News

MISCELLANEOUS
Landslide in Myanmar Mining Area Leaves Dozens Missing

Naypyidaw, 22 Dec (ONA) --- A landslide at a remote jade mine in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state today killed one person and left at least 70 missing and a search and rescue operation was underway, local rescue officials said. Reports were scant from the area in Hpakant, which is the center of the world’s biggest and most lucrative jade mining industry. It’s a region where sporadic fighting has broken out between the Myanmar army and ethnic guerrilla forces. At least five young women and three small shops were also buried in the landslide. The body of a jade ...

Thailand Reimposes Quarantine as Concerns Grow over Omicron

Bangkok, 21 Dec (ONA) --- Thailand today decided to immediately reimpose a mandatory quarantine for visitors and suspend a “test-and-go” scheme for fully vaccinated arrivals as concerns grow over the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the government said. The decision is a blow to efforts to revive Thailand’s battered tourism sector ahead of the peak holiday season. The decision came after Thailand recorded its first case of domestic transmission of the omicron variant last week, when a returning resident tested negative on arrival, but later ...

Death Toll Rises in Malaysia after Massive Floods

Kuala Lumpur, 21 Dec (ONA) --- At least 14 people have died and tens of thousands are displaced following some of the worst floods Malaysia has seen in decades. Three days of torrential rains over the weekend caused severe flooding in eight states, partially submerging a number of towns and villages. There are fears the death toll will rise sharply as more bodies are found. As of today, an estimated 51,000 people had been evacuated from their homes. Most of them were from Pahang on the eastern coast of the Malay peninsula, one of the worst-hit ...

Catalonia Plans To Restrict Public Life Again Because Of Coronavirus

Madrid, 21 Dec (ONA) --- Catalonia, with its tourist metropolis Barcelona, has again announced strict restrictions on public life in view of rapidly rising coronavirus numbers. A curfew will be imposed between 1 and 6 am as the occupancy of restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities as well as the number of people attending private meetings will be limited. This was announced by the autonomous region in north-eastern Spain. These measures were to come into force on Friday for an initial period of 15 days. Catalonia's Supreme Court still has to approve the plans. ...

Belgium to Begin Vaccinating Children between 5 and 11

Brussels, 20 Dec (ONA) --- Belgium’s health ministers agreed today to start vaccinating children aged between 5 and 11 against the coronavirus. Ministers from the country of 11.5 million said the vaccination is highly recommended to children with conditions that put them at high risk for complications from COVID-19. Those children will be invited to receive their jabs as a priority before the end of the month. EU regulators last month approved a reduced-dose vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech for use in the 5-11 age group. To counter a new spike in ...

Stormy Weather Prompts Egypt to Close some Classes, Ports

Cairo, 20 Dec (ONA) --- Stormy weather has prompted Egyptian authorities to suspend classes today in the capital of Cairo and a handful of other provinces as a precautionary measure. Local authorities also closed the ports in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Suez Canal cities of Port Said and Suez. The country’s meteorological agency said moderate to heavy rainfall is expected over the northern coast and the Nile Delta region. The agency also said dusty storms are expected to hit northern and southern parts of country, and limit ...

Dutch Enter Tight Lockdown over Omicron Wave

Amsterdam, 19 Dec (ONA) --- The Netherlands has begun a strict lockdown over Christmas amid concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant. Non-essential shops, cafes, gyms, hairdressers and other public venues are closed until at least 14 January. Two guests per household will be allowed - four over the holidays. Countries across Europe have been tightening restrictions as the heavily mutated variant spreads. The new rules in the Netherlands are the strictest to have been announced over Omicron so far. For weeks, curfews have been placed on hospitality ...

Typhoon Rai Death Toll Hits 99 in the Philippines

Manila, 19 Dec (ONA) --- The death toll from the strongest typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2021 has risen to 99, as emergency teams reached devastated areas, bringing food, water and other supplies. More than 480,000 people were displaced by Typhoon Rai, which flattened houses, damaged buildings and knocked out power and communication lines in the country's central and southern provinces, the national disaster agency said. Relief goods were flown in to the affected areas, according to local airlines. Volunteer doctors, rescue workers and other emergency teams ...

Five Children Die, Four Injured in Australia Bouncy Castle Accident

Canberra, 16 Dec (ONA) --- Five children have died and four are being treated in hospital, with some critically injured, after a bouncy castle accident in the Australian state of Tasmania, police said. The wind picked up a bouncy castle and threw it into the air at an end-of-year activity day at a primary school in Devonport, in the state's north-west, Tasmania. "Several children fell from a height of about 10 metres around 10 am and are currently receiving medical treatment at the scene, as well as in hospitals," the statement ...

Airline Loader Falls Asleep, Flies Mumbai to Abu Dhabi in Cargo Hold

New Delhi, 15 Dec (ONA) --- A baggage loader at the Mumbai airport fell asleep in the cargo hold of an Indigo Airlines flight bound for Abu Dhabi and was found only after the aircraft landed at its destination, an official of India’s air safety regulator said. The incident took place on an Airbus A320 aircraft operated by Indigo as flight 6E 1835, a spokesman for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.“The worker decided to relax for a few minutes after he loaded bags into a baggage compartment of the aircraft and fell asleep,” said Arun Kumar, ...

