Rains pound Karachi, northwest; 63 killed

Heavy rains hit parts of Pakistan for a fifth straight night, bringing more flooding to the financial capital Karachi as well as towns and villages and leaving at least 63 people dead, officials said Friday.

About 30 inches of rain have fallen in Karachi since Sunday, when monsoon rains began lashing the coastal city, forcing authorities to use boats to evacuate people trapped in flooded streets.

At least forty-seven people were killed this week in Karachi in storm-related incidents, according to Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of the southern province of Sindh. He said authorities were working day and night to help rain-affected residents in the city and elsewhere in Sindh, where Karachi is the provincial capital.

At least 16 people were killed in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by flash flooding overnight, said Taimur Ali of the disaster management agency in the northwest.

Downed power lines caused widespread electrical outages in Karachi, adding to the misery of many of the city’s 15 million residents. Hundreds of vehicles were dragged along city streets by powerful floodwaters.

— Associated Press


Macron says he set red lines for Turkey

French President said Friday that he had taken a tough stance this summer on Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean, setting red lines because Ankara respects actions, not words.

“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I have to be consistent in deeds and words. I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect that. . . . What France did this summer was important: It’s a red-line policy. I did it in Syria.”

Tensions between Turkey and France have risen in recent months, with Paris backing Greece, which is at odds with Turkey over rights to potential hydrocarbon resources based on conflicting claims over the extent of their continental shelves.

France this week joined military exercises with Italy, Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean as the dispute escalated after Ankara sent its Oruc Reis survey vessel to contested waters this month.

Macron has demanded further E.U. sanctions against Turkey, and the two NATO allies almost came to blows in June after a French warship tried to inspect a Turkish vessel as part of a U.N. arms embargo for Libya.

— Reuters


Navalny’s symptoms improving, doctors say

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is still in an induced coma from a suspected poisoning but his condition is stable and his symptoms are improving, the German doctors treating him said Friday.

Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator who is one of Russian President ’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight to Moscow from Siberia on Aug. 20 and was taken to a hospital in the city of Omsk after an emergency landing.

Last weekend, he was moved to the Charité hospital in Berlin, where doctors found indications of “cholinesterase inhibitors” in his system. Found in some drugs, pesticides and chemical nerve agents, cholinesterase inhibitors block the breakdown of a key chemical in the body, acetylcholine, that transmits signals between nerve cells.

“While his condition remains serious, there is no immediate danger to his life,” Charité said. “However, due to the severity of the patient’s poisoning, it remains too early to gauge potential long-term effects.”

— Associated Press

Man pleads to 39 manslaughter counts in container case: A truck driver from Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of 39 people found in the back of a container truck last year in southeastern England. Ronan Hughes, 40, entered the plea at Central London Criminal Court. The victims, all of whom were Vietnamese, were found Oct. 23 in an industrial park in the English town of Grays.

At least 40 dolphins dead near Mauritius oil spill: At least 40 dolphins have mysteriously died in an area of Mauritius affected by an oil spill from a Japanese vessel, officials and witnesses said. Witnesses described the deaths of one mother dolphin and her baby, as well as dozens of others. Environmentalists have demanded an investigation into whether the dolphins were killed as a result of the spill from the tanker, which was scuttled on Monday after running aground in July and leaking oil.

— From news services

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