Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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FLASH
  • Gautam Gambhir steps down as IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils captain, says couldn't handle pressure.
  • Centre issues 2nd notice to Cambridge Analytica, Facebook seeking more details on data breach
  • Jodhpur court awards life imprisonment to self-styled godman Asaram for raping a minor.


At least 15 dead, 40 injured in fire at oil well in IndonesiaThe fire broke out early on Wednesday. — AFP

At least 15 dead, 40 injured in fire at oil well in Indonesia

25 Apr 2018 | 2:52 PM

BANDA ACEH: Firefighters in Indonesia struggled on Wednesday to contain a blaze at an oil well in the northwestern province of Aceh that killed at least 15 people and injured 40, authorities said. Flames towered over houses and trees as firefighters hosed down the area while villagers looked on.

[ + read story ]

Banda Aceh (Indonesia), April 25

Firefighters in Indonesia struggled on Wednesday to contain a blaze at an oil well in the northwestern province of Aceh that killed at least 15 people and injured 40, authorities said.

Flames towered over houses and trees as firefighters hosed down the area while villagers looked on, pictures posted on social media by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, showed.

“We are still collecting data on the number of victims because the fire has not been extinguished,” the agency said in a statement.

The fire broke out early on Wednesday, after a well of depth 250 metres (820 ft) overflowed and residents gathered to collect the oil, the agency said.

Dozens of people were taken to hospital in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, several hours away, the agency said, adding that state oil firm Pertamina was providing equipment to help fight the fire.

At least eight fire trucks had been deployed to douse the blaze.

The head of police in the area said the oil well might have been drilled illegally and the fire might have been started when someone was smoking a cigarette.

“We suspect this is a well drilled by the community ... and we suspect there was someone smoking in the area at the time,” said police official Wahyu Kuncoro.

Such illegal drilling is common in Aceh, where Pertamina operates an oil field. Reuters

Theatre and peace activist Madeeha Gauhar passes away in Lahore

Theatre and peace activist Madeeha Gauhar passes away in Lahore

25 Apr 2018 | 2:48 PM

CHANDIGARH: Another link between the India-Pakistan peace process snapped with the death of theatre activist and peacenik Madeeha Gauhar in Lahore on Wednesday.

Two police officers, civilian shot in Dallas, suspect on the run

Two police officers, civilian shot in Dallas, suspect on the run

25 Apr 2018 | 12:21 PM

HOUSTON: Two police officers were shot and critically wounded outside a home improvement store in the US state of Texas, police said. The suspect, identified by police as 29-year-old Armando Luis Juarez, is still at large. Police said he might have fled in a white pickup truck.

In power for 15 years, Iraq’s Shi’ites split ahead of crucial vote

In power for 15 years, Iraq’s Shi’ites split ahead of crucial vote

25 Apr 2018 | 3:01 PM

BASRA/NAJAF: United in their fight against Saddam Hussein’s oppression for decades, Iraq’s Shi’ites have become deeply fragmented and disillusioned with their leaders after 15 years in power.

US Commerce Secretary calls China 2025 plan ‘frightening’

US Commerce Secretary calls China 2025 plan ‘frightening’

25 Apr 2018 | 12:45 PM

WASHINGTON: China’s plan to transform itself into the global technology nexus is a “frightening” one that puts American intellectual property at risk, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has said.

Canada van massacre driver charged with murder, most victims women

Canada van massacre driver charged with murder, most victims women

25 Apr 2018 | 11:50 AM

TORONTO: A Canadian man who apparently had a grudge against women was charged with murder after allegedly plowing a rented van onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people-an incident that shocked the nation.

Taliban announce spring offensive, dismiss peace overtures

Taliban announce spring offensive, dismiss peace overtures

25 Apr 2018 | 2:46 PM

KABUL: The Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive on Wednesday, dismissing an offer for peace talks by President Ashraf Ghani but pledging to focus on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Iran threatens to quit NPT if US scraps nuke deal

Iran threatens to quit NPT if US scraps nuke deal

25 Apr 2018 | 12:47 PM

TEHRAN: A senior Iranian security official said on Tuesday that his country would consider withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the US scraps the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran Times reported.

