Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 14th 2013 Contents A29
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BHOPAL---A stampede at a bridge leading to a
remote Hindu temple in central India yesterday
killed at least 89 people and injured more than
100, police said.
Nearly 150,000 devotees gathered to celebrate
the holy festival of Dussehra at the Ratangarh
temple, in a forest outside the town of Datia, north
of the Madhya Pradesh state capital, Bhopal.
But pilgrims panicked when the railings broke
on a bridge that led to the temple, triggering the
stampede. Some devotees were crushed to death
under the feet of fellow worshippers, others drowned
after falling or jumping into the river Sindh.
"The death toll has shot up to 89 now and nearly
100 people are injured. Relief work tends to slow
down after the sunset but will start in full swing
from tomorrow morning," Dilip Arya, a deputy
inspector general of police, told Reuters.
Local media said the police used batons to control
the crowd, prompting many people to panic. A
team of 20 doctors was been sent to help, the media
Pilgrims have died due to stampedes on previous
In February this year, a stampede killed at least
36 Hindu pilgrims, who were part of the world s
largest religious festival which attracted some 30
million people. (Reuters)
Paris---The Eiffel Tower, France's top
tourist draw, was briefly evacuated yes-
terday and the area ringed by security
Police said the action followed a threat
delivered by telephone but did not elabo-
The famous monument was evacuated
shortly before 4:00 pm (1800 GMT) and
reopened about an hour and a half later.
Evacuations have been staged regu-
larly at the Paris landmark, usually
after bomb threats. There have been
two such incidents this year, on March
30 and August 9.
On June 18 the monument was closed
for two hours after a man threatened to
The Eiffel Tower is the world's most
visited monument, attracting up to
32,000 tourists daily. (AFP)
Nearly 200,000 Catholic pilgrims
have gathered at Fatima, one of Chris-
tianity s most visited shrines, the
sanctuary in Portugal says.
Pilgrims celebrated the 96th anniver-
sary of the day in 1917 when three Por-
tuguese shepherd children reported
seeing the Virgin Mary.
The Vatican s number two, cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone, was present at the
celebrations in what will be his last trip
before he retires as secretary of state
next week and is replaced by cardinal
"Religious indifference is the major
challenge for the church," Bertone said
in his homily to the mass of pilgrims.
In a radio interview, the 78-year-old
cardinal said he was confident but could
not confirm Pope Francis would make
the journey to Portugal for the 100th
anniversary in 2017.
The president of the World Bank,
Jim Yong Kim, has warned that the
United States is just "days away
from a very dangerous moment"
because of the government s bor-
He urged US policymakers to reach
a deal to raise the government s debt
ceiling before Thursday s deadline.
The US Treasury will start to run
short of funds if no agreement is
reached for it to borrow on financial
Kim warned this could be a "dis-
astrous event" for the world.
"The closer we get to the deadline
the greater the impact will be for the
"Inaction could result in interest
rates rising, confidence falling and
growth slowing," said Kim, speaking
at the World Bank s annual meeting
"If this comes to pass it could be
a disastrous event for the developing
world and that will in turn greatly
hurt the developed economies as
well," he added.
If the US does run short of cash,
this could cause it to default on its
debts, a development which would
be likely to have a severe effect on
financial markets around the world.
The BBC s Andrew Walker said
that finance ministers from other
countries think the US probably
won t default, but they are uneasy
and want the crisis resolved very
Republicans and Democrats failed
to come to an agreement on Saturday,
but Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat,
said the aim was to reach a deal on
extending the debt limit before mar-
kets reopen on Monday.
The White House rejected a deal
for a short-term increase to the bor-
"It wouldn t be wise, as some sug-
gest, to just kick the debt ceiling can
down the road for a couple of
months, and flirt with a first-ever
intentional default right in the middle
of the holiday shopping season," said
President Barack Obama.
The US government has been in
partial shutdown since Congress
missed a 1 October deadline to pass
a budget, with politicians being
unable to agree funding for current
This has resulted in hundreds of
thousands of federal employees being
sent home and government offices
Republicans refused to approve the
new budget unless President Obama
agreed to delay or eliminate the fund-
ing of the healthcare reform law of
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew
has estimated that each week the
government is shut down, 0.25 per
cent is shaved off economic growth,
which was already expected to be a
sluggish this quarter.
Lew has also has warned that let-
ting talks over the debt ceiling go
down to the wire "could be very dan-
The current debt limit of $16.699
trillion was reached in May.
Since then the US Treasury has
been using what are called extraor-
dinary measures to keep paying the
bills, but those measures run out on
Every week, the Treasury also has
to refinance $100 billion worth of
debt in the form of US government
bonds known as treasuries.
The US also has to pay interest on
its huge debt burden.
An inability to pay that interest,
or pay back debt if required, would
put the US into default. (BBC)
World Bank head: US borrowing
crisis 'days away' from danger
The bodies of victims of a stampede lie on a bridge across the Sindh River in Datia district in Madhya Pradesh
state, India, yesterday. Scores of people were killed yesterday in a stampede by masses of Hindu worshippers
crossing the bridge to the remote Ratangarh village temple to honor the Hindu mother goddess Durga on the
last day of the popular 10-day Navaratra festival. AP PHOTO
Scores killed in India temple stampede
Pilgrims flock to Fatima shrine
Hindu devotees pray at the Sabarimala temple during the Maravilakku festival yesterday.
Eiffel Tower briefly evacuated after telephone threat
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