Tag Archive | News

21 dead in China coal mine explosion

At least 21 miners in China are dead after an explosion at a coal mine in the southwestern Guizhou province earlier today, according to reports.

Anshun prefecture within the Guizhou province

The incident occurred at the Yuanyang mines in the city of Anshun. According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, there were ten other workers in the mine who were rescued.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, although it is being investigated, Xinhua reports. The colliery is operated by the government of the local township.

A rescue worker present at the scene says five of the survivors were hospitalised due to carbon monoxide inhalation. “We arrived at the mine to carry out the rescue at midnight, and helped bring three of the survivors out of the shaft,” he told Xinhua.

Despite an initiative to increase the safety of collieries, Chinese mines are among the most dangerous in the world; official statistics say 2,631 workers died in 1,616 separate incidents last year, although the figure is down 18% from 2008.

US closes embassy in Thailand

A string of anti-government protests in Bangkok yesterday resulted in at least one fatality, numerous others injured, and the temporary closure of several foreign embassies in Thailand.

Philip Crowley, a spokesperson for the US State Department, announced early Thursday morning that the US embassy would be closed to the public due to its location near the violence.

The embassy will be operating with a reduced staff and will not offer American citizens services until the conflict is resolved. The British and Dutch embassies in Thailand also halted their services after the Thai government said that it would seal off the area.

The leader of the protests was fugitive Major-General Khattiya Sawasdipol, the radical leader of the militant Red Shirt movement. While giving interviews with foreign journalists, Sawasdipol appeared to have been shot in the head by a sniper. He was later taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Read More…

Dissident Thai General shot by sniper while talking to NYT reporter

Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol was shot in the head yesterday while talking to a New York Times newspaper reporter and just as Schearf approached him to ask a question.

Seconds later, protest security guards yelled at journalists and on-lookers to stay back as they tried to help the general – also known as Seh Daeng  – into a van and to the hospital.  After he was driven away, explosions rang out and the protesters, called the Red Shirts, scattered.

One protester, who was trying to get people to leave the area, says soldiers fired a grenade and used live ammunition.  The protester said, “A soldier, Thai soldier, he shoot M16 and M79 to Thai people, Red Shirts.”  But his claims could not be verified in the ensuring chaos. Read More…

Mohamed Al-Fayed sold Harrods to Qatari royal family

Harrods was sold to the Qatar royal family for £1.5 billion with chief executive Al Fayed planning to retire. Al Fayed will be given the role of “honorary chairman” though will have little day-to-day involvement with the store.

The sale was concluded in the early hours of 8 May and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani was sent to London to finalise the deal, saying that the acquisition of Harrods would add “much value” to the investment portfolio of Qatar Holdings while his deputy, Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, called it a “landmark transaction”.

A spokesman for Fayed said “in reaching the decision to retire, [Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued.” Read More…

Two explosions at a mine in Russia

The first blast occurred at 20:55 Moscow Summer Time (16:55 UTC) with the second at 01:00 MST (21:00 UTC). The explosions were confirmed by investigators to have been caused by methane gas.

A secondary explosion was reported approximately four hours later, with 20 rescue workers now among those missing. The second explosion caused a collapse of the mine’s ventilation shaft, drastically reducing the flow of fresh air into the mine.

Rescue efforts were suspended after the second blast. As of 10 May 2010, 30 people were confirmed to have died, at least 71 injured and up to 80 remained trapped underground.

The Russian emergencies minister confirmed that rescue efforts were ongoing, saying “There is always a chance of recovery.” Rescue work resumed late on 9 May after methane levels had dropped below safety limits and, at the peak of the operation, 560 people were involved with aid being sent from other parts of Russia.

Nigerian President Yar’Adua has died

Presidential aides and state television announced yesterday that the Nigerian president, Umaru Yar’Adua, died.

Umaru Yar'Adua

Yar’Adua ascended to the presidency in 2007, but was later taken ill, and had not been publicly seen for the last few months.

He was hospitalised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to get inflammated tissue around his heart treated; it was later diagnosed as acute pericarditis.

According to the BBC, Nigerian reports indicated the president died between 21.00 and 22.00 local time (20.00 to 21.00 UTC) in Abuja, the capital.

Goodluck Jonathan, the vice-president, became the acting president this February; under the constitution, he is to now be sworn in formally and will appoint a new vice-president.

The Nigerian Television Authority broadcast the news, saying: “The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, died a few hours ago at the presidential villa. Security aides notified the national security adviser, General Anou Bissou, who immediately called the acting president. The late president has been ill for some time.” Read More…

Expo 2010 largest world’s fair, opens in Shanghai

Expo 2010 Shanghai China is being held on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, from May 1 to October 31, 2010.

Expo Axis, Shanghai

It is a World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions. The theme of the exposition is “Better City – Better Life” and signifies Shanghai’s new status in the 21st century as the “next great world city”.

More than 190 countries and more than 50 international organizations have registered to participate in the Shanghai World Expo, the largest ever. Read More…