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Emergency crews search mangled

coaches as India rail crash kills 23



crews searched mangled carriag-

es on Sunday for any further vic-

tims after a train crash in north-

ern India killed 23 passengers,

the fourth major accident this

year on the crumbling network.

Another 156 people were in-

jured when 14 carriages came off

the tracks in Muzaffarnagar dis-

trict in Uttar Pradesh state, 130

km from New Delhi, on Saturday


The coaches were left piled

atop each other after the express

train derailed at 100 kmper hour,

crashing into nearby houses and

a college.

Rescuers used gas-powered

saws Sunday to prise apart the

tangled metal and search the

wreckage with sniffer dogs.

“We are checking the coaches

thoroughly for any survivors or

bodies,” Anant Dev, Muzaffar-

nagar district police chief, said.

A large crowd gathered at the

accident site to help free passen-

gers from the damaged carriages,

many of which were upended

and torn open.

Some of the injured were se-

riously hurt but many had been

released from hospital after re-

ceiving treatment, Dev added.

The government has ordered

an inquiry into the accident amid

speculation unscheduled mainte-

nance work was underway at the


Mohammad Jamshed, a se-

nior official with the govern-

Indian policemen and emergency crew stand next to the wreckage of a train carriage after an express train

derailed on Saturday evening near the town of Khatauli in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday.



sentences 10

to death for

plot to kill PM


A Bangladesh court

sentenced ten militants to death

on Sunday over a failed plot to as-

sassinate Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina by detonating a huge

bomb at one of her rallies.

The men were sentenced to

death by firing squad for planting

a huge explosive near where Ha-

sina was scheduled to speak dur-

ing her first term as prime minis-

ter in 2000, prosecutor Shamsul

Haq Badol said.

“The bomb was planted in

an attempt to kill Sheikh Hasina,

high-ranking leaders of the (rul-

ing) Awami League party and dig-

nitaries,” Badol said.

The 76 kilogramexplosive was

detected and defused, sparking

a manhunt for those responsible

for the assassination attempt on

Hasina, who is in her third term

as leader of Bangladesh’s govern-

ment. Police allege the operation

was led by Mufti Abdul Hannan,

the late leader of extremist group

Harakat ul Jihad Al Islami, which

perpetrated a string of attacks

across Bangladesh in the late

1990s and early 2000s.

Hannan, the main accused in

the failed bomb plot, was hanged

in April for orchestrating a gre-

nade attack on Britain’s envoy to

Bangladesh in 2004. The accused

in this latest case wanted to kill

Hasina because “they said she

was not a Muslim, and an agent

of India, and Islam can be estab-

lished (in Bangladesh) only by

killing her,” Badol said.

Anger simmers in Philippines

over Duterte deadly drug war


Mourners at the

funeral of a Philippine man who

police shot dead protested his

innocence on Sunday, the latest

sign of rising anger over Presi-

dent Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody

campaign to stamp out drugs.

More than 12,500 people,

many small-time drug users and

dealers, have been killed since

Duterte took office in June 2016.

Police say about 3,500 of those

killed were shot by officers in


Human rights monitors be-

lieve many of the remaining two

thirds were killed by assassins

operating with police backing or

by police disguised as vigilantes -

a charge the police deny.

On Sunday, dozens of mourn-

ers wearing with white T-shirts

with the slogan “Kill drugs, not

people,” bore the coffin of Leover

Miranda to his grave in a Manila


Miranda was killed this

month in what police said was a

drug sting operation but relatives

say he was innocent.

“I want justice for my son,”

Elvira Miranda, 69, said.

“I have no powerful friends,

I do not know what to do, but

I want the people behind this

senseless killing punished.”

Most people in the Philip-

pines support the anti-drug

campaign and Duterte remains

a popular leader but questions

have begun to be asked about

the slaughter, with more than 90

people killed in a new surge of

shootings in recent days.

The country’s two most in-

fluential Catholic bishops on

Sunday spoke against the latest

deaths, asking the faithful to pray

Elvira Miranda, center, mother of Leover Miranda, an alleged drug

dealer who was killed on Aug. 3, 2017, cries during the burial of Leover

at the Manila North Cemetery on Sunday.


ment’s railway board, said some

repair equipment was found near

the accident site — indicating

work was being carried out.

But he cautioned that the

evidence was inconclusive and a

thorough probe would unveil the

exact cause of the crash.

“The investigation will deal

with all the aspects, be it tech-

nical, human error or sabotage,”

Jamshed said.

