35 Bodies Found Inside Well After Collapse at Temple

Thirty-five bodies have been found inside a well at a Hindu temple in central India after dozens of people fell into the muddy water when the well’s cover collapsed, officials said Friday.

Video of Thursday’s collapse at the temple complex in Indore in Madhya Pradesh state showed chaos afterward, with people rushing toward the exits.

An excavator pulled down a wall of the decades-old temple to help people flee.

Nearly 140 rescuers, including army personnel, used ropes and ladders to pull the bodies from the well after pumping out the water.

A narrow path and debris in the well made the task difficult.

Witnesses said a large crowd of devotees had thronged the temple to perform a fire ritual and celebrate the festival for the deity Rama.

People stand around a structure built over an old temple well that collapsed, as a large crowd of devotees gathered for the Ram Navami Hindu festival in Indore, India on March 30, 2023.
People stand around a structure built over an old temple well that collapsed, as a large crowd of devotees gathered for the Ram Navami Hindu festival in Indore, India on March 30, 2023.

Dozens of people fell into the water when the structure over the well collapsed and were covered by falling debris, police Commissioner Makrand Deoskar said.

Kantibhai Patel, president of a residents’ association, told reporters that authorities were slow to react and the first ambulance reached the spot an hour after the alert.

The structure apparently caved in because it could not handle the weight of the large crowd, said the state’s top elected official, Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

He ordered an investigation.

“We have so far recovered 35 bodies and the rescue operation is continuing,” said Ilayaraja T., a district administrator.

The effort was continuing Friday.

A team of army rescuers joined the operation on Thursday night.

The Times of India newspaper reported the rescue work was expedited after underwater cameras showed bodies floating in the muddy waters of the well.

Chauhan said 33 of the bodies had been identified and one person was unaccounted for.

Sixteen of the people who were injured remained hospitalized Friday.

Temple authorities had stopped using the well years ago and covered the mouth with iron grills and tiles.

Municipal authorities in January ordered temple owners to remove the covering of the well because it was an unsafe and unauthorized structure, but temple authorities ignored the warning, the newspaper said.

Building collapses are common in India because of poor construction and a failure to observe regulations.

In October, a century-old cable suspension bridge collapsed into a river in the western state of Gujarat, sending hundreds of people plunging into the water and killing at least 132 in one of the worst accidents in the country in the past decade.

Original Article

Is Putin being Arrested?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with his actions during the Ukraine war—the first international charges that have been brought since Russia invaded the neighboring country more than a year ago.

The ICC issued the warrant Friday, accusing Putin of being “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

A similar warrant was issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, over her alleged involvement in the abduction of Ukrainian children and teenagers.

Investigators in The Hague have been gathering evidence against Putin over the past year, but an ICC prosecution remains a challenging task because Russia does not recognize the court or its jurisdiction, making a trial unlikely. Moscow also does not extradite its nationals.

At the same time, Ukraine is also not a member of the court. However, it has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory.

Speaking about Putin’s arrest warrant, Eleonora Tafuro, a senior research fellow at the Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia Center at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, told Newsweek, “Obviously, this is a symbolic decision.”

She continued, “As long as [Putin] remains in Russia, he’s safe, and frankly I don’t see him traveling to Poland or other states that could enforce the arrest warrant and jail him.

“However, the decision sends a very powerful message: No one, not even the leader of a permanent U.N. Security Council member, is untouchable,” Tafuro said.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Kham, who has visited Ukraine four times since beginning his investigation a year ago, has previously indicated that abductions of Ukrainian minors were a priority for his team.

Last month, a report published by Conflict Observatory found that Russia systemically relocated at least 6,000 children since the beginning of the war, taking them to camps and facilities that used pro-Russia reeducation efforts on the kids. Conflict Observatory, which is supported by the State Department, is a program that tracks alleged war crimes in Ukraine. The report was done in partnership with Yale University’s Humanitarian Research Lab.

The ICC investigation was launched during the early days of the war and has been focused on probing allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine.

As defined by the United Nations, a war crime means “serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict,” including intentional attacks on civilian populations, torture, hostage taking, rape and conscription of children, among other atrocities.

