Asia

Inferno kills at least 70 in Dhaka apartment blocks

by Shafiqul ALAM Agence France-Presse DHAKA, Bangladesh (AFP) — At least 70 people were killed when fire tore through crumbling apartment blocks in a historic part of Dhaka, setting off a chain of explosions and a wall of flames down nearby streets, officials said Thursday. It started in one building where chemicals for deodorants and other household uses were illegally stored and spread at lightning speed to four nearby buildings, the fire service said. People […]

11 wounded in central China knife attack

BEIJING, China (AFP) — A man with a history of mental illness wounded 11 people with a knife after attacking random pedestrians in central China, local authorities said Thursday. The suspect, a 33-year-old man named Guo Kaibin, is already in police custody, according to a social media notice posted by police in Ji’an, a city in central Jiangxi province. Citing Guo’s family, local authorities said that the attacker had a history of mental illness. While […]

Fire kills 69 in Bangladesh capital: official

by Shafiqul Alam DHAKA, Bangladesh (AFP) — At least 69 people have died in a huge blaze that tore through apartment buildings also used as chemical warehouses in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, fire officials said Thursday. Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames. Fire control room […]

UPDATED: Fire kills 56 in Bangladesh capital, says official

by Shafiqul ALAM Agence France Presse DHAKA, Bangladesh (AFP) — At least 56 people have died in a huge fire that tore through apartment buildings also used as chemical warehouses in an old part of the Bangladeshi capital, a fire official said Thursday. Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly-combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames. Bangladesh’s […]

2,500 foreign children in northeast Syria camps: charity

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — More than 2,500 foreign children from 30 countries who have fled the Islamic State group’s last redoubts are living in desperate conditions in camps in northeastern Syria, Save the Children said Thursday. The charity urged their countries of origin to “take action to ensure the safety of their citizens” as US-backed forces battle IS in the final sliver of territory it holds near the Iraqi border. “They need specialised help to […]

DFA: 3 Filipino tourists sentenced to jail in HK for using forged docs to open bank accounts

(Eagle News)—-Three Filipino call center employees were sentenced to five months in prison in Hong Kong after they opened bank accounts there using forged documents, the Department of Foreign Affairs said. In a statement, the DFA said the three were meted out a “reduced sentence for pleading guilty to two counts of “using a false instrument” before the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts. The DFA said the call center employees went to Hong Kong as tourists in […]

Six dead in Malaysia karaoke fire

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Six people, including three foreigners, were killed when a fire broke out Wednesday in a Malaysian karaoke centre, with rescuers describing scenes of chaos as the blaze engulfed the building. The fire erupted before dawn on the fourth floor of an eight-storey building in the city of Ipoh, northern Perak state. Firefighters rushed to the scene and found the bodies of six people who had died of smoke inhalation, Perak […]

Japan govt, Fukushima operator told to pay over nuclear disaster

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A Japanese court Wednesday awarded nearly $4 million in fresh damages to scores of residents forced to flee their homes after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. The Yokohama district court ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 419.6 million yen ($3.8 million) to 152 local residents, a court spokeswoman told AFP. The verdict was the fifth time the government has been ruled liable for the disaster […]

India-Pakistan tensions threaten to derail Saudi prince’s Delhi trip

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, with his business mission under threat of being overshadowed by soaring tensions between India and Pakistan. The crown prince, who wants to persuade the world’s fastest-growing major economy to consume more Saudi oil, was greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave his traditional bear hug for honored guests. The prince arrived from a […]

Pilot killed as Indian military jets collide in air show rehearsal

BANGALORE, India (AFP) — Two Indian Air Force jets practicing for an aerobatic display collided in midair Tuesday killing one of the pilots, officials said. Witnesses told how the aircraft spiraled out of control after hitting each other and crashed near a residential area outside the Yelahanka air base in the southern city of Bangalore. A huge fireball rose into the sky, they added. Only one civilian was hurt by flying debris however while two […]

Seoul willing to resume inter-Korean cooperation ahead of summit: Moon

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Seoul is willing to resume inter-Korean economic cooperation if it would help to hasten Pyongyang’s denuclearisation, President Moon Jae-in said in a phone call with Donald Trump on Tuesday. The US President and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are due to meet in Hanoi for a much-anticipated second summit on February 27-28 following their landmark first meeting in Singapore last year. Those talks –- the first-ever between the leaders […]

The race to save Myanmar’s Inle Lake

by Ye Aung THU Agence France-Presse Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar (AFP) — Myanmar’s famed Inle Lake has enchanted tourists for decades with its floating gardens and the graceful leg-rowing style of its fisherman, but experts warn the lake is drying up and urgent action is needed to avoid disaster. Each year around 200,000 foreigners and one million locals visit Inle — a vast, serene body of water surrounded by verdant hills. Many criss-cross the lake on small wooden […]