India boat capsize leaves 12 dead, 10 missing

The boat was carrying 44 people across the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh state. (AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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India boat capsize leaves 12 dead, 10 missing

NEW DELHI: Emergency workers recovered 12 bodies from a river and were searching for another 10 missing people on Wednesday after a ferry capsized in southern India, officials said.
The boat was carrying 44 people across the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh state when strong winds flipped it over late Tuesday, prompting a massive rescue operation including navy helicopters and dozens of divers.
The bodies were found after a 16-hour search of the sunken boat around 60 feet (18 metres) underwater using sonar equipment.
The state's Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said 22 passengers swam to safety and efforts are on to find those still missing.
Naidu blamed the private boat operator for the tragedy, saying the ferry was packed with men, cement bags and motorbikes.
"Because of the strong gale, the boat could not withstand pressure and sunk," he told reporters at the site of accident in East Godavari district.
The victims included members of a wedding party and people from local tribal communities, who regularly use the boats to reach their villages across India's second largest river that flows from the west of the country to the east coast.
Freak dust and thunderstorms have battered India for weeks this month, killing hundreds across the country.
Eight people drowned after their boat capsized late Sunday during a storm in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
But boat accidents are also common in India for other reasons -- mainly overcrowding, poor maintenance and lax safety.
In September, 20 people were killed when a boat capsized on the Yamuna river in northern India.
Six people died in October after their boat sank in eastern Bihar state, just months after 25 people died in a similar accident in the river Ganges.


Withdrawal from nuclear arms deal ‘dangerous step’ for US: Moscow

Updated 21 October 2018
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Withdrawal from nuclear arms deal ‘dangerous step’ for US: Moscow

  • US National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to arrive in Moscow on Sunday
  • Trump announced US plans to leave the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, signed in 1987

MOSCOW: Withdrawing from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia as President Donald Trump has announced he plans to do is a dangerous step, Russia’s deputy foreign minister warned on Sunday.
“This would be a very dangerous step that, I’m sure, not only will not be comprehended by the international community but will provoke serious condemnation,” deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS state news agency.
The treaty is “significant for international security and security in the sphere of nuclear arms, for the maintenance of strategic stability,” he stressed.
Russia condemned what he called attempts by the US to gain concessions “through a method of blackmail,” he added.
If the US continues to act “clumsily and crudely” and unilaterally back out of international agreements “then we will have no choice but to undertake retaliatory measures including involving military technology,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti news agency.
“But we would not want to get to this stage,” he added.
On Saturday, Trump announced US plans to leave the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, known as the INF, signed in 1987 by the then US president Ronald Reagan.
“We’re the ones who have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honored the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” said Trump.
But Ryabkov on Sunday denied Trump’s accusations, throwing the accusation back at Washington.
“We don’t just not violate (the treaty), we observe it in the strictest way,” he insisted.
“And we have shown patience while pointing out over the course of many years the flagrant violations of this treaty by the US itself.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton is set to arrive in Moscow on Sunday.
“We hope that we will hear from him during meetings, tomorrow and the day after, more substantively and clearly what the American side intends to undertake,” said Ryabkov.
Earlier a foreign ministry source told Russian news agencies that the US move was connected to its “dream of a unipolar world,” an argument that Ryabkov also advanced.
“Apparently the existence of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty creates problems for establishing a line of total US domination and supremacy in the military sphere,” he said.