The ICC, which was established in 1998 by the Rome Statute, has jurisdiction in cases where individuals are charged with such crimes. Russia and Ukraine are omitted from the court’s 123 members because while they signed the statute, they did not ratify it.

However, these types of prosecutions can take years and can be difficult to argue because not only do prosecutors have to establish a violation, they have to prove “intent and knowledge” of the crime.

In instances of crimes like targeting civilians, those facts could be hard to prove.

Despite the warrant, the ICC does not have the authority to arrest suspects and can only exercise its jurisdiction with the court’s 123 members. Since Russia is not a member, the Hague cannot send authorities to arrest Putin within his own country’s territory. And since Russia does not extradite its nationals, and will be especially unlikely to do so with its president, Putin’s arrest is not imminent.

Original Article

Historian Warns Deadly Plague Will Reap Hell on Earth Again

Another pandemic on the scale of the Black Death, which wiped out half of Europe’s population, is inevitable, says TV historian Dan Snow. The 14th-century plague was the most devastating in history, killing up to 200 million people worldwide.

In Europe alone, 40 to 60 per cent of the population perished between 1347 and 1351.

As the world recovers from Covid, TV favourite Dan who presents Channel 5 documentary The Black Death, said: “Unfortunately, there are no two ways about it.”

He pointed to “zoonotic” viruses – those which make the leap from animals to humans – as an area of concern.

He said: “Bird flu doesn’t tend to jump over to humans. But when humans do get it, it’s horrific.

“But if bird flu has a tweak, and becomes more contagious, then we’d absolutely have a gigantic problem on our hands.

“We’re very vulnerable to pandemic disease as we now know. We’re vulnerable to diseases jumping from animals to humans as we destroy animal habitats and more and more animals come into contact with us.

“Whether it’s bat poo, in the case of Ebola, or influenza from birds, it happens, unfortunately.”

Bubonic plague should not be our top concern, experts say. One reason is that those who survived the 14th century disaster were likely to have been better able, genetically, to ward it off. This means their descendants would be likely to carry any protective genes.

“We’re the survivors,” said Dan. “The research suggests those who survived were more likely to have a particular piece of DNA, and therefore that DNA tag is now far more common. As a result of the Black Death wiping out so many people, those tags – a little corner of our DNA – are more prevalent.”

Prof Turi King, a DNA expert from Leicester University who appeared in the documentary, explained: “The bacteria Yersinia pestis – the bacteria that caused the Black Death – is still with us. The whole thing is still very dangerous. There was an outbreak in Madagascar relatively recently and somebody died from it in California in 2020.

“But we’re in a good place now because we’ve got ways of containing it. We’ve got antibiotics and precautions we can take. And the more we know about it, the more we can develop vaccines against it.”

Original Article

Pope Francis Slams Progressive Ideas of Gender Identity as ‘Dangerous’

Pope Francis has said that gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” today.

In an interview with journalist Elisabetta Piqué for the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación, Pope Francis explained the reasoning behind his strong statement.

“Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” Francis said in the interview published on the evening of March 10.

“Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women,” he added.

“All humanity is the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”

Pope Francis has frequently used the term “ideological colonization” throughout the 10 years of his pontificate, particularly to describe instances when aid money for developing countries has been tied to contraceptives, abortion, sterilization, and gender ideologies.

In a conversation with Polish bishops in 2016, Pope Francis said: “Today children — children — are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex. Why are they teaching this? Because the books are provided by the people and institutions that give you money. These forms of ideological colonization are also supported by influential countries. And this is terrible!”

The pope told Piqué that he was not currently writing a new encyclical and denied that he had been asked to write a document on the subject of gender.

While he is not writing something on gender ideology, the pope said that he talks about the subject “because some people are a bit naive and believe that it is the way to progress.”

He said that they “do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or diverse sexual preferences from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity, both personal, cultural, and social, the diversities and the tensions between differences.”

At Least 19 Killed by Suspected Extremists

Rebels in eastern Congo killed at least 19 people and set fire to a health fire and houses, authorities reported Sunday.

Gunmen suspected of being part of the Allied Democratic Forces, a militia with links to the Islamic State group, attacked civilians in Kirindera town, Carly Nzanzu, the former governor of North Kivu province, said in an interview with state media.

