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Ring of fire delights photographers around Asia

Anukul

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Ring of fire delights photographers around Asia | The Thaiger
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Those who stepped outside in parts of Asia yesterday got a rare photography opportunity as the solar eclipse (partial solar eclipse in Thailand), aka. the ‘Ring of Fire’, darkened daylight during the event.

Skywatchers from parts of West Africa, the Arab Peninsula, South Asia, southern China and Taiwan were the lucky ones to see the full eclipse, which features the moon passing between the earth and sun giving off only a small ring of light as the moon blocks out the sun.

This eclipse happened on the same day as the 2020 summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Every year or two, annular eclipses occur and are only apparent around a small belt of our planet called the ‘centerline’. This eclipse lasted as a total ‘block out’ for just under 90 seconds.

People who weren’t along the ‘centerline’ did not experience the full eclipse but did see their day get darker as it was taking place. Astronomers claim the eclipse is equal to going from a 500W bulb to a 30W bulb.

Here are some of the best pictures for those who missed it:

Guangzhou, China

Eclipse seen from Guangzhou, ChinaPHOTO: EPA

Manila, Philippines

Manila, PhilippinesPHOTO: EPA

Chiayi, Taiwan

Chiayi, TaiwanPHOTO: EPA

Mumbai, India

Mumbai, IndiaPHOTO: EPA

Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi, PakistanPHOTO: REUTERS

SOURCE: BBC News

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

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Myanmar

113 bodies recovered in Myanmar jade mine mudslide

Jack Burton

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113 bodies recovered in Myanmar jade mine mudslide | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Fire Services Department Handout

At least 113 are dead after a landslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar. The Myanmar Fire Services Department says that the incident took place early today in the jade-rich Hpakant district of the northern Kachin state after a heavy rainfall. Photos in the post showed a search and rescue team wading through a valley apparently flooded by the mudslide.

“The jade miners were smothered by a wave of mud. A total of 113 bodies have been found so far.”

“Now we recovered more than 100 bodies,” a local official with the information ministry told Reuters by phone, “Other bodies are in the mud. The numbers are going to rise.”

Fatal landslides are common in the poorly regulated mines of Hpakant, the victims often from impoverished communities who risk their lives hunting the translucent green gemstone.

A 38 year old miner who witnessed the incident says he spotted a tall pile of waste that appeared to be on the verge of collapse and was about to take a picture when people began shouting “Run, run!”

“Within a minute, all the people at the bottom of the hill just disappeared. I feel empty in my heart. I still have goose bumps… There were people stuck in the mud shouting for help but no one could help them.”

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government promised to clean up the industry when it took power in 2016, but activists say little has changed.

Official sales of jade in Myanmar were worth $750 million US dollars (23.3 billion baht) in 2016-2017, according to data published by the government. Experts say the true value of the industry, which mainly exports to China, is much larger.

Northern Myanmar’s abundant natural resources – including jade, timber, gold and amber – have also helped finance both sides of a decades long civil war between ethnic Kachin and the military. The fight to control the mines and the money they bring frequently traps locals in the middle.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera | Newsvoice

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Hong Kong

HK man arrested for allegedly stabbing officer in security law protests

Jack Burton

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HK man arrested for allegedly stabbing officer in security law protests | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hong Kong police turned out in force to quash protests of China's new security law - The Thaiger

Police in Hong Kong arrested a man aboard a flight to London this morning on suspicion of stabbing a police officer during protests of the Chinese territory’s new security law. About 370 people were arrested during and after yesterday’s protests against the new laws, imposed by China to curb activities surrounding the anti-government protests that have racked Hong Kong for over a year. 10 of them were arrested for allegedly violating the new law, some of whom were in possession of material advocating Hong Kong’s independence.

The law, which took effect Tuesday, outlaws secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, and “collusion with foreign forces” intervening in the city’s affairs. It has brought concern from the Special Administrative Region’s former colonial ruler Britain and other governments. Critics say it effectively ends the “one country, two systems” framework, under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when it reverted to Chinese rule in June 1997.

Police yesterday posted a photo on Twitter of a police officer bleeding from his arm, claiming that he was stabbed while making arrests during the protests and that the suspects fled.

The 24 year old suspect, surnamed Wong, was arrested on a London-bound Cathay Pacific flight, according to a police officer who spoke anonymously as he was not authorised to speak publicly. He said Wong bought the ticket yesterday and boarded the flight with no check-in luggage. He did not respond to air crew who called him by name, and was not in his designated seat. Police identified him after a sweep of the plane. Local media report that a relative tipped police off to his travel plans.

In a related development, Britain announced yesterday that it is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens eligible for the British National Overseas passport, saying that it will “uphold its historic duty to the former British colony”. Those eligible will be allowed to live and work in the UK for 5 years, before applying for settled status and subsequently for citizenship. China today threatened “counter measures”.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said today his government is considering a similar move, and Taiwan has opened an office to help Hong Kongers relocate to Taiwan for work and other purposes.

SOURCE: AP

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Uruguay’s Covid-19 Policy of “freedom with responsibility” shows success

Anukul

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Uruguay’s Covid-19 Policy of “freedom with responsibility” shows success | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DW

To the Government of Uruguay’s relief, their policy of “independence with responsibility” in the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have been successful… so far. Yesterday, when Europe opened its borders to 15 countries, Uruguay became the only Latin American country to be included. With less than 1,000 registered Covid-19 cases and just 27 deaths, the 3.4 million-plus nation is a significant anomaly in the south American countries that have become the new hotzone of coronavirus cases. Read more HERE

Uruguay currently has just 83 confirmed cases, while its giant neighbour Brazil is the hardest hit country in the world after the US.

This performance is especially impressive as there has never been an official lockdown to the extent other countries have imposed. Instead, in the midst of industrial businesses, school and border closures, authorities ‘advised’ people to stay indoors and strictly adhere to social distancing.

The message was conveyed to the public by media and police helicopters flying overhead with frequent updates and positive messaging, education and information.

The president, who took office in early March as the pandemic was just warming up, said he opted for “individual rights” rather than a “police state” approach. Calls for self-isolation were widely adhered to with minimal effort from officials.

Infectious disease specialist Alvaro Galiana credits the success of Uruguay to early identification and tracking.

Galiana says… “The early appearance of well-known cases, at a time when the circulation of the virus within the population was very limited, led to adequate measures being implemented, even if at the time they seemed exaggerated “.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post

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