WH doctor refuses to pull out as Trump’s nominee for veterans job

WH doctor refuses to pull out as Trump’s nominee for veterans job

25 Apr 2018 | 12:53 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump’s physician Ronny Jackson will push ahead as the nominee to lead the Veterans Affairs department after allegations about his conduct stalled his Senate hearing for the job, a White House official said on Tuesday.

US Senators push banks for information on Russian ‘oligarchs’

US Senators push banks for information on Russian ‘oligarchs’

25 Apr 2018 | 12:49 PM

WASHINGTON: US senators are pressing many of the world’s largest financial institutions to disclose any links between their companies and wealthy Russians allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a letter released on Tuesday.

Australia: Admiral to become US ambassador to South Korea

Australia: Admiral to become US ambassador to South Korea

25 Apr 2018 | 12:26 PM

CANBERRA: Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of US forces in the Pacific, will become the next US ambassador to South Korea instead of Australia, the Australian foreign minister said on Wednesday.

US visits to Cuba plunge following Trump measures

US visits to Cuba plunge following Trump measures

25 Apr 2018 | 12:43 PM

HAVANA: A steep in US travellers to Cuba after a tightening of travel restrictions by President Donald Trump helped drive a 7 per cent slide in foreign visitors to the Caribbean island in the first three months of 2018, Cuban official data showed on Tuesday.

Paraguay presidential runner-up demands recount

Paraguay presidential runner-up demands recount

25 Apr 2018 | 12:36 PM

ASUNCION: The No. 2 finisher in Paraguay’s presidential election said on Tuesday he had evidence of fraudulent voting and demanded a recount of ballots while the president-elect said he may try to change the constitution to allow reelection of future leaders.

Trump hails N. Korean leader Kim as ‘honourable’

Trump hails N. Korean leader Kim as ‘honourable’

25 Apr 2018 | 12:22 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the top leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un “very honourable”.

Trump’s travel ban faces US Supreme Court reckoning

Trump’s travel ban faces US Supreme Court reckoning

25 Apr 2018 | 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s administration goes before the US Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the legality of his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries, one of the most contentious actions of his presidency.

China warns of more action after military drills near Taiwan

China warns of more action after military drills near Taiwan

25 Apr 2018 | 12:19 PM

BEIJING: A series of Chinese military drills near Taiwan were designed to send a clear message to the self-ruled island and China will take further steps if Taiwan independence forces persist in doing as they please, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Peace, human rights precondition for development: UNGA chief

Peace, human rights precondition for development: UNGA chief

25 Apr 2018 | 12:16 PM

UNITED NATIONS: Peace and upholding of human rights are preconditions for development and, therefore, the UN has to put a priority on peacebuilding to prevent conflicts from arising, said General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak.

Cambodian journalist charged with incitement flees amid crackdown

Cambodian journalist charged with incitement flees amid crackdown

25 Apr 2018 | 12:05 PM

PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian journalist charged with “incitement to commit a felony” over his election coverage said on Tuesday he had fled the country fearing arrest and had been given refugee asylum status by the UN refugee agency.

Trump, Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms

Trump, Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms

25 Apr 2018 | 11:54 AM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday to seek stronger measures to contain Iran, but Trump refrained from committing to staying in a 2015 nuclear deal and threatened Tehran with retaliation if it restarted its nuclear programme.

Israel warns Syria not to use Russian missiles against its aircraft

Israel warns Syria not to use Russian missiles against its aircraft

25 Apr 2018 | 11:44 AM

TEL AVIV: Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that Israel will strike back if Syria uses Russian S-300 missiles against its air force.

Police in Chinese city seize 600 computers used to mine bitcoin

Police in Chinese city seize 600 computers used to mine bitcoin

25 Apr 2018 | 11:30 AM

BEIJING: Police in the north China city of Tianjin confiscated 600 computers used to mine bitcoin cryptocurrency after the local power grid operator reported abnormal electricity usage, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

10 dead in Toronto van attack

10 dead in Toronto van attack

25 Apr 2018 | 2:13 AM

TORONTO:At least 10 people died after a man plowed a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Canada’s biggest city Toronto, in what police dubbed a deliberate attack.

First polar bear born in the tropics dies at 27 in Singapore zoo

First polar bear born in the tropics dies at 27 in Singapore zoo

25 Apr 2018 | 11:11 AM

SINGAPORE: Singapore on Wednesday mourned the death of the first polar bear born and bred in the tropical island city, put down by wildlife authorities after a five-year battle with health difficulties stemming from old age.

H-1B: Work permits for spouses may go

H-1B: Work permits for spouses may go

25 Apr 2018 | 10:51 AM

WASHINGTON:The Trump administration is planning to propose to end giving work permits to the spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a top federal agency official has told lawmakers, a move that could have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of Indians.

US, S Korea scale down war games

US, S Korea scale down war games

25 Apr 2018 | 2:12 AM

SEOUL:As North and South Korea prepare for their first summit in more than a decade this Friday, there is something different in the air in Korean peninsula.

Trump, Macron call for  new nuke deal with Iran

Trump, Macron call for new nuke deal with Iran

25 Apr 2018 | 2:12 AM

WASHINGTON:French President Emmanuel Macron and his American counterpart Donald Trump on Tuesday jointly called for a “new” nuclear deal with Iran, after the US leader denounced the three-year-old accord as “insane’.

18 die in China lounge inferno

25 Apr 2018 | 2:12 AM

BEIJING:A fire tore through a karaoke lounge in southern China on Tuesday, killing 18 persons and injuring another five in a suspected arson case, police and state media said.

Pakistan puts US envoy on ‘blacklist’

25 Apr 2018 | 2:12 AM

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday placed US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emmanuel Hall on the "blacklist" for killing a motorcyclist in a road accident here, prohibiting the US defence and air attache from leaving the country.

By the way..

George HW Bush admitted to hospital

25 Apr 2018 | 2:12 AM

Austin: Former US President George HW Bush was admitted to a Houston hospital on Sunday after contracting an infection that spread to his blood, a family spokesman said on Monday.

8 cops killed, 23 injured in three suicide attacks in Balochistan

8 cops killed, 23 injured in three suicide attacks in Balochistan

24 Apr 2018 | 9:31 PM

KARACHI: At least eight policemen were killed and 23 others injured on Tuesday in three separate suicide attacks within an hour targeting security personnel in Pakistan’s restive south-western Balochistan province.

Pak places American Diplomat on ‘black list’ to prevent him from leaving country

24 Apr 2018 | 8:54 PM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has put a senior US diplomat on the “black list” to prevent him from leaving the country over his involvement in a fatal road accident that killed a motorcyclist here, a court was told on Tuesday.

ASEAN summit to focus on Myanmar, S China Sea but little progress expected

ASEAN summit to focus on Myanmar, S China Sea but little progress expected

24 Apr 2018 | 7:46 PM

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian leaders will focus on trade wars, the crisis in Myanmar and security tensions in the disputed South China Sea at a summit this weekend, but it’s highly unlikely there will be any headline-grabbing progress on the issues.

Trump says he, Macron may reach agreement on Iran deal

Trump says he, Macron may reach agreement on Iran deal

24 Apr 2018 | 9:17 PM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he and French President Emmanuel Macron could have an agreement soon on the Iran nuclear deal. "I think we really had some substantive talks on Iran. And we're looking forward to doing something," Trump told reporters after a meeting at the White House with Macron. "

Researcher in Facebook scandal says: my work was no good for targeted advertising

24 Apr 2018 | 4:06 PM

LONDON: A researcher at the centre of a scandal over the alleged misuse of the data of nearly 100 million Facebook users said on Tuesday that the work he did was not useful for micro-targeted adverts.

