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Ma­hatma Gandhi’s grand­son dies at 87

Ma­hatma Gandhi’s grand­son Kanu Gandhi died at the age of 87 late Mon­day, two weeks af­ter be­ing ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal in west­ern Gu­jarat state fol­low­ing a stroke. One of sev­eral grand­chil­dren of In­dia’s fa­mous in­de­pen­dence leader, Kanu was a sci­en­tist for NASA but spent the fi­nal months of his life liv­ing an ashram in Su­rat, Gu­jarat. “Kanu kaka had suf­fered from (a) stroke and had been in hos­pi­tal since October 26. Since (the) last cou­ple of days he was on ven­ti­la­tor sup­port,” Pari­mal De­sai from the ashram said. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi tweeted his con­do­lences, say­ing he was “pained by the demise of Kanub­hai Gandhi”. Kanu was born in 1928 to Ram­das Gandhi, Gandhi’s third son, and was 17 years old when his grand­fa­ther was as­sas­si­nated in Delhi. He ap­peared in a fa­mous 1937 pho­to­graph of Gandhi, show­ing a then nineyear-old Kanu run­ning ahead of his grand­fa­ther, hold­ing his walk­ing stick.

Snake on a plane a first-class sur­prise

First class pas­sen­gers on a re­cent Aeromex­ico flight were con­fronted by a slith­ery stow­away, in a jaw-drop­ping scene rem­i­nis­cent of the tongue-in-cheek ac­tion film “Snakes in a Plane.” A univer­sity rec­tor from Torreon posted video on Twit­ter of the un­wel­come pas­sen­ger snaking its way out of an over­head bin and drop­ping into the cabin. “The fly­ing viper, HA HA HA,” he joked. The mile-high stir was enough for air traf­fic au­thor­i­ties to give the jet a do­mes­tic flight from Torreon to Mex­ico City-a pri­or­ity land­ing. An­i­mal ex­pert Juan Car­los Gomez Juarez said it was clear from the video that the pas­sen­gers were not deal­ing with a poi­sonous species. No­body was hurt but a few pas­sen­gers were up­set. “It is just re­ally com­mon for peo­ple to panic when they see snakes,” said Gomez Juarez. Aeromex­ico said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the snake wound up on the jet.

Nicaragua’s Ortega wins third term, with his wife

Nicaragua’s left­ist Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega has won a third straight term, with his col­or­ful wife Rosario Murillo as vice pres­i­dent, re­sults showed Mon­day, but the op­po­si­tion and the United States con­demned the elec­tion. With 99.8 per­cent of bal­lots counted, the 70-year-old former Marx­ist rebel had 72.5 per­cent of the vote, the coun­try’s Supreme Elec­toral Coun­cil said. His near­est com­peti­tor, Max­imino Ro­driguez of the right-lean­ing Lib­eral Con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist Party, had just 15 per­cent. Ortega, who has ruled Nicaragua for 20 of the past 37 years, has been ac­cused of us­ing the courts to limit the power of the op­po­si­tion. His op­po­nents branded the elec­tion a “farce”-a crit­i­cism echoed by the United States, which said the “flawed” process had made free and fair polls im­pos­si­ble. “The Nicaraguan gov­ern­ment side­lined op­po­si­tion can­di­dates for pres­i­dent, lim­ited do­mes­tic ob­ser­va­tion at the polls... and took other ac­tions to deny demo­cratic space,” State Depart­ment deputy spokesman Mark Toner said in a state­ment.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors name plot­ter of Paris and Brus­sels at­tacks

French in­ves­ti­ga­tors have iden­ti­fied a Syr­i­abased ex­trem­ist of dual Bel­gian and Moroc­can na­tion­al­ity who is thought to have plot­ted the at­tacks in Paris and Brus­sels, sources close to the case said yes­ter­day. Ous­sama Atar, a 32-year-old be­lieved to be a mem­ber of the Is­lamic State group, was al­ready a sus­pect in the March 22 at­tacks on Brus­sels but has now been linked to the No­vem­ber 13 atroc­i­ties in Paris last year. “He’s the only co­or­di­na­tor from Syria to have been iden­ti­fied dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” one of the sources said. French in­ves­ti­ga­tors have long sus­pected that the Paris at­tacks, in which teams of ji­hadists killed 130 peo­ple, were co­or­di­nated by one or sev­eral peo­ple from Syria, but have never named any­one be­fore. Atar, be­lieved to go by the pseu­do­nym Abou Ah­mad, is a cousin of the El Bakraoui broth­ers who blew them­selves up in the Brus­sels air­port and metro at­tacks.

Five sol­diers killed, four miss­ing in Niger at­tack

Five sol­diers were killed and four were miss­ing fol­low­ing an at­tack in south­west Niger close to the border with Mali yes­ter­day, a security source said. “This ter­ror­ist at­tack against the area of Bani­ban­gou killed five sol­diers, in­jured three and four oth­ers were re­ported miss­ing,” said the source, who re­quested anonymity. Niger’s long, por­ous bor­ders make it vul­ner­a­ble to the armed vi­o­lence plagu­ing its neigh­bors. A Niger of­fi­cial also con­firmed the at­tack which hap­pened around 4:00 am. Twenty-two of Niger’s sol­diers were killed last month when armed men who had trav­elled from Mali launched an at­tack on a refugee camp in the west­ern Niger town of Taza­lit.

MANAGUA: Nicaragua’s Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega and his wife, vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Rosario Murillo show their marked thumbs af­ter vot­ing at a polling sta­tion. — AP

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