'Suspicious package' found in UK parliament contained white powder: London police

Witnesses said the police were dealing with a 'suspicious package' at the Houses of Parliament in the UK. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 February 2018
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'Suspicious package' found in UK parliament contained white powder: London police

LONDON: The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into a 'suspicious package' found inside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.
According to reports, a House of Commons spokesperson had previously commented on the situation, saying that the police were investigating an 'incident' on the Parliamentary Estate, but without providing any further details.
When contacted by Arab News, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said it was "looking into the incident" and that it was being dealt with by specialist officers.
A short statement said: "At approximately 11:36am on Tuesday, 13 February, police were informed of a suspicious package that had been delivered to an office within the Palace of Westminster. Police are at the scene and dealing.
"A letter contained a white powder which is currently being assessed by specialists. The office remains closed at this time, but the rest of the Palace of Westminster is open.
"Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have been informed and are investigating."
A UK parliament statement went on to say that the white powder in the package has been found to be non-harmful, the lower house of the legislature said.
The package is understood to have been delivered to an office below the House of Commons chamber. The UK parliament is in recess this week, however, so the vast majority of ministers are not currently in Westminster.
 


24 bodies retrieved from flooded Zimbabwe gold mine: report

A rescued artisanal miner is carried from a pit as retrieval efforts proceed for trapped illegal gold miners in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, February 16, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 min 44 sec ago
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24 bodies retrieved from flooded Zimbabwe gold mine: report

  • Formal unemployment is estimated at over 90 percent and artisanal gold mining, mostly in mines long abandoned by big corporates, is widespread providing a source of income for many

HARARE: Rescue workers retrieved 24 bodies and eight survivors Saturday from two flooded gold mines in Zimbabwe where officials fear dozens more illegal miners are still trapped, state television reported.
“Eight of the trapped minors have been rescued ... while 24 bodies have been retrieved to date as rescue efforts continue at Battlefields Mine,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The two disused mines are situated near the town of Kadoma, 145 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the capital Harare.
The rescued received medical attention on site before being take to hospital, but were in a stable condition, the report added.
Television footage showed some of the men, in soaked, muddy clothes, being helped to a makeshift clinic.
In a clip posted on Twitter, one survivor told journalists that the waters had risen to neck level, forcing them to stand for days until it receded.
On Friday the government said that between 60 and 70 “artisanal” miners were trapped in two shafts.
It launched an appeal for $200,000 to be used “to pump out water, feeding the bereaved families and the (rescue) teams on the ground, transportation and burial of the victims,” local minister July Moyo said in a statement.
“Given the magnitude of this disaster, we kindly appeal to individuals, development partners and the corporate world for assistance in cash and kind,” he said.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a deep economic crisis, the worst in a decade.
Annual inflation shot to 56.90 percent up from 42.09 percent in December 2018, according to official statistics released Friday, the highest increase in a decade. Economists say in reality prices have gone up more than three fold in recent months.
Formal unemployment is estimated at over 90 percent and artisanal gold mining, mostly in mines long abandoned by big corporates, is widespread providing a source of income for many.
Artisanal mining is not banned outright in Zimbabwe, and is largely unregulated.