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MISCELLANEOUS
Thirteen Killed, 30 Hurt as Truck Crashes, Overturns in Philippines

Manila, 13 Jan (ONA)--- Thirteen people were killed and 30 injured when a truck they were riding in crashed into a tree and overturned in the southern Philippines, police and local officials said. Some passengers were thrown from the truck and pinned under it in the crash. The six-wheeler truck was navigating a sloping curve in Balingasag town in Misamis Oriental province, 771 kilometres south of Manila, on Wednesday when its brakes malfunctioned, police said. A total of 43 passengers, including children, were aboard the truck, said Jojo Dalman, councillor of the town of Claveria, located ...

Past Seven Years Hottest on Record: EU Data

Brussels, 10 Jan (ONA) --- The past seven years have been the hottest on record, according to new data from the EU's satellite system. The Copernicus Climate Change Service said 2021 was the fifth-warmest year, with record-breaking heat in some regions. And the amount of warming gases in our atmosphere continued to increase. Governments are committed to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C to curb climate change. But scientists warn that time is fast running out. The environmental, human and economic costs of hotter temperatures are already being ...

Ghost Orchid that Grows in Dark Among New Plant Finds

London, 6 Jan (ONA) --- Several new plants were named by scientists last year, including a ghost orchid which grows in complete darkness, an insect-trapping tobacco plant and a so called exploding firework flower. The species range from a voodoo lily from Cameroon to a rare tooth fungus unearthed near London, UK. A new tree from the ylang-ylang family is the first to be named in 2022 and is being named after the actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. The highlighted plants are among the 205 new species named in 2021 by scientists from the Royal Botanic ...

Scientists Design Blood Test to Detect Cancer

London, 5 Jan (ONA) --- Scientists have for the first identified biomarkers in blood that can help in diagnosing cancer in people with non-related symptoms. These symptoms could be unexpected signs like weight loss or fatigue. The test could help in early diagnosis and design better treatment strategies against the disease. Scientists have said that there is no clear route to identify and relate non-specific symptoms to cancer and patients are sent back since these causes cannot be identified and by the time they return, cancer would have advanced. Dr. ...

Two Missing in Huge Colorado Fire Amid Investigations

Colorado, 3 Jan (ONA) --- In Colorado, people who escaped the flames went through the charred remnants of their homes to see what was left, while search teams looked for two missing people in the debris. Investigators were still trying to figure out the cause of the flames which tore through an area of at least 24 square kilometers. The fires left nearly 1,000 houses and other buildings destroyed in suburbs between Denver and Boulder. The wildfire broke out last Thursday at an unusually late time of the year following a dry fall and amid a winter nearly devoid of snow. ...

Hurricanes to Expand into More Populated Regions: Study

London, 30 Dec (ONA) --- Climate change will expand the range of tropical cyclones, making millions more people vulnerable to these devastating storms, a new study found. At present, these cyclones - or hurricanes as they are also known - are mainly confined to the tropical regions north and south of the equator, but researchers say that rising temperatures will allow these weather events to form in the mid-latitudes. These areas include cities such as New York, Beijing, Boston and Tokyo. The study has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience. ...

French Govt Moves to Speed up Vaccine Passes

Paris, 29 Dec (ONA) --- France’s government is forging ahead with efforts to increase pressure on unvaccinated people to get coronavirus jabs, as the omicron variant fuels a record surge in infections. At a parliamentary hearing this afternoon, the health minister plans to defend a French government plan to allow only fully vaccinated individuals access to places such as restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, and sports arenas. Speeding up the introduction of the so-called “vaccine pass” forms part of a government strategy to use vaccinations, rather than ...

Several US States Hit by Record Freeze, Heavy Snow

Seattle, 28 Dec (ONA) --- Severe weather sweeping western parts of the US continues to bring record-breaking cold temperatures to the Pacific north-west and heavy snow to mountains in northern California and Nevada. Throughout Oregon and western Washington emergency warning shelters were opened as temperatures plunged below zero Celsius. Forecasters said an Arctic blast would last for several days. Snow showers blew into the Pacific north-west from the Gulf of Alaska, going up to 15 cm across the Seattle area. The National Weather Service said Seattle broke ...

Over 20 Dead In Gold Mine Collapse In Sudan

Khartoum, 28 Dec (ONA) ---- As many as 23 people died and Eight people were injured in Sudan when a gold mine collapsed, a spokesman for the Sudanese Mineral Resources Company said today. The accident occurred in the town of Al-Nuhud, in the West Kordofan region. The mine had been closed once before by the local authorities after a previous collapse but it was reopened again. The export of gold is of great importance for the East African nation. In 2018, Sudan exported 93 tons of gold. Many gold mines in the country are operated semi-legally and do not meet safety standards.--- Ends/AH ...

Huge Toll of Disasters Linked to Climate Change

London, 27 Dec (ONA) —- Weather events, linked to a changing climate, brought misery to millions around the world in 2021 according to a new report. The study, from the charity Christian Aid, identified 10 extreme events that each caused more than $1.5bn of damage. The biggest financial impacts were from Hurricane Ida which hit the US in August and flooding in Europe in July. In many poorer regions, floods and storms caused mass displacements of people and severe suffering. Not every extreme weather event is caused by or linked to climate change, ...

Major Storm Dumps Snow, Closes Mountain Routes in California

California, 27 Dec (ONA) --- A major weekend storm caused whiteout conditions and closed key highways amid blowing snow in mountains of Northern California and Nevada in the US, with forecasters warning that travel in the Sierra Nevada could be difficult for several days.Local authorities near Reno said three people were injured in a 20-car pileup on Interstate 395, where drivers described limited visibility. Further west, a 70-mile (112-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 80 was shut from Colfax, California, through the Lake Tahoe region to the Nevada state line.The California ...

Virus Infections Spike over Holidays in France

Paris, 26 Dec (ONA) --- France has recorded more than 100,000 virus infections in a single day for the first time since the pandemic struck, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled over the past month as the fast-spreading omicron variant complicates the government’s efforts to stave off a new lockdown. More than 1 person in 100 in the Paris region has tested positive in the past week, according to the regional health service. Most new infections are linked to the omicron variant, which government experts predict will be dominant in France in the coming ...

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, ...