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Diane A. Wade

Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.

Hurricane Fred has hit the island nation of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa with winds of up to 85mph.

Cape Verde’s government has grounded all flights until further notice.

No hurricane has ever been recorded further east in the tropical Atlantic.Hurricane Fred Cape Verde 2015

A hurricane warning has been issued by the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), which predicts coastal flooding due to strong wind and heavy rains from Monday and overnight into Tuesday.

The NHC says the last time a hurricane was recorded hitting Cape Verde was 1892, although it cautions that records were less exact before the advent of weather satellites in the mid-1960s.

Hurricane conditions are occurring in islands in north-eastern Cape Verde, with northern and north-western islands due to be hit if the hurricane holds its current course, it adds.

The NHC has warned of flash flooding and mudslides as the storm moves across the islands.

Hurricane Fred is forecast to gradually weaken from Tuesday onwards, and will not affect other West African countries.

Cape Verde consists of 10 significant volcanic islands, nine of which are inhabited.

One Ukraine’s national guardsman has been killed and about 100 injured in violent protests outside Ukraine’s parliament, the interior ministry said.

Clashes between nationalists and riot police erupted after members of parliament gave initial backing to reforms for more autonomy in the rebel-held east.

National guardsmen were pelted with fire crackers and petrol bombs as explosions were heard.

The reforms are part of a peace plan to end fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Protesters led by the populist Radical Party and the ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party – who fear the loss of the east to Russian-backed separatists – gathered outside parliament on August 31.

After a rowdy debate, 265 members of parliament out of 450 backed the first reading of the decentralization bill, granting more powers to areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.Ukraine parliament protest

The Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, said some 30 people have been detained, including a Svoboda member who confessed to throwing a grenade.

He bitterly criticized Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok, writing on Facebook that several explosive devices had been thrown by people wearing Svoboda T-shirts.

A policeman’s leg was torn off below the knee in the blast, Interfax Ukraine reported, while journalists at the scene were also reported injured.

Almost 7,000 people have died since the conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out in March 2014, after Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Pushing through greater autonomy for the rebel-held areas is a key part of the Minsk peace deal, originally signed in February.

During the summer, fighting between Ukrainian army forces and the rebels has escalated. But the two sides agreed last week to halt the violence on September 1, the day children in the region return to school.

Although the number of ceasefire violations appears to have fallen in recent days, OSCE monitors have warned that neither side was respecting the truce.

Under the draft constitutional changes going through parliament, there will be a special law covering local government in rebel-held areas.

However, parliament speaker Volodymyr Hroysman was adamant that would not mean special status for Donetsk and Luhansk, which rebel leaders have declared republics.

If President Petro Poroshenko is to succeed in pushing through the reforms, he will need the support of 300 members of parliament, seen as a tall order for the Ukrainian leader.

Petro Poroshenko is due to address the nation on the proposals and the violence outside parliament on August 31.

The name of Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, has been changed back to its original native Alaskan, Denali, President Barack Obama announced.

The mount’s name change comes after decades of controversy.

Denali translates to High One and is used widely by locals.

The 20,237ft (6,168m) peak was named by a gold prospector in 1896 after he heard that William McKinley had been nominated to become the US president.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Barack Obama announced the change ahead of a three-day visit to Alaska to highlight climate change.

“With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement announcing the change.

The statement went on to note that McKinley had never set foot in Alaska.

Alaska has been attempting to change the name to Denali for decades. However, its attempts to change it at a federal level have been blocked by Ohio, William McKinley’s home state.

It is unclear if Ohio will attempt to stop this name change.

William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. He was assassinated early in his second term in 1901.


Speaking in a public address to mark Malaysia’s National Day, PM Najib Razak said he refuses to resign after mass protests, calling for national unity.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets at the weekend, urging the prime minister to step down over allegations he took hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds.

Najib Razak said such protests were “not the proper channel to voice opinions in a democratic country”.

He has denied pocketing $700 million of public money.

The payments, first revealed by the Wall Street Journal, came from the 1MDB state investment fund, which Najib Razak set up on coming into office in 2009.

Najib Razak has removed several leading officials who had criticized his handling of the scandal.

Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has effectively cleared the prime minister, saying the money was from foreign donors.

Police says about 25,000 people took part in the two-day demonstration at their peak, though Bersih [Clean] – the pro-democracy group behind the rallies – put the figure at 300,000.

During his National Day speech, Najib Razak said it was clear the rest of Malaysia backed the government.

“We will never allow anyone from within or from outside, [to] simply walk in and steal, ruin or destroy all that we have built so far,” the state news agency Bernama quoted the prime minister as saying.

