Special army and government rescue personnel were searching again on Monday for four South Korean trekkers and their three Nepali guides lost since an avalanche swept a popular trekking route in Nepal's mountains.
All other trekkers who were in the area where the avalanche swept the Mount Annapurna trekking trail on Friday have been safely rescued and flown to safer areas, Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya said.
The avalanche hit part of the Mount Annapurna circuit trekking route after heavy snowfall earlier in the week. In photos taken on Tuesday, sunshine hit bare and grassy mountain slopes. Two days of snowfall followed, and by Friday, snow was neck-deep and several avalanches had occurred, a veteran mountain guide who was helicoptered out of the area said.
"We had crossed the area just three hours before the big avalanche hit the area, which has a few rest stops and lodges," Phurba Ongel Sherpa told The Associated Press on Monday.
On the way back, he said he saw the area from the helicopter where the avalanche had hit and it was blanketed with snow.
"There is no way that anyone buried in that pile could have survived," he said.
Sherpa has climbed the world's first- and second-highest peaks, Mount Everest nine times and and K2 once.
He said communication was cut off because of the weather. His family had been worried after news of the avalanche because his team was also comprised of four Korean trekkers and three Nepali guides.
South Korea's foreign ministry said the missing trekkers are two women in their 30s and 50s and two men in their 50s and are teachers who were staying in Nepal for volunteer work.
A heating pipe burst Monday in small Russian hotel, flooding rooms with boiling water that killed five people and left six others injured in the city of Perm, emergency officials said.
The hotel of nine rooms was located in the basement of a residential building in the city near Russia's Ural Mountains. All of the victims — which included a child — were staying at the hotel, authorities said. Three of the injured were hospitalized with burns.
Russian police have opened a probe into the tragedy.
Given the deaths, the Russian parliament might consider a ban on opening hotels or hostels in the basements of residential buildings, lawmaker Oleg Melnichenko said.
"Hostels shouldn't be open in basements, where all pipelines are located," Melnichenko said.
Last year the Russian parliament banned opening hostels or hotel rooms in apartments in residential buildings.
A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves.
INDONESIAN ACADEMIC WARNS CHINA LOSING TRUST
A senior Indonesian researcher says Beijing is undermining its relations with Jakarta by making dubious claims about the rights of its fishermen to operate within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.
China insists Chinese fishermen are free to conduct activities in their "traditional fishing ground," which partly overlaps with Indonesia's EEZ around the Natuna island group. The boats since December have been escorted by the Chinese coast guard.
Evan A. Laksmana, senior researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, wrote Monday in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper that such actions are making Indonesia wary about China's trustworthiness. He recommends Indonesia "should not and will not agree to any kind of bilateral talks or negotiations over 'overlapping maritime rights' with China as there are none to begin with."
Indonesia is not among the governments that challenge China 's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea.
CHINA MARKS PASSAGE OF US WARSHIPS IN TAIWAN STRAIT
China says it monitored the passage of a U.S. Navy ship through the Taiwan Strait last week, just days after the island's pro-independence president won reelection.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that China had been "fully aware" of and "following closely the whole process."
Geng said the U.S. should handle Taiwan-related issues "cautiously and properly so as to avoid damaging China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."
The U.S. Navy said the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh had completed a passage through the Taiwan Strait, but have no details. The U.S. Navy frequently sails through the strait which provides the fastest route from the South China Sea to the East China Sea that connects China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
CHINA'S XI STRENGTHENS TIES ON MYANMAR VISIT
China's President Xi Jinping deepened relations with Myanmar during a state visit last week to a neighbor that has been among the most supportive in Beijing's dispute with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations over the South China Sea.
The two countries signed agreements covering politics, economy, livelihoods and regional cooperation. Some are intended to expedite major infrastructure projects that will extend Beijing's strategic presence to the Indian Ocean.
The trip was Xi 's first to Myanmar as president and his first foreign visit this year. Jiang Zemin was the last Chinese president to visit Myanmar, when he signed several economic and border agreements in 2001.
