News ID: 91772
Publish Date : 27 June 2021 - 21:59

FLORIDA (Dispatches) – Engineers flagged concerns of “major structural damage” at a South Florida condominium complex three years before its deadly collapse, it was reported on Saturday. A Maryland-based consultant found evidence of a failing concrete slab on the pool deck and “abundant cracking and crumbling” to an underground parking garage during a 2018 inspection, and recommended repair work that was never carried out, the New York Times reported. Searchers worked early on Sunday to find more than 150 missing residents amid the rubble of the condo building that collapsed three days ago as questions arose about the tower’s structural integrity. The death toll rose to five on Saturday after emergency workers found a victim in their methodical search of the site in Surfside, a shore town near Miami, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during an evening news briefing.

LIMA (AFP) – A panel overseeing challenges to Peru’s messy presidential election three weeks ago and declaring a winner got back to work Saturday after a pause forced by the departure of one of its members. Indeed, Peruvians are still waiting for a new president to be proclaimed from the June 6 election. Leftist Pedro Castillo took a majority of votes, according to the unconfirmed count, in an election his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori -- charged with corruption in an unrelated scandal -- claims was riddled with fraud. The election has not been called due to the fraud claims from the Fujimori camp, which asked the National Jury of Elections (JNE), the final vote arbiter, to review thousands of votes. If she loses, Fujimori risks an imminent graft trial that would otherwise be delayed until after her presidential term. One of four JNE judges, Luis Arce, announced Wednesday that he “declined” to continue his duties, from which he cannot resign under law until the job at hand is done. On Saturday Victor Raul Rodriguez was sworn in as Arce’s replacement.

MONTBLANC (AFP) – Jordi Cuixart spent three years and eight months behind bars for his involvement in Catalonia’s 2017 failed independence bid, but he says he has no regrets, days after being pardoned by Spain. One of nine Catalan separatist leaders freed on Wednesday as a gesture of “reconciliation”, Cuixart says the olive branch will not resolve the separatist crisis in this wealthy northeastern region of Spain. “These pardons don’t reflect a desire to resolve the political conflict,” says the 46-year-old who heads Omnium Cultural, one of the region’s biggest grassroots pro-independence groups. Speaking to AFP, Cuixart pointed to widespread criticism of their imprisonment from NGOs like Amnesty International as a factor behind the release of the separatists, but said what tipped the balance was that “our being in prison was creating problems for the Spanish state”. Cuixart was arrested on October 16, 2017 after a demonstration outside a regional government building during which several police vehicles were destroyed. In 2019, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for sedition.

KHARTOUM (Anadolu) – The Sudanese government will hand over ousted President Omer al-Bashir and former leading members of his government to the International Criminal Court (ICC), an official said Saturday. “The government has decided to hand over Bashir and other criminals to the ICC after the adoption of the ICC procedures,” Minister of Federal Affairs Buthaina Dinar said at a news conference. He said the handover would follow the end of Bashir’s trial on corruption and other crimes in local courts. Bashir and three officials were indicted by The Hague-based court on charges, including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

SREENAGAR (AFP) – Tens of thousands of migrant workers fled Bangladesh’s capital Sunday on the eve of a tightened lockdown that will curtail most economic activity and confine people to their homes as coronavirus infections soar. Restrictions on activities and movement have been in place since mid-April as cases and deaths jumped. Infections declined in May but started to rise again this month, with just over 6,000 daily cases on Thursday and 108 deaths on Friday, according to the health ministry -- the highest in more than two months. The resurgence has prompted the government to toughen restrictions in stages from Monday, with economic activity -- including shops, markets, transportation and offices -- to shut down by Thursday. People will be ordered to stay at homes while only emergency services and export-oriented factories continue operations.

NEW DELHI (Al Jazeera) – Indian officials have said they suspect explosive-laden drones were used to attack an air force base in Jammu city in Indian-administered Kashmir, calling it the first such incident of its kind in the country. Dilbagh Singh, the police director-general in the region officially called Jammu and Kashmir, told the private news channel New Delhi Television (NDTV) on Sunday that “drones with payload were used in [two] blasts.” Singh called the attack an act of “terrorism”. India’s air force tweeted that the attack caused minor damage to the roof of a building at the station, while another blast hit an open area. “There was no damage to any equipment,” it said.

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