Boy survives plane crash
A 12-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed eight people in remote Papua Province, authorities said yesterday. The Swiss-made Pilatus aircraft on Saturday lost contact with air traffic control during a flight of about 40 minutes. The wreckage of the plane was found in a heavily forested area on a mountain side in the Oksibil district yesterday morning. “Eight passengers were found dead and one was found alive,” Papua military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dax Sianturi said. The plane, which was owned by private charter company Dimonim Air, was carrying seven passengers and two crew members.
Rain forces evacuations
More than 54,000 people were moved to safer ground in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, while calls for help swamped social media. Marikina implemented forced evacuations affecting at least 21,000 people after its river, the catch basin of water flowing from the mountains, reached critical level. In nearby Rizal province, 19,000 people were moved. Families were on rooftops in Marikina waiting for rescue, Twitter posts of people seeking help showed. Floodwaters in some areas were chest high, rendering roads impassable, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said. A tropical storm and another weather disturbance outside the country are enhancing the southwest monsoon, bringing widespread rain over the main Luzon island, including Metro Manila.
Okinawans protest US base
Tens of thousands of protesters on Okinawa Island vowed to stop the planned relocation of a US military base, saying that they want it off the island entirely. Opponents of the relocation have said that the plan to move US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded neighborhood to a less populated coastal site would not only be an environmental debacle, but also ignore local wishes to remove the base. About 70,000 people on Saturday gathered at a park in the prefectural capital of Naha under pouring rain ahead of a typhoon and observed a moment of silence for Okinawan governor Takeshi Onaga, who on Wednesday died of cancer.
US returning church bells
The US is to return three church bells seized by US forces in a bloody campaign more than a century ago, its embassy said yesterday, following a demand by President Rodrigo Duterte. US forces in 1901 took three bells from the Catholic church of Balangiga town on Samar Island as war booty in what historians said was a particularly brutal military operation in the new US colony. Duterte and previous Philippine governments have urged Washington to return the bells.
German student expelled
German graduate student David Missal, 24, was yesterday due to return to Germany after immigration authorities told him that his student visa was canceled and he had a week to leave the country. Missal, who was pursuing a master’s degree in journalism and communication at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said that he thinks it is because he reported on the plight of jailed human rights lawyers in a journalism class. Missal said that a Tsinghua representative this year warned him twice against pursuing the politically sensitive subject, but he went ahead anyway because he wanted to “get to learn Chinese society and politics.”
Ten hurt in shooting
Police in Manchester say 10 people have been hospitalized as the result of a shooting after a Caribbean carnival in the city. Greater Manchester police say the injuries range from “minor to major,” but most do not appear to be life-threatening. The shooting was reported about 2:30am yesterday. Detective Superintendent Debbie Dooley said police were trying to establish “exactly where this incident took place and who is responsible for such a dangerous attack.”
Maduro open to FBI help
President Nicolas Maduro has said that he would let US FBI agents come help investigate the alleged recent plot to kill him with explosive drones, but with conditions. If US officials confirm “the offer for the FBI to investigate links in Florida with the assassination plan ... I would agree for the FBI to come here,” Maduro said at a late on Saturday at an event with top military leaders. He said there are “terrorist cells” in Florida led by a man called Osman Delgado Tabosky, whom he claims was the mastermind of the alleged plot. Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza on Wednesday said that the US charge d’affairs in Caracas, James Story, “expressed his concern” over the alleged Aug. 4 murder plot, as well as “the willingness of his government to cooperate.”
Saudis asked to explain
The European Commission has asked Saudi Arabia to shed light on the arrests and charges facing female human rights activists, saying that the detainees should be granted due process to defend themselves. “The EU has been engaging constructively with the Saudi authorities seeking clarification on the circumstances surrounding the arrests of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, notably with regard to the specific accusations brought against them,” a spokeswoman for High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said. “We have been emphasizing the relevance of the role of human rights defenders and civil society groups in the process of reform which the kingdom is pursuing as well as the importance of respecting the rules of due process for all those arrested.”
Heat triggers egg-laying
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust charity says record-breaking temperatures have encouraged a rare flock of Andean flamingos to lay eggs for the first time since 2003. The trust says six of the birds laid nine eggs, all of which were infertile. The charity’s reserve in Gloucestershire then gave the Andean flamingos eggs from near-relatives, Chilean flamingos, to look after. Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the Slimbridge reserve, said “with the Andeans in full parenting mode, we gave them Chilean chicks to bring up as their own. It’s great motivation and enriching for the birds.”
Wrong escape route picked
Fleeing the police after a car crash in Paris, a man who had been driving without a license took the ultimate wrong turn — and ended up taking refuge inside the headquarters of France’s spy agency. According to a police source, the driver fled after being involved in a crash on Friday on the Peripherique Boulevard ring road, scaling a fence several meters high to get off the busy artery. What he did not realize was that he had unwittingly climbed into the grounds of the General Directorate of External Security, according to the Parisien newspaper. He was immediately picked up and arrested.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”