Strong earthquake in southern Peru leaves two dead

Peru (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 January 2018
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Strong earthquake in southern Peru leaves two dead

LIMA: A strong magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck the coast of southern Peru on Sunday morning, leaving two dead and several dozen injured, while causing homes and roads to collapse.
The quake hit offshore at 4:18 a.m. local time (0918 GMT) at a depth of around 36 km (22.4 miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. Its epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean 40 km from the town of Acari.
Arequipa Governor Yamila Osorio said on Twitter that one 55-year old man died in the town of Yauca after being crushed by rock. Jorge Chavez, chief of Peru’s Civil Defense Institute (INDECI), told local radio station RPP that a second death was reported in the town of Bella Union.
INDECI said on Twitter that 65 people were injured.
“There are several homes affected and it is possible that the count of victims and injured will rise,” Chavez said.
Several municipalities were without electricity, and many roads and adobe houses had collapsed, Osorio said. Many residents of Lomas, a coastal town, were evacuated after feeling an aftershock, she said. 
Earthquakes are common in Peru, but many homes are built with precarious materials that cannot withstand them.
In 2007 an earthquake killed hundreds in the region of Ica.
Peruvian maritime authorities said the quake did not produce a tsunami on the Peruvian coast.
Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer, although many of the mines in the south are located far inland from the coastal region where the quake struck. A representative of Southern Copper Corp. said there were no reports of damage at its Cuajone and Toquepala mines in the regions of Moguegua and Tacna.
Jesus Revilla, a union leader at the Cerro Verde copper mine in Arequipa, said there were no reports that operations had been affected.
The quake was also felt in northern Chile, Peru’s southern neighbor. Chile’s National Emergency offices said there were no reports of injuries, damage to infrastructure, or interruption of basic services. Chile’s navy said the quake did not meet the conditions that would produce a tsunami off its coast.


UK’s official Brexit campaign fined, referred to police

Updated 17 July 2018
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UK’s official Brexit campaign fined, referred to police

  • The report found that the Vote Leave campaign exceeded its legal spending limit of £7.0 million ( $9.3 million) by almost £500,000
  • Vote Leave returned an incomplete and inaccurate spending report

LONDON: Britain’s official Brexit campaign, Vote Leave, has been fined for breaking spending rules in the 2016 EU membership referendum, the Electoral Commission said Tuesday, adding that it had referred the case to the police.
The Electoral Commission said the winning side in the referendum had worked together with a smaller pro-Brexit group called BeLeave to get around campaign finance rules.
“We found substantial evidence that the two groups worked to a common plan, did not declare their joint working and did not adhere to the legal spending limits,” said Bob Posner, the commission’s director of political finance and regulation.
“These are serious breaches of the laws put in place by parliament to ensure fairness and transparency at elections and referendums,” Posner said.
A Vote Leave spokesman accused the Electoral Commission of being “motivated by a political agenda rather than uncovering the facts.”
The spokesman said there were “a number of false accusations and incorrect assertions that are wholly inaccurate and do not stand up to scrutiny.”
The report found that the Vote Leave campaign exceeded its legal spending limit of £7.0 million (7.9 million euros, $9.3 million) by almost £500,000.
Vote Leave, which had support from leading euroskeptic Boris Johnson, also returned an incomplete and inaccurate spending report and failed to submit some invoices for its spending.
The report said the BeLeave group, which was founded by fashion student Darren Grimes, spent more than £675,000 with Aggregate IQ, a Canadian digital political advertising company, under a “common plan” with Vote Leave.
The company was mentioned in the scandal over Cambridge Analytica, a now defunct British company accused of misusing data obtained from Facebook to micro-target political ads.
Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, alleged that pro-Brexit groups worked together to get around campaign finance rules by using the services of Aggregate IQ.
Wylie said that Aggregate IQ was linked to Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.
The Electoral Commission said it had referred the case to police.
“Investigation files have been shared with the Metropolitan Police in relation to whether any persons have committed related offenses which lie outside our regulatory remit,” the report said.
Vote Leave was fined £61,000 and Grimes was fined £20,000, the maximum levy for an individual.
But the Vote Leave spokesman said it had provided evidence to the Electoral Commission “proving there was no wrongdoing.”
“And yet, despite clear evidence of wrongdoing by the Remain campaign, the commission has chosen to ignore this and refused to launch an investigation.”
“We will consider the options available to us, but are confident that these findings will be overturned,” he said.