15 hospitalized after gas explosion in Ukraine
15 people were hospitalized after a gas explosion in the town of Ismail in Ukraine’s Odessa Region, the local media reported. Three people were in serious condition after suffering burns of over 50 per cent of their bodies. According to the emergencies services, the blast at the café at the center of the town went off due to violations of safety regulation by the staff. A massive fire erupted in the building after the blast.
Serbian PM accuses EU of media campaign to destabilize govt
Serbian prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, has accused the European Union of organizing campaign to destabilize his administration by funding anti-government media, Reuters reports. The statement came after a regional news organization published an article criticizing the reconstruction of the Tamnava mine coal mine, which was destroyed by flood last year. Earlier this week, the EU-funded Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) said that the state-owned power monopoly Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) hired an inexperienced local company to work on the reconstruction, allegedly increasing costs.
Newspaper office in Belgium evacuated after bomb threat
The employees and office of Belgian newspaper Le Soir in Brussels have been evacuated after a phone call warned the office would be blown up. An anonymous caller advised to take the threat seriously and to stop covering the Charlie Hebdo topic because “it feeds the extreme right,” Le Soir wrote on its website. Police were called to search the office and later they managed to identify the caller and are going to detain him. On Sunday, Brussels saw thousands rally to commemorate the victims of the Paris attacks, which started at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday and killed 17 people over three days.
Global security meeting to be held in February in US
US Attorney General Eric Holder, who is attending international terror talks in Paris, announced on Sunday that a global high-level anti-terrorism meeting will be held in Washington on February 18. He added that the US is “at war with terrorists,” who commit violent acts and use Islam to justify their actions. According to Holder, President Obama will invite US allies to take part. The talks in Paris follow a series of attacks in France this week in which 17 people were killed.
German suspected ISIS militant arrested returning from Syria
A German citizen, who is suspected of ties with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) extremists, was arrested on Saturday, German federal prosecutors said in a statement. He returned from Syria some months ago, where he spent almost a year. He will go before a judge on Sunday. At least 550 German citizens have joined IS militants in Iraq and Syria, officials say.
Shanghai cancels Lunar New Year lantern festival after deadly stampede
Shanghai authorities said they were canceling their famous Lunar New Year lantern festival after a deadly stampede during a New Year’s celebration left 36 people dead. The festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year and marks the last day of the lunar New Year festivities.
Chinese ‘air rage’ passengers open emergency exits amid flight delay
Two Chinese passengers, upset over a lengthy flight delay, opened emergency exit doors as the plane was taxiing, forcing the pilots to abort takeoff, AP reported. The incident occurred on Saturday morning in the southwestern city of Chengdu, after the China Eastern flight was delayed by a snow storm. After irritated passengers complained about the delay, a man surnamed Zhou opened two emergency exits, forcing the aircraft back to the gate. A total of 25 passengers were temporarily detained for questioning while the others continued on to Beijing on a separate flight. Kunming police said in an online statement that Zhou and a tour guide named Li were placed on a 15-day “administrative detention” for the violation of air safety rules.
Strong signals detected from AirAsia black boxes
Strong signals have been detected from the AirAsia flight QZ8501 black box recorders, Indonesian authorities said. “The ping was detected about 1km east of the tail,” Mr S.B Supriyadi, director with the National Search and Rescue Agency, told AFP, adding that on the sea floor a sonar scan found an object measuring 10m by 4m by 2.5m. “They suspect it is the body of the plane. There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane,” Supriyadi told Reuters. A diving operation has started to retrieve the data.
More than 20 killed as bus veers off cliff in Peru
More than 20 people died as a result of a bus swerving off a cliff in Peru. The driver struggled to make a sharp turn at an altitude of 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) above sea level and the bus plunged into a 100-meter-deep ravine, killing 23 and injuring a further 30 people. The incident took place at 14:00 local time in the south-east of the country, on a road connecting the Santa Barbara and Sicuani districts. According to AFP, local law enforcement says that weather conditions could have contributed to the accident, as well as the poor state of the country roads.
Over 50 dead after oil tanker crashes into bus in Pakistan
At least 57 people died when an oil tanker crashed into a passenger bus in Pakistan, AFP reported citing police. The oil tanker was reportedly speeding at the time of the accident. “The bus carrying some 50 passengers hit an oil tanker, which according to initial reports was coming in the wrong direction,” senior police official Rao Muhammad Anwaar said. Women and children are reported among the dead. The bus was traveling to the town of Shikarpur, located in south-eastern Sindh province, from the southern port city of Karachi. The road where the crash happened is said to be in a very bad state. “We are trying to ascertain if the driver of the oil tanker was solely at fault or whether the bus driver also showed negligence,” Anwaar said. The death toll is likely to rise, according to one of the doctors at Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital. “The death toll may rise as most of them are completely burnt and stuck to each other,” Semi Jamali said.
7 dead in Lebanon car bomb attack, Nusra Front claims responsibility
The Nusra Front terrorist group in Syria, with links to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that targeted a cafe in the Lebanese city of Tripoli on Saturday, which killed at least seven people. The statement was made public via a Twitter account belonging to the group, which said that the attack was planned “in revenge for the Sunnis in Syria and Lebanon.” The country’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam described the attack as “a new attempt to spread the seeds of strife” in Tripoli, which is Lebanon’s second largest city and is home to numerous Sunni Islamist groups.