Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2015 Contents A21
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YANGON---More than 150 Chinese
workers sentenced to life in prison for
illegal logging were freed in Myanmar
yesterday under a massive presidential
pardon that included nearly 7,000
Others who were freed included
former military intelligence officials
purged by their army colleagues more
than a decade ago, and at least a handful
of journalists and social activists.
The pardons issued by President Thein
Sein were timed to coincide with a
Buddhist religious holiday and come
ahead of a November general election.
Those released included 155 Chinese
workers, all but two of whom received
life sentences earlier this month in
connection with illegal logging in
northern Myanmar. Their jail terms drew
much ire in China, which is a top ally of
Myanmar. The punishment seemed
largely to serve as a warning not to
make business deals with Myanmar
ethnic rebel groups.
Others who were pardoned included
eight former senior military intelligence
officers, who since 2004 have been
serving jail terms of 80 years or more.
by heavy rains buried several
mountain villages in Nepal yester-
day, killing at least 30 people, and
bad weather was hampering the
search for others, authorities said.
Rescuers pulled out 19 bodies
after the landslide in the village in
Lumle, 125 miles west of Kathman-
du.An Associated Press cameraman
saw police and army rescuers dig-
ging through piles of debris in search
of at least 11 more people.
More rain was falling, and heli-
copters were grounded. The highway
linking the village with Pokhara, the
main city in the region, was blocked
at several places, delaying rescuers.
Another five bodies were recov-
ered in nearby Dudhe village, where
two bridges were washed away.
Rains during the seasonal mon-
soon in Nepal often trigger land-
slides in the mountains and flooding
in the southern plains.
The devastating earthquake in
April that killed nearly 8,900 people
had set off many landslides and
officials fear that the heavy rainfall
would trigger more. (AP)
Malaysia is "almost certain"
that plane debris found on
Reunion Island in the Indian
Ocean is from a Boeing 777, the
deputy transport minister said
yesterday, heightening the pos-
sibility it could be wreckage
from missing Flight MH370.
The object, which appeared
to be part of a wing, was being
sent to offices of France s BEA
crash investigation agency in
Toulouse to verify if was indeed
the first trace of the lost plane
to be found, Malaysian Prime
Minister Najib Razak said.
Malaysia Airlines was oper-
ating a Boeing 777 on the ill-
fated flight, which vanished in
March last year en route from
Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in one
of the most baffling mysteries
in aviation history.
The plane was carrying 239
passengers and crew.
Search efforts led by Australia
have focused on a broad expanse
of the southern Indian Ocean
off Australia. Reunion Island,
where the debris was found
washed up on Wednesday, is a
French overseas department
roughly 2,300 miles away, east
"The location is consistent
with the drift analysis provided
to the Malaysian investigation
team, which showed a route
from the southern Indian Ocean
to Africa," Najib said in a state-
Aviation experts who have
seen widely circulated pictures
of the debris said it may be a
moving wing surface known as
a flaperon, situated close to the
"It is almost certain that the
flaperon is from a Boeing 777
aircraft. Our chief investigator
here told me this," Malaysian
Deputy Transport Minister
Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told Reuters.
Australia s Deputy Prime
Minister Warren Truss said the
object had a number stamped
on it that might speed its ver-
Investigators believe someone
deliberately switched off
MH370 s transponder before
diverting it thousands of miles
off course. Most of the passen-
gers were Chinese, and Beijing
said it was following develop-
India has carried out the execution of Yakub
Memon, the man convicted of financing the deadly
1993 Mumbai bombings.
Memon was hanged at a prison in Nagpur in the
western state of Maharashtra.
The serial blasts killed 257 people, and were allegedly
to avenge the killing of Muslims in riots a few months
India rarely carries out death sentences---only three
other people have been executed since 2004.
There was tight security around the Nagpur prison
yesterday morning, and in parts of the state capital,
The March 1993 blasts targeted a dozen sites,
including the Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices
of national carrier Air India and a luxury hotel.
Memon was sentenced to death in 2007 after being
convicted of providing financial and logistical support
for the bombings.
Myanmar pardons China loggers among 7,000 prisoners
Landslides bury Nepal villages
Malaysia: Plane debris
from a Boeing 777
Mumbai bomb plotter
MEXICO CITY---At least 23 people, including a baby,
were killed when a truck s brakes failed and plowed
into pilgrims in north-central Mexico, authorities
said yesterday, as the driver fled the tragedy.
Another 22 people were injured following Wednes-
day afternoon s accident on the main road of Mazapil,
a small town of 16,000 people in the state of Zacate-
cas, officials said.
Some 200 pilgrims were heading toward a church
when the dump truck, which was carrying tonnes
of sand, slammed into the crowd. Most of the victims
came from other towns and cities.
The vehicle lost its brakes, crossed a median strip
and flipped on its side, Zacatecas chief prosecutor
Leticia Catalina Soto Acosta told the Televisa chan-
nel.A civil protection official told AFP that 14 people
died on the spot while nine others succumbed to
their injuries at hospitals or while they were in ambu-
Truck hits religious
Mexico, 23 dead
Migrants massed around the entrance to the
Channel Tunnel said yesterday they would keep
trying to sneak across to Britain, undaunted by the
arrival of 120 extra riot police on the French side.
A police officer said the number of migrants trying
to enter Britain eased slightly overnight compared
to earlier in the week, with about 800 migrants
around the site and some 300 intercepted by police.
That compared to an estimated 1,500 attempts by
migrants to enter the tunnel on Tuesday night and
2,000 on Monday. Some were probably repeat
attempts by the same people.
Freight and passenger traffic through the rail tunnel
have been severely disrupted in past weeks as migrants
desperate to enter Britain have stepped up attempts
to board trucks and trains travelling from France.
Calais migrants undaunted
by extra riot police
French gendarmes and police inspect a large piece of plane debris
which was found on the beach in Saint-Andre, on the French Indian
Ocean island of La Reunion, Wednesday. REUTERS PHOTO
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