Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRALIA

Gas leak clears opera house

About 500 people yesterday were evacuated from the Sydney Opera House concourse and adjoining restaurants following a gas leak, firefighters said as they monitored the atmosphere for gas levels. Fire and Rescue New South Wales said on Twitter that gas company workers were fixing the problem. The leak happened when a low pressure gas main was hit during construction at the venue, the Australian newspaper reported.

PHILIPPINES

Quake hits day after first

A new powerful earthquake yesterday hit the center of the nation, a day after a magnitude 6.1 quake hit its north and killed at least 16 people. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of yesterday’s quake at 6.4, while the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said that it was a magnitude of 6.5. The quake was centered near the town of San Julian in Eastern Samar Province and prompted residents to dash out of houses and office workers to scamper to safety. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage from the new quake.

JAPAN

North Korea stance eases

The government yesterday dropped the push to apply “maximum pressure” on North Korea from its official foreign policy, an apparent softening of Tokyo’s position as major powers engage with Pyongyang. In last year’s Diplomatic Bluebook, published when tensions on the Korean Peninsula were soaring, the government said that it was coordinating efforts with its allies to “maximize pressure on North Korea by all available means.” “There have been major developments in the situation surrounding North Korea in light of events such as the US-North Korea summits in June last year and February,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

INDIA

Others to fill Iran oil loss

The government plans to get additional supplies from other major oil producing countries to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said yesterday. The US on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by Wednesday next week or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that had allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers to continue to import limited volumes. Pradhan said on Twitter that a robust plan is in place to supply crude oil to refineries. “Refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol, diesel and other petroleum products,” he said.

ALGERIA

Richest man held for graft

The nation’s richest man, Issad Rebrab, has been placed in jail on the public prosecutor’s orders, the official Algeria Press Service (APS) reported yesterday, a day after his arrest as part of a corruption probe. Rebrab, the chief executive of the nation’s biggest privately owned conglomerate, Cevital, was placed in detention overnight, APS said. It comes in the wake of youth, which make up two-thirds of the population, initiating nationwide protests that earlier this month toppled the only leader they had ever known: former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999. “We are trying to make all the Algerian people follow us so that we can be unified to make a better Algeria,” said Sofiane Smain, a 23-year-old computing student.

AUSTRIA

Rat poem causes stir

The anti-migration Freedom Party has called “tasteless” a poem written by a local official that compared migrants with rats. The Town Rat appeared in a local party publication in Braunau. It warned against mixing cultures and drew strong criticism from the center-left opposition. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative who governs with the party as his coalition partner, on Monday demanded that its branch in Upper Austria Province distance itself from the poem and said that “the choice of words is abhorrent, inhuman and deeply racist.”

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