Two children die in Ukraine camp fire

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a children’s camp in Odessa on September 16, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 16 September 2017

Two children die in Ukraine camp fire

KIEV: A fire swept through a children’s camp in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa, killing two girls and leaving a third one missing, the authorities said on Saturday.
The fire broke out late Friday in the camp’s wooden two-story building where children slept in the resort city of Odessa some 440 kilometers (south of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, the emergencies state service said.
After the blaze was put out three girls aged between 8 and 12 were unaccounted for and later “fragments of two burned children’s bodies were found” during work to clear away the debris, the service said in a statement.
The search for a third missing child was under way.
Two more children were hospitalized, added the service, noting that the cause of the fire has yet to be established.
Police said they had opened a criminal case into the blaze.
Deadly fires are common in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries owing to outdated infrastructure and a lax approach to fire safety.
In May 2016, a fire killed 17 people in a privately-run care home for the elderly outside Kiev, while in 2011 another blaze left 16 people dead in another home in Ukraine’s northwest Rivne region.


Philippines warns of ‘unfriendly’ greeting for uninvited warships

Updated 32 min 29 sec ago

Philippines warns of ‘unfriendly’ greeting for uninvited warships

  • There have been multiple sightings of Chinese warships in Philippine territorial waters
  • The Philippines has lodged several diplomatic protests in recent weeks

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of “unfriendly” treatment for foreign ships traveling in the country’s territorial waters without permission, in a rare swipe at China’s use of warships just a few miles off Manila’s coast.
Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, on Tuesday made the demand for transparency amid frustration by the Philippine military at multiple sightings this year of Chinese warships moving within the country’s 12 mile territorial sea, at various locations in the archipelago.
“All foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage,” Panelo said.
“Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner,” he added.
Panelo did not refer to China by name, nor elaborate on what that enforcement might entail.
The Philippines has lodged several diplomatic protests in recent weeks over the activities of Chinese coast guard, navy and paramilitary fishing vessels in Philippine-controlled areas of the South China Sea and in its territorial waters.
The armed forces has released images and cited witness sightings between February and early August of Chinese warships off Palawan and Tawi Tawi islands, a pattern that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week described as an “irritant.”
Duterte is facing heat at home for what critics say is his passive approach to Chinese provocations in exchange for a business relationship with Beijing that is not working out well for him, with promised investments slow in coming.
Though surveys consistently show Duterte enjoying a level of domestic approval never seen at this point in a presidency, the same polls show growing disdain for China over its conduct in the South China Sea, and reservations among some Filipinos over a massive influx of Chinese online gaming workers under Duterte.
Duterte will visit China from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, his spokesman said. He has promised to discuss a South China Sea 2016 international arbitration victory over China with counterpart Xi Jinping.
Duterte has until now chosen not to push that ruling, which invalidated China’s claim of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. Beijing did not participate in the court proceedings and rejected the ruling.
The South China Sea is a vital route for ships carrying more than $3 trillion in trade every year. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to parts of it.