Photo AP

Photo AP

“Let us all remember, if we are not united, lose our solidarity and cohesion, all problems will not be resolved, and everything we have laboriously built will be destroyed just like that.”

Najib Razak said protests which “disrupt public order and only inconvenience the people” did not reflect maturity and were “not the proper channel to voice opinions in a democratic country”.

His coalition, Barisan Nasional, has governed Malaysia since independence 58 years ago.

However, the coalition’s support has declined in recent elections, and its critics have accused it of arrogance.

The movement against Najib Razak has been driven by influential former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed who was also at the rally in Kuala Lumpur on August 30.

Mahathir Mohamed, who led Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and was formerly a Najib razak ally, said it was untenable for him to continue in his position.

“There’s no more rule of law. The only way for the people to get back to the old system is for them to remove this prime minister,” he said.

“We must remove this prime minister.”

The rally in Kuala Lumpur was deemed illegal, but was allowed to go ahead, and ended peacefully late on Sunday.

Previous rallies held by the Bersih movement have been dispersed by police using tear gas and water cannon.


Three Syrian children and their families, who were rescued from a minivan containing 26 migrants in Austria, have disappeared from the hospital where they were being treated, police say.

The children were taken to hospital in the town of Braunau am Inn on August 28 suffering from severe dehydration.

Their discovery came a day after 71 bodies, thought to be migrants, were found on a dumped truck in Austria.

Several European countries have called for urgent talks on the migrant crisis.

Austrian police said they stopped the minivan in Braunau, which sits on Austria’s border with Germany, on August 28 and arrested its Romanian driver.

The children – two girls and a boy aged between one and five years old – were said to have been crammed in the back along with other migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.Austria migrant minivan

Police said they were critically ill and almost unconscious when they were found.

The children and their families disappeared from the hospital at some point on August 29.

Authorities believe they may have tried to cross the border into Germany, rather than face deportation back to Hungary.

Separately on August 30, Hungarian police said they had arrested a fifth man over the deaths of the 71 people who were found in the abandoned truck in Austria on August 27.

The man is the fourth Bulgarian to be held over the find near the Hungarian border. The other man is Afghan. Authorities believe the men are low-level members of a human trafficking gang.

Officials said the 59 men, eight women and four children – thought to be mainly Syrians – had probably died of suffocation two days earlier.

It is the latest in a series of tragic events as more and more migrants attempt to reach Europe by land or by sea. A record number of 107,500 migrants crossed the EU’s borders last month.


New Orleans marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with multiple events across the city.

At a memorial service, Mayor Mitch Landrieu recalled how residents had turned to each other for support.

Former President Bill Clinton later spoke at a concert in New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and displaced one million in 2004. It was the most expensive natural disaster in US history and caused destruction along the Gulf coast.

In New Orleans, the failure of the levee system left about 80% of the city under water.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu led a sombre tribute to the 83 unidentified victims whose bodies lie in mausoleums at the city’s Hurricane Katrina Memorial.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“Though they are unnamed, they are not unclaimed because we claim them,” he said.

“We saved each other,” the mayor added.

“New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken.”

Residents and community activists also gathered at the levee in the Lower Ninth Ward, where storm waters broke through and flooded the district.

After speeches, a parade took place through the neighbourhood, with some participants in colourful Mardi Gras dress.

Throughout the day, thousands took part in traditional musical parades through the city’s streets.

Former President Bill Clinton later spoke at a free concert at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center.

He said the sheer magnitude of what had been accomplished in rebuilding the city should not be underestimated, but that more work needed to be done so that the lines that divided communities – such as race and wealth – could be erased.

A ceremony was also held at the Superdome arena that housed thousands of displaced people after the storm.

President Barack Obama visited the Lower Ninth Ward on August 27, praising “the extraordinary resilience of this city and its people”.

Although New Orleans has largely recovered from the disaster, some – particularly from the African-American community – feel left behind.

On August 28, former President George W. Bush visited the city. His administration was criticized at the time over its slow response and the issue remains a source of deep resentment in New Orleans.

Thousands of Lebanese people took Beirut streets in protest at a government they say is corrupt and ineffective.

Security was high amid fears the demonstrations could turn violent, as similar protests did last weekend.

Organizers of Saturday’s mostly peaceful rally demanded the environment minister resign within 72 hours.

The government’s failure to solve the crisis over the disposal of rubbish led to the “You Stink” campaign.

The protesters have been calling on the government to hold snap parliamentary elections, and also want the interior minister held to account for excessive force by police at least week’s protests.

