News

MISCELLANEOUS
At Least 10 Dead After Spanish Fishing Boat Sinks Off Canada

Ottawa, 16 Feb (ONA) ---- The bodies of 10 people have been recovered from the icy waters off the Atlantic coast of Canada after a Spanish fishing boat sank, according to reports today. Eleven of the 24 crew members were still missing, Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported citing authorities. Three crew members were rescued alive from a life raft yesterday, though they showed signs of hypothermia. Given the extremely cold water and stormy seas in the area there was little chance of finding more survivors.The boat sank overnight Monday off the coast of Newfoundland. According to ...

NASA says Chinese Rocket, not SpaceX, to Crash Into Moon Next Month

Washington, 15 Feb (ONA) --- After initial reports about the impending impact of a SpaceX rocket on the moon, NASA has offered a correction: A new analysis shows that the debris due to crash into our nearest neighbour is probably part of an old Chinese rocket.It is likely a Chang'e 5-T1 booster that was launched into space from Earth in 2014.NASA concluded this from orbits of the object in 2016 and 2017, dpa has learned.The impact on the far side of the moon is expected on 4 March.Earlier, the US space agency said it expected an errant Falcon 9 rocket stage from SpaceX's could collide with ...

Early Notification System for Pollen Release to Operate in Three Bulgarian Cities

Veliko Tarnovo, 15 Feb (ONA)--- An early notification system for flowering trees and pollen release will become operational in the cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia and Plovdiv (Southern Bulgaria) in spring 2022, said agronomist Roman Rachkov, Head of the non-governmental Bulgarian Association for Biological Plant Protection (BABPP). The project aims to help both those who have pollen allergies and all interested in natural processes such as fruit-growers, beekeepers, farmers, among others. Its purpose is to notify people when trees are flowering so that they take measures ...

Refugee Child Found In UN Buffer Zone On Cyprus

Nicosia, 15 Feb (ONA) ---- UN peacekeepers discovered a 4-year-old child in the buffer zone of the divided island of Cyprus during a night-time patrol, state media reported today. Cyprus Radio (RIK) said the little girl had been handed over to child welfare workers. She is thought to come from an Arab country. It is suspected that the child was separated from her parents. Soldiers from the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) are now working with the police to find the parents. ---- ...

Both Train Drivers Among Seriously Injured In Fatal Crash Near Munich

Berlin, 15 Feb (ONA) ---- Investigators near Munich in southern Germany were still searching today for what caused two trains to crash head-on on a single-track line. One person was killed in the accident near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station south of Munich yesterday afternoon. The number of those considered seriously injured had risen to six, including both train drivers, police said today. Andreas Franken, chief spokesman for the Munich police, said 18 people in total were injured in the accident. Police had acquired the journey recording devices, equivalent ...

IAEA Reviews Water Release from Damaged Japan Nuclear Plant

Tokyo, 14 Feb (ONA) --- A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency today began its review of Japan’s plan to begin releasing more than a million tons of treated radioactive water into the sea from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant; a review that Japan hopes will instill confidence in the plan. The 15-member team is to visit the Fukushima plant tomorrow (Tuesday) and meet with government and utility officials during its five-day mission. The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings announced plans last year to begin gradually releasing the ...

Boeing Online Parts Sales Higher Than Before Pandemic

Chicago, 14 Feb (ONA) ---- A branch of aerospace company Boeing that sells parts online said internet sales increased significantly last year, in a sign of recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. The Boeing Company said today that it has posted a steep rise in its online parts sales for 2021 to over $2 billion, better than its pre-pandemic sales, reflecting recovery from Covid-19. The company's arm Boeing Distribution sold nearly 70,000 parts products through its portal in 2021. Out of which, reflecting a recovery in the airline industry, the commercial online sales orders were ...

