Thursday 22 February 2018

Divers battle currents to search for 70 missing Korean ferry passengers

Divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea

Divers battled strong currents and wind yesterday to search unopened rooms in a sunken South Korean ferry for 70 missing passengers, officials said. Bodies of 230 victims have been retrieved so far.

HOPES OF RESCUING 13 MINERS AT AN END

Authorities in Colombia have given up hope of finding alive 13 missing miners trapped under 20m of debris after a gold mine collapsed in the south-west of the country.

"I pray to God for survivors but it's impossible," said the mayor of the rural town of Santander de Quilichao where the tragedy took place on Wednesday night.

The bodies of three people were pulled from the rubble on Thursday but since then rescue workers have been unable to dig to where the men were trapped.

VATICAN'S ANTI-ABUSE BOARD IN PLEDGE

Members of Pope Francis's sexual abuse advisory board said yesterday they would develop "clear and effective" protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they failed to report suspected abuse or protect children from paedophile priests.

EVACUATION OF HOMS FIGHTERS DELAYED

The planned evacuation of fighters from rebel-held parts of Homs was delayed yesterday, activists said, though a ceasefire was still holding. Rebels agreed to surrender territory in exchange for safe passage to other opposition-held areas.

INDIAN POLICE ARREST 22 OVER KILLINGS

Police in Assam state in India have arrested 22 people for helping separatist rebels accused of killing 29 Muslims in the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in the remote north-eastern region in two years.

Authorities called in the army and imposed a curfew in the wake of the violence blamed on rebels from the Bodo tribe, who accused Muslim residents of sneaking into India illegally from neighbouring Bangladesh.

KENYA EXPLOSIONS CLAIM THREE VICTIMS

Three people have been killed in two explosions along the Kenyan coast, a government agency has said.

The blasts were at a bus stop in Mombasa, and a beachside tourist resort in Nyali. Kenya has been hit by a wave of terror attacks since it sent its troops to Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants in 2011. The al Qaida-linked militants vowed to terrorise Kenya to avenge the presence of their troops in Somalia.

FIFTEEN DIE IN FIREWORKS FACTORY BLAZE

A blaze in a fireworks factory in central India killed 15 people and seriously injured another four yesterday.

Police officers said the fire started while the workers were making firecrackers in the factory in Madhya Pradesh state, about 775km south-west of Delhi.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS KEY TO AUTISM

Environmental factors are more important than previously thought in leading to autism, as big a factor as genes, according to the largest analysis to date to look at how the brain disorder runs in families. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest heritability is only half the story, with the other 50 per cent explained by environmental factors such as birth complications, socioeconomic status, or parental health and lifestyle.

The study found that children with a sibling with autism are 10 times more likely to develop it, three times if they have a half-brother or sister with autism, and twice as likely if they have a cousin with autism.

Sunday Independent

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