Kurz vows to take back job
Ousted leader Sebastian Kurz, 32, on Monday started his campaign to take back the chancellery after his estranged coalition partners in the Freedom Party joined the opposition in a vote to dismiss him. The youngest Austrian head of government also became the shortest-serving and the first to be thrown out of office since the nation was reconstituted after World War II. President Alexander Van der Bellen yesterday appointed Minister of Finance Hartwig Loeger acting chancellor. An interim administration is to be named in the coming week that can govern until snap elections are held in September. “Parliament decided today, but at the end of the day, in September, in a democracy the people decide,” Kurz said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
Everest claims 11th fatality
A US climber has died after descending from Everest, officials said yesterday, taking this season’s toll to 11, including several deaths blamed on overcrowding on the world’s highest mountain. Christopher John Kulish, 61, had already climbed the 8,848m peak and was safely back at a camp below the summit on Monday evening. “All of a sudden he had a heart problem and passed away at South Col, according to his expedition organizers,” said Mira Acharya, from the tourism department. The government issued a record 381 Everest permits this season and a short weather window resulted in some teams waiting several hours in the dangerous “dead zone,” running out of oxygen supplies and risking exhaustion.
Soldiers in massacre freed
Seven soldiers jailed for killing a group of Rohingya Muslims have been released from jail, despite serving less time than two reporters imprisoned for exposing the massacre. Prisons Department Director-General Myint Soe told reporters the soldiers were “no longer in detention,” declining to give any further information. Four officers and three soldiers were sentenced last year to 10 years with hard labor for killing 10 Rohingya villagers. Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who helped expose the killing, were jailed in September last year for seven years on charges linked to their reporting. They were granted a presidential pardon this month after spending more than 500 days in jail.
Sydney restricts water
Sydney yesterday announced its first major water restrictions in a decade, putting limits on homes and businesses amid a record-breaking drought. The New South Wales government said the greater Sydney region water catchments were experiencing some of the lowest flows since the 1940s and that the restrictions would be enforced from next week. People in Sydney can be fined up to A$220 (US$150) or businesses up to A$550 for leaving a hose running or using a sprinkler system to water their gardens.
Tainted liquor kills five
Five people died and 19 were being treated in hospital after drinking spurious liquor in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a district official said yesterday. The victims fell ill after consuming the liquor on Monday night and were taken to a hospital, where three of them died, district magistrate Udai Bhanu Tripathi said. Two more died en route and 19 were being treated. State officials would make every effort to hunt down the culprit and assist the bereaved families, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Twitter.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies