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Eleven trapped miners in China rescued after 14 days underground

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2021)

Chinese rescuers pulled 11 gold miners to safety on Sunday after they were trapped underground for 14 days.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that most of the rescued miners were in a good condition but 10 were still unaccounted for.

Reuters reported that the first miner was brought to the surface on Sunday morning and a black blindfold was shielding his eyes from daylight.

The miner was extremely weak, CCTV reported. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket and took him to hospital by ambulance.

According to Reuters, over the next few hours, 10 miners from a different section of the mine, who had been getting food and medical supplies down a shaft from rescue workers last week, were brought out in batches.

“We made a breakthrough this morning,” chief engineer at the rescue centre, Xiao Wenru, told the Xinhua news agency.

“After clearing these broken, powdery pieces, we found that there were cavities underneath … our progress accelerated.”

Officials had said on Thursday it could take another two weeks to drill a rescue shaft through blockages to reach the group of 10.

Reuters reported that China’s mines are among the world’s deadliest. It recorded 573 mine-related deaths in 2020, according to the National Mine Safety Administration.

The January 10 explosion in the Hushan mine in Qixia, a major gold-producing region under the administration of Yantai in coastal Shandong province, trapped 22 workers about 600 metres (2,000 feet) underground.

More than 600 rescuers have been on the site working to reach the men.

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Pakistan’s central banks tells staff to work from home to save fuel

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2022)

Pakistan’s central bank asked its employees to work from home two days a week and hold more virtual meetings as the country looks to conserve fuel and ensure it doesn’t run out of US dollars, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

In a Twitter message on Thursday, State Bank of Pakistan told its staff to opt for virtual meetings, car pooling and cutting down on air-conditioning. It also suspended purchases of furniture and restricted travel.

“These measures are intended to help with the energy bill while not compromising work,” the authority said.

“We encourage the banking industry and other stakeholders to save energy as much as possible.”

Pakistan’s government has already ordered shopping malls and factories to shut early in various cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and cut the working week by a day.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration has increased pump prices by as much as 83 percent in less than a month as he tries to curb subsidies and win a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg reported.

The south Asian nation’s energy needs are largely met through imports and in July-May, its total petroleum import bill increased by 99 percent, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ data.

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Rwanda’s president urges other countries to follow UK migrant deal

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(Last Updated On: June 22, 2022)

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said Tuesday that a controversial deal with Britain to take in migrants could be extended to other countries as the asylum system is “broken.”

Kagame, who is to host the Commonwealth summit in Kigali this week, said he believed the British deal could still go ahead despite being blocked by the European Court of Human Rights, AFP reported.

Britain has wanted to send some migrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda, in a proposal criticized by the UN refugee agency, rights groups and British church leaders.

Earlier this month, the first flight carrying asylum seekers was canceled following a European court ruling, AFP reported.

But Rwanda’s president told the Qatar Economic Forum: “I think the agreement is still on and may be implemented as well.”

Kagame said Rwanda has been hosting more than 100,000 refugees for decades, “so we are not new to this problem.”

“In fact most Rwandans have experienced being a refugee at some point in their lives. We know what it means and we are doing this for the right reasons.”

Kagame highlighted his country’s experience in giving “safe haven” to more than 1,000 people from Libya with help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“The arrangement with the UK is really connected to that experience. There is no doubt that the asylum system is broken and it needs innovative solutions and we are happy to be contributing to those solutions.”

He added that when Britain approached Rwanda, “we talked about it, we looked at all the merits and thought it was something we could try to help out on as we have done in the past.”

Kagame said the model could be used with other countries, AFP reported.

“We need to try something new. What has been in place has not worked very well and that is why people are complaining about all kinds of things and we are seeing increased migration.”

“We need to really take a new look at the problem.”

Kagame said other solutions were possible but insisted “the problem has been running for a long time and hasn’t been sorted out.”

Rwanda will host the Commonwealth summit on Friday and Saturday, and Kagame praised the 54-nation group.

He said it helps “direct attention to challenges” facing smaller, developing countries, and that there would be “meaningful” meetings at the summit.

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Russia’s war in Ukraine could last years, NATO’s Stoltenberg says

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(Last Updated On: June 20, 2022)

Russia’s war in Ukraine could take years, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a German weekly newspaper, adding that the supply of state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would increase the chance of liberating the Donbas region from Russian control.

“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told Bild am Sonntag. “Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.”

A NATO summit in Madrid later this month is expected to agree an assistance package for Ukraine that will help the country with the move from old Soviet-era weaponry to NATO standard gear, Stoltenberg said earlier this week.

Ukraine vowed on Saturday to prevail against Moscow as it fought Russian assaults near a key eastern city and multiple locations came under shell and missile attack.

Russian forces were defeated in an attempt to storm Ukraine’s capital Kyiv in March. Russia has since refocused on the Donbas region in the eastern part of Ukraine.

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