seven fighting positions and five buildings, and these airstrikes were among 12 in Syria by US fighters and bombers. The IS headquarters building near Deir Al-Zor and a security building near Raqqa were also damaged. Allies joined US forces in raids in Iraq that hit a small IS unit near Bayji and a checkpoint west of Ramadi.
Donetsk, Lugansk urge Russia, OSCE to make Ukraine fulfill Minsk agreements
Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have called on Russia and the OSCE to take urgent steps and force Ukraine to fulfill the Minsk agreements. The two republics said that a law adopted by Kiev on the status of Donbass is judicially null and void, RIA Novosti reported. Ukraine isn’t implementing the agreed ceasefire, they said, adding that Ukrainian forces are shelling apartment buildings and enterprises in Donbass. The decentralization of power has not been achieved, as well as the agreement to free all hostages, they said.
UN panel urges Israel to halt settlement building
A UN panel of independent experts urged Israel to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and take measures to withdraw all settlers, Reuters reported. The UN Human Rights Committee also said on Thursday that Israel should stop confiscating land for settlements’ expansion and prevent violence against Palestinians. The watchdog called on Israel to investigate all alleged violations committed by its forces during three recent wars in Gaza and ensure military commanders are brought to justice for any crimes.
Polish prosecutors question Polanski on US sex case, allow him to walk free
Polish prosecutors on Thursday questioned film director Roman Polanski on a US arrest warrant for sex offences, and then allowed him to walk free, AFP reported. “Prosecutors have decided it was not necessary to arrest Roman P.,” Boguslawa Marcinkowska, spokesperson for Krakow district prosecutors said. Polanski, who has been wanted by US police since 1978 for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, said he would cooperate with Polish authorities.
New Australia laws to prevent people fighting in overseas conflicts
Australia passed laws on Thursday aimed at preventing young people from going to fight in overseas conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria, Reuters said. Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament at least 70 Australians were fighting in Iraq and Syria backed by about 100 Australia-based “facilitators.” The government has already canceled the passports of about 70 people, Abbott said.
Thousands of protesters storm Burkina Faso parliament – report
Thousands of protesters stormed Burkina Faso’s parliament building on Thursday, forcing police to withdraw, Reuters said, citing a witness. The parliament was due to vote on a motion to allow the president to stand for re-election.
China calls on Japan to stop scrambling jets, cites safety concerns
China called on Japan on Thursday to stop scrambling its jets against Chinese aircraft, Reuters reported. In recent months, the two states have accused the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a territorial dispute as both sides claim a string of Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea. They are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Last year, Beijing declared an air defense zone covering most of the East China Sea. Japan’s fighter jet scrambles against Chinese planes rose 29 percent to 103 in July-September, Beijing said.
Saudi Arabia reports 6 new MERS cases
Saudi Arabia has detected six new cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 24 hours. This is the biggest daily jump for months with officials blaming lax hospital procedures, Reuters reported. Two of the new cases announced by the health ministry were in medical personnel. The surge in cases, now numbering 32 since the start of October, is centered in Riyadh and the western city of Taif. However, it remains far less extensive than an outbreak in April and May that infected hundreds.
5 militants in Pakistan killed by US drone strike
A suspected US drone strike killed at least five militants in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Thursday, Reuters reported. “We heard from local militants that there was a senior Arab commander but they didn’t mention his name,” one villager in South Waziristan said. A number of “foreign guests” were staying in the targeted house after fleeing a major military offensive in the tribal region of North Waziristan, according to another villager.
Russia launches Soyuz-2.1a rocket with Meridian satellite
Russia has successfully launched a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, according to Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Aleksei Zolotukhin. A Meridian communications satellite was aboard the rocket. The satellite has been designed to provide communication to ships and aircraft as well as ice reconnaissance on the Northern Sea route. The rocket was successfully launched at 4:43 a.m. Moscow time (01:43 GMT), Zolotukhin said, adding that the launch was carried out in the usual mode. Thursday’s launch marks the fourth time a Soyuz-2 rocket has taken off from Plesetsk space center this year. Soyuz-2 is able to carry 7,800 kilograms of cargo into the Earth’s orbit and 4,500 kilograms into higher orbits.
Bahrain rights activist Rajab to remain in prison over tweet
A Bahrain court decided to keep prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab in prison on Wednesday, as his comments on Twitter were viewed as insulting to public institutions, AFP reported. The judge set a new hearing date for Sunday, according to activists. Rajab was detained on October 1 after posting Twitter remarks which criticized the interior and defense ministries. One of the tweets said: “Many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator.” Rajab is the head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and was one of the leaders of the 2011 protest movement which demanded reforms in the country. Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, while over 75 percent of the population is Shia.
30 Sunni men lined up, shot dead by Islamic State in Iraq – official
Islamic State militants lined up 30 Sunni men in a town west of Baghdad and shot them dead, AP said, citing an Iraqi official. The killings took place on a main street in the town of Hit on Wednesday. Anbar provincial council chairman Sabah Karhout said the Sunnis killed were tribal fighters allied with the government. The group also reportedly included members of the security forces captured when the IS group overran the town, which is about 140km west of the Iraqi capital.
More than 100 believed to have been killed in Sri Lanka landslide
More than 100 people are believed to have been killed on Wednesday in a landslide in southern Sri Lanka, Reuters quoted Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera as saying. The disaster site was in the village of Haldummulla, 190km inland from the capital Colombo. Rescue operations will resume on Thursday because of darkness, bad weather and threat of further landslide.