20 die in Colombia building collapse

Bogota: Twenty people died in the collapse of a residential building in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena, the mayor said on Twitter today after a two-day rescue operation. The tragedy occurred on Thursday, when the six-story building came crashing down for reasons that are being investigated, the Red Cross told. Emergency personnel saved 41 people from the rubble, 16 of them badly hurt. The mayor, Manolo Duque, said 12

Cuba military says plane crashes, 8 dead

Havana: An official says a Cuban military plane has crashed in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight people. A source briefed on the situation says the plane belongs to Aerogaviota, an airline run by the Cuban military that serves Cuban government agencies. Those include state-run tourism companies and the Cuban oil company. Aerogaviota was confirming the crash to Cuban officials without releasing details. The person briefed on the situation

Hindu temple vandalised in Pakistan, case registered

Karachi: A Hindu temple in Pakistan has been vandalised in the southern Sindh province and a case of blasphemy and terrorism has been registered against three unidentified persons, the police said today. The police said idols of deities were damaged and some of the broken parts were found in a nearby sewerage line. The incident occurred yesterday in Thatta district’s Gharo town. A case of blasphemy and terrorism has been registered. The

Woman shot by police in anti-terror raid

London: A woman was shot by police in London during an anti-terror raid following an intelligence operation, the city’s Metropolitan Police have said. The woman in her twenties was shot at an address in north-west London during an “ongoing counter terrorism investigation”, police yesterday said in a statement. She was one of the subjects of the terror probe and remains under police guard in hospital. The evening raid saw three

Syrian swimmer turns Goodwill Ambassador for UN refugees

United Nations: Yusra Mardini, a Syrian woman who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees, has been appointed by the UN agency for refugees as its new Goodwill Ambassador. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Mardini’s actions saved the lives of 20 refugees who were fleeing the Syrian capital, Damascus. Mardini, 19, was also one of the 10 athletes who made up the historic Olympic Refugee

Seoul rejects Trump's demand to pay for missile system

Seoul: Seoul today brushed aside US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that it should pay for a USD 1 billion missile defence system the two allies are installing in South Korea to guard against threats from the North. The first parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system have already been delivered to a former golf course in the South — infuriating China — at a time of heightened

Taliban announces spring offensive 'Operation Mansouri'

Islamabad: Afghanistan’s Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on coalition and Afghan security forces. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced the launch of the offensive in an email statement that boasted Taliban control over more than half of the country, referencing a February report issued by Washington’s special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction. That report said

China warns N Korea over nuclear test sanctions: Tillerson

Washington: China has warned North Korea of sanctions if the reclusive nation went ahead with another nuclear test, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said. “They (Chinese) confirmed to us that they had requested that the regime conduct no further nuclear test. In fact, we were told by the Chinese that they informed the (North Korean) regime that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking

Huge blast takes place near Damascus airport

Beirut: A huge explosion hit near Damascus International Airport early today setting off huge fires, with Syrian regime ally Hezbollah saying it was “probably” the result of an Israeli air strike. The Lebanese militant group’s Al-Manar television said the raid hit a warehouse and fuel tanks, without specifying whether they were its own or belonged to the Syrian army or another of its allies. Israel has carried out multiple air strikes in

Robot chef draws long queues at Chinese varsity

Beijing: A noodles-making robot, decked in a chef’s hat and a hygiene mask, has been introduced at a university in China to encourage students to eat at the canteen instead of going elsewhere. The robot chef at the South China Agricultural University uses a swift slicing technique – reminiscent of the eponymous hero in the ’90s US film Edward Scissorhands – to create knife-shaved noodles, news portal reported yesterday. It has been

Germany wants dialogue before Brexit negotiations

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Britain must engage in “constructive dialogue” with the European Union before negotiations can begin on its departure from the bloc. “We need to know how Britain sees its future relations with us,” Merkel told the German parliament today. “Let there be no doubt: Brexit negotiations will demand a lot from Britain and Europe,” she emphasised. Britain has two years to complete its deal to