NEWS OF THE DAY

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - WORLD -

Nige­ria ex­plo­sion: An over­turned oil tanker ex­ploded while dozens of peo­ple were scoop­ing up the leak­ing fuel and many were killed, po­lice and wit­nesses said Satur­day. “We have re­cov­ered 12 corpses and taken 22 per­sons with se­ri­ous burns to hospi­tal,” said po­lice spokes­woman Irene Ugbo. But some res­i­dents put the death toll at closer to 60. The blast oc­curred Fri­day evening in Oduk­pani in Cross River state in south­east Nige­ria. It was not im­me­di­ately clear what caused the truck to over­turn. Hun­dreds of peo­ple have died in sim­i­lar ac­ci­dents in re­cent years in Nige­ria, Africa’s largest oil pro­ducer, as im­pov­er­ished peo­ple risk their lives to col­lect fuel leak­ing from pipe­lines or trucks.

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Egypt crack­down: Se­cu­rity forces killed six Is­lamic mil­i­tants in a raid Satur­day on their desert hideout south of the cap­i­tal of Cairo, the in­te­rior min­istry said. The mil­i­tants were hid­ing in an area be­tween the south­ern prov­inces of So­hag and As­siut. Egypt has been bat­tling Is­lamic mil­i­tants for years. An all-out mil­i­tary cam­paign to quash their in­sur­gency in the north of the Si­nai Penin­sula be­gan nearly a year ago with the gov­ern­ment throw­ing into bat­tle tens of thou­sands of troops.

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Canada crash: A bus smashed into a tran­sit shel­ter Fri­day in Ot­tawa, killing three peo­ple and in­jur­ing 23 oth­ers. Po­lice Chief Charles Borde­leau said the bus driver was ar­rested af­ter the crash, but he de­clined to pro­vide de­tails on why she was de­tained. He said po­lice were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the crash. The crash took place west of down­town, just as dusk was be­gin­ning to set­tle on the cold­est day of the win­ter so far in Canada’s cap­i­tal. Two of the dead were rid­ing the bus, and one was on the plat­form at West­boro sta­tion, Mayor Jim Wat­son said.

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Afghanistan at­tack: At least five se­cu­rity forces were killed Satur­day when their check­point came un­der at­tack by in­sur­gents in south­ern Kan­da­har province. Aziz Ah­mad Az­izi, the pro­vin­cial gov­er­nor’s spokesman, said two other po­lice of­fi­cers were wounded in the at­tack in Spin Bolduk district. He said seven Tal­iban in­sur­gents were killed and six oth­ers were wounded in the fight­ing. Qari Yu­souf Ah­madi, a Tal­iban spokesman, claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the as­sault. Tal­iban in­sur­gents have been car­ry­ing out near-daily at­tacks tar­get­ing Afghan forces. The vi­o­lence comes despite steppedup ef­forts by the United States to find a ne­go­ti­ated end to the coun­try’s 17-year war.

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Ar­gentina quar­an­tine: A judge has or­dered 85 res­i­dents of a re­mote Patag­o­nian town to re­main in their homes for at least 30 days to help halt an out­break of han­tavirus in which nine peo­ple have died. The or­der af­fects res­i­dents of Epuyen who have been in con­tact with peo­ple who tested pos­i­tive for the virus. Some in the town of 3,000 had re­sisted calls for vol­un­tary iso­la­tion. Town of­fi­cials also have sus­pended gath­er­ings in mu­nic­i­pal fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing fu­ner­als. At least 26 peo­ple in the re­gion have fallen ill from han­tavirus since early De­cem­ber. Peo­ple can be­come in­fected through con­tact with in­fected ro­dents or their urine and drop­pings, or by close con­tact with an in­fected per­son. Ar­gentina has re­ported 111 deaths from the virus since 2013.

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Malaysia king: The cen­tral Malaysian state of Pa­hang’s soon-to-be new sultan is tipped to be­come the coun­try’s next king un­der a unique ro­tat­ing monar­chy sys­tem. The Con­fer­ence of Rulers has said it will pick a new king among nine hered­i­tary state rulers on Jan. 24 af­ter the sud­den ab­di­ca­tion of Sultan Muham­mad V af­ter just two years on the throne. No rea­sons were given for the Jan. 6 ab­di­ca­tion, the first in the na­tion’s his­tory, which came af­ter the 49-year-old re­port­edly mar­ried a for­mer Rus­sian beauty queen. Pa­hang’s 88-year-old Sultan Ah­mad Shah is next in line to be king, but he is gravely ill. Tengku Ab­dul­lah, cur­rently the re­gent of Pa­hang, will suc­ceed Sultan Ah­mad Shah on Tues­day, the Pa­hang palace an­nounced Satur­day. Royal fam­ily mem­bers have re­port­edly agreed that Tengku Ab­dul­lah, 59, will as­cend the state throne. Nine eth­nic Malay state rulers take turns serv­ing as Malaysia’s king for five-year terms.

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