They poured into a major square in central Beirut, waving Lebanese flags and shouting anti-government slogans.Lebanon rubbish rally

Many wore t-shirts with the words “You Stink”. Some were playing music and singing.

The rally was mostly peaceful although a small group of masked youths tried to break through barbed wire to reach the prime minister’s office. They set fire to rubbish and pelted police officers with stones and plastic bottles.

Barricades and barbed wire were installed around government buildings as security was increased ahead of the rally.

Amnesty International urged the security services to show restraint and called for an investigation into last week’s violence.

Rubbish has been piling up on the streets of Beirut since Lebanon’s largest landfill shut down last month with no ready alternative.

This led to the creation of the You Stink movement, which blames political paralysis and corruption for the failure to resolve the crisis.

The cabinet failed to reach agreement on August 25 on a way forward, saying the fees quoted by private waste management companies were too great.

Lebanon has been without a president for more than a year, while members of parliament have extended their own terms until 2017 after failing to agree on a law on fresh elections.

The conflict in neighboring Syria has also exacerbated political and sectarian divisions, and resulted in the arrival of 1.1 million refugees, putting a strain on the economy and public services.

A second migrant truck has been found in Austria, police said.

The truck contained 26 migrants including three children in critical condition.

The vehicle was stopped in Braunau district and the Romanian driver was arrested after a chase.Austria migrant truck

Those inside were said to be from Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Separately, four men appeared in court in Hungary following the discovery of another truck in Austria containing the bodies of 71 people.

In the latest incident, the three children were taken to hospital suffering from severe dehydration.

Police had tried to stop the vehicle near St Peter am Hart and gave chase when it drove off at speed.


A mass protest are being held in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere with protesters calling for PM Najib Razak to step down over a financial scandal.

Protesters are angered by a $700 million payment made to his bank account from unnamed foreign donors.

It was discovered last month during a probe into alleged mismanagement at the debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

PM Najib Razak has denied any wrongdoing.

The pro-democracy group Bersih has also called for protests in the cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on the Malaysian side of Borneo.

Kuala Lumpur authorities have rejected the group’s application for a permit to protest and Malaysian police have declared the rallies illegal.

Security is tight and access to Kuala Lumpur’s Independence Square has been blocked. Eyes will be focused on any possible army intervention.

At the last big rally in 2012, police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Estimates put the number of protesters in Kuala Lumpur at 50,000 to 80,000, though figures issued by the police suggested much lower numbers.

A carnival atmosphere, punctuated by music, vuvuzelas and political speeches, prevailed in the city centre.

The leader of Bersih, Maria Chin, said the protest was not anti-government.

“We don’t want to topple the government but we want to topple corrupt politicians,” she told the Malaysian Insider.

The demonstrations coincide with preparations for National Day on August 31 – the former British colony’s 58th anniversary of self-rule.

Najib Razak said on his blog he did not want a “provocation” to be triggered.

He said: “Whatever the disagreements or misunderstandings between us, National Day should not be a stage of political disputes.”

The main accusation against Najib Razak is that he took $700 million from the indebted 1MDB, which he established in 2009 to try to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub.

Cabinet ministers have said the money transfers were “political donations” from unidentified Middle Eastern sources, and that there was nothing improper. No further details have been given.

1MDB has said it has never given money to Najib Razak and called the accusations “unsubstantiated”.

Najib Razak retains significant support from the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and from within his party, the United Malays National Organization.

Thai police have arrested a man in connection with the Bangkok bomb attack that killed 20 people at Erawan Shrine nearly two weeks ago.

Officers raided an apartment used by the man in northern Bangkok on August 29 and found possible bomb-making materials, a police spokesman said.

The suspect “looks like the one we are looking for”, said the spokesman, Prawut Thavornsiri.

The bomb tore through Bangkok’s crowded Erawan Shrine on August 17.Bangkok bomb attack suspect arrested

Prawut Thawornsiri said that the arrested man is a foreigner but refused to say whether he is Turkish, as reported by some Bangkok media.

Police said at the time they suspected the attack had been planned a month or more in advance and involved at least 10 people, but said a connection to international terrorism was unlikely.

An arrest warrant was issued for one unidentified man seen on CCTV footage leaving a backpack at the shrine shortly before the blast, and a photofit image was released.

A reward of one million baht ($28,000) was offered for information but it is not known whether this played a part in today’s arrest.

Tropical Storm Erika hit the island of Dominica, in the eastern Caribbean, killing at least 20 people.

The storm caused floods and mudslides that have set the country back 20 years, Dominica’s PM Roosevelt Skerrit said.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic are now expecting 53mph winds.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida, where the storm is expected on August 30.

PM Roosevelt Skerrit said in a televised address on August 28 that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads had been destroyed.

