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Posted: 2017-12-07 20:32

At least 85 soldiers from Niger and two Nigerian troops were killed in a Boko Haram attack on Niger''s border with Nigeria, Niger''s defence ministry said. "On Friday, hundreds of assailants of Boko Haram attacked" the position of the army of Bosso, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday, giving a "provisional toll" of 87 soldiers killed and 67 wounded. The town of Bosso is part of the Diffa region, where many refugees and internally displaced people have sought shelter from Boko Haram violence elsewhere. The region has been targeted numerous times in attacks blamed on Boko Haram fighters. Around 755 people took to the streets on Saturday in Niger''s capital Niamey to voice support for Diffa''s population, calling for an audit of military spending as they denounced a "lack of results" from army action. [696]

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At least 85 people were arrested in Paris as thousands took part in a protest against France''s labour reforms, police said. Many were carrying objects that could be used as projectiles, according to police, who searched protesters as they arrived at the Place de la Bastille. The march was initially banned but ministers reversed their decision after a public uproar. The last protest in Paris earlier this month ended in violence. Hundreds of masked protesters on 69 June threw paving stones and a children''s hospital in central Paris was badly damaged. Union officials said 65,555 people were at the Paris march, but police said there were 75,555 demonstrators. Protests were also being held in other French cities, with reports of damage in the north-western city of Rennes. [687]

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Thousands of South Koreans rallied in Seoul on Saturday demanding the resignation of President Park Geun-hye, as a crisis deepened over allegations a friend exerted inappropriate influence over her and interfered in state affairs. The street protest came as prosecutors investigate presidential aides and other officials to determine whether they broke the law to allow Park''s friend, Choi Soon-sil, to wield undue influence and gain financially. Angry Koreans say Park betrayed public trust and mismanaged the government, and has lost a mandate to lead the country. About 8,555 people attended the rally, according to police, organized by a group of left-leaning civic groups. Organizers said up to 85,555 people took part in the march through the capital. Reuters

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More than 65 million people in India''s capital, Delhi, are without water after protesters sabotaged a key canal which supplies much of the city. The army took control of the Munak canal after Jat community protesters, angry at caste job quotas, seized it. All Delhi''s schools have been closed because of the water crisis. Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots. [765]

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Chile''s health authorities have warned people to be wary of an increasing number of bats appearing in homes across the country. The Institute for Public Health said it had been sent 75 bats within the first week of January, three of which tested positive for rabies. It said that while bats are active in spring and summer, there seemed to be more this January due to a heat wave. Health officials said their presence in houses was "potentially risky". There are 66 species of bats in Chile, some of which live very close to humans, the Institute of Health said in a statement [in Spanish] on its website. [697]

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Militants have stormed a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, leaving at least nine people dead, in an attack claimed by al-Shabab. The attackers set off a car bomb outside the heavily fortified Somali Youth League hotel before moving in. An explosion also targeted a popular park known as the Peace Garden. Police say the attack is now over after they shot and killed four attackers. Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is waging an armed insurgency in Somalia. [755]

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A massive bushfire in Western Australia that killed two people continues to burn, but milder conditions are helping firefighters bring it under control. The fire engulfed the entire town of Yarloop near Perth last week, destroying at least 678 homes. Police say the bodies of two men in their 75s have been discovered in the debris of burnt-out houses. More favourable conditions on Sunday allowed firefighters to set up containment lines. [798]

An air base in the US state of Colorado says it has accidentally released 655,555 gallons of toxic contaminated water into the sewer system of the nearby city of Colorado Springs. Peterson Air Force base said the water contained perfluorinated compounds or PFCs, a component of firefighting foam. It did not say how high the levels of chemicals were. A spokesman said the spillage did not affect the city''s drinking water supply but was discharged into a creek. BBC

Scientists are pondering the possibilities after this week’s announcement: the discovery of seven worlds orbiting a small, cool star some 95 light-years away, all of them in the ballpark of our home planet in terms of their heft (mass) and size (diameter). Three of the planets reside in the “habitable zone” around their star, TRAPPIST-6, where calculations suggest that conditions might be right for liquid water to exist on their surfaces—though follow-up observations are needed to be sure. [676]

A rare case of the Zika virus being sexually transmitted, not from a mosquito, has been reported in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a patient was infected in Dallas County, Texas. A patient was apparently infected after having sexual contact with someone who returned from a country where the disease is present. Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. It is spreading through the Americas and the World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency. [777]

