Relief teams cut through silt and debris yesterday and rescued 20 workers who had been trapped in a tunnel for more than 24 hours after a torrential downpour in a remote Indian Himalayan region. \nThe construction workers, building a tunnel for a power project, were trapped underground when the exit was blocked following a storm on Sunday in Kullu district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, 500km north of New Delhi. \n"All 20 people have been saved as there was plenty of oxygen in the kilometer-long tunnel," A.K. Puri, director general of police, told reporters. "Rescue officials and locals used excavation machinery to dig through the mouth of the tunnel. Last night's rain made the excavation work easier." \nA National Hydroelectric Power Corp official said the condition of the workers was fine. \n"As these men have been without food for almost 30 hours, they have been administered glucose and will be kept under observation for some time," said NHPC's Gyan Bhadra. \nDozens of huts where the mostly migrant laborers lived in Barshaini village were washed away after the cloudburst which brought down tonnes of slush and boulders. \nMeanwhile, 39 bodies were found floating in receding flood waters in eastern India, officials said yesterday, as the death toll from this season's monsoon rains across South Asia rose above 2,000. \nThe toll already is well above last year when 1,500 people were killed during the monsoon, which usually runs from June through September, though last year continued into October. \nAt least 1,191 people have died in India, 694 in Bangladesh, 124 in Nepal and five in Pakistan, bringing the toll to 2,014, according to figures supplied by authorities in each country and compiled by reporters. Victims have mostly died from drowning, mudslides and waterborne diseases.
RALLYING A DEFENSE: Former envoys wrote an op-ed piece defending Anna Lindstedt, who was removed for attempting to free Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai in China Sweden’s former ambassador to Beijing goes on trial in Stockholm on Friday for allegedly overstepping her mandate by trying to negotiate the release of a Chinese-Swedish dissident held in China. Anna Lindstedt is accused of brokering an unauthorized meeting during her time as ambassador to free publisher Gui Minhai (桂民海). Lindstedt — a veteran envoy who had previously represented Sweden in both Vietnam and Mexico, and acted as Sweden’s chief negotiator at the 2015 climate summit in Paris — has denied the charges. Gui, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen known for publishing gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders out of a Hong Kong book
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
‘LEAST WE CAN DO’: The gesture was made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality that targeted minorities They are images that surprised and moved Americans: police officers taking a knee alongside protesters in the most widespread civil unrest to rock the US in decades — and in doing so embracing an anti-racism gesture denounced by US President Donald Trump. As Trump pushes for a crackdown on often-violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police officers from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, Texas, are making gestures of solidarity with demonstrators incensed at the latest case of an unarmed black man dying while in police custody. “I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do
From boiled catfish soup to spicy fried frog, an eight-year-old in pyjamas and a chef’s hat is delighting Myanmar with her culinary prowess in a nation still being told to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moe Myint May Thu’s mother posted a video online at the end of April showing off her daughter’s skills as the youngster threw together some spicy fried prawns. With her wide, gap-toothed grin, the video has bounced across social media and brought stardom to the child along with an online moniker: “Little Chef.” She now sells dishes to order and is counting the dividends. “I just