Oil train derails, leaving 1 dead
A train carrying crude oil derailed Saturday in eastern Quebec, sparking several explosions and a blaze that destroyed the center of the town of Lac-Megantic and killed at least one person. An unspecified number of people were reported missing.
Witnesses said the eruptions sent residents scrambling through the streets under the intense heat of towering fireballs.
Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet confirmed that one person had died. He refused to say how many others might be dead, but said authorities have been told “many” people have been reported missing.
35,000 march against Irish abortion bill
Bearing rosary beads and placards declaring “Kill the bill! Not the child,” more than 35,000 anti-abortion activists marched Saturday through Dublin to demand that the Irish government scrap plans to legalize terminations for women in life-threatening pregnancies.
Demonstrators from across Ireland, a predominantly Catholic island of 6.5 million, marched for two hours through the capital to Leinster House, the parliament building, where lawmakers this week are expected pass the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Speakers demanded that the government put its bill to a national referendum.
Erick strengthens to hurricane status
Erick strengthened to a hurricane off of southern Mexico on Saturday, threatening to dump heavy rain as it skirts the country’s Pacific coast. The presence of the Category 1 hurricane forced the closure of the seaport of Manzanillo, Mexico’s biggest container port. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Erick became a hurricane as its maximum sustained winds grew to around 80 mph.
Mandela kin loses leadership role
A tribal king in South Africa on Saturday removed a grandson of Nelson Mandela’s from his post of traditional authority while the former president is hospitalized in critical condition.
King Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo of the Thembu tribe said Mandla Mandela was being expelled “from all rank of duties” over a family feud, which erupted after it was revealed that the grandson had moved the bodies of three of Nelson Mandela’s children to his village of Mvezo in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province in 2011.
There was no official update Saturday on the condition of the 94-year-old former president, who is in critical but stable condition after being diagnosed with a recurring lung infection. He was taken to a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, June 8.
Snowden’s fate remains unclear
Edward Snowden has found supporters in Latin America, including three countries who have offered him asylum. But obstacles stand in the way of the fugitive NSA leaker from leaving a Russian airport — chief among them the power and influence of the U.S.
Because Snowden’s U.S. passport has been revoked, the logistics of him departing are complicated. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have made asylum offers over the past two days, but the three countries haven’t indicated they would help Snowden by issuing a travel document, which he would need to leave Russia.
The former NSA systems analyst, who is charged with violating U.S. espionage laws, is believed to be stuck in Moscow’s main international airport after arriving June 23 from Hong Kong.