Railways Minister Suresh

Prabhu vowed in a Twitter mes-

sage to “fix responsibility” for the


Authorities have also asked

anti-terror officers to investigate

whether sabotage was involved.

The Utkal-Kalinga express

left Puri, a temple city in India’s

coastal east, on Thursday eve-

ning and was scheduled to arrive

in the northern Hindu holy city

of Haridwar, a 2,400 km journey.

But survivors described sud-

den jolting followed by a violent

crash near Khatauli railway sta-

tion in Muzaffarnagar.

“There was a huge thud and a

shake before I fell off the berth,”

Nadeem Shauket, who escaped

with minor injuries, said.

“It’s a miracle,” he said of his

survival virtually unscathed, de-

scribing how hundreds of locals

rushed to their rescue.

Officials said 200 meters of

track had been damaged in the

accident, but it was hoped servic-

es would be restored by Sunday


India’s railway network is

the world’s fourth largest and re-

mains the main form of travel in

the vast country, but it is poorly

funded and deadly accidents of-

ten occur.

Experts blame under-invest-

ment and poor safety standards

for the frequency of rail acci-


This latest derailment is the

fourth major crash this year, and

follows another accident in Uttar

Pradesh last November that left

146 dead.

In January nearly 40 people

were killed when a passenger

train derailed in the southern

state of Andra Pradesh.

A 2012 government report de-

scribed the loss of 15,000 passen-

gers to rail accidents every year

in India as a “massacre.”

Prime Minister Narendra

Modi has pledged $137 billion

over five years to modernize

the crumbling railways and his

government has signed numer-

ous upgrading deals with private



Thousands protest in

Hong Kong over jailing

of democracy activists



of people took to the streets of

Hong Kong on Sunday to protest

against the jailing of three young

democracy activists, with many

questioning the independence

of the Chinese-ruled city’s judi-


On Thursday, Joshua Wong,

20, Nathan Law, 24 and Alex

Chow, 27, were jailed for six to

eight months for unlawful as-

sembly, dealing a blow to the

youth-led push for universal suf-

frage and prompting accusations

of political interference.




marched in sweltering tempera-

tures above 30 degrees Celsius

(86°F) to the Court of Final Ap-

peal, carrying placards and ban-

ners denouncing the jailing of the


Former student leader Lester

Shum, who helped organize Sun-

day’s rally, said the number of

protesters was the highest since

pro-democracy protests in 2014

that paralyzed parts of the finan-

cial hub for 79 days.

“This shows that the Hong

Kong government, the Chinese

Communist regime and the De-

partment of Justice’s conspiracy

to deter Hong Kong people from

continuing to participate in poli-

tics and to protest using harsh

laws and punishments has com-

pletely failed,” Shum said.

Protesters brandished a large

banner saying: “It’s not a crime

to fight against totalitarianism.”

They shouted: “Release all politi-

cal prisoners. Civil disobedience.

We have no fear. We have no re-


Ray Wong, 24, leader of pro-

independence group Hong Kong

Indigenous, said the issue is unit-

ing government opponents.

“Since the Umbrella move-

ment, the radical and milder

forces walked their own path,”

he said, referring to the 2014 de-

mocracy movement. “We’re now

standing together. It is a good


In Sunday’s protests, some

signs said “Shame on Rimsky,”

referring to Justice Secretary

Rimsky Yuen, who Reuters re-

ported last week had overruled

other legal officials who initially

advised against pursuing jail

terms for the three activists.

Wong and his colleagues trig-

gered the 2014 mass street pro-

tests, which attracted hundreds

of thousands at their peak, when

they climbed into a courtyard

fronting the city’s government


They were sentenced last

year to non-jail terms including

community service for unlawful

assembly, but the Department of

Justice applied for a review, seek-

ing imprisonment.

On Friday, Yuen denied any

“political motive” in seeking jail

for the trio.

The former British colony

returned to China in 1997 under

a “one country, two systems”

agreement that ensured its free-

doms, including a separate legal

system. But Beijing has ultimate

control and some Hong Kong

people are concerned it is in-

creasingly interfering to head off


The jail terms for Wong, Law

and Chow disqualify them from

running for the legislature for the

next five years.

Lau Siu-lai, one of six legisla-

tors expelled from the city’s leg-

islature this year over the man-

ner in which she took her oath

of office, said the sentences were

unreasonably harsh.

“It appears to be political

suppression to strip away young

people’s right to stand in elec-

tions,” she said.

“I hope people will pay atten-

tion ... We need to protect Hong

Kong’s’ rule of law.”

