Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Mali releases jihadists from prison, France and Italy search for victims trapped in a devastating flood, U.S.-bound Honduran migrants are bused back to their country's border, India tops 100,000 COVID-19 fatalities and the U.K. prime minister defends his handling of the coronavirus pandemic make up this week's five international stories.
Malian authorities have released 180 Islamic extremists from a prison in the capital and flown them to the country’s north, an official confirmed late Sunday, fueling speculation that a prominent opposition politician held by jihadists could soon be freed after more than six months in captivity. The militants who abducted Soumaila Cisse back in late March were believed to be seeking a prisoner exchange with the Malian government. Some 70 men were released on Saturday and another 110 on Sunday, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
French authorities deployed about 1,000 firefighters, four military helicopters and troops to search for at least eight people who were missing after devastating floods hit a mountainous border region with Italy, where at least four people were killed. Emergency workers in Italy recovered two corpses Sunday in northern Liguria that they feared may have been washed away as a result of the storms that killed two other people on Saturday. Floods washed away houses and destroyed roads and bridges surrounding the city of Nice on the French Riviera after almost a year’s average rainfall fell in less than 12 hours.
Hundreds of U.S.-bound Honduran migrants who had entered Guatemala this week without registering were being bused back to their country’s border Saturday by authorities who met them with a large roadblock. By 5 a.m. Saturday, none of 1,000 or so migrants who had been stalled by police and soldiers remained along a stretch of rural highway remained. Police said that hours earlier, migrants had boarded buses and army trucks to be taken back to the border. Small groups of fewer than 10 migrants each could still be found walking along the highway before the roadblock Saturday morning.
India passed a grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus on Saturday, with health authorities saying the country has recorded more than 100,000 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began. The announcement from the Health Ministry means that nearly 10% of the more than 1 million people to die globally in the pandemic have done so in India, behind only the United States and Brazil. India has seen more than 6.4 million total confirmed infections, recording more than 79,000 new cases in the past 24 hours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are facing criticism for failing to stop the march of the virus, which in September hit India harder than any other nation in the world.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday despite weeks of rising infections, but warned that the country faced a “bumpy” winter ahead. Britain has Europe’s highest coronavirus death toll, at more than 42,400, and Johnson’s Conservative government is facing criticism from all sides. Opponents say tougher social restrictions are needed to suppress a second wave of COVID-19 that is already sweeping the country. But many in Johnson’s right-of-center party argue that restrictions must be eased to save the battered economy.