Netherlands

Russia brings in Syrians

Russia ratcheted up its efforts Thursday to try to disprove that a Syrian town was hit by a poison gas attack, bringing a group of Syrians, including an 11-year-old boy, to the global chemical weapons watchdog’s headquarters to denounce the reports as fake. The U.S., Britain, France and their allies boycotted the event at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, branding it as “nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise” and an “obscene masquerade.”

Israel

Floods kill nine teens

Flash floods killed nine Israeli teenagers who were hiking south of the Dead Sea on Thursday, Israel’s rescue service said. The casualties were all 18 years old. Israeli media said eight of the fatalities were female and one was male. Police said another hiker is still missing. Earlier, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 25 students in a pre-army course were “caught off-guard” and some were “washed away” by heavy rains while they were hiking in the area. Rosenfeld said 15 hikers were rescued.

Nicaragua

Protests leave 63 dead

A nongovernmental rights group said Thursday that it has confirmed that 63 people died during days of protests over social security changes that convulsed Nicaragua last week, a figure that was not immediately confirmed or denied by the government. The Permanent Commission on Human Rights added that at least 15 other people are missing and that it had counted over 160 people wounded by gunfire, including nine who lost an eye and two who were left paralyzed.

Spain

Sentences stir outrage

Protests erupted across Spain on Thursday after a court in the northern city of Pamplona sentenced five men to nine years each in prison for the lesser crime of sexual abuse in what activists saw as a gang rape during the 2016 running of the bulls festival in Pamplona. “It’s not abuse, it’s rape!” shouted protesters in live television broadcasts from the gates of the Navarra provincial court when the ruling was announced. Police stopped the crowd from advancing toward the entrance to the court.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires