BY Wire reports
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1/23/13 at 3:29 AM
Segou, Mali: U.S. planes transport French in Mali operation
American planes transported French troops and equipment to Mali, a U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday, as Malian and French forces pushed into the Islamist-held north.
The presence of Malian forces in the towns of Douentza and Diabaly this week marks tangible accomplishments for the French-led mission which began on Jan. 11 after the rebels threatened the capital, Bamako.
The U.S. Air Force has flown five C-17 flights into Bamako, delivering more than 80 French troops and 124 tons of equipment thus far in an ongoing airlift operation, Pentagon press secretary George Little said Tuesday. He said the U.S. is still considering a French request for U.S. aerial refueling support.
Dakar, Senegal : Hijackers release ship, steal jet fuel cargo
Armed hijackers who seized control of a fuel-laden tanker in Ivory Coast released the vessel on Tuesday after making off with about $5 million in cargo, the ship's owner said.
None of the 16 Nigerian crew members, who were locked up in a dining room while the hijackers siphoned off the bounty, were injured in the episode aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel ITRI, according to ship owner Brila Energy, a petroleum distributor based in Nigeria.
The vessel was seized on Jan. 16 as it was preparing to deposit 5,000 tons of jet fuel cargo at the Ivory Coast port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast officials said. It was not immediately clear where the tanker was released.
Istanbul: Ottoman-era building burns in Istanbul
A fire tore through a former Ottoman mansion along the Bosporus for hours on Tuesday, badly damaging the historic building before firefighters brought it under control. No one was injured in the blaze at the building, which has been used by a Turkish university.
As the flames raged, firefighters had to use fire-extinguishing boats to hose the 140-year-old wooden structure from the waterway, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The building was one of several mansions built as annexes to an Ottoman palace, but is now part of the prestigious Galatasaray University. There were no students inside the building at the time of the fire and all staff members were safely evacuated.
London: Heavy snow in England forces school closures
Several hundred schools in England were closed Tuesday because of heavy snow, prompting some harrumphing that the nation surrenders too easily to foul weather.
About 5,000 of the 23,500 primary and secondary schools in England were closed Monday, and hundreds were closed again on Tuesday, especially in the southwest.
Brian Lightman, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the BBC that the nation needs to resist a culture in which "a little bit of snow" produces chaos.
People in southern England are notoriously ill-prepared for snow.
Santiago, Chile: Floods knock out Chilean water treatment plants
Too much rain meant too little water for about 2 million Chileans on Tuesday.
Heavy rains and warm weather have melted snowy peaks in the Andes mountains, causing landslides and nearby rivers to flood.
Chilean water utility company Aguas Andinas said the mud and rocks forced temporary closure of three purification plants and left about half the neighborhoods in Chile's capital of Santiago suffering water shortages. The plants were expected to be restored by Wednesday.
Baghdad: Insurgent attacks kill at least 22 in Iraq
A string of attacks, including three car bombings in and around Baghdad, killed at least 22 people Tuesday, deepening fears of a surge in violence as sectarian tensions fester in Iraq.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, blame is likely to fall on Sunni insurgents such as al-Qaida's local franchise for Tuesday's bloodshed. The group often uses indiscriminate attacks to sow fear among Iraq's Shiite majority and undermine the government's authority.
It was at least the fourth day this year that insurgents overcame security measures to carry out high-profile attacks.
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze raging through a historic building on the Galatasaray University campus on the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday. There were no reports of any injuries. Associated Press