More landslide bodies found
Rescuers have recovered 36 bodies three days after a massive landslide in Tibet buried more than 80 mine workers, China National Radio reported yesterday.Another 47 miners remain missing under 2 million cubic meters of earth east of Lhasa, with about 3,500 emergency workers battling snow and altitude sickness to search for them. Two of the bodies were found on Saturday and the rest on Sunday, and the search will continue “as long as there was a 1 percent chance” of recovering bodies, the radio quoted a rescue worker as saying.
Deaths building wreck at 34
Rescuers have pulled more bodies from the rubble of a building that collapsed in the nation’s economic capital, Dar es Salaam, bringing the toll to 34 three days after the crash, a government official said yesterday. “Ten bodies were found between Sunday afternoon and dawn today. This brings the total number confirmed dead to 34,” Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Saidi Mecky Sadicky said. “We will continue looking for more bodies and perhaps we will find more.” Sadicky said rescuers had managed to excavate the rubble up to the ground floor level, but “we will go on until we reach the basement of the building.” Between 60 and 70 people are thought to have been around the partially built 16-story building when it came crashing down on Friday morning in the Kisutu area of the coastal city.
Crash kills two pilots
The Ministry of National Defense says two air force pilots were killed when their Russian-made Su-27 fighter crashed during a training mission. The ministry said in a news release yesterday that the plane went down on a beach near the coastal city of Rongcheng in Shandong Province. It did not offer any reason for Sunday afternoon’s crash and said there were no reports of damage or injuries to people on the ground. The government began purchasing Su-27s in the early 1990s and many of the planes are near the end of their expected lifespans.
Flash floods kill at least 10
At least 10 people have been killed in flash floods and more downpours could be on the way, officials and the Indian Ocean island’s meteorological service said on Sunday.The deaths occurred on Saturday and most of the victims were trapped in an underpass leading to the Caudan Waterfront, a commercial area in Port Louis. Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said on Sunday that Port Louis had a torrential downpour with 152mm falling in two hours. “The speed of the torrents of water has led to tragic loss of life and heavy damage to property,” he said, adding that he was declaring yesterday a day of mourning.
Mandela’s health improving
Former president Nelson Mandela had a restful day in a hospital on Sunday and is improving following treatment for a recurrence of pneumonia, President Jacob Zuma’s office said. It thanked people who prayed for 94-year-old Mandela at Easter church services, as well as people around the world who showed their “love and support in various ways” for Mandela and his family. Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital near midnight on Wednesday, his third trip to a hospital since December last year.
Suicide bomber kills police
Officials said that a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck near a police station in Tikrit, killing five policemen. Health official Raed Ibrahim said the attack also wounded 15. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
King, Abbas ink deal
King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a deal on Sunday confirming the nation’s historic role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, the palace said. The two sides stressed their “common goal to defending” Jerusalem and its sacred sites. “In this historic agreement, Abbas reiterated that the king is the custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem and that he has the right to exert all legal efforts to preserve them, especially Al-Aqsa mosque,” the palace said in a statement. “It is also emphasizing the historical principles agreed by Jordan and Palestine to exert joint efforts to protect the city and holy sites from Israeli Judaization attempts.” Al-Aqsa compound is Islam’s third holiest site and houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques. It is also Judaism’s most sacred place of worship, venerated by Jews as Temple Mount, the site where King Herod’s temple stood before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Tycoon’s friend speaks out
The 23-year-old girlfriend of oligarch Boris Berezovsky yesterday said she did not believe he had killed himself and that they had been planning to go to Israel on holiday together days after he was found dead. In an interview with liberal weekly New Times, Katerina Sabirova said she did not believe Berezovsky, 67, would have killed himself, and that in their last conversation a day before his death, his voice “had sounded better than usual.” Berezovsky, 67, was found on March 23 in the bathroom of a mansion outside London and a postmortem found that he had been hanged and no evidence of a struggle. “He was definitely planning to come to Israel on Monday [March 25]. I know that for sure,” she told the magazine and gave them a printout of her air ticket to Tel Aviv. He had proposed the trip on March 18 because her British visa had run out, she said.
Sondheim wins arts award
Composer Stephen Sondheim has won one of the top honors in the arts world, the Edward MacDowell Medal for lifetime achievement. The MacDowell Colony, the artist residency program, announced on Sunday that Sondheim has received an award that has been given to Robert Frost and Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. The 83-year-old Sondheim is known for such classic musicals as A Little Night Music and Into the Woods. He will accept the medal at an August ceremony.
Pattycake dies at 40
Pattycake, the first gorilla born in New York City, has died at the Bronx Zoo. She was 40 years old. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the zoo, made the announcement on Sunday. Pattycake was born at the Central Park Zoo on Sept. 3, 1972, and lived there with her parents Kongo and Lulu until 1983, when she went to live in the Bronx. She was “an institution in New York City,” Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said. Pattycake had 10 infants, including two twins born in 1995. She was the 31st oldest gorilla of 338 living in North American zoos.