News Flash – 16 December 2017

National News



Building slab collapses in Zaveri Bazaar

Around 2pm the Mumbai Fire brigade received a call about a fire a slab having collapsed during repairing work of the building.



MUMBAI: A part of a slab collapsed during the repairs of a MHADA building at Zaveri Bazaar today afternoon. Two labourers are likely to be trapped under debris. Around 2pm the Mumbai Fire brigade received a call about a fire a slab having collapsed during repairing work of the building. Five fire engines, one rescue van and an ambulance were rushed to the spot. A total of nine labourers were trapped initially out of which seven have been rescued. One out of the nine has suffered injuries while two persons are still missing. Search operation for the two missing persons are still underway said officials from BMC disaster management unit.



Bomb scare halts business at Khan Market for hours



NEW DELHI: A random call made to the police control room about a bomb being planted at Khan Market with a timer set for 4pm triggered panic on Friday. Even though a thorough combing operation didn’t throw up much, it hadn’t been declared a hoax at the time of filing of this report. “The call came in at 6.46am. It wasn’t made from Delhi,” said DCP (New Delhi) B K Singh. Bomb and dog squads along with an emergency response team were pressed into action. But no suspicious item was found during the security check, Singh said. Another drill was conducted around 2pm to ensure that nothing was left to chance. That one, too, threw up nothing. A senior police officer said a resident of Madipur in west Delhi had got a WhatsApp text from a number in the US after which he had informed the police over phone. “We got a call at 7am from the police about the bomb threat. There are 300-odd stores at Khan Market that usually open at 9am. But we spread the word and asked the owners to keep the area clear until 11am for the security agencies to work swiftly,” said Sanjeev Mehra, president of the market association. All entrances were closed, and the market that’s usually bustling with crowd by noon, had very few visitors.


By 12.30pm, many stores had started opening while some others still remained shut. A few visitors whom TOI spoke to said they had no clue about what was going on. Many left after seeing the stores and restaurants closed. “I came here to have lunch but everything was shut. I only got to know about it when I enquired further. It’s scary how these bomb hoaxes are coming in,” said Amit Khanna, a regular visitor. A restaurant owner, Puneet Kapur, said that on normal days by 12pm they already have many customers. But the market was unusually quiet on Friday. “We don’t expect too many people to turn up as the news spreads,” he said. DCP Singh said the standard operating procedure was followed. Requesting people not to panic, Singh said several teams had been formed to ascertain who the caller was, and appropriate action would be taken against the perpetrator. He also said that all cars that come in and move out of the market would be scanned thoroughly.



Kanyakumari bandh turns violent


KANYAKUMARI: Two TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) drivers were injured and windscreens of 39 buses, including five belonging to KSRTC (Kerala State Transport Corporation), were damaged in stone-pelting incidents as miscreants targeted government buses during the bandh call given by opposition parties seeking adequate compensation for farmers and the public who suffered heavy losses due to Cyclone Ockhi on November 30. Police have arrested 25 people so far in this regard. Initially, various farmers’ bodies had given the bandh call on Friday seeking compensation for those who died during the cyclone in the district on a par with the 20 lakh relief announced by chief minister for fishermen who died in sea. They also sought a fair compensation for damaged banana, rubber and coconut plantations. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and their affiliate organisations were the first to extend support to the bandh, targeting the state government for not adequately compensating farmers. Late on Thursday evening, the DMK and the Congress also extended support to the bandh.


Though the bandh was scheduled only on Friday, some miscreants started hurling stones at buses from 8pm on Thursday. What began as a stray incident peaked around 11pm. Police said that the windscreens of 16 buses were damaged that night and pelting resumed in the early hours of Friday. The damaged buses included five Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses. Following the incident, buses from Kerala stopped operations to the district from Thursday night. The remaining were TNSTC buses. At many places, more than 95% of the shops were closed on the Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari national highway. However, petty shops remained open in the smaller roads. According to police, over 85% shops downed their shutters across the district.



International News



Dutch police open fire on man with knife at Schiphol airport



THE HAGUE: Dutch military police on Friday opened fire on a man armed with a knife at Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol airport, they said. “Man at Schiphol shot at by the military police, after he made threats with a knife. Situation safe,” the military police said in a tweet. A second tweet said the “suspect had been overpowered and arrested”.



