At least 16 inmates have been killed after a riot broke out at a prison in central Mexico, authorities say. Five others were wounded in clashes at the prison facility in the town of Cieneguillas, Zacatecas state. During the riot, which lasted for about two-and-a-half hours, officials say prisoners fought each other using handguns and knives. Violence is often reported at Mexico’s prisons, many of which are overcrowded and dominated by drug gangs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he will ask parliament to grant him immunity from corruption charges, a step that is expected to delay his trial for months. The step most likely puts the trial on hold until after elections in March, when he hopes to win a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution.
Taiwan’s top military official was among eight people killed on Thursday, after a helicopter carrying them to visit soldiers crashed in a mountainous area near the capital Taipei, the defense ministry said. The reasons for the crash, in the wake of a forced landing, were unknown, the military said in a statement, adding that the chief of general staff, Air Force General Shen Yi-ming, had died, while five of the 13 aboard survived.
Pope Francis has apologized after slapping a woman’s hand as he greeted pilgrims at the Vatican on New Year’s Eve. Francis lost his cool when the woman abruptly grabbed his hand and yanked him towards her just after he reached out to greet a child during a visit to the Vatican’s nativity scene on Tuesday night. The identity of the woman is unknown, but a video of the incident went viral.
At least 23 people were confirmed dead on Thursday and thousands were forced to evacuate, after severe flooding hit Indonesia’s capital as residents were celebrating the New Year. Tens of thousands of revelers in Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s eve fireworks on Wednesday. Jakarta’s domestic airport was also shut, where almost 20,000 passengers were stranded.