Woman killed as storms batter England

Updated 26 November 2012
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Woman killed as storms batter England

LONDON: A woman was killed by a falling tree in southwest England, police said yesterday, as severe flood warnings were introduced in parts of the country already soaked by rain and battered by strong winds.
The unnamed woman was taken to hospital, but died later, after a tree fell on her late Saturday in Exeter, Devon and Cornwall police said. Two other people were said to have been injured in the incident.
Cornwall in southwest England was the main focus of fears for life and property as rivers threatened to burst their banks and residents reported surges of floodwater coursing through picturesque towns.
Severe flood warnings — which the Environment Agency classifies as meaning there is a risk to life — were in place in the Cornish towns of Helston and Perranporth as well as in the pretty fishing port of Polperro.
Alan Crockford, a pub landlord in Polperro, said there had been warnings but “nobody knew it would get this bad.” He told the BBC: “I was actually in my house and I heard a roar, and just looked outside the window and that was the first bit of water that just... came down the hill, like a river running straight down the road.” Rail operators said many services in southwest England were disrupted due to landslides and flooding.
The Environment Agency has more than 100 less acute flood warnings in place in England and Wales as forecasters warn that more rain is on its way after days of downpours.


Former guerilla set to be sworn in as East Timor leader

Updated 22 June 2018
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Former guerilla set to be sworn in as East Timor leader

DILI, East Timor: East Timor will swear in a new government led by former guerilla fighter Taur Matan Ruak Friday following a protracted political crisis that has paralyzed the tiny Southeast Asian nation.
Ruak will head the second government in less than a year in the impoverished half-island nation that won independence in 2002 after a brutal 24-year occupation by neighboring Indonesia.
Born Jose Maria Vasconcelos but universally known by his nom de guerre Taur Matan Ruak — which means “Two sharp eyes” — was a commander in the East Timorese resistance before becoming chief of the newly independent nation’s army.
He also served in the largely ceremonial role of president between 2012 and 2017.
Parliament was dissolved in January amid tensions between former prime minister Mari Alkatiri’s minority government and an opposition centered around independence hero Xanana Gusmao.
An alliance led by Gusmao clinched an absolute majority in elections held in May.
Ruak’s new government includes members of Gusmao’s National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction, the People’s Liberation Party and the youth-based Khunto.
The incoming administration will face big challenges, especially as the clock is ticking fast on East Timor’s disappearing oil and gas reserves.
The resources pay for the bulk of government spending but oil revenues are in steep decline and the country has few other productive economic sectors.
About 60 percent of East Timor’s population is under 25, according to the World Bank, while some 40 percent of its people live in poverty.
Providing jobs for young people and reining in public spending — especially on large infrastructure projects — will be key tasks for the new government, analysts say.