News stories from around the world
UNITED STATES: A bus crash that left 15 people dead last year was probably caused by a driver suffering from sleep deprivation and insufficient bus company safety oversight, the National Transportation Safety Board declared on Tuesday.
The board said driver Ophadell Williams had almost no sleep — except for naps on the bus — in the three days leading up to the March 12 2011 accident on the way back to New York from a Connecticut gambling trip.
Mr Williams, who worked mostly overnight shifts, has pleaded not guilty in New York to charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
HEALTH: A potentially dangerous sexually transmitted disease that infects millions of people each year is growing resistant to drugs and could soon become untreatable, the World Health Organisation warned on Wednesday.
The UN health agency is urging governments and doctors to up surveillance of gonorrhoea — which can cause inflammation, infertility, pregnancy complications and, in extreme cases, lead to maternal death.
The bacterial infection has been developing resistance to all current medications, WHO warned.
NORTH KOREA: Leader Kim Jong Un delivered a speech to 20,000 children at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Stadium on Wednesday to mark the 66th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Children’s Union.
Mr Kim said the ruling Workers Party “intends to make a socialist, powerful and prosperous nation” to hand over to the children.
The speech capped a six-day children’s festival in which thousands of children from across the country flocked to Pyongyang to participate in political and cultural events.
ISRAEL: MPs rejected a Bill that proposed to retroactively authorise an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank by 69-22 on Wednesday.
Israel’s Supreme Court has refused to sanction the Ulpana outpost — on the basis that it was built on private Palestinian land — and ordered the outpost’s five buildings taken down by July 1.
Rightwingers submitted a bid to leave the buildings, which house about 30 families, intact and instead give compensation to the Palestinian landowners.
CANADA: Packages containing a human foot and hand were discovered at two schools in Vancouver on Tuesday, in what could be the latest twist in the case of a Canadian suspected of murdering and dismembering a Chinese student.
Police said they could not immediately confirm if the body parts were the missing extremities of Jun Lin, whose hand and foot were mailed to Canada’s top political parties last week.
The suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta was caught on Monday at a cafe in Berlin. He told German authorities he would not fight extradition to Canada.
PAKISTAN: A US drone strike on Hesokhel village east of Miranshah on Monday killed a senior al-Qaida propagandist, officials from both countries have confirmed.
Libyan-born Abu Yahya al-Libi was originally captured a decade ago and held by US forces at the notorious detention camp at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan until he escaped in 2005.
Soon afterwards he began appearing in videos in which he had talked about the lessons he learned while watching his captors, whom he described as cowardly, lost and alienated.
FRANCE: Interior Minister Manuel Valls pledged on Tuesday to crack down on online bigotry and invest more money protecting Jewish neighbourhoods following three anti-semitic attacks.
Two people wearing Jewish skullcaps were injured on Saturday in an attack in Villeurbanne and a Jewish youth was attacked on Monday in Marseille.
Mr Valls said police would maintain heightened security measures at Jewish schools put in place after a school shooting killed three children and a rabbi in Toulouse in March.
UNITED STATES: The Walt Disney Company plans to ban junk food ads on its TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children.
Center for Science in the Public Interest nutrition policy director Margo Wootan said on Tuesday: “Disney’s announcement really puts a lot of pressure on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and other media to do the same.”
The guidelines won’t come into effect until 2015 because of existing advertising agreements.
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