While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 25 edition

People walk during the evacuation to shelters prior to the arrival of hurricane Otto in Bluefields, Nicaragua Nov 24, 2016.
People walk during the evacuation to shelters prior to the arrival of hurricane Otto in Bluefields, Nicaragua Nov 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hurricane, earthquake hit Central America at same time

A fierce hurricane and a powerful offshore earthquake struck Central America at the same time on Thursday (Nov 24), triggering emergency responses in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, and prayers among fearful populations.

Hurricane Otto - a storm packing winds of 175kmh - hit first, ploughing into Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean coast.

Communities in that zone and in northern neighboring Costa Rica were evacuated ahead of it. There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

Just an hour later came the earthquake, with a magnitude of 7 and located 120km off El Salvador in the Pacific Ocean, on the other side of the Central American isthmus. It was felt also in Nicaragua’s capital Managua and in Costa Rica.


Suicide truck bomb kills about 100 in Iraq, mostly Iranian pilgrims

A suicide truck bomb killed about 100 people, most of them Iranian Shi’ite pilgrims, at a petrol station in the city of Hilla 100km south of Baghdad on Thursday (Nov 24), police and medical sources said.

AFP said the death toll was over 70, quoting Falah al-Radhi, head of the provincial security committee for Babylon, the province where the bombing happened.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the ultra hard-line Sunni militant group that considers all Shi’ites to be apostates, claimed responsibility the attack in an online statement.


India stops over-the-counter exchange of old bills

India on Thursday (Nov 24) stopped the over-the-counter exchange of old bills as the government faced growing criticism of its shock move to withdraw all high-denomination banknotes in a bid to tackle widespread corruption and tax evasion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked turmoil by announcing on Nov 8 all 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes - some 85 per cent of all bills in circulation - would cease to be legal tender.

The move led to long queues outside banks as worried consumers tried to exchange old notes for new ones before the Dec 31 deadline.


Seven-year-old Syrian girl takes to Twitter to depict life in Aleppo

Her hair tied into pigtails by matching pink ribbons, seven-year-old Bana Alabed inspects the rubble in her home town of Aleppo, before walking to face the camera.

"I am sad. It's so bad," she tells her audience in English in a clip posted on Twitter. She is later seen holding a banner reading: "Stand with Aleppo. Please stop the bombing and end the siege."

The video, posted on Tuesday (Nov 22) and accompanied by the text "checking in the morning after a night of bombing" is the latest the young girl has shared with her nearly 94,000 Twitter followers depicting life in the war-torn Syrian city.


Formula One: Rosberg, Hamilton differ on crew swop in tense press briefing

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton agreed on Friday (Nov 25) to differ on the reasons for Mercedes' decision to swap their car crews this year.

The pair faced the media at a tense press conference at the Yas Marina circuit ahead of this weekend's title showdown at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

When the topic was raised it was clear there was an underlying story.