Venezuela: 9 die in ship fire
A Greek-owned cargo ship caught fire in the Caribbean off Venezuela’s coast Friday, killing nine crew members and injuring five others, Venezuelan authorities said. The Aegean Wind was carrying more than 37,000 tons of iron ore from Brazil to Houston when a blaze broke out in the mess hall before dawn local time, according to the vessel’s owner, Piraeus-based Atlantic Bulk Carrier Management Ltd.
Mexico: 12th journalist killed in nation in 2009
A journalist was gunned down this week as he left a holiday party on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, human rights officials and an international media group said Friday, bringing to twelve the number of reporters killed this year in the country. Alberto Velazquez, who worked for the newspaper Expresiones de Tulum, was killed on Tuesday. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Velazquez had written articles critical of local officials, and his paper had received threats. In a statement, the group quoted colleagues as saying Velazquez was shot by a gunman on a motorcycle, and they believed it was related to his reporting. The CPJ said at least 17 reporters have been murdered in Mexico since 1992 in direct reprisal for their work.
Ireland: 2 more Irish bishops quit over Dublin abuse report
Two Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland resigned on Christmas Day in the wake of a damning investigation into decades of church cover-up of child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese. Dublin Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Ray Field offered an apology to child-abuse victims as they announced their resignations during Christmas Mass. Priests read the statement to worshippers throughout the archdiocese, home to a quarter of Ireland’s 4 million Catholics.
Earlier this month two other bishops, Donal Murray of Limerick and Jim Moriarty of Kildare, quit following the Nov. 26 publication of a three-year investigation into why so many abusive Dublin priests escaped justice for so long.
Malaysia: Bus crash kills 10
A bus skidded off a highway and crashed into a barrier in northern Malaysia early today, killing 10 people and injuring two. The vehicle spun out of control and slammed into a metal barrier that tore through the lower tier of the double-decker bus, said Wan Abdullah Ishak, a police chief in northern Perak state. All the victims were Malaysians and seated on the lower deck, he said. Wan Abdullah said the bus driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver was detained for further investigation.
From Herald news services