ADF attacks have killed dozens of people in several North Kivu villages in recent days. Congo’s authorities say people were slaughtered with guns, knives and machetes.

Aamaq, a news agency linked to the Islamic State group, posted a statement Saturday in which IS claimed responsibility for killing more than 35 “Christians” and wounding dozens in eastern Congo last week.

Conflict has simmered for decades in eastern Congo, where more than 120 armed groups fight for power, influence and resources, and some to protect their communities. The ADF has been largely active in North Kivu province but recently extended its operations into neighboring Ituri province.

Efforts to stem the violence against have yielded little. A nearly year-long joint operation by Uganda and Congo’s armies did not defeat or substantially weaken the Allied Democratic Forces, a panel of U.N. experts concluded in a December report.

The U.N. and human rights groups have accused the ADF rebels of maiming, raping and abducting civilians, including children. Earlier this month, the United States offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that could lead to the capture of the group’s leader, Seka Musa Baluku.

Conservative Actress Blasts Celebrity “Friends” for Supporting Her in Private But Not Publicly

Denise Welch was enraged over “blue tick” celebrities who agreed with her stance on coronavirus “propaganda”, but then stayed silent when she was accused of being a “Covid denier”.

The 64-year-old ‘Loose Women’ star claims she was “bullied and harassed” by Piers Morgan, who called her “dumb, deluded and dangerous” over her views, and yet celebrities who had backed her in secret didn’t say a word of support for her in public.

The frustrated former Hollyoaks actress raged: “I’ll never f*****g forgive people for this.

“I was on a Whatsapp group with doctors, with epidemiologists, with virologists [and people on Twitter said]: ‘Of course you are, Professor Welch – you f*****g Covid-denier!'”

She added: “The amount of blue tick people who privately supported everything I said and did, but would never once put their heads above the parapet.

“Not only did they not say anything, but they said things to the contrary about it, toeing the f*****g party line!”

Her husband Lincoln Townley, who had scarcely said a word throughout a long rant she was delivering for her Juicy Crack podcast, then nervously cut in.

At first, he appeared to be trying to calm her, but then he agreed: “I saw it – they’re celebrities, people with a voice, who didn’t say anything.”

Denise added in frustration: “I had people on Twitter say: ‘Propaganda? How dare you use that word?!'”

Yet the TV star claimed that, behind the scenes, the Whatsapp group she had been on saw healthcare professionals acknowledge “propaganda” over the virus.

Denise accused the government of “scaremongering” over the figures, arguing that many people had died “with Covid” instead of as a direct cause of catching it.

“People were literally locking themselves away, not seeing anybody for an entire year, thinking that if they touched somebody, they would die of Covid,” she lamented.

“[And] I couldn’t understand why sensible, logical people – friends of our, relatives of ours, were looking on me with disdain [as if] I should be doing exactly what the other people were doing.”

Denise argued that she was rallying against that stance – and that stepping outside of the norm had caused enormous hostility.

She revealed that, as a long-term Labour supporter, she had “never voted Tory” in her life, but that she had now begun to question where her loyalties lay, after starting to dislike fellow left-wingers’ attitudes.

“I couldn’t understand [how] people I knew historically hated the Tories [but] the one thing they were accepting without question [from them] was anything about Covid,” she furiously raged.

“They would question anything that Boris Johnson or any of the Tories did, but with those nightly conferences, they were there with their f*****g Handsmaid’s Tale outfits on going along totally and utterly with everything!”

Denise has also blasted the government for not adhering to the same rules that everyone else had been expected to follow.

“How was it possible that no masks were worn in Downing Street?” she quizzed angrily, before admitting she was sceptical of wearing them herself.

The ‘Loose Women’ panellist added she’d previously read literature suggesting they weren’t an effective barrier against the virus.

She also claimed that doctors had been unable to cope with MRSA and that many of the Covid deaths reported were therefore actually deaths of people “with Covid”.

Denise acknowledged she was “aware that we had to look after our loved ones, like we do with pneumonia”, but that she felt the “scaremongering” had been too extreme, especially when some senior government officials had failed to follow the same rules as the public.

