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News of the day from around the globe, Oct. 23

By October 24, 2018 No Comments

1 Train derailment: Excessive speed was the main cause of the derailment of a train in Taiwan that killed 18 people and injured scores of others, a district court said Tuesday. The train entered a curve in eastern Taiwan on Sunday afternoon at 87 miles per hour, almost twice the speed limit for that section of track, the Yilan County district court said in a statement. The train’s driver has been placed under investigation on suspicion of negligence leading to death. The driver was released on bail of $16,141 and is not allowed to leave Taiwan.

2Trapped miners: Emergency crews were struggling Tuesday to rescue 18 coal miners trapped underground in eastern China following a collapse inside the shaft three days earlier. Three miners were killed by falling rocks in Saturday’s collapse in Shandong province that also destroyed part of a drainage tunnel. China long had the world’s deadliest coal mines but safety has improved considerably with more modern equipment, better training and the closure of most of the smallest, most dangerous mines. China is also the world’s largest coal consumer and the amount it mined last year increased about 3 percent in 2017.


3 Cuba repatriation: Since the Cuban government introduced reforms five years ago that broaden the ability for Cubans living abroad to seek permanent residency on the island, more than 40,603 Cuban nationals from around the world have applied for “repatriation” to the island, Cuban diplomat Ernesto Soberon said. It is unclear, however, how many of those granted repatriation plan to make Cuba their permanent home. Many repatriation seekers do it to have their civil and economic rights reinstated — for example, their right to own real estate on the island. Meanwhile, many continue to live in other countries, including the United States.


4 Korean reconciliation: South Korea’s liberal president on Tuesday formally confirmed his recent reconciliation deals with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, triggering immediate backlash from conservatives who called him “self-righteous” and “subservient” to the North. Some experts say President Moon Jae In’s move is largely symbolic, but others say it shows his determination to carry out the September deals despite growing skepticism about whether his engagement policy will eventually lead to North Korea’s nuclear disarmament. Under the latest deals, the two Koreas are to hold a groundbreaking ceremony on a project to reconnect cross-border railways and roads and push to resume stalled economic cooperation projects. The two sides also agreed to disarm their shared border village, establish buffer zones along the border and withdraw some of their front-line guard posts.


5 New faces: Drain the swamp: it’s a promise leaders around the world are making in this era of voter cynicism and political upheaval. But Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi may be taking it further than anyone else. To form his government, he opened an online portal for anyone to apply to run Iraq’s 22 ministries, posts that have come to be associated with patronage and graft. Within days, his office received more than 15,000 applications, according to local media, and offered interviews to 601 candidates. Still, many here are skeptical that Abdul-Mahdi can change how business is done. Many political parties have their own militias and threaten to disrupt Iraq’s fragile stability if they do not get the ministries they desire.

Chronicle News Services

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