Cease-fire in key port gets off to shaky start

An internationally backed cease-fire in the key Yemen port of Hodeida got off to a shaky start when fighting erupted moments after it took effect. The clashes died down hours later, and by late Tuesday, residents of the war-torn port were enjoying their first respite from a fight that has raged since June. The truce, agreed to last week by Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and its Houthi foes, is intended to ensure humanitarian access to Hodeida, which is the conduit for 70 percent of aid to Yemen.

New Zealand

Voters to decide on legalizing marijuana

New Zealand will hold a referendum in 2020 on whether recreational cannabis use should be legal, the justice minister said. It appears that New Zealand would be the first country to put the issue to a nationwide vote. Andrew Little, the justice minister, said the referendum would be on the ballot during the next national election, set for 2020. He told reporters that the results would be binding, though he said there was “a bit of detail still to work through,” particularly regarding how the question would be worded.


Report faults police in protesters’ deaths

Zimbabwean soldiers and police used “unjustified and disproportionate” force to kill six people during election protests in August, an official report said. The report was widely seen as a test of whether the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa would disown the kind of harsh action by security forces that was associated with the long rule of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe. The sharp criticism of the military and police in the report reflected a more open discourse in Zimbabwe since Mugabe was forced from office in November 2017. Still, the recommendation that soldiers and police who broke codes of conduct should face “internal” discipline raised questions about whether any would face significant punishment.


2 officers killed by a train while on a chase

A procession of police cars snaked through Chicago’s streets before dawn Tuesday, guiding to the morgue the bodies of two Chicago police officers who were struck and killed by a train while chasing someone believed to have fired a gun. Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo were killed Monday evening after they were hit by a passenger train on the city’s far South Side. The officers were answering a report of gunshots after the city’s ShotSpotter technology detected the gunfire. The deaths were the latest in a series of losses for the Chicago Police Department in 2018.


Rare tornado touches down near Seattle

A rare tornado touched down in a Seattle suburb, damaging several homes and toppling trees, authorities said. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The state averages 2.5 tornadoes a year, but December tornadoes are extremely rare, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

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