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Recently in International News Category

An unexploded WWII bomb discovered near Berlin's main station on Tuesday has been successfully disabled by bomb disposal experts, CNN said.

The bomb was 100kg and found on a building site, BBC News said.

Dozens of homes in Berlin were evacuated before the operation of disabling the bomb began, CNN said. Police cleared an area within a 300-yead radius of the bomb, and evacuated 839 people, CNN went on.

Some train services were delayed Wednesday, Deutsche Bahn spokesman Holger Auferkamp said, but Berlin's metro system, or S-Bahn, has not been affected, CNN said.

Many unexploded bombs dropped by Allied forces during World War II still remain undiscovered in Berlin, and other cities some seven decades after the war, CNN reported.

900 dead pigs fished out of a Shanghai river

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Songjiang district governments have fished out 900 dead pigs from a Shanghai river that is a source of water for residents, StarTribune said.

The district governments started retrieving the pigs from the river Friday night and by Saturday afternoon they had fished out and disposed of 900, the Huffington Post said.

Environmental protection agencies are increasing the monitoring of the river's water quality, StarTribune said.

Officials are investigation the origin of the pigs, Huffington Post said. A statement on the city's Agriculture website said they have not identified a source of the pigs or any evidence that they were dumped into the river, StarTribune said.

Egyptian hot air balloon crash kills nineteen

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NIneteen people were killed when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed durning a sightseeing tour in Luxor, Egypt on Tuesday, The Huffington Post said.

The balloon was in the process of landing when a fuel line broke and sparked a fire, Fox News said. The balloon surged up and the fire eventually spread to the balloon itself, causing it to burst and fall 300 meters into a sugarcane field, Fox News said.

Passenger Michael Rennie and the balloon's pilot, Momin Murad, survived the event by jumping from the balloon before the fire caused it to surge back upward some 1,000 feet, Fox News said.

Murad suffered heavy burns, while Rennie escaped the disaster with only scratches and bruises, The Huffington Post said.

"The pilot should have shut off a valve when the fuel line broke, which would have prevented the fire from spreading," investigators said according to the Fox News.

Eqyptian investigators are currently collecting data and documenting the scenen, The Huffington Post said. A seperate criminal investigation will take place to rule out foul play, The Huffington Post said.

Witnesses took a video of the crash.

A shock wave from the explosion of a 50-foot-wide meteor near Chelyabinsk, Russia on friday blew out windows and caused injuries to thousands of residents, NBC news said.

Around 9:20 a.m. the meteor's "flaring arc" stretched hundreds of miles across the sky, NBC news said. Followed by the sight, an atomic-bomb sized shock wave shattered glass and injured more than 900 people, the Washington Post said. Most of the injured were cut by glass from the windows shattered from the shock wave, NBC news said. No deaths have been reported, NBC said.

About 3,000 buildings in the Chelyabinsk region were also damaged, city officials told AP. Although noted as the largest reported fireball since the Tunguska event in 1908, "No serious consequences have been so far recorded," Vladimir Stepanov of the Emergency Situation Ministry said, according to NBC news.

SARS-like virus may be spreading from person to person

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A SARS-like virus originating from the Middle East has infected eleven individuals, five of which have died, ABC news said. Ten of the eleven affected individuals traveled Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Pakistan, ABC news reported. Because the newest patient has not traveled to the Middle East, doctors believe the patient contracted it from a family member, NRP said. Health officials emphasize that the risk remains low to the general public, NPR said. No doctors or nurses who have dealt with those infected have caught the disease, suggesting that the virus is extremely poor from contracting from person to person, NPR said. "If (the) novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases," head of the respiratory diseases department at the U.K.'s Health Protection Agency said in a statement to ABC news. At it's worst this virus can cause acute pneumonia and kidney failure, ABC news said. Although the outbreak of SARS almost a decade ago lead to multiple medical advancements in the tracking and response to emerging diseases, "we have to keep watching this," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University.

Startling water loss in Middle East

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As of Tuesday, the freshwater in the Middle East has reduced by an amount that is comparable to the size of the Dead Sea, NASA study sad. The water loss is due to poor management, increased demands for groundwater and the effects of a 2007 drought, Fox News said. The study examined data using a pair of gravity-measuring satellites over the period of seven years from 2003, San Francisco Chronicle said. This NASA study is the most recent evidence of the worsening water crisis in the Middle East, San Francisco Chronicle reported. "This rate of water loss is among the largest liquid freshwater losses on the continents," an author of the NASA study said. The study will be published Friday in Water Resources Research, Fox News reported. Researchers found that freshwater reserves in parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran had lost 117 million acre feet of it's total stored freshwater, Fox News said. As demands from growing populations, war and the worsening effects of climate change are raising the prospect that some countries could face sever water shortages in the decades to come, San Francisco Chronicle said, "they and everyone else in the world's arid regions need to manage their available water resources as best they can."

Falling cruise ship lifeboat kills five and injuries three

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During a safety drill on a cruise ship in Spain's Canary Islands on Sunday a lifeboat containing eight passengers fell upside down into the sea port, StarTribune said. Five people were killed and three were injured when the lifeboat fell between 20 and 30 meters and capsized, The Guardian said.
Rescuers were called to the scene at 7:05 a.m., StarTribune said. About 1,400 other passengers were on the ship at the time of the incident, but they were not involved, The Guardian said. The dead and injured were all men in their thirties, the injured were taken by ambulance to La Palma hospital, StarTribune reported. Investigators are currently trying to figure out what caused the lifeboat to drop, StarTribune said.

Six tourists raped near Acapulco, Mexico

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A group of gunmen broke into a beach bungalow on Monday around 2 a.m. near Acapulco, Mexico and raped six women tourists, CNN said. The gunmen tied up the women with their bikini straps and telephone cords, they also tied up their partners so they could not intervene in the attack, Daily Mail reported. The victims were all spanish nationals ranging from 20 to 34 in age, CNN said. One women was spared from rape because she identified herself as Mexican, and the attackers did not touch her, Daily Mail reports. The attack motive was robbery as the gunmen fled after the attack with their victims' cash, credit cards and cell phones, Daily Mail said. The victims were all from Mexico City and were escorted out of Acapulco with police protection on Wednesday, Daily Mail said. Acapulco's mayor condemned the crime and promised to find those responsible, investigations are still underway, Daily Mail reported. Military checkpoints have been set up to try and apprehend five men that authorities believe are responsible for the attack, CNN said. The women are currently in a safe place and undergoing counseling, CNN repots.

No windows and only one exit made the fire ignited Sunday at 2:30 a.m by a pyrotechnic show inescapable for many of the Brazil nightclub's 2,000 occupants, CNN said. The fire spread quickly, many died purely from smoke inhalation while others were trampled in the rush to the exit, said CNN.
Survivor Naton Basson told CNN he and his friends "grabbed rocks, sticks and an axe" in an attempt to knock a hole in the side of the club to free those trapped within. According to The Washington Post, firefighters later used this hole to drag people, mostly dead bodies, out of the club's remains.
Social media may have gone too far by releasing photos and videos of the chaos that ensued, said The Washington Post. Photographs of dead bodies and mourning survivors haunt the dashboards of Twitter. A young woman, who lost several in the accident, tweeted that people sharing these photos "surely have not lost anyone they love there", reported The Washington Post.
As for the nightclub, its license was expired, but the owners said it was properly permitted, said CNN. A statement from the law firm of Kummel & Kummel said the owners of the nightclub agreed to cooperate with further investigations, CNN reported.

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