About 10,000 people normally live in Thantlang in Chin State, but most had left to seek shelter in surrounding areas including in India, a community leader said.In India’s neighboring state of Mizoram, the head of a civil society group said 5,500 people from Myanmar had arrived in just two districts over the past week, as they scrambled to escape a military crackdown.Myanmar has been in turmoil since a government led by pro-democracy veteran Aung San Suu Kyi was toppled on February 1, sparking nationwide anger, strikes, protests, and the emergence of anti-junta militia.During fighting last weekend in Thantlang, about 20 homes were set ablaze, with photographs on social media showing buildings engulfed in flames.Soldiers shot dead a Christian pastor who tried to extinguish a blaze, the Myanmar Now news portal reported, although state media disputed the report.The Global New Light of Myanmar said the pastor’s death was being investigated and that soldiers had been ambushed by about 100 “terrorists” and both sides exchanged fire.Salai Thang, a community leader, said four civilians had been killed and 15 wounded in several weeks of conflict with the military also using air strikes after an army base was overrun.The Chin Defense Force, a militia opposed to the military, said in a statement 30 soldiers had been killed.Reuters could not independently confirm any of the claims and a military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.A relative of the dead pastor told Reuters that only a handful of households remained in Thantlang, including about 20 children in an orphanage.”The murder of a Baptist minister and bombing of homes in Thantlang, Chin State are the latest examples of the living hell being delivered daily by junta forces against the people of Myanmar,” Thomas Andrews, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said in a message on Twitter.There has been an upsurge in bloodshed in areas like Chin State after the National Unity Government, a shadow underground administration set up by opponents of the military, declared an uprising on September 7 and called for newly formed militia to target the junta.The attempts by the People’s Defense Forces to take on the well-equipped army have often resulted in civilians being caught in crossfire and forced to flee.Community leader Salai Thang said he was deeply concerned about the displaced finding food and shelter.In Mizoram, arrivals from Myanmar in the past week had mostly crossed the Tiau river by boat, the head of the Young Mizo Association, a civil society group, said by telephone.”We have set up temporary shelters using tins (tin roofs) and tarpaulins to house these refugees purely on humanitarian grounds,” said Lalnuntluanga, who uses one name.
Russia and China hold first joint patrol in the western Pacific, Russian defense ministry says
The patrols involved a total of 10 warships, five from each nation, and lasted a week, from Sunday, October 17 to Saturday, October 23, covering 1,700 nautical miles, according to the Ministry.The objective of the joint patrol was to “demonstrate the state flags of Russia and China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region…
The patrols involved a total of 10 warships, five from each nation, and lasted a week, from Sunday, October 17 to Saturday, October 23, covering 1,700 nautical miles, according to the Ministry.The objective of the joint patrol was to “demonstrate the state flags of Russia and China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and also protect facilities of both countries’ maritime economic activity,” the statement read. “During the patrol, the group of warships passed through the Tsugaru Strait for the first time,” the statement added. The Tsugaru strait is body of water between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in the northern part of the country, connecting the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the patrol, the two navies practiced joint tactical maneuvers and did a series of military drills, the statement added.The two countries have an ongoing military partnership and have conducted a series of joint military drills, the most high profile of which was “Vostok 2018,” which involved a simulated battle in which a Russian-Chinese coalition fought a fictional enemy.In August, Russia and China joined forces once again to use a joint command and control system, with Russian troops integrated into Chinese formations, according to a statement by China’s defense ministry at the time.Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin has an ally in Chinese President Xi Jinping, with Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian telling a news briefing in June that the two countries were “united like a mountain” with an “unbreakable” friendship.CNN’s Brad Lendon, Nectar Gan, Ben Westcott, Mary Ilyushina and Nathan Hodge contributed to this report.
Royal Caribbean announces nine-month world cruise
(CNN) — It would’ve been unthinkable 12 months ago as the cruise industry reeled from the effects of Covid, but one operator is now offering an epic new voyage that will last nine months and take travelers to more than 150 destinations. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Serenade of the Seas is set to commence sailing…
(CNN) — It would’ve been unthinkable 12 months ago as the cruise industry reeled from the effects of Covid, but one operator is now offering an epic new voyage that will last nine months and take travelers to more than 150 destinations. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Serenade of the Seas is set to commence sailing in December 2023 from Miami, sailing for 274 nights before returning to Florida in September 2024.In a statement, Royal Caribbean International president Michael Bayley said the trip — dubbed “The Ultimate World Cruise” — is designed to help travel-starved cruisers “make up for lost time.”Voyaging the globeSerenade of the Seas has been a stalwart of the RCCL fleet since 2003. The 965 feet long ship has 13 decks and can accommodate up to 2,476 guests, according to Royal Caribbean’s website.Upon leaving Miami on the world cruise in late 2023, the vessel is set to travel around the Caribbean, before scheduled stop offs in Central and South America, including trips to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro and Argentina’s Iguazu Falls.Also on the globe-spanning itinerary are landmarks including the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Giza.Travelers can book the full nine-month experience, or schedule a specific chunk of the trip and just join for the Americas and Antarctica, for example. Royal Caribbean told CNN Travel the price range for the full excursion is between $66,000 to $112,000 per person, plus taxes and fees.World cruises were a staple of the cruise scene pre-pandemic, but usually topped out at 150 days or so. Viking Cruises scheduled a 245-day trip from August 2019 to May 2020 on board Viking Sun, but this voyage was cut short when Covid-19 shut down the cruise industry in Spring 2020.Cruising has since recommenced in many markets, with cruise companies keen to prove a vacation at sea is a safe and viable holiday option.It’s still over two years until the Serenade of the Seas is set to embark on its globe-spanning trip, but travelers can reserve their cabins now.Top photo courtesy Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images
Explosion at Russian gunpowder workshop kills 17, report says
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said a criminal investigation had been launched into the blast.According to Reuters, an entire shift of workers was at the site when the brick building was ripped apart.Emergency services were alerted at 8:22 a.m. Moscow time to a fire at the Shilovsky district, Lesnoy village, Ryazan region, Russia’s…
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said a criminal investigation had been launched into the blast.According to Reuters, an entire shift of workers was at the site when the brick building was ripped apart.Emergency services were alerted at 8:22 a.m. Moscow time to a fire at the Shilovsky district, Lesnoy village, Ryazan region, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations said.Officials believe the fire started at one of the plant’s gunpowder workshops, the ministry said.A video circulating on social media on Friday purportedly shows the moment the blast happened, with a yellow fireball rising in the air from the brick building. Images from the disaster showed scattered, charred debris as smoke billows over a demolished building.”The body of the 17th victim was taken out from under the rubble of the workshop. Search and rescue operations at the explosion site have been completed, there are no more people under the rubble,” TASS cited the emergency services as saying.Regional Governor Nikolay Lubimov declared October 25 a day of mourning in the Ryazan region, which lies to the southeast of Moscow, for those killed in the blast and insisted more needed to be done to ensure the safety of those working in “hazardous industries.””This is an egregious case, and everything possible must be done so that nothing like this will happen again. Both in hazardous industries and in those that are lower in hazard class, but can pose a threat to the life and health of people,” he said. Lubimov said he would recommend that authorities carry out unscheduled inspections at such facilities.A statement from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said officials would check the plant’s compliance with safety standards for hazardous production facilities. The investigation will also consider what may have caused the fire, it said.CNN’s Katharina Krebs reported from Moscow and Toyin Owoseje wrote from London.