Landslides kill 15
Landslides in the nation’s south have left at least 15 people dead, 20 injured and two missing, authorities said on Monday, warning that the toll from the disaster could rise. “The number of people dead so far has risen to 15,” said the directorate of the National Civil Defense Institute in the Arequipa region, where mud and rock slides began on Sunday as a result of torrential rains. Hardest hit were four villages in an area called Nicolas Valcarcel. Arequipa Governor Rohel Sanchez told Canal N television that “the situation in these four towns is really bad.” In hills near the villages, miners were working and were probably swept away, Sanchez said. “There is a high probability that in the tunnels themselves there are also people who are dead there.”
Senators question Meta
Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, chair and vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote to Facebook parent Meta Platforms on Monday about documents that show it knew developers in China and Russia had access to user data that could be used for espionage. “It appears from these documents that Facebook has known, since at least September 2018, that hundreds of thousands of developers in countries Facebook characterized as ‘high-risk,’ including the People’s Republic of China, had access to significant amounts of sensitive user data,” Warner and Rubio wrote in the letter to company founder Mark Zuckerberg. The letter said an internal Meta document showed that nearly 90,000 developers in China had been given access to information about users, including profile data, photographs and private messages even though Facebook had never been able to operate in China. More than 42,000 developers in Russia, and thousands in Iran and North Korea, also had access to the information, they wrote.
Powerball pays US$747m
Someone in Washington State on Monday won an estimated US$747 million Powerball jackpot. The winning numbers were 05, 11, 22, 23, 69 and the Powerball 07. Lottery officials did not immediately make an announcement of a winner, but the Powerball Web site said there was a jackpot winner in Washington State. The site also said that the jackpot for the next drawing on Thursday had dropped to US$20 million. It was the first Powerball jackpot win since Nov. 19, 2022. That winless streak allowed the prize to grow until it stood as the ninth-largest in the nation’s history. The jackpot on Monday is for a winner opting for an annuity paid over 29 years.
Intruder breaches base
An intruder has breached the home of Air Force One and a resident opened fire on the trespasser, Joint Base Andrews (JBA) said in a statement on Monday. During the incident, which occurred at about 11:30am, “a man gained unauthorized access to a JBA housing area,” it said in a statement on Twitter. “A resident discharged a firearm, security forces arrived on scene to apprehend the intruder and law enforcement is investigating the incident.” JBA is home to the fleet of blue-and-white presidential aircraft, including Air Force One, Marine One and the “doomsday” 747 aircraft that can serve as the nation’s airborne nuclear command and control centers if needed.
The US and the Philippines plan to announce new sites as soon as possible for an expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which gives the Western power access to military bases in the Southeast Asian country. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr last month granted the US access to four military bases, on top of five existing locations under the 2014 EDCA, amid China’s increasing assertiveness regarding the South China Sea and Taiwan. Speaking at the Basa Air Base in Manila, one of the existing EDCA sites, US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said the defense agreements between the two countries
‘DUAL PURPOSE’: Upgrading the port is essential for the Solomon Islands’ economy and might not be military focused, but ‘it is not about bases, it is about access,’ an analyst said The Solomon Islands has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to a Chinese state company to upgrade an international port in Honiara in a project funded by the Asian Development Bank, a Solomon Islands official said yesterday. China Civil Engineering Construction Co (CCECC) was the only company to submit a bid in the competitive tender, Solomon Islands Ministry of Infrastructure Development official Mike Qaqara said. “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces,” Qaqara said. Responding to concerns that the port could be deepened for Chinese naval access, he said there would be “no expansion.” The Solomon
CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS: The US destroyer’s routine operations in the South China Sea would have ‘serious consequences,’ the defense ministry said China yesterday threatened “serious consequences” after the US Navy sailed a destroyer around the disputed Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) in the South China Sea for the second day in a row, in a move Beijing claimed was a breach of its sovereignty and security. The warning came amid growing tensions between China and the US in the region, as Washington pushes back at Beijing’s growingly assertive posture in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway it claims virtually in its entirety. On Thursday, after the US sailed the USS Milius guided-missile destroyer near the Paracel Islands, China said its navy and
Seven stories above a shop floor hawking cheap perfume and nylon underwear, Thailand’s “shopping mall gorilla” sits alone in a cage — her home for 30 years despite a reignited row over her captivity. Activists around the world have long campaigned for the primate to be moved from Pata Zoo, on top of a Bangkok mall, with singer Cher and actor Gillian Anderson adding their voices in 2020. However, the family who owns Bua Noi — whose name translates as “little lotus” — have resisted public and government pressure to relinquish the critically endangered animal. The gorilla has lived at Pata for more