Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 4 News List

World News Quick Take



Gas leak prompts evacuation

Thirty students at a school were yesterday hospitalized complaining of breathlessness and eye irritation following a gas leak from a fuel tanker, witnesses said. More than 100 students were evacuated from the Rani Jhansi school in the capital, New Delhi, media said. It was not clear what had caused the leak and no further details were immediately available. “Some students complained of irritation in eyes and throat due to the gas leak,” a school official told reporters.


Investigation targets Humala

The national prosecutor’s office on Friday said it has opened an investigation into allegations of “crimes against humanity” related to the military’s fight against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s, in a case involving former president Ollanta Humala. The investigation comes as testimony from two new witnesses suggests that soldiers under Humala’s command at the Madre Mia military base tortured and murdered civilians. Humala was an army officer during Peru’s bloody campaign against Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path in the 1980s and 1990s. Humala has publicly denied the allegations. A previous probe into the alleged human rights violations was shelved in 2009 for lack of evidence. However, leaked transcripts of recorded telephone conversations published in local media over the past few weeks appear to suggest Humala bribed torture victims to alter their testimony, which he has also denied.


Cassini finds ‘the big empty’

The uncrewed Cassini spacecraft, after completing two passes in the vast, unexplored area between Saturn’s rings, has discovered not much else there, researchers at NASA said. Scientists have been surprised to find that not all that much — not even space dust — lies between Saturn’s iconic rings. Cassini late last month made a first pass to explore what lies between the rings and a second one on Tuesday at a speed of about 123,920kph relative to the planet. “The region between the rings and Saturn is ‘the big empty,’ apparently,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory Cassini project manager Earl Maize said after the probe’s first pass. The gap between the rings and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere is about 2,400km. Cassini is expected to make a total of 22 dives between the rings and the planet before making a death plunge into the gas giant in September.


Storm damage assessed

The government yesterday began assessing the damage after the nation was pounded by destructive winds from Cyclone Debbie, which brought down houses and buildings. The eye of the category three cyclone veered away from the nation before making landfall, but National Disaster Management Office Director Shadrack Welegtabit said winds in excess of 200kph wreaked havoc in outlying islands. “The cyclone has passed through and we have now started our response, doing an assessment of the damage and what people need,” he told reporters. “It did not make landfall, but the gale force winds affected some islands. There was damage to houses and buildings, but we haven’t had any reports of injuries.” A curfew was imposed in many of the populated islands on Friday, with residents taking shelter in caves and evacuation centers until the storm passed. Although Donna was tracking west toward New Caledonia, the nation was warned to expect “damaging gale force winds and very rough seas” for another 24 hours.

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