TULTEPEC, Mexico (AP) — Authorities in Mexico have not yet said what may have caused Tuesday's explosion at a fireworks market that killed at least 29 people and injured another 72. The market in Mexico State's San Pablito was bustling with shoppers ...and more »
MEXICO-FIREWORKS-EXPLOSIONDeadly fireworks explosionTULTEPEC, Mexico (AP) â€” Authorities in Mexico have not yet said what may have caused Tuesday's explosion at a fireworks market that killed at least 29 people and injured another 72.
The market in Mexico State's San Pablito was bustling with shoppers when the powerful chain-reaction explosion ripped through its stalls.Some of the injured have been burned over 90 percent of their bodies.GERMANY-CHRISTMAS-MARKET-ISLAMIC STATEIslamic State claims responsibility for market attackBERLIN (AP) â€” The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Berlin.Meanwhile, a man taken into custody near the scene has been released.Authorities say there's no evidence the man was at the wheel of the truck that killed 12 people and injured 48.The man had been taken into custody based on a description from people who saw the driver jump out of the truck and run off.GERMANY-CHRISTMAS-MARKET-LONDONLondon raises security around Buckingham PalaceLONDON (AP) â€” London police will institute road closures in the area surrounding Buckingham Palace when the popular Changing the Guard military ceremony is taking place â€” a security measure rushed into place because of the deadly Christmas market truck attack in Berlin.Police said Tuesday the change in procedure had been planned but is being speeded up. The closures and the new physical barriers are set to be in place by Wednesday.The Changing the Guard has long been popular with tourists and police say it is a high-profile event that attracts large crowds at an iconic location.Under the new plan, road closures will be in place for nearly two hours when the guards are changed in front of the palace in central London. Police said the change is "a precautionary measure" for the next three months and is not based on any specific intelligence.The threat level in Britain is judged to be "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.INDONESIA-TERROR RAIDIndonesia police: 3 suspected militants killed, bombs foundJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) â€” Indonesian police said they killed three suspected militants in a raid on the outskirts of Jakarta and found several bombs which they are trying to defuse.National Police spokesman Rikwanto told MetroTV on Wednesday that the residential neighborhood has been evacuated.He said one person was arrested in the raid.IRAQRights group: IS in Mosul targets civilians as it retreatsBAGHDAD (AP) â€” An international watchdog says Islamic State militants in Mosul are deliberately targeting civilians who refuse to join them as they retreat ahead of advancing Iraqi forces.Human Rights Watch also says that Mosul civilians are increasingly being caught in the crossfire, and that at least 19 have been killed and dozens wounded in the period from the third week of November into the first week of December.It says the fatalities incurred from IS militants' mortar or sniper fire, car bombs and roadside bombings, as well as in airstrikes by the Iraqi forces and the U.S.-led coalition.Wednesday's statement says HRW findings are based on interviews with more than 50 residents who had fled eastern Mosul.HRW warns targeting civilians or using them as human shields is a war crime.JAPAN-NUCLEARJapan decides to scrap 'Monju' fast-breeder nuclear reactorTOKYO (AP) â€” Japan has decided to shut down an experimental fast-breeder nuclear reactor that drained government finances for years without living up to hopes it would be a savior for the resource-poor country's energy needs.Government ministers decided Wednesday to scrap the trouble-plagued "Monju" reactor. It has cost Japan about 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) while operating only 250 days since it started up 22 years ago.The so-called "dream reactor" was designed to burn a plutonium-uranium mix, while producing more plutonium in the process that could be converted into more nuclear fuel.It costs 20 billion yen a year to maintain Monju, and would have required costly upgrades to meet new safety standards introduced after meltdowns at a nuclear plant in Fukushima that was flooded by a tsunami in 2011.DEATH SENTENCE DECLINESDeath sentences decline sharply as public attitudes shiftWASHINGTON (AP) â€” Thirty people were sentenced to death in the United States this year. That's the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in use of the death penalty.A new report from the Death Penalty Information Center says the number is a sharp drop from the 49 death sentences last year and just a fraction of the peak of 315 in 1996. The center is a nonprofit group that opposes capital punishment and tracks the issue.The growing reluctance of juries to sentence defendants to death is one of several factors contributing to the overall drop in executions. Twenty people were executed this year. That's the fewest since 1991. The high-water mark was in 1999, when there were 98 executions.BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-FIFTH FATALITYAs Boston bombing movie opens, officer's family wants recognitionBOSTON (AP) â€” As the new Mark Wahlberg film "Patriots Day" about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing premieres Wednesday in Boston, there's a push for recognition for a police officer who died a year after being wounded in a confrontation with the suspects.Officer Dennis "D.J." Simmonds was wounded when a pipe bomb exploded near him during the confrontation between police and Tamerlan (TAM'-ehr-luhn) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) days after the bombing. He suffered a fatal brain aneurysm a year later.Simmonds' family believes he should be recognized as the fifth fatality. Three people were killed when the Tsarnaevs detonated pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line. And the brothers later fatally shot MIT Officer Sean Collier.
The bombing victims and Collier are mentioned by name in "Patriots Day," but Simmonds is not.PHILIPPINES-JAMES TAYLORJames Taylor cancels Manila concert over Duterte's drug warMANILA, Philippines (AP) â€” Singer-songwriter James Taylor has canceled his February concert in the Philippines, saying that he finds reports of the country's summary executions of suspected drug offenders without judicial proceedings "deeply concerning and unacceptable."Taylor has sent a tweet, saying that he had been looking forward to performing in Manila and that it's saddened him to cancel the concert.He says all tickets sold for the Feb. 25 performance will be refunded.PLANED PARENTHOOD-TEXASTexas gives Planned Parenthood notice of Medicaid ousterAUSTIN, Texas (AP) â€” Texas has put Planned Parenthood on notice of plans to soon cut off Medicaid funds.Planned Parenthood has responded by vowing to ask a court to stop Texas from defunding clinics in January.Republican Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to kick Planned Parenthood out of the state's Medicaid program more than a year ago, joining other socially conservative governors who took similar steps in 2015.EX-POLICE OFFICER-QUADRUPLE HOMICIDE4 bodies found on property linked to ex-officerWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) â€” Police have confirmed four bodies were found on property linked to a former New York police officer accused of killing four men who went missing during a drug deal this year.Chester police Chief Peter Graziano tells The Journal News the bodies were found in Otisville on Tuesday on property rented by Nicholas Tartaglione. He says the remains were taken to the county's medical examiner for identification.Tartaglione was arrested Monday on charges of murder and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He has pleaded not guilty. He used to work for the Briarcliff Manor police department.The four missing men were last seen at a bar in Chester in April. Police say the men knew each other and some of them were involved in drug activity.JUVENILE LIFERSMan convicted as teen requests no mandatory life on paroleHARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) â€” An inmate who has served decades in prison for a murder committed when he was 14 wants Pennsylvania's highest court to prevent him from having to spend the rest of his life on parole.Richard Lee Olds filed a request Tuesday asking the state Supreme Court to allow bail under certain circumstances for him and others like him: convicted as juveniles of taking part in homicides without doing the actual killing.A county judge in Pittsburgh last month resentenced Olds to 20 years to life and ordered him released.Prosecutors objected to him getting bail while his case is on appeal and the judge reversed himself.Olds remains in prison but is seeking release through the parole board.
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