Five killed, 33 wounded by blast in southern Afghan city

Five killed, 33 wounded by blast in southern Afghan city

At least five people were killed and 33 wounded Tuesday when a minivan stuffed with explosives detonated as security forces were trying to defuse it in southern Afghanistan, officials said. Security forces in Kandahar had already cleared the area around a bus station where the van was found, provincial governor spokesman Daud Ahmadi said. “As the security forces were trying to defuse the van, it detonated,” said police spokesman Mohammad Qasim Azad. The dead included one civilian, as well as two police and two intelligence officials, authorities at Kandahar’s Mirwais Hospital said. The blast was so powerful that the majority of the wounded were civilian passers-by outside the cleared area. Ahmadi said security forces also found a large container of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests, and ammunition near the site. “The terrorists planned to conduct a big attack at end of Ramadan in the city among crowds of people as they went out shopping for Eid… security forces prevented a disaster from happening,” one security official...
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Nigeria army

The Nigeria Defence Headquarters has launched a new offensive known as operation whirls stroke to flush out criminal gangs responsible for the killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states. In a press briefing at the Tactical Air Command, Nigeria Air Force, Makurdi on Friday, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim said the operation Whirls Stroke was established to take care of security challenges in Benue, Taraba. Nasarawa and Zamfara states following spates of reported killings and clashes between farmers and herdsmen....
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At least 27 dead as Kenya dam bursts after torrential rains

At least 27 dead as Kenya dam bursts after torrential rains

At least 27 people died after a dam burst in southern Kenya, sweeping away their homes while many of them were asleep, police said Thursday. After a severe drought, weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides that have left 159 dead. The private Patel dam, used for irrigation and fish farming, burst on Wednesday evening in Solai, near the Rift Valley city of Nakuru, regional police chief Gideon Kibunjah told AFP. “The search and rescue exercise is ongoing and more bodies have been retrieved. The death toll is now 27,” Kibunjah said. “It is a disaster because most people were asleep when the tragedy occurred and their houses were swept away.” He said 36 people had been hospitalised. A senior police officer at the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity, said emergency workers had spent the night combing through engulfed houses to retrieve the bodies of the victims and had only covered about half of the affected area. “We found 11 of...
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Trump welcomes Americans freed by North Korea back to the US.

Trump welcomes Americans freed by North Korea back to the US.

US President Donald Trump greeted three Americans released by North Korea at an air base near Washington early Thursday, underscoring a much needed diplomatic win and a stepping stone to a historic summit with Kim Jong Un. Trump and first lady Melania made the short helicopter ride from the White House to Joint Base Andrews to personally welcome Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong-chul back to the United States, after their release from North Korea on Wednesday. The president and his wife strode up the steps into the blue and white plane to greet them privately before coming out before TV cameras in the middle of the night. Trump praised Kim for freeing the Americans ahead of the planned summit between the two leaders. One of the former prisoners waved his arms from atop the steps, and another while down on the tarmac. “It was understood that we would be able to get these three terrific people during the meeting and bring them home...
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Suicide bombers, gunmen attack Kabul police stations

Suicide bombers, gunmen attack Kabul police stations

Suicide bombers and gunmen launched apparent coordinated attacks on two Kabul police stations on Wednesday, with witnesses reporting on social media that both assaults are still under way. AFP journalists heard several loud explosions in the heart of the Afghan capital followed by gunfire that was confirmed by Afghan officials and witnesses. In the first attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station in the west of the city, sparking a gunfight between other militants and officers, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP. Ariana TV footage showed a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky. “The second attack happened in front of police precinct 10 in Shar-e-Naw in central Kabul,” Danish added. “Two attackers who tried to enter the police compound were shot dead.” An AFP correspondent near the scene of the second attack saw a body on the street by the police station and heard several gunshots. “Two wounded people have been brought to Kabul hospitals from the site of...
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‘Canada Warned’ There Would be no free ticket for Asylum Seekers.

‘Canada Warned’ There Would be no free ticket for Asylum Seekers.