Record High Destruction of Trees in Brazilian Amazon in January

Brasilia, 13 Feb (ONA) --- The number of trees cut down in the Brazilian Amazon in January 2022 far exceeded deforestation for the same month last year, according to government satellite data. The area destroyed was five times larger than 2021, the highest January total since records began in 2015. Protecting the Amazon is essential if we are to tackle climate change. Trees are felled for their wood as well as to clear spaces to plant crops to supply global food companies. At the climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, more than 100 governments ...

Solar Storm Destroys 40 New SpaceX Satellites in Orbit

Washington, 10 Feb (ONA) --- Over the past three years, SpaceX has deployed many satellites into low-earth orbit as part of its business to beam high-speed internet service from space, but the latest deployment of 49 new satellites did not go as planned. As a consequence of a geomagnetic storm triggered by a recent outburst of the sun, up to 40 of 49 newly launched Starlink satellites have been knocked out of commission. The geomagnetic incident resulted in the Starlink transmitters drifting back into Earth’s atmosphere, where they will burn up.The sun has an 11-year long cycle in ...

Homes Engulfed as Deadly Landslide Hits Colombia

Bogotá, 9 Feb (ONA) --- A landslide triggered by heavy rains has killed at least 14 people in central Colombia, local officials said. Another 35 people were now in hospital after several homes were engulfed in the Dosquebradas municipality, Risaralda province. Other residents living close to a swollen river nearby have been moved to safety. Rescue teams have been searching in the mud for more survivors, Colombia's disaster management officials said. There are fears that the death toll will rise further. Landslides are common in Colombia and houses ...

Indonesia Frees Croc from Tire Stuck on its Neck for 6 Years

Jakarta, 9 Feb (ONA) --- A wild crocodile with a used motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for six years has finally been freed by an Indonesian bird catcher in a tireless effort that wildlife conservation officials hailed as a milestone today. The 4.5-meter (14.8-foot) saltwater female crocodile has become an icon to the people in Palu, the capital city of Central Sulawesi. The beast was seen on the city’s river with the tire around its neck becoming increasingly tighter, running the risk of choking her. Conservation officials were racing to rescue the crocodile ...

13 Million People Face Severe Hunger in Horn of Africa: UN

Kampala, Uganda, 8 Feb (ONA) --- Drought conditions have left an estimated 13 million people facing severe hunger in the Horn of Africa, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). People in a region including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya face the driest conditions recorded since 1981, the agency reported today, calling for immediate assistance to forestall a major humanitarian crisis. Drought conditions are affecting pastoral and farming communities across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, south-eastern and northern Kenya, and south-central Somalia. ...

Nature in Denmark’s Coastal Regions at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels: Report

Nature in Denmark’s Coastal Regions at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels: ReportCopenhagen, 7 Feb (ONA)--- A research team from Danish consulting group Cowi and the University of Southern Denmark studied how rises in seawater levels would affect nature along the country’s coasts over the next 50 and 100 years, Danish news service Ritzau reported.“We are losing some coastal zones and these shallow coastal areas – also called salt marshes – in particular, will disappear,” said Torben Ebbensgaard, biologist and project manager at Cowi.“These are breeding areas for large numbers of ...

Playing with Dolls Helps Children Talk about How Others feel: Says Study

Playing with Dolls Helps Children Talk about How Others feel: Says Study Washington, 7 Feb (ONA)--- Playing with dolls encourages children to talk more about others’ thoughts and emotions, a study has found. The research suggests that playing imaginary games with dolls could help children develop social skills, theory of mind and empathy. The neuroscientist who led the work said that the educational value of playing with Lego and construction toys was widely accepted, but the benefits of playing with dolls sometimes appeared to have been overlooked. “When children ...

At Least Eight Killed as Long-distance Bus Overturns in Mexico

Cancun, Mexico, 7 Feb (ONA) --- At least eight people died south of the Mexican resort town of Cancun when a bus overturned, local justice authorities said. Several others were injured, the attorney general of Quintana Roo state added.The accident is being investigated. The long-distance bus went off the road and overturned on a highway near the town of El Tintal, some 70 kilometres south-west of Cancún.Local media reported that the bus collided with a truck, but the exact cause of the accident was not immediately known.Several passengers had to be freed from the bus after initially ...

