Monsoon rains kill 50 in Nepal

Updated 05 July 2013
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Monsoon rains kill 50 in Nepal

KATMANDU: Landslides and floods triggered by several weeks of monsoon rains have killed at least 50 people in mainly remote parts of Nepal, a government official said yesterday.
“So far, 50 people from across the country have been killed by landslides and floods,” said Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal, chief of National Emergency Operation Center, which monitors natural disasters in Nepal.
The death toll is likely to rise, with some 19 people still missing after floods hit mostly farming communities in the country’s southern plains and remote western hills, Dhakal said.
“We are forming a committee headed by the minister for physical planning, which will present a report on how to rebuild the infrastructure damaged by the landslides and floods,” said Dhakal.
A total of 7,000 people have also been displaced, while 800 houses have been completely destroyed and 1500 partly damaged, after heavy monsoon rains began in mid-June and eased two weeks later, he said.
“Over 1000 livestock have also been killed and we are still assessing the damage in monetary terms,” Dhakal said, adding that the government has distributed 7.5 million rupees ($ 78,000) in total to victims.
 


Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

Updated 35 min 11 sec ago
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Germany’s Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s “aggressive tendencies”

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.
  • Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.

AMMAN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its “aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
“Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently,” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
Germany remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May.
Merkel said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
In Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shiite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying, especially for Israel’s security.”
Abdullah, who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Abdullah this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary Fund.
Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people.”