At least 16 people were killed and 45 wounded when a wedding party's passenger bus fell into a 250-foot-deep ravine in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said. Locals rushed down the gorge to rescue survivors. They were later joined by policemen. A preliminary examination suggests that the bus lost control on a sharp curve, and that it was overloaded.
Four Shia Muslims have been killed by a rocket-propelled grenade, Yemeni security officials report. An unknown attacker fired the explosive into a Shiite celebration hall, where people had gathered to observe the holy day of Ashoura in the capital, Sanaa. Officials suspect extremist Salafis to be involved.
At least 18 people have been killed, and five miners trapped in a coal mine, after an accident in China. The Xiangshui coalmine in Guizhou province exploded due to a gas buildup while 28 workers were inside the shaft. Five people have been rescued and are being treated. China tops the global list of such accidents, with 1,973 miners killed in explosions last year.
Six people have died as a regional train slammed into a car that was crossing the tracks near the southern city of Cosenza. According to an Italian railways spokesman, all those killed were in the car. Most of the victims were reportedly Romanian farm workers. No one aboard the train was injured.
At least eight people have reportedly died, with scores injured, after in a fire at a multi-story garment factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, local TV stations report. The information on casualties has not been confirmed, and no further details have been given.
Congo residents have fled the towns of Sake and Minova, making their way to a nearby village to avoid a potential conflict between rebels and the army, as they fear looting and rapes. Residents say the UN peacekeeping group in Congo told them to leave their homes. A surprise attack by the Congolese army on Thursday pushed the rebels out of Sake for a few hours. By the evening, however, their fighters had rectaken the town and forced the government troops to flee. Rebel looting and rapes have been confirmed to AP by a UN source.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has congratulated Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for a “great victory” over Israel. In a phone call between the two leaders, Ahmadinejad said that “Zionists have reached the end of the road” and have no choice but to “yield to the absolute rights of the Palestinian nation,” Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. Haniyeh thanked the leader for his country’s support. Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense resulted in the deaths of 166 Palestinians and six Israelis during an eight-day assault on Gaza.
Thousands of Italian students and teachers have turned out in Rome to protest against the austerity measures and cuts to education spending imposed by Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government. Central Rome is blocked off and police have increased security measures, after scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators during recent protests on November 14.
Israel has eased some border restrictions as part of its truce with Hamas, allowing Gazan farmers to visit land near its security fence and letting fishermen head further out to sea, Gaza residents reported. The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting that killed 166 Palestinians and six Israelis. As part of the deal, Israel and Hamas are expected to negotiate a further easing of the Gaza border blockade, first imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.
Michael O'Kane, editor of the Irish Daily Star newspaper, has resigned over the publication of topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William sunbathing during a private vacation in France. O’Kane was suspended from his position in September as an internal investigation was carried out. Though the tabloid's co-owners stated that the editor had at all times acted in a highly professional manner, they did criticize O'Kane’s decision to publish the pictures.
“They have never given me a sou, and I've never asked them to do it,” French media quoted former French President Nicolas Sarkozy as saying during a police interrogation into allegations that he accepted thousands in illegal funding from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 election campaign. Sarkozy was declared a material witness after the investigation on Thursday, which means he is a suspect who has not been formally charged.
The pontifex has appointed six new non-European cardinals, all of whom are eligible to enter a conclave that will one day choose Benedict's successor. Aged from 53 to 72, they are from the US, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Lebanon and Colombia. With the new appointments, the number of cardinals has risen to 120, with an increased international representation shrinking the group's European majority from 55 percent to 51. Benedict gave the new cardinals their ring and traditional red 'biretta,' or hat.
The Coordinating Council of the Russian opposition has called for a large rally dubbed the “March of Freedom” to mark the anniversary of the country's recently formed protest movement. The demonstration will take place on December 15, a year after tens of thousands of protesters turned out against the results of the parliamentary elections in the country's biggest rally since 1993.
