Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 9: Official

Myanmar police officers take positions at Letpadaung copper-mine, Monywa in northwestern Myanmar, in this Dec. 22, 2014 file photo. (AP)
Updated 11 February 2017

Myanmar jade mine landslide kills 9: Official

YANGON: A landslide in northern Myanmar’s jade mining region has killed 9 people, a local official said Saturday, the latest fatal incident to strike the shadowy billion-dollar industry.
The men were believed to be searching for jade in Kachin state when a wall of unstable earth collapsed late Thursday night.
Five bodies were found buried beneath the rubble on Thursday and three more were found on Friday, said Kyaw Swar Aung, the administrator of Hpakant — the heart of Myanmar’s jade-producing region.
Rescuers also found two injured men, but one was pronounced dead at the hospital, he added.
“The total number of dead bodies found was nine. Their funerals are today,” he told AFP.
Myanmar is the chief source of the world’s finest jadeite, a near-translucent green stone that is highly prized in China.
But the secretive trade is poorly regulated and enormously dangerous.
The area around Hpakant has suffered a string of deadly landslides in recent years, with a major incident in November 2015 leaving more than 100 dead.
Numerous other smaller accidents have left scores more dead or injured.
The victims are usually impoverished locals or itinerant workers scouring the area for pieces of of jade left behind by the industrial diggers that have turned the region into a moonscape of environmental destruction.
While the mining firms — many linked to the junta-era military elite — are thought to be raking in huge sums, local people say they are shut off from the bounty.


GOP’s Romney, long a Trump critic, voted — but not for Trump

Updated 23 min 29 sec ago

GOP’s Romney, long a Trump critic, voted — but not for Trump

  • It was the latest chapter in the bitter history between the two men

WASHINGTON: Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he’s voted in the Nov. 3 election — but not for the leader of his party.
“I did not vote for President Trump,” the Utah senator told CNN. He did not say whom he did vote for.
It was the latest chapter in the bitter history between the two men, who represent two wings of the modern Republican Party. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, has said publicly that the New York real estate magnate is unfit for the presidency. In 2016, Romney wrote in the name of his wife, Ann, rather than vote for Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee.
Then, President-elect Trump appeared to court Romney for secretary of state, culminating in a now-famous photo of the two eating dinner in New York. Trump later said he was trying to humiliate Romney, and the Cabinet post instead went to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
In the Senate, Romney was the lone Republican to vote for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.