Photo AP

Photo AP

He said: “It is with heavy heart that I address you, you can well imagine the hell that it has been for me since I heard of the passing of Tropical Storm Erika and the damage it has done to our dear people and beloved country. But we all have to pull ourselves together.

“The extent of the devastation is monumental. We have, in essence, to rebuild Dominica.”

Erika dumped 15in of rain.

At least 31 people on the island of 72,000 people have been reported missing, according to officials with the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency.

Other Caribbean nations have issued tropical storm warnings.

In Puerto Rico, Erika knocked out power to more than 200,000 people and caused more than $16 million of damage to crops including plantain, bananas and coffee, AP reported.

The US National Hurricane Centre said the system was expected to move north across the island of Hispaniola – shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic – where the high mountains would weaken it to a tropical depression on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency as a precaution with officials urging people to prepare by stockpiling food and water and fuelling their vehicles.

Separately, in the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Ignacio strengthened into a hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90mph, centered south-east of Hilo in Hawaii, and moving north-west.

Four people have been arrested by Hungarian police over the discovery of the bodies of 71 migrants, thought to be Syrian, in an abandoned truck in Austria.

Three of those arrested are Bulgarian and one is Afghan.

The bodies of 59 men, 8 women and four children were discovered on August 27 in an abandoned truck on an Austrian highway near the Hungarian border.

They are thought to have been dead for about two days.

Officials said the victims probably died after suffocating in the vehicle.

The truck was towed to a customs building with refrigeration facilities where forensic teams worked through the night to examine the bodies.

The migrants are thought to have been dead when the vehicle crossed into Austria from Hungary. Among the victims was a girl aged between one and two years old.Austria migrant truck arrests

The local Austrian police chief said a travel document found on the vehicle suggested that the group were Syrian migrants.

“Our preliminary assumption is of course that they were refugees, possibly a group of Syrian refugees,” Hans Peter Doskozil, Burgenland province police chief, told reporters.

The truck had the branding of a Slovakian poultry company, Hyza, on it but the firm said it no longer owned the vehicle.

Hans Peter Doskozil said it was unusual for people smugglers to use a refrigerated vehicle.

“In our preliminary investigation we found that there was no ventilation possible through the sides of the truck,” he said, adding that the victims had probably suffocated.

Hungarian police said in a statement that they had “conducted house searches… and questioned almost 20 people as witnesses”.

Hans Peter Doskozil said one of the Bulgarians arrested is assumed to be the truck’s owner, while it is “highly likely” the other two are “the ones who drove the vehicle”.

He said there was “an indication we are talking about a Bulgarian-Hungarian human trafficking operation”.

“If you look at the organization of people traffickers, these are the lowest two levels of a criminal organization,” Hans Peter Doskozil added.

No details have been given about the Afghan detainee.

The truck, which has Hungarian number plates, is understood to have left Budapest on Wednesday morning, August 26.

It is believed to have been parked in the lay-by between Neusiedl and Parndorf for at least 24 hours before police discovered the bodies.

Tens of thousands of migrants from conflict-hit states in the Middle East and Africa have been trying to make their way to Europe in recent months.

A record number of 107,500 migrants crossed the EU’s borders last month.

Some of them pay large sums of money to people smugglers to get them through borders illegally.


The bodies of more than 70 people, thought to be migrants, have been found in an abandoned truck found on an Austrian highway on August 27, Austrian authorities say.

Authorities originally estimated that between 20 to 50 people died in the vehicle, found near the Hungarian border.

Police sent to investigate the dumped truck on the A4 road towards Vienna discovered the decomposing bodies.

The local police chief said it appeared those in the truck had been dead for one-and-a-half to two days.

The victims were probably already dead when the vehicle crossed into Austria from Hungary, authorities said. It is unclear how they died.Austria migrant truck 2015

The vehicle was towed to a customs building with refrigeration facilities in Nickelsdorf where forensic teams worked through the night to examine the bodies.

Austrian police are expected to reveal the exact toll at a news conference at 11:00 on August 28.

The police forces in Austria and Hungary are working together to try and find the driver.

A report in Austrian newspaper Krone said on August 28 that seven people had been arrested in Hungary, but this has not been confirmed.

The truck bears the logo of a Slovakian poultry company, Hyza, which said it no longer owned the vehicle – but the buyers had not removed the branding.

The Hungarian prime minister’s chief of staff, Janos Lazar, said on August 28 that the truck was registered to a Romanian citizen in Kecskemet, a city in central Hungary.