Anton Chekhov’s signed book may fetch USD 20k at auction

24 Apr 2018 | 2:33 PM

BOSTON: A book of short stories, signed by Russian author Anton Chekhov and bound in original gilt-lettered navy blue cloth, is expected to fetch USD 20,000 at an auction in the US.

Taliban attack in Afghanistan kills 4 policemen

24 Apr 2018 | 11:25 AM

KABUL: An Afghan official says a Taliban attack on Tuesday killed four local policemen and wounded seven in eastern Ghazni province.

3 missing Mexican students killed by drug cartel

3 missing Mexican students killed by drug cartel

24 Apr 2018 | 11:02 AM

MEXICO CITY: Three Mexican film students who disappeared last month in Jalisco state were murdered by a drug cartel and their bodies dissolved in acid, according to a top official.

N Korea's nuclear test site remains operational: Experts

N Korea's nuclear test site remains operational: Experts

24 Apr 2018 | 11:00 AM

PYONGYANG: North Korea's nuclear test site remains fully operational despite Pyongyang's announcement last week that it would shut down such facilities, a specialist website said on Tuesday.

Monkey in 'selfie' cannot sue for copyright, US court says

Monkey in 'selfie' cannot sue for copyright, US court says

24 Apr 2018 | 10:56 AM

Monkeys lack standing to sue for copyright protection and an animal rights group cannot act as legal guardian in such matters, a US appeals court ruled on Monday, in a battle over ownership of a smiling "selfie" taken by an endangered macaque.

Facebook took action on 1.9mn terror-related content

Facebook took action on 1.9mn terror-related content

24 Apr 2018 | 10:31 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content related to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the first quarter of 2018, twice as much as the last quarter of 2017.

18 dead in China karaoke lounge fire; arson suspected

24 Apr 2018 | 11:27 AM

BEIJING: A fire tore through a karaoke lounge in southern China on Tuesday, killing 18 people and injuring another five in a suspected arson case, police and state media said.

Van plows into Toronto crowd in 'deliberate' act, leaving 10 dead

Van plows into Toronto crowd in 'deliberate' act, leaving 10 dead

24 Apr 2018 | 1:59 PM

TORONTO: At least 10 people have died after a man plowed a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Canada's biggest city Toronto, in what police dubbed a "deliberate" attack.

Former US president Bush hospitalised a day after wife’s funeral

Former US president Bush hospitalised a day after wife’s funeral

24 Apr 2018 | 2:00 PM

HOUSTON: Former US president George HW Bush has been hospitalised here after contracting an infection, a day after his wife’s funeral, a family spokesperson said.

Software better tackling IS propaganda, says Facebook

Software better tackling IS propaganda, says Facebook

24 Apr 2018 | 12:50 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook said new detection tools wielded by its counterterrorism team are quickly detecting and removing extremist propaganda for the IS and al-Qaeda.

Van rams into pedestrians in Toronto; 2 dead

24 Apr 2018 | 9:29 AM

TORONTO:A white van killed at least two persons on a suburban Toronto sidewalk on Monday after jumping the curb and the driver was in custody, according to the police.

  • SpectrumAre we ready for a social break-up?

    Are we ready for a social break-up?

    Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the US Congress has brought a new wave of uncomfortable revelations about the social network. Like how it spies even on people off the platform and how even the Facebook founder’s data, too, has not been safe.

  • Giving back — a diaspora success story

    A Canadian immigrant of Indian origin donated $10 million to the University of Lethbridge, the largest gift that the university had ever received.

  • Putting agri-waste to agri-use

    A biomass power plant is similar to a thermal power plant, but instead of coal, it uses green fuel. Agriculture waste — such as paddy and wheat straw, cotton stalks and leaves, which are left over after harvesting of the crop — comprise the natural fuel.

more Spectrum...