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Russian gas explosion death toll hits 39 as rescue operation ends

The number of dead from a New Year’s Eve gas explosion in a Russian apartment block jumped to 39 on Thursday as rescuers finished searching for bodies in the rubble of the partially collapsed building. Russian official Alexandre Tchouprian said that 38 of the 39 bodies had been identified and no more were expected to…

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Russian gas explosion death toll hits 39 as rescue operation ends

The number of dead from a New Year’s Eve gas explosion in a Russian apartment block jumped to 39 on Thursday as rescuers finished searching for bodies in the rubble of the partially collapsed building.

Russian official Alexandre Tchouprian said that 38 of the 39 bodies had been identified and no more were expected to be found at the site in the Ural mountains city of Magnitogorsk.

“The emergency services have nothing more to do here – the work is finished,” Tchouprian was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Nearly 900 people involved in rescue and recovery efforts braved temperatures as low as minus 27 degrees Celsius to search through mangled concrete and metal at the site.

Six people including two children were rescued at the site, but no survivors have been found since Tuesday when a 10-month-old boy was retrieved in what officials described as a “New Year’s miracle”.

The explosion tore through the 10-storey building in the industrial city nearly 1,700 kilometres east of Moscow in the early hours of Monday.

The Soviet-era block was home to about 1,100 people and the explosion destroyed 35 apartments, leaving dozens homeless.

A bridge had been built to reach higher areas and one of the building’s walls was taken down as it was threatening to collapse on rescue workers.

Financial help for victims

On Thursday, residents of other parts of the building were to be allowed to enter their apartments, in half-hour stretches, to recover some belongings, the ministry said.

All the survivors were in a stable condition, said the office of Chelyabinsk regional governor Boris Dubrovsky, who visited several of them in hospital on Thursday.

The health ministry also said that Vanya, the baby boy rescued on Tuesday, was recovering in hospital.

His condition was “stable, with some improvement”, Russian news agencies quoted the ministry as saying.

The boy was found in his cradle after rescuers heard him crying from under the rubble. He was brought to his mother, who had survived the blast, and then flown to Moscow for treatment.

Dubrovsky’s office said the governor had approved new financial assistance to the victims, including payments of one million rubles ($14,500, 12,700 euros) to the families of those killed and 400,000 rubles for those injured.

Families who lost their apartments would receive payments of up 500,000 rubles, as well as being provided with new homes.

Financial assistance was also to be provided to help pay for funerals, the first six of which were to be held on Friday, the governor’s office said.

The explosion, which officials have said was likely caused by a gas leak, happened as most of the building’s residents were asleep.

Witnesses described a “wave of fire” and said the blast was strong enough to shatter windows in nearby buildings.

Investigators have launched a probe, but have said there is no reason to suspect foul play.

Gas explosions are relatively common in Russia, where much of the infrastructure dates back to the Soviet era and safety requirements are often ignored.

Located in the mineral-rich southern Urals, Magnitogorsk, with a population of more than 400,000, is home to one of Russia’s largest steel producers.

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Political outsider to stand against Orban in Hungary’s 2022 vote

A small-town conservative and father of seven will lead an alliance of six opposition parties in next year’s parliamentary vote.A Hungarian political outsider with no party affiliation will run against Prime Minister Viktor Orban in next year’s parliamentary election after winning an opposition runoff primary on Sunday. Small-town conservative Peter Marki-Zay defeated left-wing Klara Dobrev…

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Political outsider to stand against Orban in Hungary’s 2022 vote

A small-town conservative and father of seven will lead an alliance of six opposition parties in next year’s parliamentary vote.A Hungarian political outsider with no party affiliation will run against Prime Minister Viktor Orban in next year’s parliamentary election after winning an opposition runoff primary on Sunday.
Small-town conservative Peter Marki-Zay defeated left-wing Klara Dobrev who pledged to support him at the head of an alliance of six opposition parties.
“We can only win together,” Marki-Zay told cheering supporters with his wife and seven children standing behind him.
“This was a battle, but we have to win the war as well,” he said, referring to the 2022 election.
The vote, which will determine the 199 seats of the Hungarian Parliament, is expected to be held by April.
Dobrev conceded defeat and sided with his former opponent. “I wish him a lot of strength … in our effort to unseat Viktor Orban and then dismantle his regime,” he told a news conference.

While final results were due later on Sunday, Marki-Zay’s lead appeared unassailable. With 60 percent of the votes counted, he was leading by a margin of about 58-42 percent.
Marki-Zay’s family-man image and Christian faith could appeal to lots of undecided voters. He has sought to portray himself as a palatable choice for both left-wing and conservative voters, campaigning on leading a coalition of “the clean” and promising to root out corruption.
Opinion polls show Orban’s conservative Fidesz party and the opposition alliance running neck-and-neck.
An economist and engineer who lived in the United States and Canada for five years, Marki-Zay rose to prominence in 2018 when he won a mayoral contest in his southern hometown, Hodmezovasarhely, a Fidesz party stronghold.
For the first time since coming to power in 2010, Orban will face a united front of opposition parties that includes the Socialists, liberals and the formerly far right, now centre right, Jobbik.
While Orban has had a series of disputes with the European Union, Marki-Zay is looking to improve relations with Brussels and is in favour of Hungary adopting the euro in the foreseeable future.

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Who benefits from plans for a biennial football World Cup?

FIFA wants to change the frequency of the World Cup but not everyone is convinced.

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Who benefits from plans for a biennial football World Cup?

FIFA wants to change the frequency of the World Cup but not everyone is convinced.

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India: 8 dead, 20 missing as heavy rains lash Kerala

Slide Menus Show/Hide Left Slide Menu Show/Hide Right Slide Menu Show/Hide Top Slide Menu Show/Hide Bottom Slide Menu   Web Report/Dubai Filed on October 17, 2021 Rescue forces recover three more bodies in Kottayam Eight people have died and 20 have been reported missing as heavy rains continued to lash Kerala on Sunday. According to…

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India: 8 dead, 20 missing as heavy rains lash Kerala

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Filed on October 17, 2021

Rescue forces recover three more bodies in Kottayam

Eight people have died and 20 have been reported missing as heavy rains continued to lash Kerala on Sunday.
According to the Times of India, three more bodies were recovered from Koottickal in the Kottayam district on Sunday.
State ministers K Rajan, Roshy Augustine and VN Vasavan took part in a review meeting to assess the situation arising in the state at Mundakkayam, Kottayam.
The National Disaster Response Force conducted a rescue operation in Kokkayar, Idukki after the rains triggered a landslide on Saturday.
NDRF team conducts rescue operation in Kokkayar, Idukki where landslide occurred yesterday#KeralaRains pic.twitter.com/RLAhF0HxSV— TOI Kochi (@TOIKochiNews) October 17, 2021
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