Friday, February 22, 2019 | ePaper
News In Brief
About 300 West Papuan demonstrators calling for independence for the restive Indonesian region faced off with counterprotesters Saturday in the country's second-largest city. The demonstrators in Surabaya chanted "Freedom Papua" and held banners demanding a referendum for independence to mark Dec. 1, which many West Papuans consider the anniversary of what they say should have been their independence.
Mexico set to inaugurate new president
AFP, Mexico City
Anti-establishment leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be sworn in as Mexico's next president on Saturday-a dramatic change in direction for a country fed up with corruption, poverty and crime.
The man widely known as "AMLO" is promising a sweeping "transformation" after 89 years of government by the same two parties.
Stealth warship joins Iran's naval fleet
Iran's navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions rise with arch-enemy, the United States.
In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer-which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply-joined Iran's regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.
Measles cases soar in Brazil, Venezuela
The Pan-American Health Organization on Friday reported a big jump in measles cases in the Americas this year, with Brazil surpassing crisis-hit Venezuela as the nation with the most confirmed cases. As of November 30, the region has seen 16,766 confirmed cases - but more than half of those have been reported in the last month, the UN agency said in its regular update on the situation.
N Korean soldier defects to South
A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Saturday across their heavily fortified land border, which the two sides have begun to demilitarise as relations between the Cold War-era foes warm, the South's military said.
The rare defection came as the two Koreas push ahead with a process of reconciliation in an effort to ease tensions, despite talks between Pyongyang and Washington on the North's nuclear weapons programme stalling.