The body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday for examination by Russian and French experts. They will take samples as part of a probe into the cause of his November 2004 death. Arafat suffered a stroke, according to medial records, but it was reported in July that significant traces of the toxic isotope polonium-210 were found on Arafat’s personal effects, prompting speculation that he may have been poisoned.
Valentin Danilov, a Russian physicist who had been convicted of fraud and being a spy for China, was released on Saturday from a prison in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. He was freed early last week after serving three years in jail, but chose to stay in custody until the time in which prosecutors could appeal his release had ended. Danilov’s controversial case saw a series trials where he was both convicted and acquitted by several juries. Danilov denied the allegations leveled against him, and said that information that he was accused of selling had been declassified.
The UN Committee Against Torture expressed strong concern about the increasing number of allegations of widespread torture, intimidation and reprisal against human rights advocates and journalists in Russia. The authors of report said that Russian authorities are unwilling to take steps to combat human rights violations in the country. The committee appealed to Russia to take immediate and effective measures to prevent all acts of torture and mistreatment.
Fourteen people were killed and 47 injured in a restaurant blast in northern China, with authorities citing a gas leak as the likely cause, AFP reported. Seventeen of the injured are in critical condition. The blast went off in a two-story restaurant and also shattered the windows of nearby buildings.
Hundreds of Congolese women marched to the United Nations’ Congo headquarters in Kinshasa to demonstrate against violence committed by the rebel group M23. Women accused the rebels of grave abuses, including raping pregnant women. The rebels invaded the eastern part of the country and seized the city of Goma on November 20, forcing thousands to flee their homes.
Pope Benedict XVI will create six new positions for cardinals from non-European countries during a Vatican ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday. The cardinals come from the US, India, the Philippines, Lebanon, Nigeria and Colombia. Cardinals make up a consistory body that advises the Pope when he calls them to convene, and chooses a replacement upon his death. The new addition will bring the number of cardinals to 120 and increase its international representation, shrinking the group's European majority from 55 percent to 51.
Thai police used tear gas to disperse a group of anti-government protesters headed to a rally at Bangkok's Royal Plaza. Around 10 tear gas canisters were shot after protesters attempted to remove barbed wire and barriers hindering their route past a United Nations building close to the main protest site, police said. Meanwhile, thousands of riot police have been deployed for the ten-thousand-strong rally organized by the Pitak Siam group, which has been calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and his government.
Spain's associations for judges and prosecutors have gathered outside of the Ministry of Justice to protest against recent legal reforms enacted by Madrid. All seven of the associations pleaded to change the fee increases so that people could afford civil cases or to appeal judgments against them. An appeal in the country's courts has been raised to €800, while appealing to the Supreme tribunal will cost €1,200. The judges also highlighted the increased workload that they will have to handle under the recent reforms.
Two US servicemen in Japan were arrested on Friday, police said, as anti-American sentiment rises following an alleged rape of a Japanese woman by two American sailors last month. Police in Yokohama detained 23-year-old sailor Oscar Hayes Wiygul III on charges of public indecency after he allegedly walked around naked in and urinated in an Internet café. In a separate arrest, Fernandez Luis from the Futenma Air Base in Okinawa was detained on suspicion of drunk driving. Over 47,000 US military personnel are stationed in Japan.
At least 18 people have been injured in a major gas explosion in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, local media report. A police officer and two firemen are reported to be among the victims after the explosion destroyed a building. The neighboring structure has been damaged as well. All those injured have been taken to a nearby hospital, and none are in critical condition.
Two mine workers have been killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in the southwestern Colombian province of Valle del Cauca, EFE reports. The blast at the El Remanso cave shaft buried the miners inside. A recovery team is at work retrieving bodies. Mining accidents claim dozens of lives every year in Colombia.
Two people have been shot over a parking spot disagreement outside a Walmart in Florida, as the public rushed to get the best Black Friday deals. Law enforcement announced that a man and a woman were discovered at the store's outdoor garden center and rushed to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Police are searching for a green Toyota Camry in connection with the incident.