Wednesday 16 January 2019

Protesters shot in Ivory Coast

Security forces fired on protesters for the second consecutive day in Ivory Coast's biggest city, following a call for an "Egypt-style" uprising to depose sitting president Laurent Gbagbo.

Witnesses said military police encircled a group of supporters of Alassane Ouattara in the Abobo district of Abidjan, before opening fire.

There were reports of several injured, though their numbers could not be independently verified.

Mr Gbagbo is refusing to cede power even though results certified by the United Nations showed Mr Ouattara won the November 28 election.

107 whales die after stranding

All members of a pod of 107 pilot whales that stranded on a remote New Zealand beach have died, including 48 that were euthanised.

The stranded whales were discovered by hikers near Cavalier Creek on Stewart Island, off the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island.

Conservation department staff flew to the area and found that about half of the group were already dead and the others were dying, the agency said in a statement.

Merkel's party trounced in poll

German chancellor Angela Merkel's party suffered a crushing defeat in Hamburg's state election after 10 years in power, giving her an uneasy start to a year with six more regional polls.

Preliminary results from the state's election commission showed Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats winning only 21.9pc of the vote, down from 42.1pc in 2008.

The Social Democrats (SPD) took 48.3pc of the vote, up from 34.1pc, which guarantees them an absolute majority with 62 of 121 seats in the state legislature.

Quake shakes Russian coast

An earthquake rattled the east coast of Russia near the Kamchatka Peninsula, the US Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and no tsunami alert was issued.

The magnitude-6.2 quake struck at 9.43am local time at the epicentre, 4,140 miles east of Moscow.

The centre of the quake was about 5.8 miles deep.

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