Grassland fire kills 22
At least 22 people have died after a grassland fire they were fighting in southwestern China turned and trapped them. The official Xinhua news agency said the 22 were among more than 2,000 people fighting the fire on Sunday in Sichuan Province. Three others were badly injured, it said. The provincial government Web site says 15 soldiers and two government workers died. The other five were civilians. The Web site also said the fire was under control as of late Sunday as winds subsided. It did not say what caused the blaze.
Husbands blamed for AIDS
Philandering husbands who visit prostitutes across the border in Thailand are being blamed for high HIV-AIDS infection rates among women in the nation’s most conservative state. The Malaysian AIDS Council reportedly said that women in Kelantan State, which is ruled by the Islamic party PAS, top the infection lists in Malaysia. “Many of the women were afflicted with the disease as their husbands had engaged the services of prostitutes,” council president Mohamed Zaman Khan told national news agency Bernama. “For example, Kelantanese men often go to Sungai Golok and after engaging with prostitutes, they return to their wives and pass on the disease,” he said.
Suicide bombers kill 40
Two suspected suicide bombers killed at least 40 people in an attack at the office compound of a senior government official in an area along the border with Afghanistan yesterday, officials said. Amjad Ali Khan, the top government official in the Mohmand region, who appeared to be the target of the attack, said by telephone that it appeared to be a suicide attack. “There were two bombers. They were on foot. The first blew himself up inside the office of one of my deputies, while the second one set off explosives when guards caught him,” Khan said.
Pirates seize freight ship
Suspected Somali pirates hijacked a ship carrying nickel ore in the Arabian Sea and appear headed to the lawless East African nation, officials said yesterday. The Bangladesh-flagged MV Jahan Moni appears to have been hijacked on Sunday off the Indian coast as it was heading from Singapore to Europe, chief of the Bangladesh Shipping Department Rear Admiral Bazlur Rahman said. The 25 Bangladeshis on the cargo ship include the wife of one crewman, said Captain Habibur Rahman, principal officer of the government’s Mercantile Marine department.
Official decries ‘facade’
Home Secretary G.K. Pillai says Pakistan’s efforts to prosecute those behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks are a “facade” with Islamabad concerned that senior government officials might be implicated. In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, he said India had provided Pakistan with extensive information on the identities of key conspirators behind the attacks that killed 166 people. Some of the most compelling evidence was garnered from interrogating David Headley, a Pakistani-US citizen who pleaded guilty to surveying the hotels and other targets ahead of the assault blamed on Pakistan-based militants. “I don’t think they’re going to do anything about it,” Pillai told the Journal He said that Pakistan was wary of cracking down on top militants, for fear they will “sing” and implicate Pakistani government officials in the attacks.
Cholera outbreak spreads
In the southwestern part of the country, 140 people have died of cholera in recent days. The region had been largely spared the epidemic that has killed more than 1,880 people since mid-October, medical sources said on Sunday. “We have had a high number of deaths in communities where people are linking the illness with witchcraft,” Duvelson Angello, a health management official in Grand’Anse Department, told reporters.
Fireworks set off fires
Twenty-five people, including eight children, were injured on Sunday when eight homes in a Buenos Aires suburb went up in a blaze triggered by fireworks, police and witnesses said. Several of the houses collapsed as they were consumed by fire, which witnesses said was ignited by fireworks falling on a stack of cardboard boxes stored indoors. Fourteen fire trucks battled the blaze for hours before it was brought under control in the Boulogne suburb, where many people make their living from collecting and selling cardboard, bottles and plastic containers they keep inside their homes.
Landslide kills at least two
A landslide following weeks of drenching rains buried more than 50 homes in the northwest, killing at least two people and likely leaving dozens trapped beneath mud and rubble, officials said on Sunday. Antioquia Department emergency management director John Rendon said two bodies have been recovered and six injured people have been rescued after the mudslide in the Medellin suburb of Bello.
Plane safely splashes down
With his engine failing, the pilot of a single-engine plane managed to maneuver the craft and three passengers to a safe splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the pilot of the Piper Malibu reported engine trouble around 2pm on Saturday and the plane began to descend rapidly from about 7,900m. After gliding for about 25 minutes, the Piper Malibu splashed down near an oilrig about 280km southeast of New Orleans. They were able to make it into one of the plane’s inflatable rafts and a boat from the rig picked them up.
Inspiration for Tintin dies
Palle Huld, who reportedly inspired a Belgian cartoonist to create the comic book globetrotting reporter Tintin, has died. He was 98. Huld died on Nov. 26 in a retirement home in Copenhagen. Huld was a stage actor with the Royal Theater, but his fame came before his acting career began. In 1928, he won a competition organized by a newspaper that wanted to send a teenager would-be-reporter around the globe. Herge, the pen name of Belgian author Georges Remi, heard of Huld’s journey, which reportedly inspired him to create Tintin.
Remark sparks outrage
A councilor has sparked outrage by demanding that funding for a local marathon be scrapped because Africans always win it. Speaking during a session of the Padua provincial assembly, Pietro Giovannoni — a member of the anti-immigration Northern League party — said: “Let’s stop using public money to finance the marathon, since the winners are always Africans and foreigners in underpants.” Kenyan runners have won seven of the 11 marathons held locally, with Italians winning just two.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable