Your Advertisement
Anchorage- Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7 and 5.7 shattered highways and rocked buildings on Friday in Anchorage and the surrounding area, sending people running into the streets and briefly triggering a tsunami warning for islands and coastal areas south of the city. No tsunami arrived and there were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries. The US Geological Survey said the first and more powerful quake was centred about 12 kilometres north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, with a population of about 300,000. People ran from their offices or took cover under desks. The 5.7 aftershock arrived within minutes, followed by a series of smaller quakes. “We just hung onto each other. You couldn’t even stand,” said Sheila Bailey, who was working at a high school cafeteria in Palmer when the quake struck. “It sounded and felt like the school was breaking apart.” A large section of an off-ramp near the Anchorage airport collapsed, marooning a car on a narrow island of pavement surrounded by deep chasms in the concrete. Several cars crashed at a major intersection in Wasilla, north of Anchorage, during the shaking. Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said he had been told that parts of Glenn Highway, a scenic route that runs northeast out of the city past farms, mountains and glaciers, had “completely disappeared”. Traffic in the three lanes heading out of the city was bumper-to-bumper and all but stopped on Friday afternoon as emergency vehicles passed on the shoulder. The quake broke store windows, knocked items off shelves, opened cracks in a two-storey, downtown building, disrupted electrical service and disabled traffic lights, snarling traffic. It also threw a full-grown man out of his bathtub. Flights at the airport were suspended for hours after the quake knocked out telephones and forced the evacuation of the control tower. And the 800-mile Alaska oil pipeline was shut down while crews were sent to inspect it for damage. Anchorage’s school system cancelled classes and asked parents to pick up their children while it examined buildings for gas leaks or other damage. Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration. He was in an elevator in a high-rise Anchorage office building and said it was a “rough ride” coming down. He described the quake as 7.2, though it was unclear why his figure differed from that of the USGS. Walker says it will take more than a week or two to repair roads damaged by the earthquake. “This is much more significant than that,” he told reporters at a news conference. Walker leaves office on Monday, and he said members of Governor-elect Mike Dunleavy’s staff had been involved with the earthquake response to ensure a smooth transition. “This isn’t a time to do anything other than take care of Alaskans, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said. Alaska was the site of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the US. The 9.2-magnitude quake on March 27, 1964, was centered about 120 kilometres east of Anchorage. It and the tsunami it triggered claimed about 130 lives. The state averages 40,000 earthquakes a year, with more large quakes than the 49 other states combined. Southern Alaska has a high risk of earthquakes because the earth’s plates slide past each other under the region. Alaska has been hit by a number of powerful quakes over 7 in recent decades, including a 7.9 last January southeast of Kodiak Island. But it is rare for a quake this big to strike so close to such a heavily populated area.           ...
Dec 02 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Ukraine on Friday banned Russian men of combat age from entering the country, a move introduced under martial law after Russia fired on and captured three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea last weekend. Ukraine announced it was barring entry to Russian men between 16-60 years and a senior state security official said Kiev was considering whether to respond in kind with “mirror actions” to the Black Sea incident. Earlier, in a move applauded in Kiev, US President Donald Trump called off a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Argentina to signal Washington’s disapproval of Russian behaviour in the naval clash with Ukraine. The Russian rouble, which is sensitive to events that might lead to new sanctions being imposed on Russia, fell on news of the cancelled meeting. President Petro Poroshenko, referring to Russia’s seizure and subsequent annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its support for separatist uprisings in eastern Ukraine, said banning Russian men was important for stopping a full-scale...
Dec 01 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
A train carrying South Korean engineers and officials crossed into the North on Friday to begin a landmark joint survey to reconnect railway tracks between the two Koreas. Linking up the railway systems was one of the agreements made earlier this year in a key meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in. The train pulled six cars carrying dozens of South Korean officials and experts, who will undertake an 18-day, 750-mile survey of railway tracks in the North. The journey required special permission from the UN to carry equipment and fuel into the North despite the sanctions regime. It marked the first time in a decade that a train from the South entered North Korea. TV footage showed a red, white and blue train pull away from the South’s Dorasan station, the nearest terminal from the western part of the inter-Korean border. When it arrives at Panmun Station, the first North Korean terminal across the border, the six carriages will be linked up to a North Korean train, and the South Korean locomotive will return...