Waves of asylum seekers continue to cross into Canada from the United States, drawing concerns that the numbers will only rise as the weather gets warmer. Over the last year, Canada has seen what has been called an "unprecedented" surge of asylum seekers, with more than 25,000 people intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they crossed from the US since January 2017 to March 2018. And this year, the rate appears to be growing. Sponsor Content Learning English opens new doors for billions around the world David Crystal, the British linguist and academic, has calculated that there are three timesmore people learning English than there are native speakers of the language. Why? Content provided by WeSpeke The number of people intercepted in the first three months of 2018 more than doubled those in the same time period last year. And in 2017, the number of people intercepted at the border escalated in the summer. Nigerian asylum seekers arrive to Canada Many of the asylum seekers take buses or taxis to a US border town,...
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Taiwan hits back at WHO exclusion under Beijing pressure

Taiwan hits back at WHO exclusion under Beijing pressure

Taiwan accused the World Health Organization of succumbing to political pressure from Beijing Tuesday after the island failed to receive an invitation to a major international meeting. China sees self-governing democratic Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification and has used its clout to diminish the island’s presence on the world stage since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power in May 2016. Last year was the first time in eight years that Taiwan was not granted access to the World Health Assembly (WHA) — the WHO’s main meeting. This year’s WHA is to be held in Geneva from May 21-26 and the online registration deadline lapsed on Monday without Taipei receiving an invite. The WHO confirmed on Tuesday it did not invite Taiwan this year, saying previous invitations were a special arrangement based on a “cross-strait understanding”. It would facilitate Taiwan’s inclusion “if and when cross-strait understanding on WHA participation is restored,” it told AFP in a statement. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles official...
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Trump to determines fate of Iran nuclear plant deals.

Trump to determines fate of Iran nuclear plant deals.

President Donald Trump is to decide the fate of the landmark Iran nuclear deal Tuesday, announcing his verdict on US sanctions relief underpinning the international accord, which he has repeatedly and harshly criticized. Officials and diplomats expect the pugnacious US leader to ignore last-ditch European pleas and move to withdraw the United States from a 2015 agreement, which he insists was "very badly negotiated." Trump has unsuccessfully demanded changes to the Obama-era deal, which saw Iran mothball a suspected nuclear weapons program in return for massive sanctions relief. Months of intensive talks between the United States and European allies now appear deadlocked, with Berlin, London and Paris refusing to rewrite the agreement. The president tweeted he would announce his decision at 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), even as British foreign secretary Boris Johnson shuttled around Washington trying to reach a last-gasp breakthrough. One European diplomat echoed the mood around foreign embassies in Washington, saying "there is plainly a difference of opinion," acknowledging that Trump seems poised...
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New York attorney general resigns after sexual abuse report.

New York attorney general resigns after sexual abuse report.

New York state’s top prosecutor, a public champion of the #MeToo movement, resigned on Monday hours after being accused by The New Yorker magazine of physically assaulting four women. It was an abrupt fall from power for Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general and a Donald Trump opponent whose office had launched multiple legal challenges against the Republican administration. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8.” Two of the women spoke to the magazine on the record, alleging that Schneiderman repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent. Both say they sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the...
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IS claims assassination of Iraq election candidate representative

IS claims assassination of Iraq election candidate representative

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the assassination on Monday of a candidate in Iraq’s parliamentary election just days ahead of the polls. Faruq Zarzur al-Juburi, a candidate loyal to Vice President Ayad Allawi, was shot dead by gunmen at his home near Mosul, the former IS bastion in northern Iraq, a local official said. In a statement on the messaging app Telegram, the jihadist group said Juburi was killed because he was “an atheist”. Local official Salah al-Juburi said the gunmen killed the candidate at his home in the town of Qayyarah, 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Mosul, after storming his house. IS had threatened to attack Iraqi polling stations and voters during the parliamentary election that will be held on Saturday, in a statement last month by its spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir. “Oh Sunnis… we know that the government of Rafida (a pejorative Arabic term for Shiites) is on the verge of what they call elections,” he said. “Our judgement will...
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