Myanmar is a linchpin of China's geopolitical ambitions, and, as a top investor and trade partner with Myanmar, China offers economic insurance if Western nations do impose sanctions.
China for years has defended Myanmar in forums such as the United Nations, and Myanmar has returned the favor by following Beijing's positions on issue such as China's claims over territory in the South China Sea.
ACTING US NAVY SECRETARY VISITS SINGAPORE
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly reaffirmed the U.S. Navy's strong partnership with the Singapore Armed Forces during his inaugural visit to Southeast Asian city state last week.
Modly held extensive meetings with Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen and top commanders, visited Changi Naval Base, Sembawang, and toured the littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords.
The Navy said he thanked the nation's senior leaders for backing the deployments of the combat ships and patrol craft to Singapore on a rotational basis.
"Singapore is an important strategic partner for the United States," said Modly.
"No region is more important than the Indo-Pacific. Here, the balance of power, and the future of the rules based order, will be determined through our efforts and partnerships."
A Hawaii man with a history of run-ins with police and neighbors was facing eviction when he stabbed his landlord and killed two officers before the house he and two women were believed to be in burned, authorities and neighbors said Sunday.
Police responding to a call for help found a woman who had been stabbed in the leg and resident Jaroslav "Jerry" Hanel, in his 60s, opened fire, killing Officers Tiffany Enriquez, a seven-year veteran, and Kaulike Kalama, a nine-year veteran, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said. Police suspect he and two women were inside the house when it caught fire, and Ballard said it could take days for authorities to process evidence and recover any remains.
The fire spread to several other residences, destroying seven homes and leaving multiple others with fire or smoke damage, according to Honolulu fire officials.
The homeowner, Lois Cain, had recently sought to have Hanel evicted, court records showed. A neighbor told The Associated Press she saw Cain being loaded into an ambulance with knife wounds.
Cain's condition was not immediately confirmed, nor was the suspect's. Ballard said Hanel did not have any gun permits.
The normally peaceful neighborhood where shots were fired is at the far end of the Waikiki Beach between the Honolulu Zoo and the famed Diamond Head State Monument, a volcanic crater that looms above Honolulu and is popular with tourists and hikers. A regional park is also nearby.
Ian Felix, a Honolulu resident and combat veteran with medical training, told the AP he happened to be walking by when he saw a woman lying on the ground with a pool of blood coming from her leg. He applied pressure until the first police officer arrived and put a tourniquet on it, Felix said. Moments later two more officers arrived, and Felix said he then heard two gunshots.
He and the officer picked up the wounded woman and carried her into a neighbor's garage across the street, he said.
Neighbors described Hanel as mentally disturbed.
"Defendant does NOT have a Rental Agreement to occupy the premises and Defendant has no ownership interest in said premises," read a complaint for eviction that Cain filed last week in court. "Despite repeated demands, Defendant has failed and refused to vacate the premises."
Attorney Jonathan Burge has represented Hanel since 2015 in various disputes with neighbors, including temporary restraining orders that three obtained against him. Hanel, a native of the Czech Republic who used Czech interpreters in court, faced a hearing next week on a charge of misusing 911 services, Burge said Sunday.
Burge said he never knew Hanel to be violent, but that "he's kind of a quirky guy and had problems." Hanel believed the government was watching him and tapping his phone, Burge said.
"Maybe that's what set him off," he said of the eviction.
Hanel lived for free at the home in exchange for handyman work, Burge said. Cain was supportive of him in his disputes with the neighbors, Burge said, but their relationship had soured lately because Hanel's dog had died and Cain wouldn't let him get a new one.
Nearby resident Dolores Sandvold said she heard screaming and gunshots and saw Cain being carried to an ambulance.
Kailua resident John Farmer said the fire spread to his sister's nearby house, which burned down. He said the resident has been described as paranoid and threatening.