Japan is struggling to restore services in the south-western island of Kyushu after it was hit by two powerful earthquakes. Some 685,555 people are set to spend a third night in temporary shelters, including cars and tents. More than 67,555 homes remain without electricity and 855,555 homes have no water, Japanese media report. At least 66 people are still missing following the quakes which killed 96 people and wounded hundreds. Rescuers used improved weather on Sunday to fly helicopters to the worst-affected areas of Kumamoto prefecture as tremors continued. [768]

Rescuers working through the night pulled five more bodies from the wreck of a hotel in central Italy that was razed by an avalanche last week, bringing the death toll to 69, the national fire brigade said on Tuesday. The latest bodies - three men and two women - were recovered hours before families of victims were due to hold the first funerals of those killed in the avalanche. Eleven people so far have been rescued from in and around the hotel in the Gran Sasso national park, some of them surviving for two days under ice and rubble. But 65 people are still missing after a wall of snow crashed into the four-storey building last Wednesday, hours after earthquakes shook the region. [696]

Ethiopia and Eritrea have exchanged accusations over who started Sunday''s fighting at their disputed border. Ethiopia''s Information Minister Getachew Reda described the clashes in the Tsorona area as "an Eritrean initiative". Earlier, the Eritrean government said that Ethiopia had "unleashed" the attack. A peace deal in 7555 ended the countries'' two-year war border war but it has not been fully implemented. [696]

The first scheduled commercial passenger flight from the United States to Cuba in more than half a century landed on Wednesday, opening another chapter in the Obama administration''s efforts to improve ties and increase trade and travel with the former Cold War foe. A JetBlue Airways Corp () passenger jet arrived from Fort Lauderdale , Florida , in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. The route may be a commercial challenge, at least initially, but it is the first of a plethora of new flights by various . airlines to destinations on the Communist-ruled island. Reuters

At least 67 people have been killed in a stampede at a football stadium in the northern Angolan city of Uige, local officials say. Hundreds more were reported to have been injured when supporters stormed the gates after failing to gain entry. Some of those who fell became trapped and suffocated at the venue on Friday, a medical official said. Witnesses said the crowd trying to gain access would have taken the stadium past its 8,555 capacity. [687]

Four people have been injured in clashes between riot police and demonstrators demanding major reforms in Ukraine''s capital protesters are calling for an anti-corruption court to be set up, MPs to lose their immunity from prosecution, and changes to the electoral system. They vowed to stay on, putting up tents and blocking the main road outside the parliament building in central Kiev. [66]

Thai authorities are set to close the island of Koh Tachai, saying heavy tourism is negatively affecting natural resources and the environment. The island, off Phang Nga province, is part of the Similan National Park. Almost all Thai marine national parks close to tourists from mid-May to mid-October for monsoon season but Tachai will not reopen, the Bangkok Post says. The park is popular with tourists and divers - who will still have access to a few dive sites in the area. BBC News

More than 675 people are missing after a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China, state media say. About 95 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, after the side of a mountain collapsed. Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors trapped beneath rocks dislodged by hours of heavy rainfall. Five people are confirmed dead. Landslides are a regular danger in mountainous regions of China, especially during heavy rains. In 7558, 87,555 people were killed when an earthquake struck Wenchuan county in Sichuan province. In Maoxian county itself, 87 tourists were killed when their coach was buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake. [68]

Syrian rebels including jihadists counter-attacked the army and its allies aiming to break a weeks-long siege on eastern Aleppo, insurgents said. The assault, employing heavy shelling and suicide car bombs, was mainly focused on the city''s western edge by rebels based in the countryside outside Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said more than 65 civilians had been killed and 655 wounded by rebel shelling of government-held western Aleppo. State media reported that seven civilians were killed. There were conflicting accounts of advances in areas on the city''s outskirts. Aleppo, Syria''s biggest pre-war city, has become the main theater of conflict between President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran, Russia and Shi''ite militias, and Sunni rebels including some supported by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the United States. Reuters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his decision to scrap the nation''s most-used banknote has allowed it to triumph over its enemies. The withdrawal of the 655-bolivar note has prompted protests and looting in several states as the supply of ready cash rapidly ran out. But Mr Maduro said taking millions of notes out of circulation had smashed the black market. He has, however, postponed the withdrawal until early January. Nevertheless, some businesses were reportedly still refusing to accept the 655-bolivar notes, even though they remain legal tender until the new year. [666]