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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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Violence in Rakhine fuels fear for Rohingya elsewhere in Myanmar; gas poisoning has killed 104 people in China this year; more in world news


‘I feel trapped’

For four straight days last month, Rahim Muddinn watched, amazed, as Myanmar’s state-run newspapers published special supplements showing Rohingya Muslims accused of being terrorists — nearly 250 photos each day. For the 41-year-old Rohingya man, it was a surreal moment. He was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city and far from the state of Rakhine, where bloody military operations that followed Rohingya militant attacks in August have driven nearly 700,000 Rohingya into refugee camps in Bangladesh. The U.N. and others have called the crisis an ethnic cleansing. "When we first saw those pictures, we started laughing. We wondered: When will it be our turn to have our pictures in the paper?" said Muddinn, a teacher. Behind the laughter, though, there is genuine fear. The pictures are the latest in a series of chilling realizations for the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. Though Yangon’s tree-lined boulevards and weathered colonial architecture seem a world away from the rice paddies and isolated villages of Rakhine, the government is increasingly linking Rohingya across the country with what it calls a terrorist threat, Muddinn and others say.


Palestinian protest icon on trial

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi is to go on trial before an Israeli military court today for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers — an act Palestinians say embodies their David vs. Goliath struggle against a brutal military occupation and Israel portrays as a staged provocation meant to embarrass its military. Israel’s full-throttle prosecution of 17-year-old Tamimi, one of an estimated 300 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails, and a senior Israeli official’s stunning revelation that he once had parliament investigate whether the blond, blue-eyed Tamimis are a "real" Palestinian family have helped stoke ongoing interest. The case touches on what constitutes legitimate resistance to Israel’s rule over millions of Palestinians. Ahed Tamimi’s supporters see a brave girl who struck two armed soldiers outside her West Bank home in frustration after having just learned that Israeli troops seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin, shooting him in the head from close range with a rubber bullet.


London City Airport shuts down due to unexploded WWII bomb

All flights in and out of London City Airport were canceled Monday after a 1,100-pound unexploded World War II bomb was found nearby in the River Thames. The Metropolitan Police service cleared an area within 700 feet of the bomb, including several residential streets, as officers worked with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device. Police said the German bomb was discovered Sunday at the George V Dock during pre-planned work at the airport. They described it as a 5-foot shell that was lying in a bed of dense silt. After getting the shell from the silt, navy bomb-disposal experts will tow it away and destroy it underwater in a controlled explosion.


Workers comb snow for clues

Wading through knee-deep snow, hundreds of emergency workers searched a vast field near Moscow on Monday for remains of the 71 victims from the crash of a Russian airliner, and aviation experts began deciphering the jet’s two flight recorders. Investigators quickly ruled out a terrorist attack in Sunday’s crash. The air disaster has reignited questions, however, about the An-148 regional jet that was developed jointly by Russia and Ukraine but phased out of production amid the political crisis. The model has a spotty safety record, with one previous crash and a string of major incidents in which pilots struggled to land safely. Saratov Airlines has grounded several other An-148s in its fleet pending the crash investigation. The Investigative Committee said that before the crash, the plane was intact and there had been no fire on board. Officials would not speculate on possible causes.


So far in 2018, gas poisoning
has killed at least 104 people

A rash of gas poisonings in a region of southern China has left at least 104 people dead and hundreds more hospitalized so far this year, according to government offices quoted in the state-run news media, which blamed poorly ventilated or faulty water heaters and cooking stoves for the deaths. The government of the region, Guangxi, announced a safety crackdown after the deaths from exposure to carbon monoxide, a byproduct of burning natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels. Twenty-two people died during a three-day period last week alone, China National Radio reported. Many of the victims were children or elderly, said health and emergency response offices. — tbt* wires

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