Ten to die for bomb attack
The Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court yesterday sentenced 10 members of banned Islamist militant group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami to death for a bomb attack on a Communist Party rally in 2001. Judge Mohammed Rabiul Alam made the order in a crowded courtroom while four of the defendants were in the dock. Six of the defendants sentenced to death have absconded. The court acquitted two others who fled. On Jan. 20, 2001, bomb attacks on a party rally in Dhaka killed five people and wounded 50 others. Alam said investigators found Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami’s former chief Mufti Abdul Hannan responsible for the party attack, but his name was dropped from the case because he was executed in 2017. He was hanged for a separate case involving a grenade attack on a British high commissioner in Bangladesh.
Plastic ban by year-end
The nation is to ban non-degradable plastic bags in major cities and single-use straws from restaurants by the end of this year in a bid to cut down on waste. The plan targets a 30 percent reduction in non-degradable, disposable tableware for takeout in major cities within five years. In a document released on Sunday, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the production and sale of disposable foam and plastic tableware are to be banned by the end of the year. The plan also outlaws non-degradable, single-use straws in the catering industry this year, while disposable plastic products should not be “actively provided” by hotels by 2022. By 2025, the authorities said they planned to effectively control plastic pollution and cut the amount of waste in landfills of key cities, on top of setting up a management system.
Footbridge falls, killing nine
A footbridge across a river swollen by heavy rains collapsed on the island of Sumatra, drowning at least nine people who were swept away by a strong current, with one person missing, disaster mitigation officials said. Seventeen people were rescued at the site of Sunday’s collapse in the province of Bengkulu, where the national disaster mitigation agency has launched a rescue effort, spokesman Agus Wibowo said. A crowd of about 30 people, mostly students, gathered on the bridge could have caused a strain leading to the collapse, Wibowo said. “They were watching the floods in the river below and then the bridge snapped, so they fell into the overflowing river,” he added.
Quake causes damage
A strong earthquake damaged buildings and injured at least one person seriously in the Xinjiang region, the government said yesterday. Rescue teams were sent to Peyzawat County, an area east of the city of Kashgar, after the Sunday night quake. State broadcaster CCTV showed a cluster of small collapsed brick buildings and partially fallen walls that fronted properties along the street. The Ministry of Emergency Management said a number of people were injured, one seriously. CCTV reported at least two had minor injuries. The magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck at 9:21pm at a depth of 16km, the China Earthquake Networks Center said. The epicenter was 56km from Peyzawat and shaking was felt in the cities of Kashgar and Artux, the center said. The US Geological Survey reported the earthquake’s magnitude as 6.0 and its depth as 11km.
‘Times’ backs two democrats
The New York Times has endorsed two candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. The paper said on Sunday it had chosen the two most effective candidates from the moderate and progressive sides of the party — without stating a preference for either approach. It praised Warren as “a gifted story teller” and Klobuchar as “the very definition” of Midwestern charisma and grit. The Times said former vice president Joe Biden has years of experience, but also noted his age, 77, desire and occasional gaffes. “It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders,” the paper said.
Alaska volcano emits ash
An Alaska volcano that has been rumbling since the middle of summer on Sunday shot ash about 8km into the sky, triggering a warning to aviators and dusting a small fishing village, officials reported. Shishaldin Volcano, one of the most active in Alaska, kicked out a plume of ash that satellite imagery detected as high as 8,535m above sea level, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the joint federal-state-university office that tracks the state’s many volcanoes. A sprinkling of ash was reported in the tiny Aleutian village of False Pass, about 37km northeast of the Shishaldin, said David Fee, the observatory’s University of Alaska Fairbanks coordinating scientist. “Someone reported some ash on their windshield,” he said.
Cartel suspect extradited
Prosecutors on Sunday said that they have extradited to the US an associate of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Local media identified the suspect as Jose Sanchez Villalobos, a financial operator and tunnel builder for the jailed Guzman. “US prosecutors determined that Jose S. was the head of a criminal organization,” a statement from the prosecutors’ office said.
Boiling water kills five
Five people died in the city of Perm yesterday after a hot-water pipe exploded in the night and flooded a basement hotel room with boiling water, a regional investigative committee said. At least three other people were taken to hospital with burns after the incident in the Mini Hotel Caramel, which is in the basement of a residential building, the committee said. Investigators opened a criminal case under the charge of the provision of services that do not meet safety requirements, with forensic investigators on hand to interview people who were at the scene, carry out examinations and secure evidence at the site.
Inmates escape prison
Nearly 80 prisoners, many of them members of a big Brazilian drug and arms-trafficking gang and described as “highly dangerous,” on Sunday escaped from a prison near the border with Brazil, police said. The inmates, who were Brazilian and Paraguayan, made their getaway through a tunnel they had dug from the prison in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, police spokeswoman Elena Andrada said. “Our best men have gone to the border to attempt to recapture the prisoners,” Andrada said. Minister of Justice Cecilia Perez told reporters that it must have taken prisoners “several weeks” to build the tunnel. “It is evident that the staff knew nothing and did nothing,” Perez said. The prison’s warden was dismissed and dozens of guards were arrested.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,