Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2014 Contents A23
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Jamaica to cut power
to theft-prone towns
KINGSTON---Jamaica's sole power distribu-
tor is slashing the number of hours that elec-
tricity is provided to entire communities where
power theft is rampant, officials said yesterday.
The new move by the Jamaica Public Service
Company was blasted by the main opposition
party and the country's utility regulator has re-
quested a meeting with the power company
because of the impact on legitimate customers.
Senior utility official Gary Barrow said the
company has "tried everything to reduce elec-
tricity theft" and is now forced to cut hours
that power is provided to neighbourhoods
where more than 70 per cent of it is pilfered.
Cars set afire in Brazil
police parking lot
SAO PAULO---Brazilian authorities say
seven cars were set on fire in the parking lot
of a police station in Sao Paulo.
There were no reports of injuries and police
are investigating the motive behind the attack.
Officials at the police station said yesterday
the office was closed during the attack near
midnight on Monday. An officer saw three
men escaping after he noticed the fire. (AP)
US surveillance aircraft
to find missing girls
WASHINGTON---The United States has
deployed manned surveillance aircraft over
Nigeria and is sharing satellite imagery with
the Nigerian government to find more than
200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist insur-
gents, a senior Obama administration official
said on Monday.
Washington has sent military, law-enforce-
ment and development experts to Nigeria to
help search for the missing girls who were kid-
napped by Boko Haram militants from a sec-
ondary school in Chibok in remote
northeastern Nigeria on April 14. (AP)
spreads rapidly in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE---Haiti's health ministry
says that a mosquito-borne virus has spread
throughout the Caribbean nation.
Ronald Singer said yesterday that 1,529
cases of the chikungunya virus have been con-
firmed. About 900 of those cases were found
in the west department, where the capital of
Port-au-Prince is located.
The symptoms of chikungunya include a
sharp fever, headache, full-body rash and joint
pain. The illness is rarely fatal.
The arrival of the virus in Haiti was expected.
In neighbouring Dominican Republic, authori-
ties have confirmed at least 150 to 200 cases.
The often-painful illness most commonly
found in Asia and Africa was first detected in
the Caribbean in December on tiny St Maar-
Barack Obama faces the prospect
this week of having to offer his
congratulations to a new Indian
leader who was barred from the
United States less than ten years
ago over massacres of Muslims
As voting concluded in India s
general election on Monday, four
major exit polls showed Hindu
nationalist Narendra Modi set to
become prime minister, with his
opposition party and its allies fore-
cast to sweep to a parliamentary
A Modi victory would be a blow
for campaigners who have long
maintained he is an autocratic
Hindu supremacist responsible for
an outbreak of religious riots in
his home state of Gujarat in 2002
in which more than 1,000 people,
mostly Muslims, died.
Modi was shunned by Western
nations for years after the blood-
shed in Gujarat, where he has been
chief minister since 2001. He was
denied a US visa in 2005 under
the terms of a 1998 US law which
bars entry to foreigners who have
committed "particularly severe
violations of religious freedom."
Modi s rise on the national stage,
however, and the importance of
relations with India, which the
United States sees as a key coun-
terbalance to China in Asia, have
forced a rethink.
Ambassadors of the European
Union and the United States have
met Modi to patch up relations.
The US State Department has
repeatedly declined to spell out
whether it will issue a visa to Modi
as prime minister, but analysts say
it is all but certain he will be given
one because of the "strategic"
nature of the US-India relation-
ship, which Obama has called "one
of the defining partnerships of the
21st century." (Reuters)
US may have to welcome Modi despite past visa ban
ANKARA---An explosion and fire at a coal
mine in western Turkey killed at least five
people yesterday and trapped hundreds of
workers underground, Turkish officials said.
At least 25 people were reported alive after
A power distribution unit at a mine in the
town of Soma exploded yesterday afternoon,
Soma administrator Mehmet Bahattin Atci told
reporters. The town is 155 miles south of Istan-
Atci said between 200 to 300 workers were
trapped inside the mine.
Cengiz Ergun, the mayor for Manisa
province, said the death toll stood at five and
that at least 25 people were evacuated alive.
Private NTV television said the accident
occurred over one mile deep inside the mine.
Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said rescuers
were pumping fresh air into the mine and res-
cue teams from neighbouring regions were
rushing to the area. Journalists were being
kept away from the site but a witness told
NTV that ambulances were seen leaving the
Families gathered outside the hospital in
Soma seeking news of their loves ones, NTV
Mining accidents are common in Turkey,
which is plagued by poor safety conditions.
Turkey s worst mining disaster was a 1992
gas explosion that killed 263 workers near the
Black Sea port of Zonguldak. (AP)
JERUSALEM---Ehud Olmert, the
former Israeli prime minister, was
sentenced yesterday to six years in
prison by a judge who likened him to
a "traitor" for taking bribes while
mayor of Jerusalem in connection
with the construction of a luxury
Olmert, who vowed to appeal his
March conviction, would be the high-
est-ranking official in Israel's history
to serve prison time. The sentence
matched the prosecutors' request;
Olmert's lawyers had asked that he
be required only to do community
Judge David Rozen of Tel Aviv
District Court said that Olmert and
the nine government officials and
business figures convicted alongside
him had all "harmed the public trust,"
and that the former prime minister
deserved a harsh sentence because
he is a public figure and a clever
"The cancer must be uprooted,"
Judge Rozen said, referring to politi-
cal corruption. ---New York Times
Former Israel PM gets 6 years for bribery
COAL MINE Relatives rush to the scene of the
explosion at a coal mine that killed
at least five people yesterday in
Soma, Turkey. AP PHOTO
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