Oct 30 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
AMERICA: Huge swathes of New York have been left deserted and dark after America’s largest city suffered the full force of Superstorm Sandy.
Up to 100 homes were destroyed by a huge fire in a the flooded New York area of Queens, which was fought by more than 190 firefighters.
Part of a nuclear power station was shut down and another plant - the oldest in the US - was put on alert after waters from the superstorm rose six feet above sea level.
SYRIA: Syrian planes pounded a strategic northern city today as troops pushed forward to recapture the area recently taken by rebels.
The fighting over Maaret al-Numan, which sits along the main road that connects Aleppo and Damascus, comes as the regime intensifies efforts to retake the area that was seized by rebels earlier this month.
BAHRAIN: Bahrain said today that it is banning all protest gatherings amid escalating clashes in the strategic Gulf kingdom which hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.
The decision reimposes state of emergency-style rules in the Sunni-ruled nation, whose Shiite majority launched an uprising over 20 months ago, aiming to win a greater political voice.
CANADA: A magnitude 6.2 earthquake which hit the west coast of Canada on Monday night is an aftershock of the magnitude 7.7 quake that struck on Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
A geophysicist said the agency had no immediate reports that the latest quake caused any significant damage or was widely felt.
JAPAN: A major airport in northern Japan was closed today after construction workers found an unexploded bomb believed to be from the Second World War.
All 92 flights in and out of Sendai airport were cancelled after the 550lb (250kg) device was uncovered during construction near a runway, local police official Hiroshi Ouchi said.
SPAIN: Spain’s economy has shrunk for the fifth quarter in a row, official figures showed today.
The National Statistics Institute said the country’s economy contracted 0.3% in the third quarter compared with the previous three-month period.
FRANCE: France is planning heavy tax increases on beer, upsetting brewers – even in other countries.
President Francois Hollande is pushing through legislation to increase taxes on beer by 160% to help fund struggling social security programmes as France tries to lower a budget deficit hit hard by the economic crisis.
JAPAN: Japan’s industrial output contracted by 4.1 % in September from August and 8.1 % from a year earlier as carmakers and steel mills cut production due to shrinking demand and antagonisms with China.
The data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industrial (METI) adds to pressures on the central bank to stimulate the economy.
COLOMBIA: Six police officers have been killed in Colombia and a seventh was wounded in an ambush in a rural southwestern area where leftist rebels operate.
Police director General Jose Roberto Leon told The Associated Press that the officers were riding on four motorcycles when they were attacked with gunfire on Monday afternoon on a rural stretch of highway in the Cauca state town of Padilla.
GERMANY: Four people, including a police officer, have been injured in an attack by a wild boar in a residential area of Berlin.
Authorities said the 265lb (120kg) animal was shot dead.