english news

Trapped Canadian miners in 10-hour escape climb


Thirty-nine miners were faced with a 10-hour vertical climb after they became trapped deep underground in eastern Canada. They got stuck below the Totten mine in Sudbury, Ontario, on Sunday after the lift system was damaged. The miners were said to be unharmed, with access to food and water. Rescue efforts were under way on Monday and the exhausted miners were using harnesses to keep them on the ladders for the 1km (0.6 mile) climb. Local station CTV reported that four miners had reached the surface by the early hours of Tuesday.

Shawn Rideout, chief mine rescue officer from Ontario Mine Rescue, earlier said that the workers had already been in the mineshaft for more than 35 hours before beginning their ascent. He said the ascent could take up to 10 hours for workers to complete but there were rest stops every 100m if they needed to take a break. “Everybody is safe, they’re all in good spirits, we have no reported injuries. Our plan is to get them to the surface in that same form,” he said.(BBC)…[+]

North Korea fires missile, says South’s military

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North Korea has fired a short-range missile towards the sea off its east coast early on Tuesday, said South Korea’s military. The test happened as North Korea’s ambassador said at the UN that no-one could deny Pyongyang’s right to self-defence and to test weapons. Earlier this month Pyongyang test-fired both ballistic and cruise missiles. But several days ago North Korea had also expressed willingness to engage in talks with the South. The US military said in a statement on Tuesday that it was aware of the missile launch but that it posed no immediate threat to US personnel or its allies. However, the US Indo-Pacific Command said that the launch “highlighted the destabilising impact of [North Korea’s] illicit weapons program”.(BBC)…[+]

Mark Rutte: Dutch PM’s security stepped up over gang threat


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been given extra security over fears that he may be the target of an attack or kidnapping by a criminal gang, local media reports say. Mr Rutte has been followed by so-called spotters linked to a drug gang, the De Telegraaf newspaper reported. Telegraaf journalist Mick van Wely told broadcaster NOS the matter was being taken “very seriously”. NOS confirmed the report but Dutch authorities declined to comment. The reported threat follows the murder of prominent Dutch journalist Peter R de Vries, who was known for investigating the criminal underworld in the Netherlands. The shooting in July stunned the country, where gun violence is rare but killings linked to organised crime have become increasingly common in recent years.(BBC)…[+]

Switzerland same-sex marriage: Two-thirds of voters back yes


Almost two-thirds of Swiss voters have backed same-sex marriage in a referendum. Some 64% supported the measure, making it one of the last countries in western Europe to legalise same-sex marriage. Campaigners have hailed the vote as a historic moment for LGBT rights in the country.  In the build up to the vote, church groups and conservative political parties opposed the idea, saying it would undermine the traditional family.

Switzerland has allowed same-sex couples to register partnerships since 2007, but some rights are restricted. The measure will make it possible for same-sex couples to adopt unrelated children and for married lesbian couples to have children through sperm donation. It makes Switzerland the 30th country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage.(BBC)…[+]

Man killed as Crete struck by 5.8-magnitude earthquake

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At least one person has been killed and nine injured after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete, local officials say. The man died when the dome of a church that was being renovated in the town of Arkalochori caved in. People were sent rushing out on to the streets when the earthquake struck at 09:17 (06:17 GMT). Several aftershocks followed. Civil protection authorities said many buildings had been damaged. Both Greece and Turkey sit on fault lines and earthquakes are common. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) initially recorded a magnitude of 6.5 while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.0.(BBC)…[+]

COP26: Australia PM undecided on attending crucial climate summit


Australia’s prime minister has signalled he may not attend the UN’s landmark climate conference in November as his government faces continued criticism of its poor climate record. In an interview, Scott Morrison said he had “not made any final decisions” on attending, suggesting it was a burden. “It’s another trip overseas… and I’ve spent a lot of time in quarantine,” he told the West Australian newspaper. The COP26 summit will be the biggest global climate crisis talks in years. It is hoped that the 12-day meeting between world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland will produce the next emissions standards to slow global warming and keep temperature rise below 1.5C. But Mr Morrison said he would consider other priorities, including the reopening of Australia’s borders. “I have to focus on things here and with Covid. Australia will be opening up around that time. There will be a lot of issues to manage and I have to manage those competing demands,” he told the newspaper.(BBC)…[+]

Jitender Maan Gogi: India gangster shot dead in Delhi court


Two men posing as lawyers shot dead a notorious gangster inside a courtroom in India’s capital, Delhi. They opened fire at Jitender Maan Gogi inside the courtroom in Rohini where a case was being heard against him. Officials say police returned fire, killing the two men. Police suspect a rival gang planned the attack. Gogi was on Delhi police’s most-wanted list and he was also an accused in dozens of cases – including murder, kidnapping and fraud – in other states. The incident has raised questions over the security of Delhi’s courts. A senior politician said that the incident showed a serious lapse in security planning. Gogi was arrested in Delhi in March last year on charges of murder and extortion. Officials said he was a target of many gangs due to his swift rise in the crime world. Reports say his career in crime began when he was a teenager and initially involved incidents of carjacking and theft.(BBC)…[+]

Kim Yo-jong says North Korea open to ending war if conditions met

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The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says they are willing to resume talks with the South if it ends its “hostile policies”. Kim Yo-jong was responding to a renewed call from the South to officially declare an end to the Korean War. The conflict, which split the peninsula into two, ended in 1953 with an armistice and not a peace treaty. The two countries have technically been at war ever since, and locked in a sometimes tense relationship. This week, South Korean president Moon Jae-in called for the two Koreas and their allies – the US which backs the South, and China which is the North’s biggest economic partner – to declare a formal end to the conflict and bring peace to the peninsula. The idea was initially dismissed by a top North Korean minister as “premature”.(BBC)…[+]

German election: Climate protesters rally in cities



Climate change activists are rallying in cities around Germany ahead of federal elections on Sunday.

“No political party is doing enough,” Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg told a gathering of thousands in Berlin.

The activists are calling for Germany to do more to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees C and to end the use of coal for power generation by 2030, instead of 2038. Climate change has been a central theme in the election campaign. In July, record floods swept western Germany, killing more than 180 people. However, this failed to translate into greater support for the Green Party, which is running third in opinion polls, at about 15%. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are in the lead, on about 25%, with the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel trailing on about 22%. Activists from the “Fridays for the Future” campaign staged protests in about 470 German towns and cities on Friday. (BBC)…[+]




Aukus pact: France and US seek to mend rift


France and the US have made efforts to end a row which started last week with the announcement of a defence pact between the US, UK and Australia. The Aukus pact cost France a submarine contract worth billions of dollars. In a 30-minute phone call on Wednesday, the French and US presidents agreed to try to find a way forward. The US acknowledged that the situation would have benefited from “open consultations”, and France agreed to send its ambassador back to Washington. In a carefully worded joint statement, the two governments said US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron would “open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence”. The two leaders are set to meet in Europe at the end of next month.(BBC)…[+]