Dec 01 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Washington- NASA's robotic InSight lander, designed to dig deep into the rocky surface of Mars to reveal its secrets, has successfully touched down on the red planet after a supersonic plunge through its rose-hued atmosphere, the US space agency said on Tuesday. The lander sent signals indicating that its solar panels are open and collecting sunlight on the Martian surface, InSight mission team said in a statement. "Aaah...soaking up the Sun with my solar panels. After a long flight, and thrilling #MarsLanding, it feels great to get a good stretch and recharge my batteries," the InSight Twitter handle posted. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter relayed the signals of the landing, which were received on Earth at about 5:30 pm PST (7 am IST, Tuesday). Solar array deployment ensures the spacecraft can recharge its batteries each day. Odyssey also relayed a pair of images showing InSight's landing site. The lander touched down near Mars' equator on the western side of a flat, smooth expanse of lava called Elysium Planitia, with a signal affirming a completed landing sequence at approximately 3 pm EST (1:30 am IST, Tuesday). The probe was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US, on May 5. "InSight will study the interior of Mars, and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars," said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine....
Nov 30 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Ottawa-Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump found common ground during a phone call on Tuesday in which they discussed the announced closure of General Motors plants. "They expressed their disappointment over the closures of the GM plants in Canada and the US" and "underscored their concern for the workers, their families and the communities that are affected by this decision," Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad said. The White House confirmed the call and used similar language, saying: "The two leaders discussed their disappointment in the announced closures of General Motors plants in their respective countries and their plans for the upcoming G20 Summit."      Trudeau and Trump -- who have been at loggerheads for months -- are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the week. On Monday, General Motors announced it was cutting 15 percent of its workforce and closing plants in both countries to save $6 billion. The decision drew sharp criticism from the US and Canadian labor unions representing GM workers. The union heads are scheduled to meet in Washington on Wednesday to map out a joint strategy to try to force GM to reverse course. Jerry Dias, head of Unifor, which represents the 2,500 Canadian workers that will find themselves out of work at the end of 2019 when GM shutters its Oshawa plant, met earlier with Trudeau. “We are at crossroads," he said. "The reality is GM is on the cusp of complete disinvestment in Canada, and that will lead to a catastrophic end to Canada's most lucrative export...
Nov 30 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
London- Theresa May rebuked Donald Trump and insisted Britain could strike trade agreements outside the EU as she launched a nationwide tour on Tuesday to whip up support for the contested Brexit divorce deal. Prime Minister May headed to Wales and Northern Ireland, hours after US President Trump said it seemed like a “great deal” for the European Union that could block Britain from forging its own trade agreements with the United States. May has two weeks to convince the public, and, crucially, a divided parliament, before the December 11 vote in the House of Commons that risks ending in a humiliating defeat and sinking the deal. Trump suggested May had made a mistake by signing an agreement that might impede a future trade deal between London and Washington. “Sounds like a great deal for the EU,” he said at the White House, adding: “We have to take a look at seriously whether or not the UK is allowed to trade”. “As the deal stands, they may not be able to trade with the US and I don’t think they want that at all. That would be a very big negative for the deal,” said the president, who is close to leading Brexiteers in the UK. “I don’t think that the prime minister meant that and hopefully she’ll be able to do something about that.” Starting her tour in Builth Wells in central Wales, May insisted Trump had not rained on her parade. “We will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to negotiate trade deals with countries around the rest of the world,” May said. “As regards the United States, we have already been talking to them about the sort of agreement that we could have in the future. “It will no longer be a decision taken by Brussels. We will have control of that and we will strike trade deals that will enhance our prosperity, enhance our economy and bring jobs to the UK.”     Her spokesman said there were no plans for one-to-one talks between May and Trump at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend. The pound was down about 0.3 per cent against the dollar while London’s FTSE 100 share index was down 0.4 percent in early afternoon trade. May on Sunday closed 17 months of complex talks with Brussels by sealing Brexit arrangements with the 27 other EU heads of state and government. But this tortuous chapter on ending Britain’s 45-year involvement in the European project was just the beginning of another struggle. May runs a minority Conservative government and opposition parties, as well as many of her own MPs, are against the deal. Some Brexiteers think it keeps Britain shackled to Brussels while pro-EU lawmakers think the terms are worse than staying in the bloc and want a second referendum. Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn called the deal “an act of national self-harm”. May, who ducked televised debates during the 2017 snap general election, challenged Corbyn to a TV contest, nominally planned for December 9. “I am ready to debate it with Jeremy Corbyn because I have got a plan. He hasn’t got a plan,” May was quoted as saying by The Sun newspaper. A Labour spokesman said: “Jeremy would relish a head to head debate with Theresa May about her botched Brexit deal and the future of our country.”        In London, Brexit figurehead Nigel Farage launched a billboard campaign reading “Welcome to the worst deal in history”. A few streets away, anti-Brexit youth movement Our Future, Our Choice rolled out a campaign bus urging MPs to heed their voices. Meanwhile in Luxembourg, lawyers for a group of Scottish politicians argued before the top European court that the British parliament should have the unilateral...