Officials across the state began releasing statements mourning the lost lives, with Gov. David Ige saying, "Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning."
Police closed several streets nearby and asked the public to avoid the area.
Honolulu City Councilmember Tommy Waters, who represents East Honolulu and is the chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee, said he was heartbroken by the attack.
"I am disturbed by the initial reports that the gunman was a troubled individual who terrorized the Diamond Head neighborhood where this tragedy unfolded," Waters said.
The first stage of an extradition hearing for a senior executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei begins Monday in a Vancouver courtroom, a case that has infuriated Beijing, caused a diplomatic uproar and added to tensions between China and the United States.
Canada's arrest of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's legendary founder, in late 2018 at America's request shocked Beijing.
Huawei represents China's progress in becoming a technological power and has been a subject of U.S. security concerns for years. Beijing views Meng's case as an attempt to contain China's rise.
"This is one of the top priorities for the Chinese government. They've been very mad. They will be watching this very closely," said Wenran Jiang, a senior fellow at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.
China's foreign ministry complained Monday the United States and Canada were violating Meng's rights and called for her release.
"It is completely a serious political incident," said a ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. He urged Canada to "correct mistakes with concrete actions, release Ms. Meng Wanzhou and let her return safely as soon as possible."
Washington accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng, 47, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company's business dealings in Iran.
Meng, who is free on bail and living in one of the two Vancouver mansions she owns, denies the allegations. Her defense team says comments by President Donald Trump suggest the case against her is politically motivated.
Meng was detained in December 2018 in Vancouver as she was changing flights — on the same day that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for trade talks.
Prosecutors have stressed that Meng's case is separate from the wider China-U.S. trade dispute, but Trump undercut that message weeks after her arrest when he said he would consider intervening in the case if it would help forge a trade deal with Beijing.
China and the U.S. reached a "Phase 1" trade agreement last week, but most analysts say any meaningful resolution of the main U.S. allegation — that Beijing uses predatory tactics in its drive to supplant America's technological supremacy — could require years of contentious talks. Trump had raised the possibility of using Huawei's fate as a bargaining chip in the trade talks, but the deal announced Wednesday didn't mention the company.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for cellphone and internet companies. Washington is pressuring other countries to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft.
"I think this is the beginning of a technological war along ideological fronts," said Lynette Ong, an associate professor at the University of Toronto. "You are going to see the world divided into two parts. One side would use Chinese companies and the other side would not use Chinese companies because they are weary of the political implications of using Chinese platforms."
James Lewis at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said the U.S. wanted to send a message with Meng's arrest.. There is good evidence that Huawei willfully violated sanctions, he said.
"The message that you are no longer invulnerable has been sent to Chinese executives," Lewis said. "No one has held China accountable. They steal technology, they violate their WTO commitments and the old line is, 'Oh, they are a developing economy, who cares.' When you are the second-largest economy in the world you can't do that anymore."
The initial stage of Meng's extradition hearing will focus on whether Meng's alleged crimes are crimes both in the United States and Canada. Her lawyers filed a a motion Friday arguing that Meng's case is really about U.S. sanctions against Iran, not a fraud case. Canada does not have similar sanctions on Iran.
The second phase, scheduled for June, will consider defense allegations that Canada Border Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the FBI violated her rights while collecting evidence before she was actually arrested.
The extradition case could take years to resolve if there are appeals. Virtually all extradition requests from Canada to the U.S. are approved by Canadian judges.
In apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor. The two men have been denied access to lawyers and family and are being held in prison cells where the lights are kept on 24-hours-a-day. "That's mafia-style pressure," Lewis said.
China has also placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, including canola oil seed and meat. Last January, China also handed a death sentence to a convicted Canadian drug smuggler in a sudden retrial.
"Canada is fulfilling the terms of its extradition treaty but is paying an enormous price," said Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "This is the kind of world we're living in now, where countries like Canada are at risk of getting squeezed in major power contests."