World News

Sept. 20 (UPI) — A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico on Tuesday, killing more than 200 people, including at least 20 elementary school children their school collapsed in Mexico City. The director of Mexico’s civil protection agency, Luis Felipe Puente, tweeted Wednesday morning that 216 people had been counted among the dead so far. At least 86 people were killed in the country’s capital of Mexico City; 71 in Morelos; 43 in Puebla; 12 in Edoméx; three in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca. At the elementary school in Mexico City where at least 20 children died, 30 more children and eight adults are still missing, said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. As rescue workers search through the rubble in several of Mexico’s states, there is fear that the death toll could climb significantly. “It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah, like God is angry at us,” Jorge Ortiz Diaz, a government employee helping rescue workers, told …

Sept. 18 (UPI) — Norma, a tropical depression in the Pacific, continues to weaken and is forecast to become a remnant low on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday. In a 9 a.m. MDT advisory, the NHC said the center of the storm wa 305 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas. It’s moving west at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect. The NHC said Norma is “headed toward even cooler waters during the next couple of days. These unfavorable oceanic conditions combined with a dry atmosphere should cause Norma to continue weakening, and the depression will likely become a remnant low in about 24 hours or sooner.” Norma became a hurricane Friday night and was headed to Baja California Sur then moved away. Tropical Storm Lidia made landfall on Baja California peninsula earlier this month, causing extensive flooding and killing seven people.

Sept. 19 (UPI) — The Russian government unveiled a monument Tuesday to honor the inventor of one of the most highly used deadly weapons in human history: the AK-47 assault rifle. The 30-foot statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, who created the first design of the AK-47, also known as the Kalashnikov, will stand in one of Moscow’s business districts. But such a public display for the man who invented a machine that has killed countless people sparked some controversy in the Russian capital. The statue “in one of the busiest and commonly used streets in the city, reaffirms the image of Russia as a militaristic and neo-imperialistic country that feels it is surrounded by enemies,” said Dmitry Shabelnikov, a lawyer and resident of the area, reported the Guardian. “This is not artistic, to put it mildly. This is trash. It’s loathsome,” said local resident Natalya Seina, according to U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe. But the AK-47 …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — Post-tropical cyclone Otis, which was moving far off the western coast of Mexico, became a remnant low Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. In its last advisory at 8 a.m. PDT, the NHC said the center of Otis was about 1,234 miles west of the southern tip of Baja California. The storm’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 35 mph and the storm is moving west-southwest at 6 mph. “A west to west-southwest motion is expected during the next day or so” the NHC said, “Otis is likely to dissipate within 36 hours.” No coastal watches or warnings were in effect. Otis formed as a tropical storm Saturday.

Sept. 19 (UPI) — The chief of Hamas‘ Political Bureau said Tuesday that the group is ready to receive the Palestinian Unity Government in Gaza. “To show Hamas’ seriousness to bring about reconciliation, we invite the unity government to come and assume its duties in Gaza unimpeded,” Ismail Haniyeh told reporters during a press conference in the Gaza Strip, according to the Middle East Monitor. He added: “We have opened the door wide before [Fatah‘s] decision-makers to take courageous decisions to unite the Palestinian people as our cause faces huge challenges. We are keen to end the siege on Gaza and we have exerted much effort to do this through the gate of the reconciliation.” The announcement is a reiteration of Hamas’ decision on Sunday to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip to give the Palestinian Authority full governmental control in Gaza. Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — North Korea‘s Ambassador to the United Nations Ja Song Nam made his exit before U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his speech before the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. Ja left his seat before Trump said North Korea presents a clear danger and its weapons program could deliver an “unthinkable loss of human life,” leaving his North Korean subordinate to stay behind to listen to the speech, CNBC reported. In the course of the speech, Trump said if the United States is “forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” Pyongyang’s diplomats at the U.N. later told NBC they “boycotted” the speech. Ja was seated in the front row of the assembly hall, facing the podium where Trump would deliver his speech. The North Korean ambassador was assigned to sit in the front row through a random seating assignment at the U.N., …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — Myanmar leader Sung San Suu Kyi said Tuesday that some of the ethnic Muslim Rohingya who have fled the country can start to return. Over 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in recent weeks to neighboring Bangladesh — following a coordinated attack in late August by Rohingya militants that killed 12 people in Rakhine state’s government outposts. The assault led to the burning of Rohingya villages and the killing of some individuals by government troops, as members of the Rohingya minority fled to safer locations. Tuesday, Suu Kyi said Rohingya who could prove they previously lived in Myanmar can return. “We are ready to start the verification process at any time,” she said. In Buddhist-dominated Myanmar, the Rohingya have no citizenship status and no government verification. Nearly half of the estimated 1.1 million Rohingya there have escaped to Bangladesh, provoking a high-profilehumanitarian crisis. Suu Kyi, the de facto head of the country …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — The Russian defense ministry denied a media report Tuesday saying that spectators at a military exercise were injured by a helicopter’s rocket firing. Conflicting reports indicate that two or three people were seriously injured Saturday when a Ka-52 attack helicopter fired air-to-surface rockets at a vehicle during the week-long “Zapad 2017” war games on the western borders of Russia and Belarus. The Russian military called the incident “a purposeful provocation or someone’s personal stupidity,” adding that “No incidents involving army aviation happened in playing an episode pf practical actions” during the exercises. While it acknowledged that a single rocket was fired accidentally, it added that the rocket struck an empty truck and that no one was injured. Media reports, notably that of the independent news website 66.ru, said once two cars caught fire, an explosion caused significant flying debris and the hospitalization of two people. The state-owned NTV television station reported …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — World leaders had mixed reactions Tuesday to President Donald Trump‘s fiery speech at the United Nations General Assembly — his first to the world body. Trump addressed a laundry list of talking points in his speech, covering North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran. The president referred to North Korean leader Kim Jung Un as “rocket man,” claiming that the United States would have no problem “totally destroying” his country if necessary. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres rejected Trump’s threat to defeat North Korea militarily. “We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace,” he said. “The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship. “We must not sleepwalk our way into war.” Trump criticized Venezuela as well, citing socialism as one of the key reasons for its recent demise — and says that the United States is “prepared to take further action if the Venezuelan government …

Sept. 19 (UPI) — A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico on Tuesday, killing dozens of people, including 42 in the state of Morelos, the governor there said. The quake took place 32 years to the day after a massive quake devastated the country. The epicenter of the temblor was located about 34 miles south-southwest of Puebla, about 90 miles southwest of Mexico City and 31 miles below the surface, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Morales Gov. Graco Ramirez posted a tally of the dead in his state on Twitter; the hardest hit municipality was the town of Jojutla, where 12 people died. “We are taking care of families,” he said. “Our united strength.” People in Mexico City said they felt the earthquake when it struck about midday Tuesday. It sent thousands running into the streets as buildings evacuated. “I was working when I felt the whole building shaking,” Luther Beatriz Ramirez, a government employee, …

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