Miami, Sep 8(AP/UNB) — A tropical storm formed in the eastern Atlantic continues to move toward the western coast of Africa.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday that Tropical Storm Helene was located about 290 miles (466.69 kilometers) east-southeast of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. The storm's maximum sustained winds are 45 mph (75 kph) and it is moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).
Forecasters expect the storm to bring tropical storm conditions to parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Saturday night. Officials say heavy rainfall on the islands could produce life-threatening flash floods.
A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
Bandung, Sep 8(AP/UNB) — Twenty-one people were killed Saturday when a tourist bus plunged into a ravine on Indonesia's main Java island, officials said.
The bus was carrying a group of employees from a private company from the West Java province town of Bogor to a tourist destination in West Java's Sukabumi district when the accident happened around midday.
In addition to the 21 dead, the nine others aboard the bus were seriously injured, said a spokesman at Pelabuhanratu hospital, Taufik, who uses one name.
Local police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko said the bus plunged into the 30-meter (98-foot) -deep ravine after the driver lost control of the vehicle in an area with a number of sharp inclines.
He said it was the last of four buses carrying employees of the PT Catur Putra Group who were reportedly on an outing to a rafting location near Pelabuhanratu.
Road accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor safety standards and infrastructure.
In February, 27 people were killed when a packed tourist bus returning from an outing plunged from a hill in Subang in West Java province. Two months later, two accidents in West Java's hilly resort region of Puncak killed at least 15 people.
Skopje, Sep 8 (AP/UNB) — German chancellor Angela Merkel is on a brief visit to Macedonia ahead of a Macedonian referendum on a deal with neighboring Greece aimed at ending a decades-old name dispute.
Merkel's trip Saturday marked the first ever official visit by a German chancellor to the tiny Balkan country as it celebrates 27 years of independence from former Yugoslavia.
Western countries have expressed strong support for the agreement, signed in June, proposing to change Macedonia's name to "North Macedonia," which would allow Macedonia to join NATO. But opposition parties in both countries remain firmly opposed to the agreement.
Merkel is due to meet Macedonian Prime minister Zoran Zaev and conservative opposition leader Hrstijan Mickoski.
Greece has long argued that Macedonia's name implies a claim on the Greek province of the same name.
Kathmandu, Sep 8 (AP/UNB) — A helicopter flying in bad weather crashed in Nepal's mountains on Saturday, killing five of the seven people on board and leaving another missing, police said.
The pilot and four of the six passengers, including a 68-year-old Japanese man, were among those killed, said police official Basanta Kuwar. Another passenger was missing, while a woman survived the crash, he said. Her condition was not immediately clear.
Rescuers were attempting to transport the injured woman out of the crash site, but think fog and rain was hampering efforts, Kuwar said.
He said rescuers were also scouring the area for the missing person but bad weather and the mountainous terrain were making the operation difficult.
Aside from the Japanese man, all others aboard the helicopter were Nepalese.
The area where the crash happened is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of the capital, Kathmandu.
The Airbus-manufactured Ecureuil helicopter belongs to Altitude Air in Nepal and has been used in mountain rescues.
Baghdad, Sep 8 (AP/UNB)— An attack Saturday on a Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan base in Iraq killed at least nine people and wounded more than 30, Kurdish media reported, with officials immediately blaming Iran for the assault.
Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the attack in Koya, some 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Baghdad.
The Rudaw satellite news channel aired video showing smoke rising from the base in Koya. It quoted a health official for the casualty count.
The secretary-general of the separatist group, Mustafa Mawludi, and his predecessor, Khalid Azizi, were injured in the attack, Rudaw reported.
Kurds represent about 10 percent of Iran's population of 80 million people, with many living in the mountainous northwest that borders Iraq and Turkey.
A string of recent attacks by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, PDKI, mark the end of a 20-year cease-fire between its fighters and Iran, though Kurdish separatists have agitated for freedom for decades in the country's northwest.
The area had been largely quiet since the 1990s under the cease-fire. But Kurdish resentments grew recently. In one incident, the death of a Kurdish maid at a hotel in the northwestern city of Mahabad in May 2015 sparked unrest by local Kurds as opposition groups alleged Iranian security forces somehow had a hand in it.
Since 2016, clashes have erupted between Kurdish fighters and Iranian security forces, including the elite Revolutionary Guard, leading to casualties on both sides. The PDKI, operating out of the northern Iraq, claimed many of those attacks, which saw Iranian forces shell Kurdish positions just across the Iraqi border in response.