Saturday 05 December 2020
News ID: 84136
Publish Date: 25 October 2020 - 21:24
KUMBA, Cameroon (Reuters) -- Gunmen stormed a school in Cameroon on Saturday and opened fire indiscriminately, killing at least six children and wounding about eight more in a region where separatist insurgents operate, officials and parents said. Arriving on motorcycles and in civilian clothes, the attackers hit the school around midday in the city of Kumba in South West Region, according to the accounts, including from one parent outside the school at the time. Some children were injured jumping from second story windows. It was unclear if the attack was linked to an ongoing struggle between the army and groups seeking to form a breakaway state called Ambazonia in the English-speaking west. But it was a grim new low in a region that since 2017 has seen hundreds die and thousands displaced because of the conflict, with many children unable to attend school.
CARACAS (Dispatches) -- Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez abandoned the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas on Saturday to flee the country, more than a year after seeking refuge there to escape house arrest, his party said.  Lopez’s party, Popular Will, did not say how he left Venezuela, though two people familiar with his exit said he emigrated via Colombia. A Spanish government source said his arrival in Spain, where his wife now lives, was "imminent.” Lopez was jailed in 2014 after leading protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He was provisionally released in 2017. From house arrest, he mentored Juan Guaido, who early last year was elected head of the opposition-controlled congress. Counseled by Lopez, Guaido illegally assumed an interim presidency in a bid to unseat Maduro. In April 2019, when Guaido spurred a brief military coup against Maduro, Lopez appeared on the streets alongside him. After the coup was thwarted, Lopez sought shelter at the Spanish ambassador’s residence.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) -- Agricultural department workers wearing protective suits have eradicated the first nest of giant "murder hornets” discovered in the United States, vacuuming them out of a tree in Washington state. The nest of Asian giant hornets was found on Thursday by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists on a property in Blaine, near the border with Canada, the agency said. They spent weeks searching for the nest, trapping hornets and tracking them, using dental floss to tie tiny radio trackers on the insects, which are nearly two inches (five centimeters) in length and have a painful sting. It is unclear how the hornets arrived in the U.S. Scientists warn that unless the insect is eliminated in the next couple years, it could spread in North America and become permanently established. The hornets, which are native to East Asia and Japan, usually don’t attack people but they are known for decimating honeybee colonies. The hornets slaughter honeybees by biting their heads off and then occupy the bee nests for up to a week or more, feeding on the pupae and larvae.

ROME (AFP) -- Dozens of far-right protesters in Rome clashed with riot police during a demonstration against the curfew early Sunday, as Italy’s government prepared to tighten coronavirus restrictions further. Some 200 masked militants belonging to neo-fascist group Forza Nuova hurled projectiles at police and set rubbish bins alight in a second night of street protests after hundreds of demonstrators clashed with officers in Naples further south. Police in the Italian capital arrested seven protesters and reported two officers injured, according to the Repubblica daily. The protests follow decisions this week by several regions to impose overnight curfews in a bid to slow rising Covid-19 infection numbers. Italy on Saturday reported nearly 20,000 new cases over a 24-hour period, a record number. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he does not want to impose a new and economically-debilitating blanket lockdown of the type imposed earlier in the year, when the pandemic gripped the country.

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- The United States on Saturday warned that Americans and foreigners could be targeted by kidnappers or attackers in Azerbaijan, where a conflict is roiling the separatist province of Nagorno-Karabakh. "The U.S. Embassy in Baku has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Baku,” the diplomatic mission said on its website in a message shared by the State Department on Twitter.  "U.S. citizens are advised to exercise heightened caution in locations where Americans or foreigners may gather,” including major hotels in the capital, the embassy added, without further details on the origin of the threats.  The warning comes in the wake of a similar message in Turkey, where U.S. diplomats have reported "credible” threats of attacks or kidnappings targeting Americans in Istanbul or other localities. It was not clear if the warnings were linked.
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia’s rulers met on Sunday to discuss what sources have said is a proposal by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to impose a state of emergency amid a political crisis in the Southeast Asian nation. Muhyiddin on Friday asked the king to impose emergency rule that would include suspending parliament, the sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move critics have decried as an attempt by the premier to stay in power amid a leadership challenge. Muhyiddin has been in a precarious position since he took office in March with a two-seat majority. Uncertainties deepened after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said last month he had the parliamentary majority to form a new government. The prime minister’s proposal comes as Malaysia faces a resurgence in COVID-19, a pandemic-battered economy and doubts over his ability to pass a budget for 2021.

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