Bus accident in south India kills at least 55 people

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Rescuers pull out passengers from a bus that fell into a gorge in Jagtiyal district of Telangana, India, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP)
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Relatives of victims of a bus accident wail near a hospital in Jagtiyal district of Telangana, India, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India plunged off a road Tuesday, killing more than 50 people including four children, officials said. (AP)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Bus accident in south India kills at least 55 people

HYDERABAD, India: A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India plunged off a road Tuesday, killing at least 55 people including four children, officials said. At least 33 others were injured.
The driver lost control as he hit a speed bump on a road leading from the popular Anjaneya Swamy temple in Telangana state, about 190 kilometers (118 miles) from Hyderabad, the state capital, Transport Minister P. Maneder Reddy said. The overcrowded bus pitched into a gorge.
Crowds often throng the temple on Tuesdays. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Hanuman, and Tuesdays are seen as auspicious for offering prayers to him.
Passersby rushed to help after the bus crashed, mangling the front of the vehicle. Volunteers crawled into the bus through broken windows, carrying the dead and injured though thick grass and up the hill to the road. The injured were taken to area hospitals.
Local broadcaster ETV showed chaotic scenes at a hospital in Jagtiyal, where people wailed over bodies in a mortuary.
Reddy said at a news conference that the bus depot manager had been suspended.
“The bus was carrying more passengers than allowed,” Reddy said, adding that the accident appeared to have been caused by a brake failure.
An investigation has been ordered into the cause, officials said.
Among those killed was the bus driver, who lost both of his legs in the accident and later died in the hospital.
“The bus accident in Telangana’s Jagtial district is shocking beyond words,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet. “Anguished by the loss of lives. My thoughts and solidarity with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover quickly.”
President Ram Nath Kovind also said that he was shocked to learn about the accident.
Around 150,000 people die every year on India’s roads, often because of reckless driving, badly maintained roads and vehicles overcrowded with passengers.
Deadly bus accidents are common. In July, 48 people were killed when a bus crashed into a gorge in Uttarakhand state.


Hungary hits Soros, Juncker in new media campaign

Updated 20 February 2019
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Hungary hits Soros, Juncker in new media campaign

  • The campaign provoked a furious reaction from prominent EU politicians
  • EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas dismissed the campaign as "fake news"

BUDAPEST: Hungary launched a new anti-immigration media campaign on Tuesday in which it accused George Soros and EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker of allegedly supporting illegal migration, but which Brussels immediately dismissed as "fake news".
According to the Hungarian government's Facebook page, the media blitz — funded with taxpayers' money — is expected to include billboard posters featuring images of the liberal US billionaire Soros and a smiling Juncker above the words: "You too have a right to know what Brussels is preparing".
"They want to bring in the mandatory settlement quota; weaken member states' rights to border defence; facilitate immigration with a migrant visa," it continues.
The campaign provoked a furious reaction from prominent EU politicians, including from Joseph Daul, president of the European People's Party grouping which includes both Juncker and right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party.
In a series of tweets, Daul condemned the campaign, calling its claims "deceitful, misleading and... not based on facts".
Daul denounced Hungary's attacks on Juncker and defended him as a "true Christian Democrat and a real European leader".
He went on to remind Hungary that "decisions in Brussels, including on migration, are taken collectively by EU governments" and the European Parliament, both of which include Hungarian representatives.
The presence of Fidesz within the EPP has long been a source of controversy but there have been no official moves by any of the other centre-right parties in the grouping to expel it.
Orban's government, which has frequently clashed with the EU on migration, has regularly undertaken similar campaigns in the past, including "Let's Stop Brussels" and "Don't let Soros have the last laugh."
In recent years, Orban has blasted the Hungarian-born 88-year-old philanthropist and investor as a "public enemy" for allegedly backing uncontrolled mass immigration.
At the same time, Orban's government has frequently been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes and imagery in its campaigns against Soros, claims it denies.
In recent months, pro-Orban media have also attacked Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini — the author of a critical report about Hungary that formed the basis of EU legal action against Budapest -- and Juncker's deputy Frans Timmermans.
"Brussels continues to want to support illegal immigration," Zoltan Kovacs, a government spokesman, told reporters in Budapest on Tuesday.
"Hungarians need to know about this, that's why the latest information campaign has been launched," he said, denying it is part of the upcoming European Parliament election campaign.
Kovacs said plans in "drawers in Brussels" included hikes in financial funding of NGOs and the creation of a special migration fund.
EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas dismissed the campaign as "fake news".
"The Hungary government campaign beggars belief," he told a briefing in Brussels.
"It is shocking that such a ludicrous conspiracy theory has reached the mainstream to the extent it has. There is no conspiracy. Hungarians deserve facts, not fiction," he said.