Hans Peter Doskozil, police chief in the Burgenland province where the lorry was found, said it was a refrigerated vehicle – not the typical choice for people smugglers, he added.

The truck, which has Hungarian number plates, is understood to have left Budapest on August 26.


Thousands of Guatemalans have demonstrated in Ciudad de Guatemala, demanding the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina over a corruption scandal.

Businesses, including fast-food chains, were shut in support of the protest.

President Otto Perez Molina is facing impeachment proceedings over the affair, which has seen his former deputy Roxana Baldetti jailed and six cabinet ministers quitting in protest.

He has apologized over the scandal but denies involvement. He is due to step down at the end of his term in January.

Guatemalans are due to vote in just over a week’s time to choose his successor.Guatemala protests August 2015

Investigators have alleged that top government officials received a cut from bribes paid by businesses seeking to evade import duties.

The scandal has been dubbed “La Linea”, or “The Line”, after the hotline businesses allegedly rang to clear their imports through customs at cut-price rates.

UN-backed investigators have accused Otto Perez Molina of direct involvement in the customs scandal.

In a televised address to the nation last week, the president dismissed the allegations and insisted that his conscience was clear.

Former VP Roxana Baldetti has been arrested over her alleged involvement in the affair.

Prosecutors say she took a 50% cut from the bribes. She appeared in court on August 26, denying the charges.

On August 27, marchers took to the streets of Guatemala City, waving placards attacking corruption in the political establishment.

A committee has meanwhile been formed to consider lifting the president’s immunity from prosecution.

The committee was created after Guatemala’s Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for prosecutors to request impeachment proceedings.

Major business and religious leaders are supporting calls for President Otto Perez Molina to resign.


Venezuela and Colombia have recalled their envoys following days of growing tension between the neighboring South American nations.

More than 1,000 Colombians have been deported and about 6,000 have left in fear since Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro closed the border last week.

On August 27, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said it was “unacceptable” and withdrew his ambassador.

The Venezuelan government followed suit later in the day.

Nicolas Maduro closed the border and declared a state of emergency in the western state of Tachira on August 21 after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Announcing the recall of his ambassador, Juan Manuel Santos condemned the expulsions.

“I can’t allow Venezuela to treat Colombians and the Colombian government in this way,” he said.

Th president added that he would call for an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers from the Union of South American Nations.

A while later, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced that Caracas was recalling its own ambassador to Colombia for consultations.

Smugglers have long operated along the porous border between the countries, purchasing heavily subsidized goods in Venezuela to resell in Colombia.

Talks by the countries’ foreign ministers on August 26 were aimed at normalizing the situation in the key border region of Cucuta.

Hundreds are living in shelters there surrounded by the few possessions they could carry across the border on their backs.

Nicolas Maduro blames much of the violence on the Venezuelan side of the border on Colombian paramilitaries, whom he accuses of crossing the border freely to commit crimes.

In order to fight these gangs he declared a 60-day state of emergency on August 21 which, among other things, allows the authorities to search homes without a warrant.

However, the Colombian president said those who had been deported were “no paramilitaries but poor and humble families who only want to live and work”.

Juan Manuel Santos said some had complained of mistreatment by the Venezuelan security forces. The Venezuelan foreign minister dismissed allegations as “media lies”.

Vassiliki Thanou, Greece’s top Supreme Court judge, has been appointed caretaker prime minister ahead of early elections next month.

Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos named Vassiliki Thanou after efforts to form a coalition failed.

Last week, Alex Tsipras resigned as prime minister to seek a new mandate for office.

Vassiliki Thanou, 65, becomes Greece’s first female prime minister.

Elections are expected to be scheduled for 20 or 27 September.

Vassiliki Thanou’s appointment ends a week of fruitless negotiations as opposition party leaders tried unsuccessfully to form a government.Vassiliki Thanou Becomes Greece's First Female Prime Minister

Alexis Tsipras stepped down as prime minister and called early elections after 25 of his members of parliament quit Syriza over the bailout he agreed with European creditors and formed the left-wing Popular Unity party.

In a statement live on television on August 20, Alexis Tsipras said it was now up to the Greek people to give their verdict on whether to continue with his government’s program.

Alexis Tsipras is expected to win the next election although it is unclear whether he will secure a majority government.

However, he has ruled out a coalition with any of the more centrist opposition parties: centre-right New Democracy, the socialist Pasok party or the small centrist The River (To Potami) party.

Earlier this week an opinion poll for Greece’s Vergina TV suggested support for Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party had declined to 24%, down from 34% in July.

New Democracy was in second with 22%, while the far-right Golden Dawn ranked third with 6%.

Popular Unity, which split from Syriza, was put on 4.5%.

