Military plane crashes in eastern Algeria, 103 dead

ALGIERS, (Reuters) – A military transport plane carrying relatives of members of the armed forces crashed in eastern Algeria on Tuesday, killing 103 people, the private Ennahar TV station reported, citing “informed sources”.

The plane crashed in a mountainous area in the Oum El Bouaghi province, about 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Algiers, the report said.

A senior military official told the official APS news agency that 99 passengers and four crew members had been on board the plane, but that the death toll was “yet to be determined”.

Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern also said that bad weather and gusty winds were probably the cause of the crash.

The transport plane took off from Algeria’s southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for the eastern city of Constantine, APS said.

Tuesday’s plane crash would be the worst in Algeria since 2003 when an Air Algerie jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing 102 people.

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Venezuela gov’t aims to sink Maduro recall, opposition protests

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government sought yesterday to scupper a push by the opposition to oust him this year via a referendum, while his opponents called for protests to demand the vote.

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No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

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Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou

Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renews design concerns

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese container ship hit a wall of the new lane of the Panama Canal, a Canal Authority official and a local ship agent said yesterday, the third such incident since the expanded waterway opened one month ago amid design concerns.

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Little enforcement of Jamaica Tobacco Control Act douses its relevance

(Jamaica Observer) It has existed on Jamaican law books for three years now, but the one-time much heralded Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations Act 2013, seems to have virtually gone up in smoke.

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Big battle set for key Clico beachfront property in T&T

(Trinidad Guardian) Battle for No Man’s Land. That is what is shaping up on all fronts—from Government to the Clico owners of the property—as the spotlight continues to increase on one of the last pristine pieces of beachfront in the English-speaking Caribbean.

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