— Reuters

Demonstrators march in protest of the jailing of student leaders Joshua

Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who were imprisoned for their par-

ticipation of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, also known

as “Occupy Central” protests, in Hong Kong on Sunday.

— Reuters

Australian PM Turnbull unveils strategy to beat vehicle attacks


Australian Prime Minister Mal-

colm Turnbull called on Sunday

for developers to incorporate

safety features into their projects

to prevent militant attacks with

vehicles and other weapons as he

announced new plans to protect

the public.

Turnbull unveiled Australia’s

first national strategy to protect

crowded places, which he said

was initiated after a militant

drove a truck into crowds in the

French city of Nice in last year,

killing 84 people. It comes days

after a similar attack in the Span-

ish city of Barcelona killed 14 and

injuring more than 100, and fol-

lows a string of similar vehicle

attacks around the world.

Turnbull told reporters the

plan was designed for councils,

businesses and venue operators

to stop attacks with vehicles as

well as with guns, knives, bombs

or chemical devices.

Steps include the installation

of bollards along main streets,

and at shopping centers and out-

side sporting grounds.

Turnbull said while sites

would be better protected, devel-

opers had to incorporate safety

features into new projects on the

drawing board.

“The best mitigation are done

at the design,” he said. “The most

important thing is that, as you get

new developments, new plans,

that security measures are put in

place at that time.”

“The threat is constantly

evolving, and so what we have to

do is make sure that we too are

constantly improving and updat-

ing the measures we have to keep

Australians safe.”

Meanwhile, Britain is explor-

ing ways to stop “the malicious

use of hire vehicles,” including

looking at what more rental com-

panies can do, the transport min-

istry said on Sunday.

The police say that by using

hire vehicles, any such attacks are

very hard to prevent. “The threat

from terrorism is changing and so

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a media con-

ference announcing Australia’s national security plan to protect public

places in central Sydney, Australia, on Sunday.

— Reuters

for the victims.

“We knock on the conscienc-

es of those who kill even the

helpless, especially those who

cover their faces ... to stop wast-

ing human lives,” said Cardinal

Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop

of Manila.

Another senior cleric, Arch-

bishop Socrates Villegas, called

for churches to ring their bells

every evening at 8 p.m., to stir the

consciences of the authorities.

“You shall not kill. That is a

sin. That is against the law,” he

said in a statement.

Public anger rose last week

when police killed a 17 year-old

high-school student.

Television channels aired

CCTV footage that showed Kian

Loyd Delos Santos being carried

by two men to a place where his

body was later found, raising

doubt about an official report

that said he was shot because he

fired at police.

Some civil society groups and

left-wing activists have called for

protests increasing anger with

the police was evident in social

media posts.

Metro Manila police chief

Oscar Albayalde said he has sus-

pended the police chief in Calo-

ocan City, where the boy was

killed, pending an investigation.

Three officers involved in the

operation were earlier relieved

of duties. The justice department

has also begun an investigation

while senators will also summon

police this week to explain the

sudden rise in killings.


UK calls on

EU to move

Brexit talks



Brexit minister

David Davis called on the Euro-

pean Union on Sunday to relax

its position that the two sides

must first make progress on a di-

vorce settlement before moving

on to discussing future relations.

After a slow start to nego-

tiations to unravel more than 40

years of union, Britain is press-

ing for talks to move beyond the

divorce to offer companies some

assurance of what to expect after

Britain leaves the EU in March


This week, the government

will issue five new papers to out-

line proposals for future ties, in-

cluding how to resolve any future

disputes without “the direct ju-

risdiction of the Court of Justice

of the European Union (ECJ),”

Davis said.

“I firmly believe the early

round of the negotiations have

already demonstrated that many

questions around our withdrawal

are inextricably linked to our fu-

ture relationship,” Davis wrote in

the Sunday Times newspaper.

“Both sides need to move

swiftly on to discussing our fu-

ture partnership, and we want

that to happen after the Europe-

an Council in October,” he wrote,

saying the clock was ticking.

EU officials have said there

must be “sufficient progress”

in the first stage of talks on the

rights of expatriates, Britain’s

border with EU member Ireland

and a financial settlement before

they can consider a future rela-


— Reuters

must our response. That is why

we are reviewing our counter-ter-

rorism strategy and powers and

why we have ploughed extra re-

sources into counter-terrorism,”

a government spokesperson said.

“The Department for Trans-

port is also working with the

police and the vehicle rental

industry to explore what more

can be done to prevent the ma-

licious use of hire vehicles. This

includes looking at what more

rental companies could do before

an individual can hire a vehicle.”

— Aggencies