Fri, May 11, 2018 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



Lightning strikes kill dozens

Dozens of people have been killed by lightning strikes as pre-monsoon thunderstorms wreaked havoc across the country, an official said yesterday. Farmers harvesting rice in open fields made up the majority of victims, Department of Disaster Management Director Iftekharul Islam told reporters. “In the last 24 hours, 29 people have died from lightning in 12 districts. Almost all of them are farmers,” he said. Scores of people die every year after being struck by lightning during Bangladesh’s wet season, which runs from April to October, but officials have said the numbers are exceptionally high this year. More than 112 people had been killed in strikes in the first 10 days of this month, Islam said. “Every day 10 to 12 people are dying from lightning,” he said, adding that it was instilling fear in farmers who harvest rice during this time of the year. Authorities declared lightning a natural disaster after 82 people were killed in a single day in May 2016. Independent monitors estimated that some 349 Bangladeshis died from lightning that year.


Burst dam kills at least 20

A dam burst in the town of Solai in Nakuru County after weeks of heavy rain, causing “huge destruction” and deaths, a government official said yesterday, while a local TV station said 20 bodies had so far been recovered. The dam gave way late on Wednesday. “The water has caused huge destruction of both life and property. The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained,” Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyajui said in a statement. Private TV station KTN News said that 20 bodies had been recovered from the scene. The Kenya Red Cross said on Twitter it had rescued 39 people so far. The nation, like other countries in east Africa, has experienced heavy rain over the past two months. The government on Wednesday said the rain had killed 132 people and displaced 222,456 in 32 counties since March.


Nicknames allowed for vote

A northern state is allowing 194 candidates to put nicknames next to their formal names on ballots for the July 1 elections. The nicknames include El Bigoton (Big Mustache), La Comadre (the Godmother) and “Paty Tamales.” The Nuevo Leon State Electoral Commission on Tuesday ruled that state law allows the candidates for state assembly and local posts to use nicknames that are not vulgar or intended to insult or confuse people. It might sound a bit informal, but it is the new normal in a state whose governor refers to himself by the nickname El Bronco. The use of nicknames has become so common that some struggle to remember the governor’s real name, Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, who is now on leave and is an independent candidate for president.


Facebook dissident jailed

A court has sentenced a Facebook user to more than four years in jail for posts that the court said distorted the political situation in the country and opposed the ruling Communist Party and the state. A state-run newspaper said 56-year-old Bui Hieu Vo was convicted of conducting anti-state propaganda at the one-day trial on Wednesday in the People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City. Newspaper Tuoi Tre said authorities found 57 posts on Vo’s Facebook page that opposed the party and instigated people to engage in terrorist activities. He was arrested in March last year. The newspaper said that police in northern Thanh Hoa Province on Tuesday had detained Nguyen Duy Son for Facebook posts that defamed the country’s leaders.

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