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Sunday 21 January 2018

In brief: 22 miners trapped

A GAS explosion has trapped 22 workers underground in a coal mine in western China.

The blast at a mine in Changji prefecture occurred when 34 miners were working. Twelve scrambled to safety but 22 remained trapped.

Chinese TV reported that rescuers were searching for the trapped miners and that it was unclear whether there were injuries or fatalities.

DOWNTON ABBEY WINE

Aficionados of period drama Downton Abbey will find the hit series makes them giddy with more than simply excitement -- with the launch of a brand of wine.

Devotees can consume the show -- not just TV and DVD -- with the launch of bottles of "claret" and "blanc". The show follows the lead of acts such as the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, which have launched wines in their name.

WHISTLE PROTEST APP

For years, protesters in Thailand have used social media to organise rallies. Now they're taking smartphones to a new level. Apps have been created that allow phones to help protesters perform the high-pitched, raucous noise that is a staple of Thai demonstrations.

More than 70,000 people have downloaded one application that mimics the shrieking sound of a whistle -- the symbol of the "whistle-blowing campaign" against prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The new app is called Nok Weed, Thai for whistle, and it lets users choose the colour of their whistle, adjust the volume and then tap the screen to sound it.

MEMORIAL CROSS DOWN

A US federal judge says a 43ft war memorial cross must be removed from the top of a mountain in 90 days because it violates the principle of separation of church and state.

US District Judge Larry Burns said that it is time for the long-running case to end. An appeal court ruled in 2011 that the cross on Mount Soledad, San Diego, violated the Constitution. After the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the case went back to Judge Burns to consider any alternatives.

PLAYERS REJECT CURFEW

The Brazilian tradition of the concentracao -- sequestering teams before matches and shielding them from temptations such as sex and alcohol -- is under threat as players take a stand against the late payment of wages.

So far this year players at Botafogo, Portuguesa and Vasco da Gama have refused to attend the concentracao because their salaries were not paid on time.

Irish Independent

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