She concluded incredulously: “I’ve never felt so personally affected by anything in my life!”

The full Juicy Crack podcast episode starring Denise Welch can be heard here.

Musician, 27, Dies After Collapsing on Stage in Front of Horrified Crowd

South African rapper Costa Titch died in hospital after appearing to lose consciousness in the middle of his set at the Ultra Music Festival.

Real name Constantinos Tsobanoglou, he originally started as a backup dancer before launching his own career as a rapper.

He was an award-winning performer after breaking into the industry in 2020.

Costa had recently signed to rapper Akon’s record label Konvict Kulture.

He is known for his hits such as Activate and Nkalakatha.

Tributes have now flooded in for the rising star, who dreamed of finding international success.

Footage – which The Sun Online has chosen not to publish – from his set at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg shows him appearing to stumble during a track.

He then finishes the song and stands before adoring crowd, before then collapsing to the ground.

Security guards and his crew rush to help him before the video clip ends.

His family confirmed in statement on social media that he later died and thanked his fans for their support.

“Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother and grandson,” they said.

“It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time.”

The family added: “As a family we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afford the time and space to gather ourselves.

“The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit.”

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation wrote on Twitter: “SAMRO is saddened by the passing of popular rapper Costa Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch.

“Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and broader music industry.”

Rapper Da L.E.S tweeted: “RIP, Costa Titch. Great talent gone to soon.”

In a recent interview, Costa talked excitedly about his future after singing for Konvict Kulture.

He said: “After the success of my 2022 catalogue, we felt it was time to partner with a global entity so we can continue to push the barriers on an international scale.”

Putin Dealt Double Blow as Two of His Closest Allies Turn on Him

Turkey and Hungary, whose leaders had been among the few in Europe to keep an open door to Moscow after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, seem to be starting to turn their backs on Russia.

This month, the Turkish government, which mediated peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow last year, abruptly halted the transit of sanctioned goods to Russia, after having received several warnings from the European Union and the United States about these products helping Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

This week, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced his country will reassess its relationship with Russia. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February and the following sanctions imposed by the EU, Orbán has kept an ambivalent stance towards Moscow.

Orbán and his government were slow to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and repeatedly opposed the EU sanctions against Moscow and financial aid to Kyiv. As an energy crisis unfolded across Europe last year, Orbán consistently blamed higher costs on the sanctions imposed on Russia, calling for the EU to put an end to the measures.

Last month, Politico reported that Orbán told a group of foreign conservative figures that time was on Russia’s side in the war in Ukraine, calling the war-torn country “the land of nobody” and openly questioning its sovereignty.

But the latest apparent change of direction for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungary’s Orbán shows that, as the war drags on for longer than anyone would have expected at its start, even Putin’s closest allies in Europe are being forced to reconsider what’s more convenient, strategically, for their countries.

While Turkey kept a good balance last year between keeping its ties with Russia without completely angering Europe and the U.S., this position now seems increasingly untenable. Turkey’s defiant resistance to the punitive measures imposed by the U.S. and the EU on Russia threatened to cost the country’s companies and banks to be punished for contravening sanctions, as Brian Nelson, the U.S. Treasury Department’s top sanctions official, made clear during meetings in Ankara and Istanbul last month.

Orbán too has until now played both sides, avoiding being straight-out anti-Ukrainian to keep enjoying the benefits of its EU and NATO membership while refusing to stop developing its ties with Moscow and abandoning its Russia-friendly stance.

But Orbán, talking about the need to reassess Hungary’s relationship with Russia during an economic forum in Budapest on Thursday, didn’t suggest cutting ties with Moscow completely.

“I understand the need to rebuild Russian-European relations after the war, but it’s far from realistic,” Orbán said. “That is why Hungary’s foreign and economic policy must carefully reflect on the type of relationship we can establish and maintain with Russia in the next 10-15 years.”

Firefighters Rappel Down Building to Rescue Trapped Window Washers (VIDEO)

There were some heart-stopping moments Thursday afternoon for a pair of window washers trapped on a mechanical lift platform in downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were called to perform a technical rescue on the building at Georgia and Homer streets around 1:45 p.m., after the workers’ platform froze midway up the building’s exterior.

