At least 50 people burned to death in a bus collision in Ghan

  At least 50 people were killed when two commercial buses collided and burst into flames in northern Ghana, police told CNN Friday.

  Ghana Police Service spokesman David Eklu said the accident occurred at about 1:30 am Friday morning when the two lo

ng-distance buses collided head-on on the main highway leading from Kintampo to Tamale, Ghana’s fourth largest city.

  ”The buses went up in flames when they collided,” Eklu said.

  ”It’s too early to ascertain how many died but 50 people have been confirmed dead.”

  He said both buses had about 100 people on board and some of the victims burned to death.

  At least 61 killed in collision of bus, truck in Ghana

  Eklu added that more than 50 people were injured in the crash

and the death toll could rise as police are still assessing the situation at the crash site.

  Victims’ families are being informed, although most of them have not yet been identified.

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North Korea withdraws from DMZ joint liaison office after new US

  North Korea is withdrawing from a joint liaison office near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with Sout

h Korea, a key symbol of the rapprochement and ongoing peace process between the two countries.

  The move comes after the US slapped two Chinese firms with sanctions for doing busin

ess with Pyongyang, the first action taken by Washington against North Korea since the second summit bet

ween North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended early with no agreement.

  South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced the move Friday, say

ing the decision had been taken by the North on “instructions from the superior authority.”

  In its communication with the South, Pyongyang said it would not mind Seoul’s representatives “remaining in the office,” whi

ch is based in Kaesong, a part of North Korea near the de facto border between the two countries.

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All the devices were judged to be viable, and the package

  sent to Heathrow Airport burst into flames after being opened by staff. Nobody was injured by the devices and no arrests have been made.

  The packages were posted with Irish stamps and had return addresses in Dublin, prompting Irish police to join the investigation. The packages were all A4-size

d white postal bags containing yellow padded bags, which were capable of igniting when opened.

  Police Scotland confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out on the p

ackage found at the University of Glasgow on March 6 as a precautionary measure.

  The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland said in a joint statem

ent that the devices “bore similarities” to past packages “linked to dissident groups asso

ciated with Northern Ireland related terrorism,” and that “officers were already looking at this as a line of enquiry.”

  The devices did not cause any injuries or damage.

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From Israel to Brexit to France: Trump dips into allies’ politics

  He’s trashed the British Prime Minister. He’s cheered protesters in France. And now he’s handed Israel’s embattled leader a win days before a re-elect

ion. When it comes to other countries’ domestic politics, President Donald Trump hasn’t hesitated to put his thumb on the scale.

  When he first met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office weeks after his inau

guration, Trump heard out the Israeli prime minister’s appeal to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

  But Trump didn’t immediately deliver. Instead, he waited until less than three weeks before the most consequential election of Netanyahu’s polit

ical career to announce “it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

  Combined with the warm embrace Trump will offer Netany

ahu in Washington next week and the White House’s silence on the timing of the annou

ncement, experts quickly identified Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as a brazen attempt to boost Netanyahu’s re-el

ection chances, giving him a foreign policy achievement to tout in the final stretch of the campaign.

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With the Israeli elections approaching and Netanyahu da

  amaged by a pending indictment stemming from a corruption investigatio

n, it became increasingly clear that Trump would look to bolster one of his closest international partners.

  Netanyahu in recent weeks had begun to renew his push for the US to recognize the Go

lan Heights as part of Israel. Earlier this month, he brought US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, to the Israeli-occupied territory, touting its strategic imp

ortance. Graham, a close ally of the President’s, promised Netanyahu he would personally lobby Trump to deliver.

  The Israeli ambassador’s visit was a precursor to Trump’s announcement on Thursday, a sen

ior administration official told CNN. The Golan Heights recognition had been in the works for sev

eral weeks, the official said, and culminated in a series of meetings between the President and his senior staff this week.

  US officials have offered no explanation as to w

hy Trump decided to take this step now, rather than wait until after Israel’s April 9 elections.

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I would have done it much differently. I actually told

  Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me,” Trump told the tabloid. “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on.”

  Trump apologized in private to May, one of the rare times he‘s admitted wrong. And tho

ugh he’s expressed a desire to remain diplomatically impartial — “I think we will stay right in our lane,” he sa

id last week when questioned about Brexit — he has nevertheless bemoaned May’s handling of the issue over and over.

  ”I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,” he said in the Oval Office last week, mome

nts after suggesting he wouldn’t offer an opinion on the issue. “I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to n

egotiate it. And I think you would’ve been successful. She didn’t listen to that, and that’s fine.”

  A few weeks before, Trump spoke briefly with one of the UK’s most visible pro-Brexit campaig

ners, Nigel Farage, on the sidelines of a conservative conference outside Washington. And he’s ma

intained close ties to the hardline conservatives who have bemoaned May’s handling of the matter.

  Trump wasn’t alone in his criticism. Two of his top confidants — son Donald Trump Jr. and national security adviser John

Bolton — both offered critical views this week of May and her plan to try and delay Britain’s exit from Europe.

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Tax cuts on the way as steps taken at meetingplement a g

China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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A preliminary KNKT report said the crew of Air Lion Flight 610 stru

ruggled to override the plane’s automatic systems in the minutes before it plunged into the oc

ean. The system pulled the plane’s nose down more than two dozen times, the report said.

The report said the MCAS system was responding to incorrect data transmitted by an AOA sens

or. A different flight crew experienced the same issue on a flight from Denpasar to Jakarta the previous day,

but had turned off the MCAS and took manual control of the plane, the report said.

Once in Jakarta, a Lion Air technician checked the plane again and gave it the green lig

ht to fly on its final flight, from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.

The jet crashed 13 minutes after takeoff.

Experts have pointed to similarities between the Lion Air crash six months ago and last w

eek’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 people on board. Both were Boeing 737 Max 8 pla

nes that were equipped with the same automated flight software and both crashed minutes after takeoff.

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Amnesty International in a statement on Tuesday calle

  d on foreign governments and international aid agencies to”ramp up” resources and assistance for thousands of pe

ople that have been displaced, and those that are still trapped in the aftermath of the disaster.

  The international human rights organization urged authorities in Mozambique and Malawi, countries that are p

rone to flooding to adopt climate change policies that could reduce the impact of such occurrences.

  ”As the effects of climate change intensify, these ext

reme weather conditions can be expected to revisit us more frequently. The devastation wro

ught by Cyclone Idai is yet another wake-up call for the world to put in place ambitious climate change mitigation me

asures,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.

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A $50 million rescue and rebuild mission is now underway to

repair roads, bridges, schools, communication lines and provide healthcare to

those affected. The country is in poor shape to withstand the financial impact of a disaster: Zimbabwe is cur

rently in the grip of a deep economic crisis.
The Zimbabwe Information Ministry shared pictures of some pupils who had been res

cued from a boarding school in Chimanimani District, one of the worst-affected areas in the east of the country. Br

idges were swept away, and power and communication lines in the area have been cut off.

St Charles Lwanga School children are now safely in Chiping

e and currently receiving medical attention. pic.twitter.com/Ad9LSC7WhS

— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) March 18, 2019

This cyclone follows a week of heavy rains and flooding across southeast Afri

ca that affected 1.5 million people in Mozambique and Malawi, killing at least 120 people in both countries, UN

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