Highway blaze kills 11
A passenger van overturned and caught fire on a highway, killing 11 school teachers inside, news reports said yesterday. The Nation newspaper said the teachers were trapped in the burning vehicle after the Friday night crash on a highway in Chonburi, southeast of Bangkok. The Khaosod newspaper said the victims were school teachers. The Nation reported the driver lost control after one of the tires of the van burst. It quoted the Ministry of the Interior’s disaster management department as saying that four people managed to get out of the van before it burst into flames.
Al-Shabaab executes four
Al-Shabaab militants have publicly executed four men they accused of spying, including one they claimed helped kill their supreme leader in a US drone strike, the al-Qaeda-linked group and local sources said yesterday. The executions took place on Friday evening in a village in the Bay region in the center of the country, the sources said. Three of the men were shot by firing squad while the fourth, accused of helping the US to kill al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane in September 2014, was decapitated. “The Islamic court in the Bay and Bakool regions” carried out “the executions of four spies who worked for the US and Kenyan Intelligence Agencies,” the group said in a statement on an al-Shabaab Web site.
Lawyer rebukes government
The attorney for a nuclear engineer accused of helping a Chinese energy company build nuclear reactors with US technology said the government’s case involves “novel and untested legal theories.” Documents filed on Wednesday seek to have Szuhsiung Ho, also known as Allen Ho, released on bond, while he awaits trial. Ho is the owner and president of Delaware-based Energy Technology International, which had the state-controlled China General Nuclear Power Company as a client. An indictment unsealed in April accuses Ho of helping develop special nuclear material outside the US. Ho’s attorney said Ho simply helped the Chinese company improve safety at existing commercial nuclear power plants.
Toxic leak kills two
A navy sailor and a civilian worker were killed on Friday by a toxic gas leak in the sewage plant on board the nation’s sole aircraft carrier, a navy spokesman said. Captain D.K. Sharma said the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya has been undergoing maintenance work at a naval base in southern India. There was no other damage to the carrier.
Police shoot man in Dallas
Police said a 29-year-old Maryland man was newly released from jail on a criminal mischief charge when an officer shot him outside a Dallas airport. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Shawn Nicholas Diamond of Edgewood, Maryland, was in stable condition in a hospital after the Friday incident outside the Dallas Love Field terminal. Brown said Diamond struck his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks outside the airport. He said an officer shot Diamond after he advanced with rocks in his hands. Police in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton said Diamond was released on bond earlier on Friday after spending the night in jail. Carrollton police spokeswoman Jolene DeVito said Diamond was arrested after causing US$3,700 in damage to city-owned trees by driving recklessly.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and