Six In The Morning Saturday 27 April 2019

Sri Lanka bombings: 15 die in blast during raid on suspected hideout

The bodies of 15 people including six children were found after an explosion at a suspected Islamist militant hideout in east Sri Lanka, police said.

Police said the dead also included three women, believed to be family members of the suspected militants.

Residents said they heard an explosion followed by gunfire over several hours.

The clashes took place in Sainthamaruthu, not far from the home town of the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday suicide attacks.

Around the same time, security forces raided another building in a nearby town where they said they found explosives and a drone.

Romans revolt as tourists turn their noses up at city’s decay

Rubbish, potholes and metro closures contribute to anger among visitors and citizens alike

As the day draws to a close in Rome, tourists are enjoying a nightcap at a bar on Piazza della Rotonda. In front of them stands the majestic Pantheon, the imposing domed temple built by Emperor Hadrian.

To their right, however, is a scene less befitting the piazza, famed for its elegance and history. A photomural of the temple covers boarding that surrounds a building under renovation and as the night gets later it is used to prop up a pile of rubbish bags and boxes discarded by nearby restaurants.

The rubbish will be cleared by the time the tourists have breakfast, but not before they have taken note. “Rome is beautiful but they can’t seem to manage the rubbish situation, can they?” remarked a visitor from Austria.

Pakistan suspends polio vaccine drive after health worker attacks

At least three polio workers have been killed in April, while thousands of parents have refused to allow their children to be inoculated. Pakistan is one of the three countries in the world where polio is endemic.

Pakistan authorities have suspended the anti-polio campaign “for an indefinite period” across the country amid increasing violent attacks on polio workers.

A nationwide anti-polio drive was launched in all districts of the country on April 22.

The South Asian country’s National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio directed all provinces on Friday to halt the drive, in an effort to protect some 270,000 polio field staff from attacks, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday.

People are becoming angrier and more stressed, Gallup report says

People around the world are becoming angrier and more stressed – especially in Armenia and Greece, the annual Gallup Global Emotions Report has found.

A total of 150,000 people in more than 140 countries were polled in the 10-question survey, in which participants were asked about the positive and negative emotions they had experienced the day before. Questions ranged from “Did you smile or laugh yesterday?” to “Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?” to “Did you experience physical pain?”

On a global average, 71 percent of respondents said they had experienced a lot of enjoyment the previous day, 72 percent said they had felt well rested, 74 percent reported having smiled or laughed, and 87 percent said they had been treated with respect.

Putin seems to pop up wherever there is a political vacuum in the world

Russian President Vladimir Putin capped a week of high-profile diplomacy on Friday, when he appeared at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing — and received an especially warm welcome from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“President Putin is a good friend and an old friend to Chinese people,” Xi said. “And he is my closest friend.”
Friendship was also on the agenda in Putin’s summit meeting Thursday in the Russian city of Vladivostok with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In Vladivostok, Putin positioned himself as an essential broker for resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula, and as a prominent player on the world stage.

Hatred and dangerous nostalgia in Spain’s far-right farming town

Ahead of Sunday’s election, nostalgia for the Franco regime and xenophobia are palpable in El Ejido.

I’ve never really been into politics,” says 43-year-old construction worker Francisco Maldonado, as he lights a cigarette in his apartment in Santa Maria Del Aguila, a town on the outskirts of El Ejido, a working-class suburb in the Spanish province of Almeria.

A short stroll away, at the base of low rocky hills, a rolling expanse of plastic-roofed greenhouses dominates the landscape, glaring under the midday sun.

Covering 31,000 hectares and extending along the region’s 50-kilometre stretch of coastline, it is the single largest concentration of greenhouses in the world and one of Spain’s major economic hubs, exporting its crop of fruit and vegetables across Europe.