Four Palestinians killed in latest Jerusalem fallout clashes

Israeli soldiers deploy during clashes with Palestinians following a protest against Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the West Bank on Friday.



GAZA CITY: Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and dozens more wounded along with an Israeli officer in clashes across the West Bank and near Gaza‘s border on Friday as the fallout continued over President Donald Trump‘s announcement last week recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Protests in response to Trump’s announcement, which departed from decades of US policy that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations, have yet to relent across various Arab and Muslim countries in the region. Following Friday prayers, Palestinians in the West Bank and along the Gaza border set fire to tires and threw rocks at Israeli troops who responded with tear gas and live fire. Gaza Health Ministry Spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said two Palestinians were killed from gunshots to the head. He identified one of the men as Ibrahim Abu Thraya, 29, a disabled man who had both legs amputated. He had taken part in several border skirmishes recently, images on social media show him carrying a Palestinian flag. Another 82 Palestinians were injured in clashes in several locations along Gaza’s border with Israel, at least five of whom were seriously wounded, he said. Another Palestinian died later from wounds sustained in clashes near Jerusalem, the health ministry said. Friday’s deaths put to eight the number of Palestinians killed since Trump’s declaration on December 6. The Israel military said thousands of “Palestinian rioters” rolled burning tires and hurled firebombs and rocks at security forces, who responded with tear gas and also “fired selectively toward main instigators”.


Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops across the West Bank and along the Gaza border since President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week. The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has called for a new armed uprising against Israel in response to Trump’s declaration. East Jerusalem is home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites and the fate of the territory is an emotionally charged issue at the heart of the conflict. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan, as the capital of their hoped-for state. Israel says the entire city, including east Jerusalem, is its eternal capital. Palestinians were infuriated by Trump’s announcement because they saw it as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said Trump’s move disqualified the US from continuing in its role as the traditional mediator of peace talks. Trump said his decision merely recognizes the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and is not meant to prejudge the final borders of the city. Near the West Bank city of Ramallah, one Palestinian was shot and killed on Friday after he attacked an officer with a knife, stabbing him twice and wounding him moderately, said Israeli police. Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police are investigating reports that the attacker was wearing a suicide bomb vest or a fake explosive device. He added that they were also checking to see if he was posing as a journalist in order to get close to the officer.


Video of the incident later emerged on the Facebook page of Palestinian newspaper Al-Hadath showing a man wearing a heavy black jacket retreating after apparently stabbing the Israeli officer. Israeli forces shoot him in the legs and again after he fell. A reporter is heard on the site saying the man was holding a knife. As two ambulances approached, forces fired several more gunshots at the man and medical teams had to wait before evacuating him. The Palestinian Health Ministry said he died of his wounds. In east Jerusalem, protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Jerusalem is Arab” as they walked the narrow streets of the Old City. Some threw bottles of water at police. The clashes were fiercer in the West Bank where about 13 protesters were injured by live fire and 61 by rubber bullets while dozens more were treated for tear gas inhalation, according to the Red Crescent. In the city of Nablus, some Palestinians used slingshots to hurl rocks at Israeli security forces while others torched tires to use the thick plumes of smoke as cover. Others, masked, threw firebombs at an armored water cannon used to disperse crowds.



Death toll rises to six after school bus, train collide in France

Rescue workers help after a school bus and a regional train collided in the village of Millas, southern France on Thursday.



PARIS: The death toll from a collision which saw a train rip a school bus in half rose to six on Friday after doctors in southern France lost the battle overnight to save two of those left seriously injured, a source close to the investigation said. Forensics experts were combing through debris at the road crossing near the town of Perpignan, close to the border with Spain, as they sought to reconstruct events in the seconds before Thursday afternoon’s accident. Hospitals appealed for blood to help them treat six others who remain in a critical condition after an incident described as “horrific” by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who flew to the scene last night. Government Spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the cause of the crash was still unclear. It occurred at a crossing which was not considered dangerous. The local prefect, Philippe Vignes, said the four children who died on Thursday were aged 12 and 13.

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