Not Again: Several pilgrims killed after bus overturns in southwest Pakistan

A speeding bus carrying dozens of pilgrims has overturned in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan, killing at least 18 people and injuring 42 others, officials say. The accident took place near the town of Khuzdar, about 260km south of the provincial capital Quetta, early on Friday morning, security official Bilal Ahmed said. “The driver lost control of the vehicle due to overspeeding [near the town of Khuzdar], and the bus fell into a ditch off the road,” he told Al Jazeera. Those seriously injured in the crash are being moved to Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, Ahmed said. The journey … Continue reading Not Again: Several pilgrims killed after bus overturns in southwest Pakistan

France to scale down West Africa military operations

France is to scale down counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region of West Africa after eight years, President Emmanuel Macron has said. The existing 5,100-strong task force will be incorporated into a broader international mission, he announced. French forces have been operating in Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso to fight militants. Last week, France paused operations in Mali following a military coup. Militants linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group have strengthened their grip on the region, which has become a front line in the war against Islamist extremism. It is also a major transit … Continue reading France to scale down West Africa military operations

Racism: Argentine president apologises for ‘jungle’ comment

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has apologised after triggering a Twitter storm and a regional race debate after telling visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that modern-day Mexicans originate from Indigenous peoples, Brazilians “from the jungle”, and his own country’s inhabitants from Europe. Fernandez made the comments on Wednesday in an apparent attempt to stress the close ties between Argentina and Spain. “The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe,” Fernandez said, claiming the words had been written by Mexican poet Octavia … Continue reading Racism: Argentine president apologises for ‘jungle’ comment

CAR Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and cabinet resign

Firmin Ngrebada, prime minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), has resigned along with the entire cabinet, the latest political crisis to hit the war-weary country. The development on Thursday came during a turbulent week after France announced it was suspending military operations with its former colony. Ngrebada said on Twitter he handed over his and the government’s resignation to President Faustin- Archange Touadera, but a presidential spokesman told the AFP news agency the prime minister could be tapped to lead a refreshed administration. “We will know within a few hours if the president keeps the prime minister on,” Albert … Continue reading CAR Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and cabinet resign

India wildlife officials reunite leopard cub with mum

Wildlife officials in India have helped reunite a leopard cub that was separated from her mother. Villagers in the north-eastern state of Assam found the two-month old female stuck in a trench in a tea garden. Wildlife vet Khanin Changmai, who was called to attend to the cub, told the BBC that he found her “playful and uninjured, but slightly dehydrated”. India has more than 12,500 leopards. With their habitat shrinking, the cats often stray into villages near forests. Reports of man-animal conflict have been growing in recent years across the country as leopards come into the villages and kill … Continue reading India wildlife officials reunite leopard cub with mum

Puerto Rico blackout after fire at power station

A power plant fire in the US territory of Puerto Rico has left thousands of households without electricity. Pictures on social media show plumes of smoke rising from the flames at a sub-station in the capital, San Juan. The fire broke out shortly after the firm reported a cyber-attack, which has not yet been linked to fire. The Caribbean island has struggled with rolling blackouts ever since Hurricane Maria largely destroyed its electrical grid in 2017. Some Puerto Ricans were left without electricity for nearly a year after the storm. A private company known as Luma Energy, took over operation … Continue reading Puerto Rico blackout after fire at power station

Family on the run over teen’s disappearance in Italy

Relatives of an 18-year-old woman are being investigated on suspicion of murder after she disappeared from the family home in northern Italy. Police say Saman Abbas’s family had wanted her to travel to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, which she refused last year. A cousin has been arrested in France and extradited to Italy. The missing woman’s uncle and another cousin are missing, her parents have reportedly travelled to Pakistan. Prosecutors suspect all five of murder and disposing of a body, although no remains have yet been found. Speaking to an Italian journalist after Saman Abbas’s disappearance, her father claimed … Continue reading Family on the run over teen’s disappearance in Italy

Chinese ride-hailing giant files to go public in US

China’s biggest ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing, has filed papers to become a publicly listed company in the US. The company is backed by some of Asia’s largest technology investment firms, including Softbank, Alibaba and Tencent. The amount of shares to be offered and the pricing were not revealed. However, the company could raise around $10 billion and seek a valuation of close to $100 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. That would make it the biggest share offering in the United States by a Chinese company since 2014, when e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25bn (£15bn). Didi has a … Continue reading Chinese ride-hailing giant files to go public in US

Thief steals handbag with lottery ticket inside, wins $150,000

A man has been arrested after he allegedly bought a house with money he won from a lottery ticket found inside a handbag that he stole, way back in 2020. An unnamed 52-year-old man in Valencia, Spain, has been arrested for allegedly stealing on December 19, 2020, a handbag that contained a winning lottery ticket, reported The Olive Press on Wednesday. The man has been accused of stealing the handbag from a restaurant in the town of Novelda, south of Valencia. He allegedly took it from the woman when it was hanging on the back of the victim’s chair. Security camera footage obtained by The … Continue reading Thief steals handbag with lottery ticket inside, wins $150,000

White rhino Emma travels to Japan to find love and a mate

A five-year-old white rhinoceros has travelled from Taiwan to Japan – all as part of a quest to find love. Emma has begun her stay at Japan’s Tobu Zoo, with 10-year-old rhinoceros Moran being her first suitor. She was picked out of a group of 23 rhinos to be sent to Japan, due to her “mild personality”, with staff saying she “rarely got into fights”. Her stay at the zoo is part of an attempt to increase the number of captive-bred white rhinos in Asia. The white rhino is classified as Near Threatened, according to organisation the World Wide Fund … Continue reading White rhino Emma travels to Japan to find love and a mate

Hong Kong speedboat smuggling bust nets luxury goods trove

Hong Kong customs announced their biggest ever bust of a speedboat gang smuggling luxury goods into the mainland on Thursday. Unveiling a haul that included watches, handbags and shoes, endangered animal parts, cosmetics, wines, whiskey and cigars. The massive seizure, valued at HK$120 million ($15.4 million) is a window into the thriving smuggling networks that operate along the border between Hong Kong and China. Simple economics makes the trade hugely lucrative. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has no sales tax, making it one of the cheapest places in the world to buy luxury goods. But over in China, punitive taxes often mean … Continue reading Hong Kong speedboat smuggling bust nets luxury goods trove

Kanye West and model Irina Shayk spotted vacationing together in France

Kanye West was spotted vacationing in France with supermodel Irina Shayk. Kanye West and supermodel Irina Shayk were spotted vacationing together in France, sparking rumours that the two are a couple, according to reports from Page Six and People. The Daily Mail published photos on Wednesday afternoon showing Shayk and West at a luxury villa in Provence, France, with a group of people. It appears that there are photos from at least two occasions the pair stepped out together, based on Shayk’s change in outfits – the supermodel is seen wearing black pants and a white crop top in one set, and an … Continue reading Kanye West and model Irina Shayk spotted vacationing together in France