The flag-draped casket of a California police officer who authorities say was shot dead by a man in the country illegally was carried in a procession through the streets he once patrolled to a public viewing in a community theatre. The killing of corporal Ronil Singh has rekindled a debate over California’s sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local authorities with federal immigration authorities. President Donald Trump called Singh’s family to offer his condolences, the White House said. People waving American flags lined up along the streets of the Central Valley town of Newman, where a viewing was held for Singh, who was shot on December 26 during a traffic stop.
Hindu temple vandalised in Bangladesh
A Hindu temple was vandalised in clashes between two groups in Bangladesh’s central Tangail district, a media report said. The family of the temple’s owner was also attacked by a group in Batra village of the district, Dhaka Tribune reported. Chitta Ranjan acquired the land and built a temple of lord Shiva over 20 years ago, it said. The group of miscreants, led by a local resident of the same village, tried to forcefully seize the land where the temple is situated by vandalising Ranjan’s home and attacking his family members, the report said. Ranjan said people have been performing religious activities at the temple for more than 20 years. The accused had attempted to forcefully seize the land several times before as well, he claimed. Police visited the spot and ordered a probe.
30 gold miners killed in Afghan tunnel collapse
At least 30 Afghans were killed when the tunnel they were digging in to mine gold in Afghanistan collapsed, officials said. Officials said the victims were villagers who were mining for gold illegally. “Poor villagers during winters try to compensate their earnings by pursuing illegal mining,” Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said. He said the tunnel had caved in. A police spokesman for Badakhshan province earlier said the cause of the accident, which occurred in heavy snowfall, was a landslide. Villagers had dug a 60-metre (200-feet) deep shaft in a river bed to search for gold. They were inside when the walls fell in. The spokesman said seven people were injured. About 50 illegal miners were present when the incident occurred and two rescue teams were deployed to help the injured.
Woman in coma for 14 years gives birth
Police in Phoenix, Arizona are investing a possible case of sexual abuse after a patient who has been in coma for 14 years has given birth. The alleged sexual assault victim has been a patient at a healthcare facility for at least a decade. The patient was reportedly assaulted by someone who had access to her and the staff did not know she was pregnant until the baby was born. A source said, “None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she gave birth. From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.” The baby is alive and healthy and are being treated.
Teacher accused of calling students ‘monkeys’
A school teacher in the US has allegedly been sent on paid leave after she compared her students to monkeys in a Facebook post, media reported. “The monkeys to my zoo came back today,” the teacher from the Watson Elementary School wrote on Facebook after school resumed after the winter break, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. “I’m tired! It’s difficult to train monkeys again,” she added. The post has since been deleted.
Death toll in Philippines storm rises to 126
At least 126 people have died and 28 remain missing in floods and landslides caused by storm Usman as it passed through the Philippines, officials said. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 37 new fatalities were from the worst-hit Bicol region, which now has an overall total of 105 deaths. The NDRRMC said that 308,451 people were displaced and 60 were injured. Out of the total number of people affected, only 30,960 were in shelters set up in the central and northern regions of the country which were worst hit. Local authorities declared a state of calamity in Camarines Sur, a province in Bicol region, which has a population of almost 2 million. Eastern Visayas, along with Bicol, was another region hardest hit by Usman, a tropical depression.
Man climbs mobile tower in Pak demanding PM post
A man climbed a mobile tower in Islamabad, demanding that he be made the country`s Prime Minister. The man from Sargodha city claimed that he can improve Pakistan`s economic condition and repay debts within six months and thus should be made the premier. When asked to come down, the man said he will only speak to Prime Minister Imran Khan or district police officer of Sargodha city. However, rescue officials used a lifter and with the help of police brought him down. The man was then taken to a police station.
US issues new China travel warning amid detentions
The US State Department has urged Americans to "exercise increased caution" when travelling to China after a spate of high-profile detentions. The new advisory warns of so-called exit bans which prohibit foreign citizens from leaving China. It says the bans have been used "coercively" to "lure individuals" back to the country. It also adds that US citizens have been detained for years and subjected to harassment while under an exit ban. "US citizens may be detained without access to consular services or information about their alleged crime," the advisory reads. It also warns of "special restrictions" on those who hold dual US-Chinese citizenship. It advises US passport holders with a valid Chinese visa and asked officials to notify the US Embassy immediately if one is detained or arrested. The warning comes as three US citizens were accused of committing "economic crimes" and barred from leaving China in November.
5 face death penalty in Khashoggi killing
Saudi Arabia announced that it will seek the death penalty against five suspects in the slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a killing that has seen members of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage implicated in the writer's assassination. Prosecutors announced that 11 suspects in the slaying attended their first court hearing with lawyers, but the statement did not name those in court. It also did not explain why seven other suspects arrested over the Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul did not immediately face formal charges. The kingdom previously announced 18 people had been arrested. Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
N Korea’s acting envoy to Italy goes missing
A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West. The diplomat, Jo Song Gil, disappeared with his wife after leaving the embassy without notice in early November, according to Kim Min-ki, a South Korean lawmaker. Earlier, the newspaper, citing an unidentified diplomatic source, said Jo, 48, had applied for asylum to an unspecified Western country and was in a “safe place” with his family under the protection of the Italian government. A senior diplomatic source in Rome said Italy’s foreign ministry knew nothing about the reports. A second diplomatic source said the ministry had no record of Jo seeking asylum in Italy.
First time in 70 years, China’s population shrinks
China’s population shrank last year for the first time in 70 years, experts said, warning of a “demographic crisis” that puts pressure on the country’s slowing economy. China’s one-child policy that limited most families to one child caused birth rates to plummet after it was introduced in 1979. Despite the move to allow couples to have two children, number of live births nationwide in 2018 fell by 2.5 million year-on-year, contrary to a predicted increase of 790,000 births, according to a researcher. This downward trend may be irreversible, he cautioned, due to factors such as a decrease in the number of women of childbearing age and the reluctance of couples to have children due to rising education, health and housing costs. The researcher's calculations show that the number of deaths in 2018 was about 11.58 million and the total population shrank by 1.27 million.
Gabon military 'dismisses' President Bongo from office
Less than a week after the US deployed troops in Gabon, soldiers in the central African country announced that they have ousted the ailing 59-year-old President Ali Bongo from office. According to reports, the soldiers read out a statement saying the military had seized control of the government “to restore democracy” in the country. In a message, military officers declared their dissatisfaction with Bongo, who is currently recovering from a stroke in Morocco after receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia. Lt. Kelly Ondo Obiang, the leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon said, a New Year’s Eve address by Bongo “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office.”
Raila marks his birthday with Kenyatta
A light mood filled Mombasa when ODM leader Raila Odinga celebrated his birthday with President Uhuru Kenyatta, another mark of their new friendship since their handshake on March 9, 2018. The president was pictured helping the Orange Democratic Movement leader cut his cake, flanked by his wife and daughter, at his house. Odinga turned 74. The president said, “I am happy to be in Mombasa with my brother Odinga. I wish him a happy birthday." The ODM leader earlier cut a cake and shared it with his lieutenants. Odinga thanked the leaders and the public for the birthday wishes.