Tue, Jul 02, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Rain pounds Kyushu

Torrential rain yesterday swamped the island of Kyushu, hitting 361.5mm in 24 hours in one area and triggering landslides and highway closures, with more than 800,000 people urged to evacuate. One woman in Kagoshima Prefecture was killed by a landslide, while evacuation advisories were issued for 388,000 households in Kagoshima and three other prefectures, public broadcaster NHK said. Up to an additional 150mm of rain is expected in southern Kyushu overnight and today, a Japan Meteorological Agency official said.

NEW ZEALAND

Plastic bag ban takes effect

The nation yesterday officially banned single-use plastic shopping bags, introducing hefty fines for businesses that continue to provide them. Thin plastic single-use shopping bags can no longer be supplied, but reusable carriers can be provided. Companies that break the ban will face heavy penalties, including fines of up to NZ$100,000 (US$67,000). “New Zealanders are proud of our country’s clean, green reputation and want to help ensure we live up to it,” Minister of Conservation and Land Information Eugenie Sage told Radio New Zealand. “[The ban] doesn’t go far enough, but what is really great is it’s started the conversation” about how to phase out single-use plastics.

NEPAL

Police fire on protesters

One person was killed when police opened fire on protesters after a 12-year-old boy drowned on Saturday in a sand mining pit, officials said yesterday. Angry crowds on Sunday blocked the highway holding the young boy’s body in the southern district of Sarlahi, demanding the government stop rampant sand mining of rivers, which they say is putting local communities at risk. They were also demanding compensation for the family of the victim. “Police were compelled to fire after nearly two dozen police personnel were injured by stones pelted by the protesters. Unfortunately, one person died in the firing,” local police chief Gopal Chandra Bhattarai said.

SRI LANKA

President rejects UN appeal

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said he had rejected a telephone appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to reconsider his push to reintroduce the death penalty after 43 years. “I told the secretary-general that I want to save my country from drugs,” Sirisena told a meeting in Colombo to mark his anti-narcotics drive. “He telephoned me last week shortly after I signed four death warrants. I told him to please allow me to stamp out the drug menace.” Sirisena also accused the EU of interfering in the internal affairs of his country, saying that EU diplomats had threatened him with tariffs if the government went ahead with the executions.

INDIA

Teen actress quitting film

Bollywood actress Zaira Wasim, who starred in the nation’s highest-grossing movie and has won two major acting awards, on Sunday announced she is quitting acting because it is incompatible with her Islamic faith, sparking a social media storm. Becoming a Bollywood star had “damaged” her relationship with God, the 18-year-old wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. Some people criticized her for citing religion as a reason for quitting, while former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said he wished her well. Wasim’s last film is due out in October.

VENEZUELA

Government to probe death

The government said it will investigate the death of a navy captain who was being held on charges of treason, sedition and attempted assassination of President Nicolas Maduro. Captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo, 49, was arrested on Wednesday along with three other soldiers and two police officials, joining dozens of people detained since an April 30 uprising against Maduro. Officials said the prisoner died at about 1am on Saturday at a Ministry of Defense hospital in Caracas and did not give the cause of death, Acosta Arevalo’s lawyer, Alonso Medina, said in a telephone interview. Regional organization Lima Group and Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, both called the death an assassination, with the Lima Group adding that Acosta Arevalo had shown signs of torture. In a hearing to impose charges on Friday morning, Acosta Arevalo was seen using a wheelchair, with his face bruised and his nails marked with blood, Medina said. Judge Maikel Amezquita Pion suspended the hearing and remitted the captain to Fuerte de Tiuna Hospital, which is inside a military facility in midtown Caracas.

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