World’s ‘most titled’ aristocrat, Spain’s Duchess of Alba, dies at 88
Spain’s 18th Duchess of Alba, who died Thursday aged 88, was one of Europe’s wealthiest and most titled aristocrats, Reuters said. Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, known to friends as “Cayetana,” was named by Guinness World Records as the world’s most titled person. She was 14 times a Spanish grandee, five times a duchess, once a countess-duchess, 18 times a marchioness, 18 times a countess and once a viscountess. The Duchess of Alba died after a short illness in the 14th-century Palacio de Duenas in Seville, her favorite of her many properties.
Iran says ‘no more room’ for talks on design of key Arak reactor
Tehran sees “no more room” for negotiations on the design of its Arak reactor, AFP reported, citing Iran’s nuclear chief. “On Arak, we have said we were ready to design it so that the concerns are lifted,” Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted Thursday as saying. “This matter is settled to some extent on the technical aspect and there is no more room for further negotiations.” The West fears the heavy water reactor could provide Iran with weapons-grade plutonium, while Iran says it is solely for research purposes.
OSCE reports shots in direction of convoy near Ukraine-controlled Mariinka
Military personnel have reportedly shot in the direction of a convoy of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) near government-controlled Mariinka, 15km west of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday, the convoy of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) composed of two vehicles was traveling east from Kurakhovo towards the city of Donetsk. The mission said it observed tactical marks, but near the area of Mariinka, about 80 meters ahead of the convoy, a soldier in cargo truck stood up and fired two shots in the direction of the convoy. The bullets struck about 2 meters from the second OSCE vehicle, and the SMM left the area due to security concerns.
FARC rebels to free Colombia general
Colombian Marxist rebels agreed to release an army general captured by their comrades over the weekend, Reuters said. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) promised to free General Ruben Dario Alzate and four others captured in the past two weeks “as soon as possible.” The agreement reached with the government and guarantor nations Cuba and Norway may help resume peace talks.
Israel identifies 4 rocket launch tests from Gaza in 24 hours
The Israeli military identified a rocket launch from the central Gaza Strip into the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday morning, the Jerusalem Post reported. This was the fourth launch from the coastal territory in the past day, according to the IDF spokesperson. The launches suggest that “Gaza terrorists are experimenting in order to increase rocket launching capabilities,” the army said.