Evacuations ordered along Brazos River as historic floods hit Texas

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (Reuters) — Mandatory evacuations were ordered on Tuesday (May 31) along the swollen Brazos River in Texas ahead of what could be the worst flooding in more than 100 years after at least six people died. Forecasters predicted more rain as the Brazos rose to levels not seen in 103 years after heavy rainfall late last week and was expected to crest at about 53 feet (17.6 meters) on Tuesday, according […]

Four killed in S. Korea subway site collapse

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Four workers were killed and 10 others injured in a collapse Wednesday at a subway construction site near the South Korean capital Seoul, the fire department said. The victims were doing welding work 15 meters underground when an explosion — possibly of an oxygen tank — caused the surrounding structure to cave in on top of them. Four workers were killed, while the injured, some of them with severe burns, […]

Man loses leg in Australia shark attack

PERTH, Australia (AFP) — A surfer was critical Wednesday after a shark ripped off his leg in an attack in Australia’s west with witnesses recounting how “all hell broke loose” as his board was snapped in half. The attack happened at Falcon Beach, a suburb south of Perth, late Tuesday not long after Surf Life Saving WA, a volunteer non-profit organisation, tweeted that a shark, believed to be a great white, had been sighted in […]

Taliban kill 16 bus passengers in northern Afghanistan: officials

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (AFP) — The Taliban killed at least 16 people and kidnapped dozens of others on Tuesday after pulling them from buses in northern Afghanistan, officials said, in the latest assault since the insurgents named a new leader last week. The Taliban have so far not commented on the incident in Aliabad district in the volatile province of Kunduz, where the insurgents briefly overran the provincial capital in a stunning military victory last year. “The […]

Fallen Australian soldiers repatriated from Malaysia

  (Reuters) — The remains of 32 fallen Australian soldiers, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam war, were repatriated from Malaysia on Tuesday (May 31) in one of the largest such exercises in Australia’s history. The remains of Australian servicemen buried at Malaysia’s Terendak Military Cemetery were handed over to Australian officials during a repatriation ceremony held at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base in Subang. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission […]

6.1 magnitude quake hits Taiwan

(Eagle News) — A 6.1 magnitude quake shook northeast Taiwan, with its epicenter located 57.2 miles or 92 kilometers east northeast of Keelung, Taiwan, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quake struck 1:23 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, and was felt even in Taipei, the country’s capital, where tremors were felt in buildings.  There were no immediate reports of damage. The previous quake that hit Taiwan happened on May 12, measuring 5.6 in […]

17 killed in India army ammunition depot fire: reports

MUMBAI, India (AFP) — India’s military has a history of fires and other accidents that have been blamed on lax safety standards, including a blaze on a submarine that left two officers dead off the Mumbai coast in 2014. Firefighters using ten fire engines worked through the night to contain the depot blaze, Ramesh Barde, a fire officer with the Nagpur fire department, told AFP. “The fire broke out at 1:30 am (2100 GMT Monday) and […]

Pentagon chief heads to Asian summit as nations fret over S. China Sea

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will depart Tuesday for an Asian security summit in Singapore, where Beijing’s military expansion across the South China Sea likely will once again dominate discussions. Regional neighbors are fretting over what they see as China’s expansionism as it rushes to exert sovereignty over the waterway, a major global shipping route believed to be home to large oil and gas reserves. China is using dredgers and […]

Big airline LATAM suspends flights to Venezuela

SANTIAGO, Chile (AFP) — Latin America’s biggest airline LATAM said Monday it will suspend its flights to crisis-hit Venezuela for an indefinite period, following a similar move by German carrier Lufthansa. Chile-based LATAM Airlines group and its Peruvian and Brazilian subsidiaries decided to cut the flights “due to the complex macroeconomic situation that the region is currently going through,” it said in a statement. It said challenging economic conditions in Latin America were prompting changes […]

Rio police hunt gang rape suspects

by Sebastian Smith RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Rio police arrested two men Monday and hunted four others in the alleged gang rape of an unconscious teenage girl that came to light in an online video that shocked Brazil. Globo television showed footage of heavily armed police in black uniforms outside a house in a favela in the west of Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics in August. They were searching for […]

US zoo defends killing gorilla that grabbed boy

by Thomas WATKINS WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The director of an Ohio zoo on Monday defended the killing of a critically endangered gorilla as it dragged a young boy who had fallen into its enclosure in a horrifying incident captured on video. Harambe, a 17-year-old male western lowland silverback gorilla, was shot after the four-year-old crawled through a barrier and tumbled 15 feet (4.5 meters) into the Cincinnati Zoo enclosure on Saturday. Video footage […]

Chief Syria opposition negotiator quits over failed peace talks

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) — The Syrian opposition’s chief negotiator in UN-brokered peace talks has announced his resignation, branding the stalled Geneva negotiations a failure on both the security and humanitarian fronts. “The three rounds of talks were unsuccessful because of the stubbornness of the regime and its continued bombardments and aggression towards the Syrian people,” Mohammed Alloush, a member of the Saudi-backed rebel group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), said late Sunday in a statement […]