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News Making International Headlines: 21 January 2022

Bomb Bast Kills 3, Injures Dozens in Eastern Pakistan


PHOTO: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY PERSONNEL INVESTIGATING BLAST SITE SOUNDBITE FROM WITNESS SAYING IT WAS A SEVERE BLAST PUNJAB GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON, HASAAN KHAWAR, SAYING THAT SOME INJURED ARE IN CRITICAL CONDITION

INTERNATIONAL: A bomb blast has ripped through a crowded market in eastern Pakistan on Thursday ,January 20, killing three people and wounding almost 30 people.

A police spokesman, Arif Rana, has recalled, it was a bomb, saying a time device rigged to a motorcycle exploded outside a shop in the market.

A nine-year-old boy is among the three dead, he has confirmed.

A resident who has witnessed the explosion has said he was around 12 feet or so away from the place, but the blast was so severe that people didn’t know what had happened. Then the fronts of some shop caught fire, and a couple of the shop assistants were injured. A man in the house over there died. A child was passing by, both his legs were blown off. He also said, he rushed to pick him up, but he was dead. It was a very severe blast.

A newly formed separatist group based in southwestern Balochistan province has claimed responsibility of the blast.

It has said a bank was the original target of the attack. Police has said they were investigating, saying it was premature to link this to Pakistan Super League . Twenty cricket tournament are scheduled to start in a week or so.

Baloch separatists have been fighting a low-key insurgency against the Pakistani government to demand a greater share in the local mineral rich resources.

They usually attack government interests or Chinese projects in the province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, but an attack in a city like Lahore is rare.

China is involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and other projects in the province as part of a $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative.

Hong Kong Hamster Lovers Intercepted the Rodents from a Government Mass Cull


PHOTO: VOLUNTEERS STOPPING HAMSTER OWNERS OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT FACILITY AND TAKING HAMSTERS, HAMSTERS, OWNER ENTERING FACILITY, SOUNDBITES FROM VOLUNTEER AND HAMSTER OWNER

Hong Kong health workers on Wednesday ,January 19, in personal protective suits went into pet shops to carry out a mass cull of hamsters over COVID-19 fears, after tracing a coronavirus outbreak to a worker in the Little Boss pet shop, where 11 hamsters subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

Scientists around the world and Hong Kong health and veterinary authorities have said there was no evidence that animals play a major role in human contagion with the coronavirus. But having pursued a policy of zero tolerance for COVID-19, Health Secretary Sophia Chan has announced on Tuesday ,January 18 she could not rule out any transmission possibilities and therefore the government could take no chances.

Some 150 of the pet shop's customers were also sent into quarantine.

Residents in the Mong Kok neighbourhood have questioned the government response.

One resident says, “it's not like every small animal is going to be infected, right. And they all have their own life. They should not be killed just like this. So I think it is really brutal and sad."

Aside from ordering the cull, authorities have asked dozens of pet shops to close, while imports and sales of small mammals were suspended. Buyers of hamsters after December 22, 2021 were asked to hand them to authorities for culling and not leave to them on streets.

A Hong Kong-based animal health expert has announced on Wednesday , January 19 that COVID transmission from pets to humans in homes "doesn't happen", after hamsters from a pet shop in the city tested positive for the coronavirus.

Professor Vanessa Barrs said the culling of animals from warehouses and pet shops after an outbreak was a sensible public health protection measure, but that the fear of infection in homes was overblown.

A volunteer says, the government should not have made a hasty decision to kill all the hamsters and create panic in the public. Hamsters at home are in a cage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If there is a virus infection, it is being transmitted by humans, not by the hamster. So hamsters at home are very safe, and they do not need to be sent here because people are worried that the hamsters will endanger the safety of their families."

About a dozen Hong Kong hamster lovers flocked to the entrance of a government facility on Thursday, January 20, with the aim of saving as many of the rodents as possible from a government mass cull order laid down over COVID-19 fears.

“The hamsters are innocent. They cannot be sentenced to death because of the virus,"said Ching Li, 18, who is part of a loosely-organised hamster rescue group from social media.

On Thursday morning, about a dozen residents brought their hamsters to the New Territories South Animal Management Centre in Sha Tin for culling, but volunteers intercepted most of them in an effort to take them in for safekeeping instead.

Waterfall Freeze as Snowstorm Hits Canada


PHOTO: NEW KA-52 'ALLIGATOR' COMBAT HELICOPTERS AT RUSSIAN MILITARY AIRFIELD IN ROSTOV REGION PILOTS AND TECHNICAL PERSONNEL INSPECTING NEW HELICOPTERS

Waterfalls in the Canadian port city of Hamilton froze over as extreme weather hit the country and eastern parts of the U.S., leading to heavy snow, traffic jams and flight cancellations.

A footage shows Tiffany Falls and Sherman Falls in the province of Ontario had turned to ice.

Traffic was snarled in Toronto, Canada's largest city, on Monday,January 17, as the snowstorm brought visibility to near zero, shut subway lines and left motorists stranded on local highways for hours.

Buses were at a standstill and passing pedestrians helped push cars up a street at a main commuter route in central Toronto. The region was predicted to get up to 2 feet of snow, and an extreme weather warning was in effect. Authorities asked residents to stay off the roads.

More than 4,200 flights in the United States were canceled or delayed for a couple of days , according to FlightAware. Nearly 90,000 homes and businesses between Georgia and Maine lacked electricity, according to PowerOutage.US.


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