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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 08, 2018 1:00 am


Dozens dead, lost in Japan flooding

Associated Press

TOKYO – Torrents of rainfall and flooding battered a widespread area in southwestern Japan on Saturday, with local media casualty reports climbing quickly. Public broadcaster NHK said 38 people were dead, four were injured seriously and 47 were missing.

Some people fled to rooftops and balconies and waved furiously at hovering rescue helicopters. Okayama prefecture said a man caught in a landslide died, and six others were missing. Evacuation orders had been issued to more than 360,000 people, the prefecture said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a strong earthquake struck south of Tokyo on Saturday, causing some buildings to shake and the main airport serving the city to shut briefly, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Somali office attacked; 9 dead

A least nine people were killed in an attack on Somalia's interior ministry and security forces killed all three attackers after a two-hour gun battle inside, police said Saturday, as the al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.

A number of people, mostly government workers, were trapped in the ministry on what had been a normal business day. Witnesses said some staffers died or were injured while leaping from windows or walls in an effort to escape. At least 13 people were wounded, paramedic Mohamed Adam said.

The morning attack began when a suicide car bomber detonated at the gates of the interior ministry compound, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press. Dozens of people eventually were rescued in the operation, Hussein said, as ambulance sirens echoed and soldiers opened fire to disperse bystanders.

Family lays blame for boat disaster

The family of a Chinese woman and her two children who were among the victims of a tourist boat disaster off the Thai resort island of Phuket shared ominous video of the chaotic scene on the boat right before it capsized, and said Saturday they're demanding “justice” from the Thai authorities.

The boat was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, most of them from China, when it capsized and sank after it was hit by 16-foot waves. Chen Wei said the boat company ignored warnings of bad weather and failed to take adequate measures to ensure passenger safety.

She noted that the video sent by her 47-year-old sister, Chen De Qiong, to the family's WeChat group just before the boat capsized Thursday showed passengers not wearing life vests and sealed glass windows in the boat cabin. She said they should have had latches so passengers can swim out in an emergency.

S. Korean women rally for privacy

Thousands of South Korean women gathered in Seoul on Saturday to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and video taken by hidden cameras, which they say has women living in constant anxiety and distress.

Police said about 18,000 took part in the women-only protest, with demonstrators calling for stronger investigations and punishments against male offenders who photograph or film women without their knowledge and post the material online.

Protesters, many of them wearing red T-shirts with signs that read “Angry women will change the world,” roared in support as two women volunteered to have their heads shaved on a stage.

3rd Filipino official slain in 1 week

Van-riding assailants gunned down the vice mayor of a small Philippine city south of Manila on Saturday, police said, the third such brazen killing of a local official in the past week.

Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan of Trece Martires city and his driver were riding in a pickup van when they were shot and killed in front of a hospital in his city in Cavite province, according to a police report. The gunmen escaped.

More than 4,000 mostly impoverished drug suspects have been killed under the anti-drug crackdown of President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in June 2016. At least nine mayors have been killed, including four linked by Duterte and authorities to illegal drugs.

Belgians' message: Trump unwelcome

European activists protested Saturday against U.S. President Donald Trump's upcoming appearance at NATO, marching through Belgium's capital to plead for less military spending and more public money for schools and clean energy.

The “Trump Not Welcome” march and a companion concert came as European and North American leaders prepare for an annual summit at NATO's Brussels headquarters. Trump accuses NATO allies of not doing enough to defend themselves and is demanding they increase their military budgets.

The protest organizers oppose more military spending, and drew a high-spirited, diverse crowd of thousands that wended through central Brussels while demonstrating on behalf of multiple causes during the peaceful march.