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Thursday, December 18, 2014

World briefs

Estonia
After nine years, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip will step down next week from his role as the prime minister of the Baltic nation. Ansip’s resignation follows his announcement in 2012 that he would not run again in the 2014 parliamentary elections, according to the Associated Press. The AP reported that local media speculates that after stepping down on March 4, Ansip, 57, will target the post of European Union commissioner for Estonia, but he has not publicly confirmed this claim.

Mexico
On Saturday, police arrested Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who heads Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, in Mazatlan. Guzman, 56, had been in hiding for about 13 years and was spotted by authorities in the resort city after fleeing from a law enforcement ring in the nearby city of Culiacan, according to the AP. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the drug lord escaped from prison in 2001, according to the report. The department stated that the arrest was “the most significant capture and the arrest of one man,” AP reported.

Russia
The Winter Olympics will head to Pyeongchang, South Korea in another four years as the games bade farewell in Sochi on Sunday. Athletes, Olympic architects and Russian president Vladimir Putin watched as a stunning fireworks display lit up the night sky over the Fisht Olympic Stadium, in which the 17-day games concluded, the AP reported. According to the AP, the Russian government has invested $51 billion into the development of Sochi, which is $11 billion more than the cost of development in Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Thailand
A grenade blast on Sunday killed one 40-year-old woman and her 12-year-old child in Bangkok in the midst of months-long anti-government protests in the Asian capital. The explosion happened in the aftermath of a drive-by shooting in eastern Thailand, which killed one young girl and injured 12 other people, according to the Agence France-Presse. Another 22 people were wounded in Sunday’s explosion, AFP reported. Authorities claimed that based on the shrapnel fragments, the grenade was fired from an M79 launcher. The government has denounced the incident as a “terrorist attack.”

United Kingdom
The world’s oldest-known Holocaust survivor died on Sunday. Alice Herz-Sommer passed away at the age of 110 at a hospital after being admitted Friday, her daughter-in-law Genevieve Sommer told the AP. Herz-Sommer, an accomplished pianist, died just two weeks before the release of the documentary “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” which tells the story of how she survived a Nazi internment camp for two years with the help of her music, the AP reported. The film has a nomination for an Oscar for best short documentary.

Ukraine
A firefight ensued Saturday as ex-officials that were part of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s administration attempted to cross the border out of the country. Bodyguards of former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and former tax chief Oleksandr Klimenko shot at border guards after the latter blocked the two ousted officials from leaving the country by plane at Donetsk Airport in Kiev, according to AFP. The two officials were able to take their flight out of the country, and other government officials were also reportedly missing, AFP reported.