Panagiotis Lafazanis, who formed Popular Unity, was the last of three party leaders who were given the chance form a government in the past week.

He used the opportunity to air his anti-bailout message before handing back the mandate to the president on Thursday.

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis decided not to join Popular Unity despite his opposition to the €86 billion ($96 billion) eurozone bailout agreed by his successor Euclid Tsakalotos.


More than 20 migrants have been found dead in a truck abandoned on an Austrian highway lay-by near the eastern border with Hungary, local authorities say.

The number of dead could be as high as 50, police say. Their bodies had started to decompose.

The truck has been moved to an undisclosed location for detailed examination.

The shocking find comes as a summit focusing on migration takes place in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Tens of thousands of migrants from conflict-hit states in the Middle East and Africa have been trying to make their way to Europe.

Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann said the tragedy showed once again “how necessary it is to save lives by combating criminals and people traffickers”.

The vehicle – a refrigerated truck with Hungarian license plates – was parked off the A4 highway between Parndorf and Neusiedl am See, according to Burgenland police chief Hans Peter Doskozil.

Officers had found at least 20 bodies inside the truck, but there could be 30, 40 or even 50 inside, he told Austrian TV.

The truck was found late on Thursday morning, August 27, but had been there since at least August 26, Peter Doskozil said.

The victims had been dead for some time.

At 15:30 local time the truck was towed away, and was due to be taken to a hall in the local area for further examination, Austrian media report.

Only there would the truck be opened and the recovery of the bodies begin, the authorities said.Europe migrants dead in Austrian truck

The truck bears the logo of a Slovakian poultry company, Hyza, which said in a statement that the vehicle no longer belonged to the firm – but the new owners had not removed the branding.

Hungarian police are working with Austrian police on the investigation, a spokesman for the Hungarian prime minister said.

Hungary had been informed that the driver was Romanian, the spokesman said.

In Vienna, Serbia and Macedonia have told the summit on migration that EU must come up with an action plan to respond to the influx of migrants into Europe.

Austria has complained that the EU has failed to address the problem of people entering via the Western Balkans.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today’s find “reminds us to tackle the issue of migration with European spirit and find solutions”.

A record number of 107,500 migrants crossed the EU’s borders last month and on August 26 police counted more than 3,000 crossing into Serbia.

Meanwhile migrants are continuing to die as they try to reach Europe via the central Mediterranean route. The bodies of at least 51 people were found on August 26 in the hold of a stricken ship off the coast of Libya.


President Barack Obama apologized to Japan after WikiLeaks claimed Washington had spied on Japanese politicians, a government spokesman said.

Barack Obama held a telephone conversation with Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe on August 26, spokesman Yoshihide Suga said, adding that the pair agreed to work together on global economic issues in the wake of a stock market meltdown sparked by fears over China.

“President Obama said he was very sorry… as the case caused a big debate in Japan,” Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference, without confirming the spying claims.

He added that PM Shinzo Abe reiterated his “serious concern” over the case.Barack Obama apolgizes to Shinzo Abe after spying claims

“Prime Minister Abe told [Barack Obama] that, if the Japanese people concerned were subject to these activities, it would risk jeopardizing trusting relations between allies,” Yoshihide Suga said.

In an earlier conversation with VP Joe Biden, Shinzo Abe voiced similar concerns if the spying claims were confirmed.

Last month, WikiLeaks said it had intercepts revealing years-long espionage by the US National Security Agency (NSA) on Japanese officials and major companies.

Tokyo’s response has been widely seen as muted compared to the anger expressed in France and Germany following similar NSA spying allegations.

Japan is one of Washington’s key allies in the Asia-Pacific region and they regularly consult on defense, economic and trade issues.


According to a French prosecutor, the Thalys train attack on August 21 was premeditated and well prepared.

Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25, was carrying 270 bullets for his assault rifle and a bottle of petrol, prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters on August 25.

The suspect’s phone showed that he had watched a jihadist video shortly before launching the attack, Francois Molins added.French prosecutor on Thalys train attack

Ayoub El-Khazzani was overpowered by passengers on the Thalys train. No-one died.

Three Americans and one Briton who tackled the gunman were awarded medals for their bravery.

“Ayoub El-Khazzani had watched YouTube audio files whilst already on the Thalys train in which an individual called on the faithful to fight and take up arms in the name of the Prophet [Muhammad],” Francois Molins told a news conference.

Francois Molins said a formal terrorism investigation had been opened, adding that other European authorities had passed on information about the suspect’s travels and links to radical Islam.


Guatemala’s ex-VP Roxana Baldetti has appeared in court accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in a scandal that has rocked the government.

