Racket made over bells
The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, which is to take effect shortly before midnight today, the UN special envoy to Yemen said. A UN statement said Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed “welcomes the restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will spare the Yemeni people further bloodshed and will allow for the expanded delivery of humanitarian assistance”. Ahmed said he had received assurances from all Yemeni parties to cease hostilities at 11.59pm Yemen time on October 19 “for an initial period of 72 hours, subject to renewal”. He said the warring factions had agreed to follow the terms and conditions of a temporary April cease-fire agreement. He expressed hope that the upcoming ceasefire would lead “to a permanent and lasting end to the conflict”. Ahmed said the agreement obliges all parties “to allow free and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies and personnel” to all parts of Yemen. A small Spanish town is considering fining a medieval church 16,000 euros (Dhs65,000) because its bells are “too noisy”. The town hall of Mostoles, southwest of Madrid, said that, following complaints from residents, town technicians measured the noise level of the chimes of Our Lady of the Assumption Church and found they were some 30 decibels above the 55 rate permitted by town regulations. Experts say normal conversation produces 55-60 decibels while an airplane in flight produces 110-120 decibels. Parish priest Ignacio Torres told the El Pais newspaper the bells have always been tolling in the town, and that they were usually only rung at noon and before evening Mass.