Twelve killed in plane crash
A plane carrying 10 US citizens and two local crew members on Sunday crashed in a wooded area, killing all aboard, the government said. The Public Safety Ministry posted photographs and video of the crash site showing burning wreckage of the plane in Guanacaste. Authorities said that so far they had only a list of passengers provided by the airline and were awaiting official confirmation of their identities. A family in the suburbs of New York City said five of the dead Americans were relatives on vacation. They identified them as Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their sons Matthew, William and Zachary, all of Scarsdale. “We are in utter shock and disbelief right now,” Bruce Steinberg’s sister, Tamara Steinberg Jacobson, wrote on Facebook. She also confirmed the deaths in an interview with NBC News.
Cars destroyed in fire
A blaze has destroyed every vehicle left in a 1,600-capacity car park serving Liverpool’s indoor arena, police said yesterday. The Liverpool International Horse Show, taking place in the city’s neighboring 11,000-seater arena, was canceled due to the fire, which broke out after dark on Sunday. Nobody has been seriously injured in the blaze, the Merseyside Police said, while all horses were accounted for. “Initial investigations indicate that an accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite,” the force said. “We believe that all vehicles parked in the car park have been destroyed and advise owners to contact their insurance companies.”
Car crash kills 10
Several US citizens were among 10 people who died in a car crash and subsequent fire on the southwestern coast near tourist hot spot Acapulco, the US Department of State said on Sunday. Two other were injured in the accident late on Friday, when two cars and a motorcycle collided on the highway between Acapulco and beach city Zihuatanejo in Guerrero State, Mexico’s civil protection agency said. A one-year-old and four-year-old were killed in the accident, along with others ranging aged between 26 and 76, Guerrero’s civil protection agency said.
Seattle settles abuse suit
The City of Seattle has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed former mayor Ed Murray sexually abused him when he was a teenager. City Attorney Pete Holmes late on Saturday announced that the city will pay Delvonn Heckard US$150,000 to settle the lawsuit, which led to Murray’s resignation. The lawsuit claimed Murray raped and molested Heckard as a teen and blamed the city for enabling Murray to use his political office to slander Heckard and others for months.
Pope laments war, lies
Pope Francis in his year-end message said that last year had been marred by war, lies and injustice, and urged people to take responsibility for their actions. At his last public event of the year, an evening vespers service in St Peter’s Basilica, the pontiff said that humanity had “wasted and wounded” the year “in many ways with works of death, with lies and injustices.” While war was the most obvious sign of “unrepentant and absurd pride,” many other transgressions had caused “human, social and environmental degradation,” he said. “We must take responsibility for everything before God, our brothers and our creation,” Francis said.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: In its tender, the Hong Kong administration said that it had failed to ‘mobilise the community to support law enforcement actions’ The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to a discreet London-based PR firm to counter coverage of the territory in the international media. Consulum, which has also represented Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was on Monday awarded the ￡5 million (US$6.2 million) one-year contract to improve Hong Kong’s reputation — the same day that China passed national security legislation targeting the territory. The Mayfair-based PR business was founded by Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell, two former employees of Bell Pottinger, an agency that has been criticized for representing some governments and leaders that other businesses