According to prosecutors, Roxana Baldetti took a 50% cut of illegal payments channeled to officials helping businesses evade customs duties.

Roxana Baldetti was arrested last week over the scheme and denies wrongdoing.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

Addressing the nation on August 23, Otto Perez Molina rejected any link to the scandal and said his conscience was clear.

Eight members of his government have resigned over the allegations and nearly 30 people detained.

In court, Roxana Baldetti – who resigned in May – spoke to confirm her identity, taking notes as prosecutors played some of the wiretapped conversations that led to her detention.

The bribery scam has become known as “La Linea”, or “The Line”, after the hotline businesses allegedly rang to clear their imports through customs at cut-price rates.

Presidential elections are being held in early September, but electoral law bars Otto Perez Molina from standing for another term.

President Otto Perez Molina has faced calls to stand down from across Guatemalan society and investigators are seeking to end his immunity from prosecution.

Lebanon’s PM Tammam Salam threatened to resign as thousands demonstrated for a second day in Beirut on August 23.

Anti-government protesters plan a third day of protests as they have clashed with police over the failure to remove uncollected rubbish from the streets.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to try to disperse the crowds and dozens were injured.

Lebanon does not have a president and parliament remains in a stalemate.

Tammam Salam’s unity government has been accused of being hamstrung by sectarian rivalries exacerbated by the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Unrest has been building because of the government’s failure to clear up rubbish piled on the streets of Beirut since the country’s biggest landfill closed last month.

They blame political paralysis and corruption for the failure to resolve the crisis.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

On August 23, protesters threw rocks and sticks at police and lit fires.

If Tammam Salam were to resign it could trigger a constitutional crisis because in Lebanon the prime minister is appointed by the president, but the presidency has been vacant for over a year.

Replacing the president requires a deal many say can only be brokered by Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Tammam Salam said that if a cabinet meeting later in the week failed to resolve the waste issue, Lebanon’s heavily-indebted government was in any case likely to collapse.

The prime minister had already warned that the heavily indebted government would be unable to pay salaries next month.

Tammam Salam also said Lebanon’s inability to service the public debt through bond sales could result in the country’s credit rating falling down to the ranks of the “failed states”.


French President Francois Hollande presented three Americans and a British man who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train with the Legion d’honneur at the Elysee Palace, France’s top honor.

Two other unnamed passengers will receive the honor at a later date.

Americans Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Briton Chris Norman and two other passengers overpowered a suspected radical Islamist on a high-speed train bound for Paris on August 21.

French authorities are questioning the suspect, Moroccan national Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25.

President Francois Hollande pinned the medals on the chests of the four passengers at the ceremony in Paris on August 24.

Before the awards, the president said: “We are here to honor four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives. They showed what could be done in terrible circumstances.

“In the name of France, I would like to thank you. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom.”French train attack heroes decorated by Francois Hollande

Francois Hollande added: “A terrorist decided to commit an attack. He had enough weapons and ammunition to carry out real carnage, and that’s what he would have done if you hadn’t tackled him at a risk to your own lives.

“You gave us a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope.”

Belgian PM Charles Michel and the US Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, attended the ceremony, along with the head of the French rail firm, SNCF.

The Legion d’honneur was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The award is divided into five categories and the passengers are expected to receive the chevalier, the most commonly awarded.

A French-American passenger who was wounded in the attack, and a French citizen who first encountered the gunman and tried to overpower him, will receive the honor later.

Francois Hollande named the French-American as 51-year-old Mark Moogalian, who is still in hospital. The other man wishes to remain anonymous.

The Americans spoke on August 23 about the incident.

Spencer Stone, an off-duty US airman, said he had just woken from a deep sleep when he saw the gunman and moved to restrain him.

He was the first of the three to reach the gunman. He was cut in the neck and on the eyebrow, and his thumb was almost sliced off.

Spencer Stone also tended to Mark Moogalian, who had been shot in the neck.

Alek Skarlatos, a member of the US National Guard, said his initial reaction was “mostly just gut instinct”, and that military training had only played a role in providing medical help and making sure there were no accomplices.

Anthony Sadler said: “The gunman would have been successful if my friend Spencer had not gotten up. I want that lesson to be learned, in times of terror like that, to please do something. Don’t just stand by and watch.”

British Chris Norman, an IT expert, said he helped the Americans subdue the gunman because he thought he was “probably going to die anyway”.

Under French law, authorities have until Tuesday evening to question the suspect.

Sophie David, a lawyer assigned to the case for Ayoub El-Khazzani, said the Moroccan was “dumbfounded that his act is being linked to terrorism” and that he had said he found the weapons in a Belgian park and wanted to rob passengers.

