1) MULTIPLE EXPLOSIONS IN AFGHAN CAPITAL KABUL KILLS SIX DURING NEW YEAR FESTIVAL
A spokesman for the Afghan Health Ministry said multiple explosions in Kabul, capital city of Afghanistan today have killed six people and wounded 23 others, with fears of the numbers rising.
There were conflicting reports about what caused the blasts near the Karti Sakhi Shi’ite shrine and cemetery, in a heavily Shi’ite Muslim area in the west of Kabul.
The attacks came on Nowruz, an ancient Persian festival to mark the start of spring that is widely celebrated in many parts of Afghanistan, but has faced opposition from some hardline Islamists, who say it is un-Islamic.
The defence ministry said police had arrested the attacker and secured the area.
2) MOZAMBIQUE DEATH TOLL AT 217 AFTER CYCLONE
The death toll after a powerful cyclone in Mozambique has risen to 217 and around 15,000 people, many of them very ill, still need to be rescued.
According to Minister of Land and Environment Celso Correia, with flood waters starting to recede, the priority is to deliver food and other supplies to people on the ground rather than take people out of affected areas.
He added that the authorities are using all means possible to save lives and were working 24 hours per day, with about 3,000 people rescued so far.
Cyclone Idai hit the Mozambican port city of Beira with winds up to 170 kilometers per hour a week ago, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, wreaking havoc and risking millions of lives.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said the eventual death toll from the cyclone and ensuing floods could rise to more than 1,000.
3) EU COULD HOLD EMERGENCY SUMMIT TO OFFER CONDITIONAL BREXIT EXTENSION
The European Union could next week hold an emergency summit to offer a Brexit extension with potentially heavy conditions such as holding another referendum.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the final outcome of Brexit is uncertain, with parliament yet to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s exit deal.
Britain is due to leave the European Union at the end of next week, with the legal default that the country leaves on March 29 with or without a deal.
Hunt further said if the deadlock remained next week, parliament still had the option to vote to revoke Article 50 and cancel the entire Brexit process, though it was highly unlikely.