100 people dead in Sudan cattle raid
JUBA, South Sudan – More than 100 people were killed in a violence-prone region of South Sudan when one tribe attacked another while cattle were being moved across land, officials said Sunday.
Kuol Manyang Juuk, the governor of Jonglei state, said 103 people died in the Friday clash in Akobo County. Juuk said 17 of the attackers were killed and that 14 soldiers from South Sudan’s military, the SPLA, who were accompanying the cattle-moving tribe also died.
Jonglei County has been wracked by massive bouts of tribal violence for years. The United Nations says more than 2,600 violence-related deaths were reported in Jonglei from January 2011 to September 2012, and account for more than half of reported deaths in South Sudan, a country that is emerging from the shambles of a decades-long war. Jonglei state covers northeastern South Sudan.
Akobo County Commissioner Goi Joyul said the attack took place during a yearly migration in which members of the Lou Nuer ethnic group were driving cattle across the Sobat River. The commissioner said survivors of the attack saw the assailants use rocket-propelled grenades in addition to machetes and spears “thus overwhelming an SPLA force accompanying the people.”
Gunmen kills 4 in Iraqi city of Mosul
BAGHDAD – Gunmen killed four people in three attacks Sunday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, officials said.
Violence has dropped in Iraq since the country’s worst sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents carry out near-daily attacks on security forces and civilians to try to undermine the Shiite-led government.
Assailants fired at a police checkpoint in the center of Mosul, killing two policemen, police said. Later in the day, gunmen killed an off-duty soldier at a car-repair shop in the city. In a third attack, gunmen fired at a van carrying oil workers, killing one and wounding three, police said.
A health official confirmed the casualty figures. The health official and two police officers spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to publicly release the information.
Lifeboat accident kills 5 people in Spain
LA PALMA, Canary Islands – A lifeboat being used on a safety drill aboard a cruise ship in Spain’s Canary Islands fell about 65 feet into a port Sunday when a cable snapped, trapping crew members beneath it and killing five of them, officials said.
None of the hundreds of passengers aboard the British-operated vessel were involved in the accident, which also injured three crew members, said the Canary Islands port authority.
Divers raced to the lifeboat, which had hit the water upside down, recovering four bodies and trying without success to revive a fifth crewman who had stopped breathing, the authority said.
Thomson Cruises confirmed the accident and the casualties aboard its Thomson Majesty ship on the island of La Palma, saying the three injured crewmen were not badly hurt.
France hunts fraudsters in horse-meat scandal
PARIS – Europe’s horsemeat scandal is spreading and threatening cross-border tensions, as France says Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders were part of a supply chain that resulted in horse meat disguised as beef being sold in frozen lasagna around the continent.
No one has reported health risks from the mislabeled meat, but it has unsettled consumers across Europe.
Accusations are flying. In France, the foreign minister called it “disgusting,” and consumer safety authorities increased inspections of the country’s meat business, from slaughterhouses to supermarkets. Romania’s president is scrambling to salvage his country’s reputation. A Swedish manufacturer is suing a French supplier central to the affair.
The motivation for passing off horse meat as beef appeared to be financial, and authorities are concentrating on pursuing anyone guilty of fraud in the affair, said France’s junior minister for consumer goods, Benoit French Benoit Hamon.
Fewer fireworks in polluted Beijing
BEIJING – The annual Lunar New Year fireworks barrage in Beijing was notably muted following government appeals to reduce the smoky celebrations after air pollution rose to near catastrophic levels over recent weeks.
The holiday was also being celebrated in Vietnamese and Korean communities, and in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, streams of residents offered flowers and bowed deeply before giant statues of national founder Kim Il Sung and his son and late leader Kim Jong Il.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, where Chinese cultural observances had been suppressed before 1998, ethnic Chinese flocked to the city’s oldest temple Sunday to pray for health and success.
China’s capital saw almost twice the number of smoggy days as usual in January, with levels of small-particle air pollution going off the charts at times. That prompted calls for restraint, along with a reduction in the number of licensed fireworks sellers and the amount of fireworks on sale.