Australia to Allow Entry for Vaccinated Tourists Starting 21 February

Canberra, 7 Feb (ONA) --- Australia announced today that it will open its borders to vaccinated international tourists after almost a two-year halt caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister said that Double-vaccinated tourists and all remaining visa holders will be allowed into Australia from 21 February. Australia’s border saw a semi-reopening which started last year, with international students, working visa holders and backpackers welcomed back in stages. "You must be double vaccinated to come to Australia," Morrison ...

Vancouver's most Vulnerable Residents at Elevated Risk for Brain Injuries: study Finds

Vancouver's most Vulnerable Residents at Elevated Risk for Brain Injuries: study Finds Victoria, 6 Feb (ONA)--- Researchers from two prominent universities in Vancouver are developing new research about health outcomes for the city's most vulnerable residents will result in better awareness, treatment and prevention of traumatic brain injuries. After tracking 326 people for a year who live in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver's poorest neighborhood, researchers from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia discovered that the precariously-housed residents ...

South Korea's New COVID-19 Cases Hit Nearly 40,000

Seoul, 6 Feb (ONA) -- South Korea's daily virus cases hit another high today, exceeding 38,000, as the highly transmissible omicron variant rages across the country following a holiday season. The country reported 38,691 new COVID-19 infections, including 38,502 local cases, raising the total to 1,009,688, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The accumulated virus caseload surpassed 1 million today, two years after the country reported its first COVID-19 case. Daily cases are feared to possibly reach 100,000 in the coming weeks ...

Madagascar Battered by Second Storm in Two Weeks

Antananarivo, Madagascar, 6 Feb (ONA) --- Strong wind and rain have hit the east coast of Madagascar as Cyclone Batsirai made landfall, the second major storm in less that two weeks. Gusts hit speeds of 235km/h (146mph) and high waves battered coastal areas. Many people have been moved to shelters and local officials fear that landslides and flooding could leave tens of thousands more homeless. Storm Ana caused widespread destruction when it hit the Indian Ocean island nation last month, killing 55 people. The heavy rainfall and high waves ...

Moroccan boy trapped in well for four days dies

RABAT, 5th February, 2022 (WAM) -- A five-year-old Moroccan boy who was trapped in a well for four days has died, despite monumental efforts that gripped the world front and centre to rescue him. "Following the tragic incident which claimed the life of the child Rayan Aourram, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God preserve him, had a telephone call with Mr. Khaled Aourram and Mrs. Ouassima Kharchich, parents of the deceased who died after he fell into a well," a Moroccan royal statement said. The boy plunged 32m through the well's narrow opening. The rescue had been hampered by fears of a ...

Meeting UN chief, Chinese president stresses unity, cooperation to tackle global challenges

BEIJING, 6th February, 2022 (WAM / Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed strengthening unity and cooperation to tackle various pressing global challenges, while meeting with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Beijing. Xi said China will continue to firmly support the UN's work, and make new contributions to safeguarding world peace and development and building a community with a shared future for humanity. Guterres came to China for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Xi said hosting a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympics will ...

Earth Has a Newly Discovered Rare Asteroid Companion

Earth Has a newly Discovered Rare Asteroid Companion Santiago, 3 Feb (ONA)--- Our planet has a celestial sentry leading the way around the sun, and it's only the second Earth Trojan asteroid ever discovered. Astronomers observed asteroid 2020 XL5 using the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope in Chile. A study detailing the discovery of the Earth Trojan asteroid published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. "Trojans are objects sharing an orbit with a planet, clustered around one of two special gravitationally balanced areas along the orbit of the planet known ...

Woolly Mammoth and Other Ice Age Remains Found in Devon

Woolly Mammoth and Other Ice Age Remains Found in DevonLondon, 3 Feb (ONA)--- The remains of a woolly mammoth have been found among a host of hugely significant Ice Age animal remains in a cave in Devon, experts have said.The bones, including those of a woolly rhinoceros, wolf and hyena, are thought to date to the last Ice Age - about 30,000 to 60,000 years ago.Archaeologists found the remains during work as part of the development of a new town near Plymouth.Lead archaeologist Rob Bourn said the finds were of "national significance".Mr Bourn, from Orion Heritage, an archaeological and ...

