Fire destroys landmark hotel in Myanmar’s largest city

Above, firefighters work at the scene of a fire at Kandawgyi Palace hotel in Yangon early on October 19, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2017
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Fire destroys landmark hotel in Myanmar’s largest city

YANGON: One person was injured in a massive fire that destroyed one of Yangon’s best-known hotels on Thursday, sending clouds of dark smoke billowing over the center of Myanmar’s largest city and triggering an hours-long battle to put out the flames.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which broke out around 3:20am at the teak-and-stone Kandawgyi Palace Hotel overlooking a picturesque inner-city lake, authorities told Reuters.
There were no fatalities and only one Chinese citizen was injured, said Yangon police colonel Myint Htwe.
The fire had been mostly extinguished by 7am and guests have been shifted to nearby hotels.
The hotel is owned by Htoo Group, chaired by business tycoon Tay Za, who until last year was on the list of United States sanctions for his close links to Myanmar’s former military regime.
Myanmar’s civilian-led government, helmed by Nobel laureate and former dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, is grappling with the aftermath of a harsh military crackdown that has driven out more than 500,000 of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.


Kremlin laments US ‘unpredictability’ under Trump

Updated 14 November 2018
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Kremlin laments US ‘unpredictability’ under Trump

  • Peskov’s comments come two weeks ahead of a slated face-to-face between President Donald Trump and Putin at a G20 summit in Argentina
  • Relations between the two countries have hit new lows with American officials planning to roll out fresh sanctions against Moscow

SINGAPORE: The Kremlin hit out Wednesday at the “unpredictability” of the United States under the Trump administration, saying it was causing “deep global concern.”
“The fact that America has become unpredictable lately is no secret to anyone,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd TV during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to a regional summit in Singapore.
“Such unpredictability from the largest country, the most powerful economy in the world, is the subject of deep global concern,” he added.
Peskov’s comments come two weeks ahead of a slated face-to-face between President Donald Trump and Putin at a G20 summit in Argentina.
Relations between the two countries have hit new lows with American officials planning to roll out fresh sanctions against Moscow in response to the botched poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain.
Western governments have accused Russia of being behind the plot which saw Skripal and his daughter poisoned with a nerve agent. Two British citizens were also poisoned, one of whom died.
Moscow has denied being behind the brazen hit and has condemned efforts to sanction it over the incident.
“We do not recognize these unilateral restrictions... and we consider them illegitimate,” Peskov said of the threatened sanctions, adding they would only “further complicate” Russia-US relations.
World leaders are currently meeting in Singapore, which is hosting the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
Trump is not at the gathering and has sent Vice President Mike Pence instead.
Peskov said “no separate meeting” was currently planned between Putin and Pence. But he added that there was no need for a face-to-face given Trump and Putin will soon meet in Buenos Aires.