Dozens killed in Mexican prison riot
MEXICO CITY • Dozens of people were killed in a prison riot in north-eastern Mexico early yesterday, local media reported, just days ahead of a planned visit by Pope Francis to another prison nearby in the far north.
Milenio TV said at least 60 people were killed in the pre-dawn riot. It said relatives of prisoners had heard gunshots in the early hours and that a blaze had broken out. The Nuevo Leon state government said the situation had been brought under control.
Hollande set to announce reshuffle
PARIS • France's deeply unpopular President Francois Hollande was expected to announce a government reshuffle yesterday as he seeks fresh political momentum ahead of a run for a second term in office next year. At the top of his list of priorities will be to name a new foreign minister after the veteran Laurent Fabius bowed out of politics to take up a position at the country's Constitutional Council.
Mr Hollande, whose popularity has once again plunged after a brief surge in the wake of the November Islamist attacks in Paris, will also be looking to Cabinet choices that will widen his voter base with just 15 months to go before he seeks re-election.
Netanyahu's wife abused household staff: Court
JERUSALEM • Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara insulted and raged at household staff, creating an abusive working environment at the Prime Minister's official residence, a labour court ruled on Wednesday.
Allegations of mistreatment levelled by Mr Meni Naftali, a former chief caretaker at the Jerusalem home, were dismissed by the Prime Minister's Office as "evil, skewed gossip" when the civil lawsuit was filed in 2014.
But the court said testimony by Mr Naftali and other former household employees about Mrs Netanyahu's alleged abusive behaviour was credible. It ordered Mr Naftali to be paid 170,000 shekels (S$60,800) covering distress and court costs.
El Nino likely to fade by late spring: US agency
NEW YORK • A US government weather forecaster yesterday said the El Nino weather phenomenon under way is likely to dissipate by late spring or early summer, and possibly transition to La Nina conditions.
The Climate Prediction Centre said most models show the strong El Nino will weaken in the coming months and the chance of La Nina conditions will increase into autumn.