UK Plants Now Flowering A Month Earlier

UK Plants Now Flowering A Month EarlierLondon, 2 Feb (ONA)--- Climate change is causing UK plants to flower almost a month earlier on average, according to a study.Just as autumn leaf fall is being delayed by warmer weather, flowers are appearing earlier on trees and shrubs.But while some might welcome these untimely blooms, scientists are warning of the risks.They say if the trend continues, there are knock-on effects for birds, insects and whole ecosystems.Ecological mismatch may kick in, which would have a dramatic effect "on the functioning and productivity" of nature and farming, said ...

CBO Signs Agreement on Recycling Shredded Banknotes

Muscat, 2 Feb (ONA) --- The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) today signed an agreement with Dar Al Herafiya, which is a specialized establishment in producing and developing traditional Omani handicrafts. The agreement was signed by Tahir Salim Al Amri, CBO’s Executive President, and Zuwaina Sultan Al Rashdi, Dar Al-Herafiya’s CEO. Being the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman, this project aims to produce innovative and unique recycled products from shredded banknotes, reflecting the Omani culture and heritage. The products are made for both local and international ...

Finland to End Virus Restrictions Next Month

Helsinki, 31 Jan (ONA) --- Finland will end all COVID-19 restrictions next month, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said today. At the same time, border controls at the internal borders between Finland and the other Schengen countries end today. That restriction was introduced at the end of December to slow down the spread of the omicron variant. Travelers coming from outside the EU will continue to meet border controls at least until 14 February 2021, local media said. In neighboring Denmark, restrictions were to be scrapped tomorrow (Tuesday), including allowing ...

US East Coast Hit with Blizzards in Heavy Snowstorm

Washington, 30 Jan (ONA) --- Parts of the US East Coast have been battered by blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall, sparking transport chaos and power cuts for thousands. Five states declared emergency hours before piles of snow and high winds blasted the area on Saturday. Some areas of Massachusetts have seen as much as 2.5ft (75cm) of snow, with locals told to hunker down inside. Nearly 6,000 US flights were cancelled across the weekend, with conditions expected to lighten today. Forecasters warn cold temperatures will remain a problem ...

US East Coast Hit with Blizzards in Heavy Snowstorm

Washington, 30 Jan (ONA) --- Parts of the US East Coast have been battered by blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall, sparking transport chaos and power cuts for thousands. Five states declared emergency hours before piles of snow and high winds blasted the area on Saturday. Some areas of Massachusetts have seen as much as 2.5ft (75cm) of snow, with locals told to hunker down inside. Nearly 6,000 US flights were cancelled across the weekend, with conditions expected to lighten today. Forecasters warn cold temperatures will remain a problem ...

Booster Drive Covers Half of Germans

Berlin, 27 Jan (ONA) —— More than half of the population of Germany has received a booster vaccination against the coronavirus, the country's disease control agency said today, as the nation seeks to bolster its defences against Omicron.About 43 million people, or 51.7 per cent of the population, have been boosted, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported, noting that the jabs offered significant protection against the highly transmissible new variant.The landmark moment in the vaccination campaign came as records were set yet again in coronavirus infections.The seven-day incidence, which ...

Tonga Relieved as Contact Restored After Being Cut-Off by Volcano

Bangkok, 20 Jan (ONA) --- As the massive undersea volcano in Tonga erupted, many people from all over the world gazed at images of billowing clouds of ash, gas and steam emerged from beneath the depths. The huge eruption damaged Tonga’s single fiber-optic cable, making the entire Pacific archipelago offline and unable to communicate with the rest of the world. Huge ash clouds made even backup communication be satellite phone next to impossible, and world leaders were not even able to get in touch with their Tongan counterparts to see what type of help is needed. As the ash ...