Lucknow, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Police say a newborn baby girl has been found buried alive in an earthen pot in northern India and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Police officer Abhinandan Singh says the girl was found last Thursday by a trader who went to a cremation ground to bury his stillborn daughter.
The trader, Hitesh Kumar, was alerted by the cries of the girl as the workers digging a grave for his daughter smashed the earthen pot. The baby girl was hospitalized in Bareilly, a town in Uttar Pradesh state.
Singh said the police were trying to find her parents.
Indian families, especially in poor communities, generally prefer boys, as they consider girls to be a financial burden for educating and marrying off, which requires money as a dowry.
Colombo, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — A former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month's presidential election said Tuesday that if he wins, he won't recognize an agreement the government made with the U.N. human rights council to investigate alleged war crimes during the nation's civil war.
If Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the Nov. 16 election and follows through with his comments, it would be a severe setback to Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation process.
"We will always work with the United Nations, but I can't recognize what they have signed" with past Sri Lankan governments, Rajapaksa said at a news conference.
"We have already rejected that, as a party we have rejected that agreement and in public we have rejected that. ... On this issue, our policies and the present government policies are far apart," he said.
Rajapaksa was the top defense official during the last few years of the long civil war, which ended in 2009, serving under his brother, then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Under their watch, Sri Lankan forces were accused of targeting hospitals and killing civilians and rebels who surrendered to the military at the end of the war, which saw the military defeat Tamil rebels who were fighting for an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils.
Rajapaksa is accused by opponents of being behind men in mysterious vehicles whisking away rebel suspects, journalists and activists. Many people taken away in the so-called "white van abductions" were never seen again.
Rajapaksa said Tuesday, however, that Sri Lankans should look to the future rather than think about the past.
"We have to move forward, we have to forget about hanging on to old allegations and all that. We have a lot of things that we can do to the betterment of the people of that area," he said, referring to the island nation's north and east, where Tamils live in the majority.
He said those listed as missing are only war combatants who went missing in action.
"Even in the military, we know that there are more than 4,000 officers and soldiers missing ... because when you go to war, when they are in the battlefield, there are certain instances even we could not recover our own bodies," he said.
Rajapaksa reiterated that immediately on being elected, he would release members of the armed forces held for allegations of abductions and forced disappearances.
He said the soldiers and sailors accused of killing, abducting and attacking journalists have been framed for political reasons.
The daughter of a slain journalist has filed a case against Rajapaksa in a U.S. court linking him to her father's killing in 2009.
Rajapaksa says he has renounced his U.S citizenship to contest the presidential election.
In 2015, current President Maithripala Sirisena's government agreed with the U.N. rights body to probe human rights in Sri Lanka as well as possible war crimes allegations.
Abraham Sumanthiran, a lawmaker from the Tamil National Alliance, the main political party representing minority Tamils, said Rajapaksa's stand can't be accepted. "It is an undertaking given by the government of Sri Lanka. Whichever party, it is bound by the undertaking," he said.
"He will have to necessarily implement all of the provisions in that resolution. We will continue to advocate for that," Sumanthiran said.
According to conservative U.N. estimates, some 100,000 people were killed in the 26-year civil war. But a later U.N. report said that some 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final months of the fighting alone.
Kabul, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — A special U.N. report has described the severe impact of election-related violence on Afghanistan's civilians, mainly from the Taliban's campaign targeting its presidential election last month.
The report released Tuesday says attacks aiming to disrupt the electoral process killed 85 people and wounded 373 others across the country. The number includes 277 civilian casualties, 28 killed of whom were killed Sep. 28 on the polling day.
More than one-third of civilian casualties were children, it added.
Afghans voted in presidential elections earlier last month despite Taliban threats and violence. However, the polling was marred by widespread misconduct and accusations of fraud — as well as controversy over what appeared to be low turnout and claims from a lead contender, Abdullah Abdullah, that he had won the vote.
Hong Kong, Oct 15 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that masked rioters' acts of vandalism, arson and attacks over the weekend were "extremely dangerous."
Lam also said their acts caused damages that were "too horrible to see."
Before presiding over a regular Executive Council meeting, Lam told a press conference that rioters' targeted attacks could take the lives of police officers, saying the police will do all they can to trace after those responsible and bring criminals to justice.
The chief executive recounted another violent weekend marred by a terrorism-style, home-made bomb explosion, a slash-neck attack and other violent assaults against police officers in escalating violence committed by masked rioters.
Thugs and villains also wrecked and looted selective stores, beat up residents who disagreed with them, and hurled petrol bombs into a MTR station in operation and police stations, Lam said.
Lam said she had taken note of the damages that were "too horrible to see" by masked rioters who vandalized offices of establishment councilors, set fires to selective stores and attacked police officers.
Such damages and attacks were believed to have political motives targetting councilors of specific political views for the coming district council election due in November, she said.
"I'm afraid such attacks were not random or simple revenge," she said, adding the HKSAR government would try its best to ensure a smooth, fair, open and honest district council election, though overshadowed by such attacks.
Lam said by attacking certain banks, institutions, stores, cafes and restaurants, rioters attempted to silence those people who hold different views and completely disregarded the freedom of speech, safety and rights of other residents.
The chief executive again called on all residents in Hong Kong to condemn violent acts by rioters, saying she respects those participating in peaceful procession but each and every resident should draw a clear line with rioters engaging in extreme violence so as to uphold the rule of law and restore order.
Beijing, Oct 15 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chinese researchers have discovered a new species of marine insect from the Hermatobatidae family in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, marking the first time the insect was recorded in China.
Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University said the insect, with a body length of 3 to 4 mm, lives on the surface of the ocean and sometimes hides in the tiny holes of coral stone, and eats small arthropods.
Compared with previously known Hermatobatidae species, the researchers found significant differences and identified it as a whole new species, increasing the number of Hermatobatidae family members from 12 to 13.
The newly found species was named "H. lingyangjiaoensis Luo, Chen & Wang, 2019" as specimens were only found on the Antelope Reef (lingyangjiao in Chinese pinyin) in the Xisha Islands.
The study has been published in the journal Zootaxa, an international journal on animal taxonomic research.
The researchers said it is the first time that Chinese scientists have named a new species of animals after a single island reef in the South China Sea.
Marine insects have special adaptation mechanisms for the marine environment. The study is expected to push forward Chinese scientists' future studies on marine biology and evolutionary biology, they said.