US criticized over Tibet
The US should not interfere in China’s internal affairs on matters related to Tibet, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told US Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call on Saturday. According to an account of the call posted on the Chinese foreign ministry Web site, Kerry reaffirmed that there was no change in the US policy that Tibet is a part of China and that the US does not support Tibetan independence. The phone call follows on from US President Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama last week at the White House despite China warning it would damage diplomatic relations. Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist. During the call, Wang and Kerry also discussed the success of the recently concluded bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, according to the foreign ministry posting, which did not give specifics.
Flash floods kill at least 24
Flash floods and landslides killed 24 people in Indonesia’s Central Java Province, officials said yesterday, forcing residents to evacuate to safer areas as torrential rains damaged thousands of homes. Rescue teams searched for 26 others who remained missing after the region, among the most densely populated parts of the country, saw heavy rainfall overnight. “Heavy rain has caused floods and landslides in 16 regencies in Central Java,” Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency, said in a statement.
MH370 meeting to be held
The nation said it will host a two-day meeting with Australia and China beginning today to discuss next steps in the fruitless search for missing Flight MH370. State-run Bernama news agency on Saturday quoted a Ministry of Transport official saying the meeting would focus on “the future direction of the search operation for MH370.” The three countries have said previously they will call off the Australian-lead hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 if nothing is found in a designated search area in the remote Indian Ocean. So far 105,000km2 of the 120,000km2 seafloor search zone has been covered without success. Recent bad weather has delayed the expected completion of the search to August, Australian authorities said earlier this month. The jet disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board in March 2014, and is presumed to have crashed into the sea far off Western Australia’s coast.
MSF driver killed
A local driver for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the Central African Republic (CAR) was killed on Friday during an ambush on a convoy by unidentified gunmen, the medical aid group said on Saturday. The attack, which occurred on the road between Sibut and Grimari in the center of the country, comes one month after an MSF staff member was shot dead in a similar ambush in the north that led MSF to suspend its operation in the area. Thierry Dumont, the charity’s chief in Central Africa, told French broadcaster Radio France Internationale that the reason of the attack was unclear. However, “trucks or humanitarian vehicles are economic targets,” he said. “We are carrying goods, people have a little bit of money with them.” The nation descended into chaos in early 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka fighters seized power, triggering reprisal attacks by Christian Anti-Balaka militias.
Two charged over violence
Two men were on Saturday charged in connection with a violent incident that broke out near an outdoor FrancoFolies music festival in Montreal. Police said dozens of people began throwing bricks, rocks and traffic cones at buildings in the city’s entertainment district at about 11:30pm on Friday. Six Montreal police officers were injured and about 20 downtown buildings were vandalized. Montreal police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said two men were arrested and charged in connection with the incident. A 25-year-old man was charged with armed assault on a police officer and a 24-year-old man faces one count of obstructing police. Both were released on Saturday afternoon on a promise to appear in court. Brabant said police are analyzing video from the scene to try to identify more of the people involved. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre on Saturday condemned the incident, calling it “deplorable.” “Montreal is the capital of living together,” he said. “It’s a safe area. There’s no need to break anything.”
Farmer confesses to murders
Authorities said that a farmer being investigated for the disappearance of a woman has confessed to killing 20 people, including his wife and two children as well as a missing person. The attorney general’s office said the man was arrested at his farm in the northeastern municipality of Guarne, about 25km from Medellin. Luiz Gonzalez, an official with the prosecutors’ office, on Saturday identified the man as 44-year-old Jaime Ivan Martinez. He was being investigated in the disappearance of a 50-year-old woman, Maria Arango, an official from Guarne municipality. She was last seen on Jan. 19. Martinez allegedly confessed to killing Arango and 19 other people and burying them on his farm. Gonzalez said a search for the bodies would be launched soon.
Slaves’ remains reburied
The long-forgotten remains of 14 slaves discovered more than a decade ago in upstate New York have been reburied. Albany Diocesan Cemeteries’ spokesman Jonathan Cohen on Saturday said the ceremony included prayers from a Ghanaian priestess, an imam and others. Archeologists found the remains in 2005 after a backhoe operator uncovered a skull during sewer construction north of Albany. No personal items from the graves were exhumed. However, experts believe they were slaves buried in the 18th or early 19th centuries. A local group called the Schuyler Flatts Burial Ground Project wanted to make sure the seven adults, five infants and two children are never forgotten again. Cohen said there was a feeling of fellowship among the about 300 people who attended the burial at a nearby cemetery.
Singer dies after shooting
A Chicago singer who appeared on the Mexican version of The Voice in 2011 has died after he was shot in an ambush while celebrating his birthday with friends. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that 45-year-old Alejandro “Jano” Fuentes died on Saturday. He was shot three times in the head late on Thursday outside his Tras Bambalinas School on Chicago’s southwest side. The attack happened less than a week after the killing of Christina Grimmie, who appeared on the US version of the show. Fuentes got into his car with friends and an armed man suddenly ordered Fuentes out of that vehicle and shot him.
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
‘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
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete