North Korean delegation arrives in South Korea for Olympics prep

A bus carrying a North Korean delegation crosses the Unification Bridge as a South Korean policeman stands guard in Paju, South Korea, on Sunday. (AP)
Updated 21 January 2018
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North Korean delegation arrives in South Korea for Olympics prep

SEOUL: North Korean logistics officials arrived in South Korea on Sunday after a previous cancelation briefly cast doubts on the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics.
South Korean broadcaster YTN reported the delegation had arrived in Seoul early Sunday under a heavy police presence, then boarded a train to Pyeongchang, where the Olympics will be held from February 9-25.
The seven-member North Korean delegation had originally been scheduled to visit on Saturday to check venues for performances by an art troupe during the Olympics, but canceled just before the visit with no explanation.
Officials from both Korea’s used a cross-border hotline to reschedule the visit.
The preparations are part of the North’s participation in the games, an apparent diplomatic breakthrough after months of high tension over the North’s nuclear and missile program.
North Korea will send 22 athletes to the Winter Games in the neighboring South next month and compete in three sports and five disciplines, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Saturday.


Pakistan heatwave kills 65 people in Karachi — welfare organization

Updated 22 May 2018
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Pakistan heatwave kills 65 people in Karachi — welfare organization

  • Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Monday
  • Most of the dead were low wage factory workers who work around heaters and boilers in textile factories and there is eight to nine hours of scheduled power outages in these areas, says Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation

ISLAMABAD: A heatwave has killed 65 people in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi over the past three days, a social welfare organization said on Tuesday, amid fears the death toll could climb as the high temperatures persist.
The heatwave has coincided with power outages and the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Monday, local media reported.
Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation that operates morgues and an ambulance service in Pakistan’s biggest city, said the deaths occurred mostly in the poor areas of Karachi.
“Sixty-five people have died over the last three days,” Edhi told Reuters. “We have the bodies in our cold storage facilities and their neighborhood doctors have said they died of heat-stroke.”
A government spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
But Sindh province’s Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho told the English-language Dawn newspaper that no one has died from heat-stroke.
“Only doctors and hospitals can decide whether the cause of death was heat-stroke or not. I categorically reject that people have died due to heat-stroke in Karachi,” Pechuho was quoted as saying.
Nonetheless, reports of heat stroke deaths in Karachi will stir unease amid fears of a repeat of a heatwave in of 2015, when morgues and hospitals were overwhelmed and at least 1,300 mostly elderly and sick people died from the searing heat.
In 2015, the Edhi morgue ran out of freezer space after about 650 bodies were brought in the space of a few days. Ambulances left decaying corpses outside in sweltering heat.
The provincial government has assured residents that there would be no repeat of 2015 and was working on ensuring those in need of care receive rapid treatment.
Edhi said most of the dead brought to the morgue were working class factory workers who came from the low-income Landhi and Qur’angi areas of Karachi.
“They work around heaters and boilers in textile factories and there is eight to nine hours of (scheduled power outages) in these areas,” he said.
Temperatures are expected to stay above 40C until Thursday, local media reported.