At least five people have died after a series of tornadoes tore through Alabama. Officials believe that as many as eight twisters passed through the US state – leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The only confirmed deaths were from Calhoun County – but the extreme weather struck other areas in the region. At least 35,000 people have been left without power, and the number of injuries has yet to be confirmed.
The stranded Ever Given mega-container ship in the Suez Canal is holding up an estimated $9.6bn of goods each day, according to shipping data. This works out at $400m an hour in trade along the waterway which is a vital passageway between east and west. Data from shipping expert Lloyd’s List values the canal’s westbound traffic at roughly $5.1bn a day, and eastbound daily traffic at around $4.5bn.
Two trains collided on Friday in southern Egypt, causing three passenger cars to flip over, killing 32 people and leaving 66 injured, health authorities said. Egypt’s railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and poor management. Official figures show that 1,793 train accidents took place in 2017 across the country. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the government lacks about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down rail system.
Eritrea will pull its troops out of the Tigray region, Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has said, a potential breakthrough in a conflict in which both countries have been accused of abuses against civilians. Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel peace prize, faces mounting pressure to end fighting in the drawn-out conflict in which troops are thought to have carried out mass killings and rapes.
China imposed sanctions on nine Britons including lawmakers in the governing Conservative party for spreading what it said were “lies and disinformation” about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, prompting a sharp rebuke from London. Relations between China and the West are souring fast, particularly as Beijing pushes back hard against sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada.