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Sunday 18 March 2018

UN negotiators approve new draft in bid to get global climate change deal

United Nations senior negotiators approved a new draft text yesterday as a step towards a new global deal to curb climate change.

The text, to be discussed by ministers next week and still containing hundreds of points of disagreement, was endorsed just in time for a midday deadline after negotiators talked through the night.

"This text marks the will of all to reach an agreement. We are not at the end of the route. Major political issues are yet to be resolved," said Laurence Tubiana, the French climate envoy.

Ten hurt in attack on Hindu temple

Police say 10 people were injured after unidentified attackers hurled three homemade bombs on the premises of a Hindu temple in northern Bangladesh during a drama performance.

Local police chief Ruhul Amin says the incident occurred early yesterday. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Police have detained six men for questioning in connection with the blasts. Six of the injured were being treated for splinter injuries at a nearby hospital. Four others sustained less serious injuries.

In recent months, Bangladesh has experienced a series of attacks on secular bloggers, foreigners and minority groups amid concerns that religious extremism is on the rise in the Muslim-majority country.

Levy cuts plastic bag use by 80pc

The recent introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge in England has prompted shoppers to use almost 80pc fewer single-use carriers, Tesco has said.

Tesco reported that the 78pc plunge in single-use bags has exceeded its expectations by about 10pc since the British government introduced the levy in October this year in a bid to reduce non-recyclable litter.

The charge is expected to raise millions of pounds in profits and retailers are being encouraged to donate profits from the charge to charitable causes.

25 workers rescued from oil rig fire

Azerbaijan's state oil company says at least 25 workers have been rescued from a burning oil rig in the Caspian Sea. It was not immediately clear how many workers remained on the rig, or whether any were injured.

The rig, owned by SOCAR, caught fire on Friday evening, when the company said a gas line was damaged in heavy winds. The stormy weather made it difficult to extinguish the flames. The company said on Friday that all workers had been moved away from the area on fire, with all or most of them taking shelter in life boats attached to the platform.

Nigeria suicide bombings kill four

Four people were killed in two separate suicide bombings in the northeastern Nigeria state of Borno, while the army said it captured a Boko Haram Islamist militant on its top 100 suspect list.

Seven people were also injured in the attacks on the villages of Kimba and Sabon Gari late on Friday, Mohammed Kanar, northeast coordinator for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, said by phone. And in an e-mailed statement, Nigeria's army said it had arrested Boko Haram's chief cameraman, who is number 58 on the military's most wanted list.

Boko Haram has stepped up suicide attacks across northern Nigeria since troops retook most of the territory it held this year and intensified the offensive to end the six-year-old insurgency.

Thailand marks king's 88th birthday

The people of Thailand yesterday marked the 88th birthday of their king, the world's longest-reigning monarch, but with their once-vigorous leader in a hospital and unseen in public for three months, the celebrations were the most subdued in memory.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej looked frail on his last appearance before the general public on September 1, when he was taken on a brief tour of the Bangkok hospital where he has spent most of the last six years. His most recent ailment was a lung infection that required him to be fed intravenously and use a machine to aid his breathing.

Sunday Independent

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