Swedish Investigators Question Crew Members on Ship Involved in Crash

Stockholm, 14 Dec (ONA)--- Swedish investigators continued questioning two crew members from one of two cargo ships that collided off the Swedish coast. At least one person died when the vessels crashed between Ystad in southern Sweden and the Danish island of Bornholm in the early hours of Monday morning. Another person is still missing. The Karin Hoj, about 55 meters long, collided with the British freighter Scot Carrier, more than 90 meters long, as the two were headed west in foggy conditions. A British citizen born in 1991 is suspected of serious ...

At Least 14 Police Officers Injured During German Covid-19 Protests

Berlin, 12 Dec (ONA)--- Protesters in Germany have clashed with police in several towns and cities at demonstrations against Covid-19 restrictions over the weekend that left multiple police officers injured, according to police. At one protest in the town of Greiz in central Germany, 14 police officers were injured after an estimated 1,000 people gathered in the town today, police announced. Protesters tried to break through a police cordon, after which the police used pepper spray. In video posted on Twitter, protesters could be seen wrestling with the police in an attempt to break ...

EU Agrees to Establish Asylum Agency

 Brussels, 9 Dec (ONA) --- European Union Interior Ministers meeting in Brussels today adopted the regulation establishing the EU Asylum Agency to improve the application of asylum policy within the EU. The current European Asylum Support Office will now be converted into a fully-fledged agency, said the ministers in a statement. "Having a fully-fledged EU asylum agency is an important step in the building of our common EU asylum policy," commented Ales Hojs, Minister of the Interior in Slovenia, whose country holds the current EU Presidency. ---Ends/HG/AH ...

New Giant Planet Discovered Outside Solar System

London, 9 Dec (ONA) --- A group of international scientists discovered a new giant planet outside the solar system orbiting a massive pair of extremely hot stars.A research article published in the science journal "Nature" said that the giant exoplanet, or planet located outside of our solar system, was discovered orbiting b Centauri, a stellar pair located 325 light-years from Earth in the Centaurus constellation. This is the hottest and most massive planet-hosting star system found so far.Astronomers were able to capture an image of the planet using the European Southern ...

Military Helicopter Crashes in India

New Delhi, 8 Dec (ONA)--- at least five people were killed and several others injured as an Indian Air Force helicopter crashed in India. The Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a statement on its official twitter account that five bodies were recovered from the site as an IAF Mi-17V5 crashed in Coonoor, State of Tamil Nadu, South Indian General Bipin Rawat, Indian Chief of Defense Staff and 13 others including his wife, his Defense Assistant, security commandos and Indian Air Force personnel were on board the helicopter when it crashed. General Rawat is reportedly ...

Body Found on Polish-Belarusian Border Amid Migrant Crisis

Warsaw, 8 Dec (ONA)--- Soldiers found the body of another migrant in Poland's border region with Belarus, where thousands of people from crisis regions have been stranded in recent weeks in sub-zero temperatures.The soldiers found the body of the man, a backpack and a Nigerian passport in a forest near Olchowka yesterday (Tuesday), a police spokesperson told the Polish Press Agency (PAP). The body was found about nine kilometers from the border, according to the report.It was not yet clear who the man was and whether he was the holder of the passport.Several people have died in ...

Worldwide Coronavirus Cases Cross 266.56 Million

Muscat, 8 Dec, (ONA) -- As many as 266.56 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 5,566,055 have died, Reuters reported. Infections have been registered in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in December ...

Thousands of British Homes Still Without Power 10 Days After Storm

London, 5 Dec (ONA)--- Thousands of homes in Britain are still without power more than a week after Storm Arwen struck the country. The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said that 4,025 homes were still waiting to be reconnected today. This is down from 4,700 homes late of yesterday "Saturday" The majority of the impacted homes are in the north-east of England, the ENA added. Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary is expected to survey the damage from Storm Arwen in Durham later today. It comes after gusts of between 35-50 miles per hour (mph) battered the country overnight on Saturday, ...

Chinese, European Mars Probes Complete In-orbit Relay Communication Test

Beijing, Dec 1 (ONA) --- The Chinese Mars probe codenamed Tianwen-1 and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft have successfully performed a test of in-orbit relay communication. The communication lasted 10 minutes when China’s Mars rover Zhurong sent test data to Mars Express over a distance of approximately 4,000 Km. Data analysis results show that the relay communication equipment interfaces of Zhurong and Mars Express match and conform to international standards, and the contents of the transmitted data are complete and correct. The ...

Nasa Postpones Spacewalk Due to Space Debris

Washington, 30 Nov (ONA) --- Nasa has postponed a planned spacewalk outside the International Station due to flying debris. Astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron had been due to venture outside the space station but the spacewalk which was to fix a failed two-decades-old antenna had been canceled. Nasa TV had planned to provide live coverage of the six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk. Dana Weigel, Nasa Deputy Manager for the ISS said that the agency had calculated a 7% higher risk of spacewalkers’ suits being punctured. Millions of pieces of space ...

