Death toll rises to 44 as typhoon Lekima wreaks havoc in eastern China WORLD Monday, 12 Aug 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – The death toll from typhoon Lekima in eastern China rose to 44 people on Monday morning, according to official data, as the storm continued up the coast, racking up billions of dollars in economic losses and widely disrupting travel.

An additional 12 people were recorded dead from the storm, including seven from Zhejiang province and five from Shandong, with 16 people missing, according to data from provincial emergency bureaus and state media.

State broadcaster CCTV had put the death toll at 32 on Sunday.

Typhoon Lekima made landfall early on Saturday in China’s Zhejiang province, with winds gusting up to 187 kmh (116 mph). The centre of the storm has since travelled north through Shandong and off the coast.

Many of the earlier deaths occurred when a natural dam collapsed in Zhejiang after a deluge of 160 mm (6.2 inches) of rain within three hours.

The Shandong Emergency Management Bureau said more than 180,000 people were evacuated in the province, adding to an earlier evacuation of roughly 1 million people in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces as well as the financial hub of Shanghai.

The latest update from Shandong brings the total estimated economic toll of the storm to 18 billion yuan ($2.55 billion) in China, including damage to 364,000 hectares of crops and more than 36,000 homes. Shandong alone estimated the total economic impact on agriculture was 939 million yuan.

Qingdao, a popular tourist hub in eastern Shandong, issued a red alert on Sunday, closing all its tourists sites and suspending 127 trains and all long-distance bus services, according to official media.

Lekima is China’s ninth typhoon this year. China’s state broadcaster said on Sunday more than 3,200 flights had been cancelled but that some suspensions on high-speed railway lines had been lifted.

The typhoon was expected to weaken as it heads northwest off the coast of Shandong into the ocean east of China’s capital, Beijing.

Australia spearhead Cummins wants to play all five Ashes tests CRICKET Monday, 12 Aug 2019

FILE PHOTO: Cricket – Ashes 2019 – First Test – England v Australia – Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain – August 5, 2019 Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Chris Woakes giving Australia victory in the first test Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

LONDON (Reuters) – Australia paceman Pat Cummins wants to play all five matches in the Ashes series and is looking forward to rejoining the fray in his first test at Lord’s on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old took four for 32 in England’s second innings at Edgbaston as Australia romped to a 251-run victory in the first test — his maiden away outing in cricket’s oldest international rivalry.

Cambodia reduces number of public holidays to attract jobs, but activists are concerned it could undermine democracy

An event celebrating the International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2015 at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh. For many years, the annual event has gathered individuals and groups calling for greater human rights protection in Cambodia. Photo from Facebook page of Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

Responding to the clamor of the business sector, the Cambodian government issued a decree reducing the country’s public holidays from 28 to 22. Authorities said this decision will boost the country’s competitiveness but some groups are worried that this might undermine public commemorations of important historical events.

The six holidays that will be removed in 2020 are the National Day of Remembrance (formerly the National Day of Hatred, commemorating the Khmer Rouge communist regime) on May 20, International Children’s Day on June 1, Paris Peace Agreements Day on October 23, International Human Rights Day on December 10, and two of the three days celebrating the king’s birthday.

The Paris Peace Agreements Day commemorates the end of war in Cambodia in 1991 and marks the country’s transition to democracy. It laid the framework for the building of a modern democratic state and reflected the unity of major political parties to pursue peaceful political reforms.

Ek Tha, spokesperson for the Council of Ministers, explained that the decree is a response to the petition of domestic and foreign employers to cut the public holidays.

It is because the government wants the Kingdom to be competitive and attract national and international investments…It’s so they [citizens] can contribute to the building and development of Cambodia in order for it to be more prosperous.

But Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, appealed for reconsideration since the reduced holidays would affect the benefits received by workers

Unionists are holding a discussion with each other to find a way on how to request the government to reconsider with their decision to cut public holidays because workers will lose their benefits.

Cambodia is one of few countries which celebrates Human Rights Day as a public holiday. The decision to remove it from the list of holidays is seen by some as a symbolic reversal of the country’s commitment to implement democratic reforms.

The Cambodian government is accused of silencing dissent by banning and dissolving the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). The government also filed tax and licensing charges against some media outlets which human rights groups described as arbitrary and politically-motivated. In response, authorities linked the opposition and some civil society groups with foreign powers which are allegedly ‘conspiring’ to destabilize the government.

While civil society groups acknowledge the goal of rationalizing the number of holidays, they expressed concern that it could negatively affect public understanding of events that laid the foundations of the country’s democracy.

Cambodian Centre for Human Rights executive director Chak Sopheap said that removing some of the holidays will be a “lost opportunity for ending conflicting opinions” on controversial events.

Overall, no matter how the days are set, may the spirit of respect for and protection of human rights, as well as the necessity for national reconciliation and national independence, be on the agenda for all of us to develop the country sustainably and in peace.

Soeung Sen Karona, spokesperson for the human rights group Adhoc, said that the decree is another indication of the government’s attack on democracy.

Omitting the Paris Peace Agreement and Human Rights days from the public-holiday list reflects that the government is unwilling to promote democracy any longer.

Some civil society groups suggested that some holidays can be merged instead of outrightly removing them. Government officials assured them that these will still be commemorated and the public are still enjoined to organize activities in celebration of these historical events.

Seorang Lelaki Maut Dipukul Dengan Kayu Besbol.

SHAH ALAM: Mangsa yang maut akibat perselisihan faham dalam kemalangan kecil di Kilometer 239, Lebuhraya Utara Selatan dekat Kajang, semalam, didapati memukul kereta suspek menggunakan kayu besbol sebelum dilanggar.

Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Selangor, Senior Asisten Komisioner Fadzil Ahmat, berkata mangsa berusia 29 tahun bertindak demikian selepas tidak berpuas hati dengan suspek berusia 40 tahun itu.

Katanya, sebelum mengeluarkan kayu besbol dari keretanya, mangsa serta suspek yang sudah bergaduh berpunca daripada kemalangan kecil, ditenteramkan orang ramai sebelum kedua-duanya masuk ke kereta masing-masing.

“Namun, si mati yang masih tidak berpuas hati mengeluarkan kayu besbol dari keretanya dan memukul bahagian hadapan kereta suspek.

“Suspek yang ada dalam kereta ketika itu terus memandu dalam keadaan tergesa-gesa hingga terlanggar suspek.

“Akibat daripada itu, mangsa tersepit antara kereta suspek dan penghadang jalan,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan, di sini, hari ini.

Fadzil berkata, suspek dan isteri berusia 36 tahun direman tujuh hari bermula hari ini.

Kes disiasat mengikut Seksyen 302 Kanun Keseksaan.

Dalam kejadian pada jam 1.40 tengah hari itu, kemalangan kecil terbabit menyebabkan berlaku perselisihan faham antara mangsa dan lelaki berusia 40 tahun sebelum berlaku pergelutan antara mereka.

Ketua Polis Daerah Kajang, Asisten Komisioner Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yussof berkata, polis menerima maklumat berhubung kejadian dari sebuah hospital di Nilai pada jam 3.40 petang dengan memaklumkan seorang lelaki meninggal dunia.