Ayoub El-Khazzani’s father, Mohamed el-Khazzani, told the Daily Telegraph in Algeciras, Spain, that his son was a “good boy” interested in “football and fishing”.

The suspect was flagged up to French authorities by Spanish counterparts in February 2014.

He is reported to have lived in France, Spain, and Belgium and to have travelled to Syria.

Security aboard the high-speed Thalys service on which the incident took place is being stepped up. The trains link major cities in the Netherlands and Belgium to Paris.

Patrols and security checks will also be boosted at international train stations.


At least 14 people have been killed in a prison in El Salvador, authorities have said.

All of them were members of El Salvador’s notorious Barrio 18 gang.

The bodies were discovered in two separate locations during a routine inspection of the prison in Quezaltepeque, officials said.

The deaths are believed to be the result of an internal feud.El Salvador prison violence

The prison authorities and police have launched an investigation.

El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world, largely as a result of bitter fighting between rival gangs.

On August 19, police said there were at least 125 murders in just three days in the country.

The Directorate General of Prisons said on Twitter that the latest violence was “presumed to be an act of purification among gang members”.

Last month, Barrio 18 ordered a bus strike and seven bus drivers were killed when they defied the gang.

The group was demanding to be included in a commission examining ways of stemming urban violence – which they are largely responsible for.

El Salvador President Sanchez Ceren has focused on tackling crime since he took office but the country has faced a sharp increase in violence since 2014.

A huge explosion has been reported at a warehouse at the Runxing chemical plant in China’s eastern province of Shandong, local media reports.

Large flames could be seen from the site after the blast in the city of Zibo. Nine people are reported injured.

Earlier this month blasts involving chemicals in the northern city of Tianjin killed at least 116 people.

The proximity of industrial and chemical plants to residential areas has become hugely controversial.

Saturday’s blast took place near the city of Zibo, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting a villager who said that he saw a huge fireball and then heard two explosions.Shandong explosion China

The newspaper said that the fire had been brought under control by late on Saturday night.

It is not yet clear if homes in the area have been damaged.

The explosion triggered a fire and a dozen fire engines were at the scene, Xinhua news agency reports.

The blasts at Shandong and Tianjin have taken on a political significance and threaten to overshadow China’s celebrations of the 70th anniversary of its victory over Japan in World War Two.

The Beijing Times reported that the Runxing plant contained adiponitrile – a chemical which is reported to be used for the production of nylon and can be harmful to skin.

Windows shattered at the scene of the blast, state media reported, and its vibration could be felt 1.5 miles from the site.

The operators of the Tianjin site are being investigated for allowing dangerous chemicals to be stored too close to homes.

The blasts there also raised fears of contamination by toxic substances.

They also sparked a nationwide directive cracking down on the storage of chemicals.

Officially the minimum distance between businesses with dangerous chemicals and public buildings and transport networks is meant to be 1 mile.

Data from the Tianjin incident showed there were at least three major residential communities inside that distance from the warehouse.


Macedonia has allowed some migrants to board a train north overnight, as many more remain trapped on the country’s border with Greece.

Crowds of people – many refugees from the war in Syria – are continuing to build up after Macedonian authorities sealed their southern border.

Manny refugees wish to travel through Macedonia and Serbia to reach northern Europe, via Hungary.

Large numbers, including children, spent the night in the open.

According to new reports, Macedonian security forces plan to let several hundred migrants in at a time on August 22 to coincide with train departures north towards Serbia and the rest of Europe.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

Migrants were beaten back with truncheons and riot shields by Macedonian security forces on August 21. Tear gas was fired.

Macedonia, formerly part of Yugoslavia, has declared a state of emergency to cope with the situation.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, has expressed concern for “thousands of vulnerable refugees and migrants, especially women and children, now massed on the Greek side of the border amid deteriorating conditions”.

The UNHCR urged Macedonia to “establish an orderly and protection-sensitive management of its borders” while appealing to Greece to “enhance registration and reception arrangements” on its side of the border.

It also said it had been assured by Macedonia the border “will not be closed in the future”, but did not elaborate.

Greece itself has seen almost 160,000 people landing on its shores since January, the UN estimates, with 50,000 arriving in the past month alone.

Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said all migrants had to register on entering the country and they had 72 hours to decide whether they would apply for asylum or pursue their route north.

Macedonia and its northern neighbor Serbia are not part of the European Union.

However Hungary, to the north of Serbia, is an EU member and is part of the Schengen area. This means that once in Hungary people can travel onwards throughout much of Europe (excluding Britain and Ireland) without needing to show documents at international borders.