Dozens Remain Trapped in Russian Mine After Fire

Moscow, 25 Nov (ONA) --- An evacuation operation was underway at the Listvyazhnaya mine, where 70 miners had been brought to the surface, the Russian Investigative Committee said. "According to preliminary data, a number of workers suffered from smoke poisoning. The number of victims is being specified," the committee added. Interfax news agency, citing a mine official, reported that the whereabouts of 75 miners were unknown. --- ...

Earthquake of 4.9 Magnitude Strikes Kuril Islands, Eastern Russia

Moscow, 25 Nov (ONA) --- An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9 on the Richter scale stroke Kuril Islands located in the Russian Far East. The Geophysical Survey of the Russian Academy of Sciences stated that the earthquake occurred 208 km from Severo-Kurilsk town, at a depth of 40 km. Casualties or material damage have not been reported yet. Earthquakes regularly strike different parts of the Pacific belt, including the Kuril Islands, due to their presence on areas where many tectonic plates meet, which causes frequent volcanic and seismic activity.--- ...

Ferry Capsizes in Sri Lanka; at Least 6 Dead

Colombo, 23 Nov (ONA) --- A ferry capsized in eastern Sri Lanka today, killing at least six people, a navy spokesperson said. Twelve people have been rescued and the search for others is continuing, navy spokesperson added. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were on board the ferry or what caused it to overturn. Four children were among the dead, according to a policeman and a hospital worker. The ferry was traveling from Kurinchakeni to the town of Kinniya along the country’s eastern coast and about 260 kilometers northeast of the capital, ...

Dozens Killed in Bus Crash on Bulgarian Motorway

Sofia, 23 Nov (ONA) --- At least 45 people, including 12 children, have died after a bus crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, local officials said. The incident happened on a motorway south-west of the capital Sofia. The bus was registered in North Macedonia and was mainly carrying tourists from the country, who were returning from Turkey. Seven people escaped from the bus and were taken to hospital with burns. Officials said the bus appeared to have hit a highway barrier and pictures showed a section of the road where the barrier had been ...

Deadly Storm Cuts Transport Links in Canada

Ottawa, 17 Nov (ONA) --- A deadly storm described by local officials as a once-in-a-century weather event has severed road and rail links around Vancouver, Canada. Two motorways connecting the West Coast city were closed after being damaged by severe flooding. Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes due to the massive storm, which struck on Monday. A woman was killed in a highway landslide, and rescuers said at least two other people are missing. The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms is still unclear, but it is known ...

Three Snow Leopards with COVID-19 Die at US Children’s Zoo

Lincoln, Nebraska, 14 Nov (ONA) --- Three snow leopards have died at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska in the United States of complications from COVID-19. The zoo made the announcement in a Facebook post, describing the deaths of the three leopards — named Ranney, Everest, and Makalu— as “truly heartbreaking.” The zoo began treating the leopards and two Sumatran tigers for the virus last month. The zoo said the tigers, Axl and Kumar, have made a recovery. The zoo said it remains open to the public and continues to take precautions to prevent the ...

Fire in COVID Hospital Kills 3 in Bulgaria

Sofia, 14 Nov (ONA) --- Fire broke out on a ward for COVID-19 patients in Bulgaria early today, killing three people, local officials said. The blaze occurred in a room on the fourth floor where three male patients were receiving care. The fire was quickly extinguished, and an investigation was launched to establish the cause. A new surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming Bulgaria’s health care system. Today, health authorities reported 8,178 patients in COVID-19 wards, 745 of them in intensive care units. The Balkan country of 7 million remains the ...

Germany Reports Record Number of New Coronavirus Cases

Berlin, 4 Nov (ONA) --- Germany’s disease control agency today reported the highest number of new coronavirus infections since the outbreak of the pandemic.The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said 33,949 new cases had been registered in the last 24 hours, up from 28,037 daily cases a week ago. The previous record was 33,777 new cases on 18 December 2020.The all-time high comes as the country’s federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is set to meet with the 16 state health ministers to discuss how to limit the spread of the virus in the winter as intensive care units in the ...

COVID-19 Cases Rise in Europe for 5th Consecutive Week

Geneva, 3 Nov (ONA) --- The number of coronavirus cases has risen in Europe for the fifth consecutive week, making it the only world region where COVID-19 is still increasing, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. In its weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said new cases jumped by 6% in Europe compared to an 18% increase the previous week. The weekly number of new infections in other regions either fell or remained about the same, according to the report. The sharpest drops were seen in the Middle East, where new cases decreased by ...

US to Stop Methane Leaks from Oil and Gas Wells

Glasgow, 2 Nov (ONA) --- The US is set to announce measures to prevent millions of tonnes of the greenhouse gas methane from entering the atmosphere. The measures will target methane leaking from oil and gas rigs across the US. It is one of the most potent greenhouse gases and responsible for a third of current warming from human activities. A global partnership to cut methane is to be announced at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow later today. Dozens of countries have joined the initiative led by the US and the EU to cut emissions of the gas ...