North and South Korea Trade Fire on Their Border


Originally posted on TIME:

(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korea’s military fired dozens of shells Thursday at rival North Korea after the North lobbed a single artillery round at a South Korean border town, the South’s Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that its artillery landed at the place where North Korea had fired its shell. There were no other immediate details from the military, but it appeared that North Korea did not respond to South Korea’s returned fire.

About 80 residents in the South Korean town where the shell fell, Yeoncheon, were evacuated to underground bunkers, and authorities urged other residents to evacuate, a Yeoncheon official said, requesting anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. He said there were no reports of injuries or damage in Yeoncheon.

In the nearby border city of Paju, residents were asked to stay home, officials said.

North Korea had previously threatened…

View original 183 more words

Searchers Have Spotted the Wreckage of the Missing Indonesian Plane


Originally posted on TIME:

(JAYAPURA, Indonesia) — A search plane has spotted the wreckage of an Indonesian passenger plane that went missing with 54 people on board, smoke still billowing from it in a rugged area in eastern Papua province, rescue officials said Monday.

There was no immediate word if there were any survivors from Sunday’s crash, which happened in bad weather over Indonesia’s mountainous easternmost province.

The Trigana Air Service plane was flying from Papua’s provincial capital, Jayapura, to the Papua city of Oksibil when it lost contact with Oksibil’s airport. Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata said there was no indication that the pilot had made a distress call.

Officials said the wreckage was spotted about 12 kilometers (7 miles) from Oksibil. Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, said search and rescue teams were preparing to try to reach the crash site by air and foot.

The…

View original 527 more words

Indonesian Plane Carrying 54 Goes Missing


Originally posted on TIME:

(JAKARTA, Indonesia) — An Indonesian airliner carrying 54 people went missing Sunday after losing contact with ground control during a short flight in bad weather in the country’s mountainous easternmost province of Papua, officials said.

Local villagers told authorities that they saw a plane crash into a mountain, and scores of rescuers were heading to the remote area and will begin searching there at daybreak Monday. An air search for the missing plane was suspended and will resume Monday as well.

The Trigana Air Service plane was flying from Papua’s provincial capital, Jayapura, to the Papua city of Oksibil when it lost contact with Oksibil’s airport, said Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata. There was no indication that the pilot had made a distress call, he said.

The ATR42-300 twin turboprop plane was carrying 49 passengers and five crew members on the scheduled 42-minute journey, Barata said. Five children, including three…

View original 361 more words

China Explosion Death Toll Rises to 112 as Investigation Begins


Originally posted on TIME:

(TIANJIN, China) — Authorities pulled more bodies from a massive blast site at China’s Tianjin port, pushing the death toll to 112 on Sunday as teams rushed to clear dangerous chemicals and prosecutors prepared an investigation into those responsible for the disaster.

More than 700 people were injured and 95 people, including dozens of firefighters, are missing after a fire and rapid succession of blasts late Wednesday hit a warehouse for hazardous chemicals in a mostly industrial area of Tianjin, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Beijing.

By Sunday, authorities confirmed there were “several hundred” tons of the toxic chemical sodium cyanide on the site at the time of the blasts, although they said there have not been any substantial leaks.

Sodium cyanide is a toxic chemical that can form a flammable gas upon contact with water, and several hundred tons would be a clear violation of rules cited by…

View original 674 more words

Boko Haram Has a New Leader Willing to Negotiate With Nigeria


Originally posted on TIME:

(LAGOS, Nigeria) — Boko Haram has a new commander willing to negotiate with Nigeria’s new government, Chad’s President Idriss Deby announced Wednesday, fueling speculation the extremist group’s previous commander has been killed.

Rumors of the death of Abubakar Shekau have grown since the leader has not appeared for months in videos broadcast by Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic militant group.

“There is somebody apparently called Mahamat Daoud who is said to have replaced Abubakar Shekau, and he wants to negotiate with the Nigerian government,” Deby said in comments broadcast by Chad state radio. He did not say where the information came from.

“I would not advise negotiating with a terrorist,” said Deby, though he himself led one failed attempt last year. Other attempts under Nigeria’s previous government also failed, partly because the group is believed fractured into several factions.

Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is open to talks…

View original 145 more words

MH17 plane crash investigators have found suspected Russian missile parts


Originally posted on Quartz:

Investigators from a Dutch-led team say they have found fragments that may belong to a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile system at the site of the MH17 plane crash in Eastern Ukraine.

The evidence could offer a clue at who was behind the crash, though the prosecutors say they still cannot prove a “causal connection.” It is widely believed that the Boeing 777 was downed by Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine, although Russia has repeatedly denied claims of any involvement. Last month, the country vetoed a UN resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the crash.

The Malaysian Air flight, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch citizens, including 80 children.

An interim report last year by the investigators said that the plane was hit by “high-energy objects,” but the current findings…

View original 51 more words