Sunday, November 30, 2014

Snippets 

Ebola death toll approaching 7,000 – WHO

Almost 7,000 people have died from the Ebola virus in West Africa, according to new data released from the World Health Organization, AFP reported. According to the UN health agency, of the 16,169 people infected with the deadly virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, 6,928 have perished. The latest figures are about 1,200 more deaths than reported on Wednesday, which AFP attributed to possible "unreported cases."

Moldova heads to the polls in crucial Russia-EU contested election

Moldova is heading to the polls for parliamentary elections on Sunday, which will show the degree of public support for the current government EU-integration stance. About 3.22 million people are eligible to cast their ballots to elect 101 parliament members. At least 1978 polling stations have been opened. In total, the Central Electoral Commission has registered 26 entities running for the seats – twenty-one political parties, one electoral bloc and four independent candidates. To enter Moldova’s parliament, a party has to receive at least 6 percent of the popular vote.

No Russian tanks crossed into Ukraine - OSCE

The OSCE has not picked up on any Russian tank movement across the border into Ukraine, its chief in the region Paul Picard told Polskie Radio. The allegations have been made by the Ukrainian side on November 28. Picard also added that lately there have increasingly been people in military uniform crossing the border.

Nicolas Sarkozy elected leader of France's main opposition party

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected leader of the oppositional right-wing party UMP (Union for Popular Movement), with 64.5 percent of the votes. Over 155,000 members of UMP took part in the election. The win makes Sarkozy the party's candidate for the 2017 presidential election. Sarkozy was first elected party leader back in 2004, with 85 percent of votes. He then served as president from 2007 to 2012, when he was defeated by Francois Hollande. However, September polls showed Sarkozy’s growing popularity.

UN draft resolution on Palestinian state to be submitted in days – Arab League

The head of the Arab League has stated that a draft resolution on Palestinian statehood will be presented to the UN Security Council in the “next few days,” Reuters reported. A committee comprised of Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan, and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby made the comments in their closing statement, adding that Jordan is likely to present the draft.

Gunmen attack compound in Kabul

Taliban gunman besieged a compound in the Afghan capital on Saturday and engaged in combat with local security forces. The militants claimed responsibility for the attack shortly afterwards, saying they had deliberately targeted a Christian organization, aimed at converting Muslims, Reuters reported. However, city police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai told the agency that the objective of the attack was not immediately clear.

Russia urges EU to abandon ‘meaningless sanctions spiral’

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksey Meshkov has called for the European Union to lift sanctions imposed on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. “We don't expect anything from our European partners. The only thing we expect is for them to stop the meaningless sanctions spiral and move on to lifting sanctions and dropping the blacklists. This would allow us to drop our lists,” Meshkov was quoted by Interfax as saying. In August, Moscow reactively banned Western food imports. “This will be conducive for us to waive counter-measures,” Meshkov added.

​Four victims, 11 assailants killed in Chinese terrorist attack

An attack in China’s Yarkant County in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Friday left four victims dead and another 14 injured, Chinese CCTV reported. Police, responding to the emergency, killed 11 attackers. Police said the assailants drove to a lively street in a local town and started throwing bombs and stabbing people. The Chinese authorities described the incident as a terrorist attack. The province, home to a considerable Muslim Uyghur minority, suffers from such outburst of random violence regularly.

Venezuela president plans government salary cuts over lower oil prices

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has said that he and other officials should have their salaries reduced in response to lower oil prices, Reuters reported. "This is a test for me," Maduro said in a TV speech, adding that Venezuela would carry on lobbying the oil price target of $100. The South American country gets 96 percent of its export revenues from oil, the price of which fell to $70 a barrel on Friday.

Bahrain votes in parliamentary elections

Bahrain has opened 49 polling stations on the morning of November 29. The people will be electing representatives for the lower house of Parliament, as well as other local ones. The first tour of voting has finished last week, with repeat voting scheduled for 34 polling stations, after only 6 MPs were chosen. Candidates for the lower house are voted in, while members of the higher house are chosen by the King.

Australian customs seize $1.5 bln in drugs

A $1.5 million worth of drugs was seized by Australia’s Join Organized Crime Group, with six men being charged “for their involvement in the attempted importation of almost three tonnes of MDMA and crystal methamphetamine into Sydney,” the press release said. The drugs were intercepted by customs and were hidden in a mixed container loaded with furniture and unmarked boxes. It was determined that the load was shipped from Germany and reached Australian shores on November 19.

Four killed, several missing in French flash floods

Four people have died, and others are missing following heavy storms that caused flash flooding in the southeast of France, authorities said, as quoted by AFP. A 50-year-old man’s body was discovered on Friday, and three women also died. One of the female casualties was found near her car. Her daughter is missing, and might have been killed as well, Pierre Soubelet, prefect of the Var department on the Mediterranean coast, told AFP. Local authorities added that another three people were missing.

30 protesters arrested by Hong Kong police amid rally dispersal

Hong Kong police have reportedly detained around 30 anti-government protesters after they clashed in the Mong Kok district. Ten people, 8 of them officers, have been injured. Security forces cracked down on demonstrators with pepper spray and batons, saying the assembly was unlawful. The pro-democracy movement kicked off in September, after the government appointed candidates to run for election in 2017.

​11 killed in bus crash in Nepal

At least 11 people have been killed and 29 others injured after a bus veered off a mountain road near the village of Sahajpur in western Nepal. According to police officials, the driver lost control of the vehicle due to a punctured tire. The accident happened about 400 kilometers west of the country’s capital, Katmandu.

​Mexican comedy legend Chespirito dies at 85

Known as Chespirito, or “Little Shakespeare,” Roberto Gomez Bolanos was one of Latin America’s most beloved comedians. The actor and screenwriter died at home in Cancun on Friday, according to Broadcaster Televisa, for whom Gomez Bolanos had worked for many years. One of Gomez Bolanos’ most iconic roles was Chapulin Colorado, a comic superhero who served as the inspiration for the Simpsons’ Bumblebee man. Gomez Bolanos’ work has been translated into dozens of languages and is aired around the globe. In a post on Twitter, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto called Gomez Bolanos an “icon whose work transcended generations and borders.”
Media agencies 

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