Tropical storm hits US coast, set to weaken on way inland
NEW ORLEANS • Tropical Storm Nate slammed into the Mississippi coast with powerful winds and torrential rain that flooded streets and highways throughout the region, but the fast-moving former hurricane was expected to rapidly weaken as it moved inland yesterday.
The fourth major storm to strike the United States in less than two months, Nate killed at least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the southern US. It has also shut down most oil and gas production in the Gulf.
Nate was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm early yesterday and was expected to weaken as it moved further inland, said the National Hurricane Centre.
Six killed, 35 hurt after Ghana gas depot blast
ACCRA (Ghana) • At least six people were killed and 35 injured, mostly suffering burns, after an explosion at a natural gas depot in Ghana's capital, fire service spokesman Billy Anaglate said yesterday.
The explosion last Saturday evening sent a giant fireball into the sky above the eastern part of Accra, causing frightened residents to flee their homes in large numbers.
Fake news fixes: Facebook security chief warns of risks
SAN FRANCISCO • Facebook's chief security officer has warned that the fake news problem is more complicated and dangerous to solve than members of the public think.
Mr Alex Stamos, who is handling the firm's investigation into Russia's use of the social media platform ahead of last year's United States presidential election, cautioned against hoping for technical solutions which he said could have unintended consequences of ideological bias. It is very difficult to spot fake news and propaganda using just computer programs, he said in a series of Twitter posts last Saturday.
Final assault on ISIS in Raqqa by Syrian Democratic Forces
RAQQA (Syria) • A final assault on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Raqqa was set to begin last night, said a field commander for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is backed by a United States-led coalition.
The assault would focus on the area around a stadium and attempt to surround it, said field commander Ardal Raqqa.
Ms Jihan Sheikh Ahmad, spokesman for the SDF campaign in the Syrian city of Raqqa, said in a statement on the campaign website that it would announce the liberation of Raqqa "in the coming few days".