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Last updateTue, 12 Dec 2017 12pm

World News

Cuba holds Castro commemoration

Tens of thousands of people have filled Revolution Square in the Cuban capital, Havana, for a rally honouring revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Proceedings began with the singing of Cuba's national anthem and speeches are being given by visiting dignitaries.

President Raul Castro closed the rally, referring to his brother Fidel as the leader of a revolution "for the humble, and by the humble". Left-wing Latin American leaders were among those attending the event. Fidel Castro, who came to power in 1959, died on Friday, aged 90.  

A plane carrying Brazil club football team crashes in Colombia

A plane carrying 72 people, including a Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia. Details are unclear but some reports say there are survivors. Officials said the chartered plane, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense football team.

The team was due to play in the final of the South American club cup with Medellin team  Atletico Nacional. The final has now been suspended.

The international Palestine solidarity day falls today.

The international Palestine solidarity day falls today. A special function in this regard has been organized at 4.15 pm today at the Sports Ministry Auditorium. Minister Rajitha Senarathne and Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake will participate at this function. Popular media personnel Mahinda Haththaka will deliver the keynote lecture at this function. The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Una McCauley will also be present at this occasion.

Ohio attacker Abdul Ali Artan was 'Somali refugee'

A man who injured 11 people, one critically, in a rampage at Ohio State University was of Somali descent and a student on campus, say US officials. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, rammed his car into a group of pedestrians at the college then got out and began stabbing people before police shot him dead.


Cuba prepares for national tribute to Fidel Castro

Cubans are preparing for a national tribute to their revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, who died on Friday at the age of 90. The tribute will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time today at the Jose Marti Memorial in Revolution Square in Havana. The ceremony will begin with the firing of a 21-gun salute.

The Jose Marti Memorial, which will temporarily welcome Castro's remains, is at the highest point of Havana.
It stands on Revolution Square, long held to be one of Cuba's most emblematic spots. For decades, it hosted massive demonstrations in support of the Revolution and Castro gave many of his most important speeches there.

The square will also host a public mass at 7 p.m. local time tomorrow for Cubans to pay their respects. Following that, the ashes will begin a trip of around 1,000 kilometers from Havana to Santiago de Cuba. This journey will be the reverse of the one Castro carried out, as a young guerrilla leader, in his Caravan of Liberty in 1959.

After nine days of national mourning, the ashes of the revolutionary leader will be laid to rest on 4th of next month in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery after another mass in the Antonio Maceo Square in Santiago de Cuba.

Besides preparations for the official commemoration, across the nation, hundreds of thousands of people turned out during the weekend waving flags and chanting slogans in Castro's honour. Sports and cultural activities will be suspended for the period of mourning, while flags will remain at half-mast. Newspapers were printed in black ink in memory of the man, who led the country for decades.

Colombia signs new peace deal with FARC

The Colombian government and the country's largest rebel group, the FARC, have signed a revised peace deal. The previous deal was rejected by the Colombian people in a popular vote on 2nd of last month. The revised agreement has been submitted to Congress for approval, rather than put to a popular vote.


Shia pilgrims among 77 people killed in IS attack in Iraq.

Some 77 people, most of them Shia pilgrims from Iran and Afghanistan, have been killed in a truck bomb attack in Iraq, officials say. The blast struck at a petrol station and restaurant near Hilla, some 100 kilometers south of Baghdad. Busloads of pilgrims had stopped there on their way home from commemorating Arbaeen in the holy city of Karbala. Some 40 people were wounded. The jihadist group Islamic State said it carried out the attack.

Myanmar wants ethnic cleansing of Rohingya - UN official.

Myanmar is seeking the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority from its territory. Armed forces have been killing Rohingya in Rakhine state, forcing many to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, says John McKissick of the UN refugee agency.

The government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been conducting counter-insurgency operations since coordinated attacks on border guards in October. It denies reports of atrocities.

Power station collapse kills 40 in China

At least 40 people have been killed when a platform collapsed at a construction site in China's Jiangxi province. The accident took place at a power plant in Fengcheng where a cooling tower was under construction.
China's Xinhua news agency reported, there were a number of people still trapped at the scene. Jiangxi province's fire services said 32 fire trucks and 212 soldiers had been deployed. A total of 68 people were at the construction site at the time of the accident.

Trump picks Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos as first women ministers for cabinet

US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed the first two women to his incoming administration. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was nominated as US envoy to the UN and Betsy DeVos as education secretary.


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