Firefighters had to rappel from the top of the building to the platform, then lower the workers to a landing below.

“As you can see from the layout of the exterior where it’s not just a flat surface to it, it adds that extra layer of complexity and our highly-trained crews were able to overcome that by going to the top of the building and being able to overcome the challenges from the exterior layout and get down to those people who were basically on an immobilized platform,” VFRS Capt. Matthew Trudeau said.

“It is a very high-risk manoeuvre, and it is obviously dangerous putting crews outside the building and going down that significant distance to them, a lot of technical aspects to that to make sure everyone is safe.”

The entire rescue took an hour to complete, and firefighters said no one was injured.


Original Article

7 Killed in Church Shooting in Germany

Seven people, including an unborn baby, have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in the German city of Hamburg, police say.

They say the gunman acted alone in Thursday’s attack, and later took his own life. His motives are unknown.

The suspect, named only as Philipp F, is said to have had “ill feelings” towards the religious community, of which he had previously been a member.

Video has emerged appearing to show him firing through a window of the hall.

At a briefing on Friday, the police said four men and two women were shot dead. All the dead were German nationals.

Eight people were injured, four seriously. A Ugandan and a Ukrainian were among those hurt.

A woman who was seven months pregnant was shot – killing her unborn baby. The mother survived.

The first emergency call came at 21:04 local time (20:04 GMT) on Thursday, to report that shots had been fired in the building on Deelböge street, Gross Borstel district, the police said.

Officers were on site four minutes later, and they were almost immediately joined by special forces. The officers had to break windows to enter the building where about 50 people had gathered.

The suspect – described as 35-year-old “sports shooter” who had a gun licence – had fled to the first floor. His “lifeless body” was found shortly afterwards.

He had managed to shoot nine magazines of ammunition, and 20 more were found in his backpack.

German Senator Andy Grote said “fast and decisive actions” by police officers had saved many lives. He also described the attack as the “worst crime” in Hamburg’s recent history.

Police confirmed that they had previously received an anonymous tip-off that raised concerns about the perpetrator’s mental health. Officers had visited him after the tip-off – but did not have enough grounds to take away his gun at the time.

Gregor Miesbach, who filmed the gunman shooting through a first-floor window, told the Bild newspaper: “I didn’t realise what was happening. I was filming with my phone, and only realised through the zoom that someone was shooting at Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“I heard loud gunshots… I saw a man with a firearm shooting through a window and filmed it,” he said.

Lara Bauch, a 23-year-old student who lives nearby, told the DPA news agency that “there were about four bursts of gunfire – several shots were fired in each burst – with gaps lasting roughly 20 seconds to a minute”.

She said that from her window she could see a person frantically running from the ground floor to the first floor. “The man was wearing dark clothing and moving fast,” she added.

An alert was sent on the federal warning app, NINAwarn, on Thursday evening telling locals that “one or more unknown perpetrators shot at people in a church”.

Local residents were told not to leave their homes amid the ongoing police operation.

Footage showed police escorting people out of the meeting hall, some to ambulances.

The reasons behind the shooting were “still completely unclear”.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described it as a “brutal act of violence”, saying his thoughts were with the victims and their relatives.

In a statement, the Jehovah’s Witness community in Germany said it was “deeply saddened by the horrific attack on its members at the Kingdom Hall in Hamburg after a religious service”.

Forensic experts in white suits worked through the night inside the brightly lit interior of the meeting house.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement, founded in the US at the end of the 19th Century.

In its latest report from 2022, the movement says there are about 8.7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, including about 170,000 in Germany.

In the city of Hamburg, there are believed to be nearly 4,000 members of the organisation.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are probably best known for their door-to-door evangelical work; witnessing from house to house and offering Bible literature.

Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God.

Germany has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, including a clause that anyone aged under 25 must pass a psychological evaluation before getting a gun licence.

In 2021, there were around one million private gun owners in Germany, according to the National Firearms Registry. They account for 5.7 million legal firearms and firearm parts, most of them owned by hunters.

After mass arrests were made last December in relation to a suspected plot to overthrow the government, the German authorities are planning to tighten the country’s gun laws even further.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