Nov 29 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Lahore- Terming Kartarpur as a “corridor of infinite possibilities”, Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said on Tuesday that such initiatives would promote peace and erase “enmity” between India and Pakistan. Sidhu, who arrived here along with a group of Indian journalists to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Narowal, some 120 km from Lahore, was greeted at the Wagah Border by officials of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The 4 km-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurdwara. Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor on Wednesday. Sidhu thanked Khan for making this corridor possible which he said will help promote peace between the two countries. “This will erase enmity between the two nations,” he said. “The seed Imran Khan had sown three months ago has become a plant. It is a happy moment for the Sikh community that the corridor to reach Kartarpur to get Baba Guru Nanak’s blessing without any hassle.” “Karturpur corridor will prove to be a path of peace,” Sidhu added. He termed it as a “corridor of infinite possibilities” and said through such initiatives, peace would be promoted (between the two countries). “There are numerous artistes and cricketers in both the countries whom everyone loves and there need to be cricket matches between India and Pakistan,” he said when asked about the restoration of cricketing ties between the two nations. “There are many fans of Imran, Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad in India, similarly in Pakistan Shah Rukh and Salman Khan have a huge fan following.” Sidhu said the initiative could open door of several opportunities for both the countries. “Religion should not be seen through the eyes of politics,” the former Indian cricketer-turned-politician said. Responding to a question regarding criticism of his decision to visit Pakistan, Sidhu said, “I forgive those who criticised me”. “I have been a fan of Imran Khan since I was a child,” Sidhu said as he joked and recited verses in Punjabi. Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, about three-four kilometres from the border in Pakistan. On Monday, Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of the corridor in...
Nov 29 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...
Beijing- Beijing urged London on Monday to support the work of foreign news outlets after a British citizen called on Britain's media regulator to revoke the broadcast license of China's state television. Peter Humphrey, a UK fraud investigator, said that China Central Television (CCTV) helped Chinese police stage his allegedly forced confession and subsequent jailing in China in 2014. He sent the British watchdog Ofcom a letter of complaint accusing CCTV journalists of cooperating with Chinese police to "extract, record, make post-production and then broadcast" Humphrey's confession. Ofcom has the power to fine broadcasters for breaching British rules, and can revoke their licenses in the most serious cases. "I hope Britain can support and facilitate the reporting work of international media in the UK," said Chinese foreign ministry official spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing in Beijing Monday. "I think news organisations are a bridge and bond to promoting mutual understanding and friendly exchanges between the people of each country," he added. A spokesman for Ofcom confirmed it had "received a complaint which we are assessing as a priority". "If, following investigation, we find our rules have been broken we would take the necessary enforcement action," he added. Geng said Humphrey pleaded guilty during his sentencing and "repented". "China's judicial departments handle cases according to the law, and safeguard the legal rights and interests of foreigners in China," Geng said. Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng, a naturalised US citizen, were linked to a corruption case in China involving pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The couple ran an investigative firm that was hired by GSK to probe a sex tape of the company's then China boss and other issues shortly before the British pharmaceutical company itself became the target of a Chinese government investigation. In Humphrey's letter of complaint, he accuses Chinese authorities of drugging him and locking him in a chair inside a small metal cage to conduct the confession. In 2014, Humphrey was sentenced to over two years in prison by a Shanghai court for breaching privacy laws. He was released seven months early and deported in 2015. Humphrey told AFP this was the first legal action he has launched against any of the Chinese entities involved in his...
Nov 27 2018 | Posted in : | No Comment | read more...