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World News: 19 dead as anti-Islam film protests turn violent

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Anti-Islam film protests in Pakistan turn violent, at least 19 killed
Phuket Gazette / News Wires
PHUKET: At least nineteen people were killed and scores injured across Pakistan as widespread protests against the anti-Islam film turned violent, local media reported yesterday.

In the southern port city of Karachi, at least twelve people were confirmed dead with over 110 injured as protesters burnt two banks, five cinemas, and a number of shops and vehicles. Protests reached the Chief Minister’s house where three police vans were also set on fire.

At least two others, including a private TV channel employee, were also killed in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where protesters ransacked the Chamber of Commerce and burnt two more cinemas.

Angry demonstrators also clashed with police in several areas of the country’s capital, Islamabad. Protesters have been pushing to enter the city’s red zone toward the U.S. consulate, but high security measures have included tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Other affected cities include Lahore and Rawalpindi.

The recent widespread protests in the Middle Eastern region have been sparked by a 14-minute English-language trailer for an amateur movie called “Innocence of Muslims,” reportedly produced in California by a U.S. citizen. It is believed that an immigrant from Egypt identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, produced the movie.

The low-budget amateur movie, which supposedly cost just $5 million to make and had only 59 people appearing in it, with a Hollywood Reporter describing it as ‘unprofessional’, has brought harsh criticism from Muslims in several locations around the world.

The film depicted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a fraud and feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse. It also includes other insulting claims.

In a statement obtained by CNN, the film’s 80 cast and crew members disavowed the film, saying: “The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose.”

It further explained, “We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

The fresh violence captured worldwide attention after United States ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats were killed on Tuesday night during an attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. The attack also injured three other diplomats, and left others wounded.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

World

UPDATE: Chinese rocket debris plunges into Indian Ocean

Thaiger

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PHOTO China's Long March 5B Rocket's debris will be crashing down to earth this weekend. (via CBS)

UPDATE:

10.30am (Thai Time) Trackers have confirmed that the debris has splashed down somewhere west of The Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

9.30am (Thai Time)

The Chinese Long March 5B carrier rocket should land in this area… 72.47°E longitude and 2.65°N latitude, just west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. That’s according to China’s National Space Agency.

“Most of the rocket was “destroyed” on re-entry to the atmosphere.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Long March 5B rocket left the Earth on April 29th, launching from Hainan island in China.

The launch was the first part of an 11 part mission to construct China’s own space station in Earth orbit. The Long March 5B rocket was carrying an unmanned Tianhe module as its payload, the first part of many to be constructed together in space. When attached as part of a permanent Chinese space station, it will serve as living quarters for future astronauts.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson reassured that China is monitoring the rocket’s journey very closely and that most parts of the spacecraft would burn up on re-entry. Any debris looks likely to land in international oceans, and the chances of damage being done on dry land is considered to be extremely low.

The US military announced earlier in the week that the rocket would be tracked by US Space Command, calling it an uncontrolled re-entry. Statistically speaking, the debris is most likely to fall into an ocean somewhere as the Earth is 70% covered by water.

As the rocket tears at hypersonic speed into the Earth’s atmosphere, most debris would be quickly incinerated by the heat generated from the re-entry. But another Chinese Long March 5B rocket fell to Earth last year in May 2020 and some parts did hit land, doing damage to some buildings in the Ivory Coast.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Hot News

Today’s Chinese rocket debris not expected to hit land

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO China's Long March 5B Rocket's debris will be crashing down to earth this weekend. (via CBS)

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson has assured the public that the debris from a large rocket re-entering the atmosphere today is not likely to do any harm. They said the majority of the Chinese rocket will mostly be burned up on re-entry. The Long March 5B rocket left the Earth on April 29th, launching from Hainan island in China.

This launch was the first part of an 11 part mission to construct China’s own space station in Earth orbit. The Long March 5B rocket was carrying an unmanned Tianhe module as its payload, the first part of many to be constructed together in space. When attached as part of a permanent Chinese space station, it will serve as living quarters for future astronauts.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson reassured that China is monitoring The rocket’s journey very closely and that most parts of the spacecraft would burn up on re-entry. Any debris looks likely to land in international oceans, and the chances of damage being done on dry land is considered to be extremely low.

The re-entry is scheduled for today but the exact path of the rocket debris could not be completely determined in advance. The US military announced earlier in the week that the rocket would be tracked by US Space Command, calling it an uncontrolled re-entry. Statistically speaking, the debris is most likely to fall into an ocean somewhere as the Earth is 70% covered by water, but an astrophysicist at Harvard commented to Reuters that there is a chance that pieces would not burn up completely and would land on solid ground.

As the rocket tears at hypersonic speed into the Earth’s atmosphere, most debris would be quickly incinerated by the heat generated from the re-entry. But another Chinese Long March 5B rocket fell to Earth last year in May 2020 and some parts did hit land, doing damage to some buildings in the Ivory Coast.

Projections based on the current orbit path yielded very broad results, with debris possibly landing anywhere in between Northern cities like Beijing, Madrid, or New York, to cities as far south as Wellington New Zealand or southern Chile. For now, Thailand seems safe from Chinese debris as they prepare for their own space programs.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Like Songkran, Sri Lanka New Year’s brings Covid-19 wave

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Sri Lanka is now being hard hit by Covid-19. (via Wikimedia)

Sri Lanka has seen a huge wave of new Covid-19 infections in part due to large New Year’s celebrations in mid-April at the same time as Thailand’s Songkran Festival. From the beginning of April until now, the island nation has experienced a fivefold increase in daily cases, with 1,895 infections reported yesterday. February had previously been the worst month in Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 history, but figures are much worse now.

On April 13 and 14, large gatherings crowded the street to celebrate Sri Lanka’s New Year’s holiday. The day before, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa address the nation with hope, saying that after cancelling festivities the previous year, everyone working together to reduce Covid-19 had allowed New Year’s activities to take place this year. Authorities felt that Covid-19 was contained in Sri Lanka and, while they did stress health and safety guidelines, the president encouraged the celebration of the holiday.

“It is my hope and expectation that all citizens without any discrimination will join the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations with fresh hopes, determination, and righteous thoughts.”

But the celebration was too soon, and by April 27, Sri Lanka was recording 1,000 Covid-19 infections per day, the first time this milestone had been reached since the Covid-19 first appeared. Lockdowns in more than 100 areas began, with private functions banned and school shuttered, but it was too little too late. 13 of the 25 administrative regions of Sri Lanka are now in lockdown, as the nation fights to rein in this Covid-19 wave.

As of now, the deadly Indian variant has not been found just across the water in Sri Lanka, but the B.1.1.7 variant has been prevalent in the recent quick spread of infections. Now Sri Lanka looks towards mass Covid-19 vaccination as the only solution, but jabs are in short supply. An order of 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India’s Serum Institute did not arrive and only 1 million out of 21 million Sri Lankans have been fully vaccinated. 5 jabs have been given per 100 people, less than half that of India, which has inoculated 12 out of every 100 people.

Sri Lanka has now isolated itself from neighbouring India, sealing its border. The Navy is patrolling the waters to keep Indian fishing boats away from their shores. All flights from India have been cancelled and banned as well. Sri Lanka has followed in the footsteps of Nepal and Bangladesh before them in closing itself off from their Covid-19 infested neighbour in hopes of limiting the spread and not reaching the levels of catastrophe that India has.

Read about the current Covid-19 situation in countries around South and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, The Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

SOURCE: CNN

 

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