Top News Stories for Today – November 28, 2016
A week of memorials for Castro begins
A huge crowd of people is expected to converge Monday on Cuba’s world famous Revolution Square in Havana as the country begins a week-long goodbye to Fidel Castro, the island’s revolutionary leader — a man whom many loved and many loathed.
“Who is not going to be affected by a man who did everything for us,” said Jose Luis Herrera. “He is the one who guided me and my children. He is my god.” Berta Soler, leader of the anti-Castro group Ladies in White said, “We are not happy about the death of a man, a human being. We are happy about the death of dictators.”
The 90-year-old Castro died Friday. He had long been ill. A cause of death has not been announced. Flags are flying at half-staff across the island. Beginning Wednesday, Castro’s ashes will be carried eastward across the country, in a three-day procession that follows in reverse the route taken by the young revolutionary and his rebel fighters as they advanced on Havana from the Sierra Maestra mountains before taking power in January 1959. VOA
3 of Zuma’s ministers want him to resign
Three of the South African president’s Cabinet ministers have called on scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma to resign. Local media say Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi called on Zuma to step down at a meeting of the ruling African National Congress, or ANC, over the weekend that was extended into Monday.
He survived a no-confidence vote in parliament earlier this month. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, presented the motion, arguing that indications Zuma allowed the powerful Gupta family to choose Cabinet members shows he is a threat to the country’s stability.
Zuma has also been fiercely criticized for using about $20 million in public funds for upgrades to his private rural home. He later apologized and agreed to repay a fraction of the money. The ANC, the party of Nelson Mandela, came to power after apartheid ended in 1994. VOA
Pakistan appoints new military chief
Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, appointed his new military chief Saturday to replace Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, who is due to retire on November 29 when his official three-year term ends. The new chief, Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is expected to take charge next week of the world’s sixth largest military in a formal handover ceremony in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistan army is headquartered. General Bajwa’s appointment comes at a time when Pakistan’s military tensions with neighboring India are running high over Kashmir.
According to his profile released by the military’s media wing, the newly-appointed military chief is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College (Toronto), California’s Naval Post Graduate University in Monetary, and has commanded the Pakistan Contingent in Congo. Prime Minister Sharif also appointed Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee. Outgoing General Sharif (no relation to Prime Minister Sharif) has become Pakistan’s first army chief in more than 20 years to step down on time. VOA
Trump claims millions voted illegally
US President-elect Donald Trump has asserted he won the popular vote on 8 November “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”. The Republican, who won the all-important electoral college count, offered no evidence to back his claim. It comes after the camp of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton said it would support a vote recount in Wisconsin initiated by a Green Party candidate.
Mrs Clinton won about two million votes more than Mr Trump in the popular vote. However, Mr Trump surpassed the required 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. This was based on the state-by-state contests. BBC
Syrian army seizes third of rebel-held Aleppo
Syrian government forces have captured a third of the rebel-held territory in eastern Aleppo, monitors say. The advance, after heavy bombing from the air, is a major blow for the armed opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
State TV said government troops were dismantling mines and explosives and continuing their advance. Thousands of civilians have fled the besieged districts after a weekend of heavy fighting. Hundreds of families have been displaced within the area. BBC
Thousands in Australia hospitalized for thunderstorm asthma
A freak illness known as thunderstorm asthma has now killed at least six people in Australia. Thousands were hospitalized in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria last Monday with breathing problems due to a rare combination of weather and pollen.
One week later, 12 people are still receiving hospital treatment, including three who are in a critical condition, according to the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services. Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a storm hits during a period of unusually high pollen and high humidity, causing the grains to break up and disperse, entering people’s lungs and making it hard for them to breathe. CNN
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