A massive sinkhole just discovered in Chile has authorities puzzled
“Lassie, Timmy’s fallen in the…...never mind.”
At 656 feet from top to bottom, a sinkhole that opened up in Chile over the weekend could fit the Washington Monument inside — with about 100 feet to spare.
Officials are working to determine what caused the massive sinkhole near the mining town of Tierra Amarilla.
The sinkhole is fairly wide too. After it was found on Saturday, the National Geology and Mining Service, also called Sernageomin, first estimated the diameter at about 82 feet wide. But the sinkhole proved to be much larger upon further inspection. On Tuesday, the agency said it's nearly 105 feet wide. (The Washington Monument is only 55 feet wide at its base.)
"We haven't detected any material down there, but we have seen the presence of a lot of water," said agency director David Montenegro in a statement to Reuters.
China fires waves of missiles over the Taiwan Strait, raising tensions in the region
China has fired several waves of missiles over the Taiwan Strait, hitting targets in the waters that encircle the island of Taiwan after a visit from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi triggered a tense military standoff in the East Asia region.
Taiwan's Defense Ministry confirmed 11 Chinese Dongfeng type missiles were fired in Taiwan's direction between 1:56 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, local time. Taiwan's armed forces said it was on high alert status, monitoring Chinese military activity in the region, and that the island's long-range radar had detected the incoming missiles.
"We condemn such irrational action that has jeopardized regional peace," Taiwan's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Five of the missiles fired landed in waters around Taiwan that are part of the Exclusive Economic Zone that Japan oversees and claims economic rights over, risking drawing Japan, a U.S. ally, into the standoff.
Bank of England hikes rates as it predicts 13% inflation and long recession
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has left Britain on course for a recession lasting more than a year and inflation above 13%, the Bank of England has warned as it raised interest rates for a sixth successive time.
Threadneedle Street said it had no choice but to increase borrowing costs by 0.5 percentage points to 1.75%, blaming Russia for cost of living pressures not seen in more than four decades and a 5% drop in living standards straddling this year and next – the biggest since records began in the 1960s.
Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s governor, said “there is an economic cost to the war”, as he predicted the economy was on course for a period of stagflation – a recession combined with a soaring cost of living.
While accepting the biggest increase in interest rates in 27 years would cause pain, particularly to the least well-off, Bailey said the Bank needed to take action to prevent spiralling price rises from becoming ingrained.
Ron DeSantis suspends Florida prosecutor who promised not to enforce abortion ban
Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, suspended the elected state prosecutor of Tampa on Thursday, for pledging not to enforce a new 15-week abortion ban and for supporting gender transition treatments for minors.
The Republican governor announced the suspension of the Hillsborough county state attorney, Andrew Warren, at a news conference in the county’s sheriff’s office, where DeSantis and law enforcement officers criticized Warren.
Warren, a Democrat, was elected in 2016 and in 2020. His office did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The suspension comes as DeSantis runs for re-election and builds his national profile as a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate through near constant criticism of liberal policies on abortion, policing and other culture war issues.
Asked whether he was overriding the will of the voters, DeSantis said Warren’s conduct had fallen “below the standard of the Floridaconstitution”.
Russian contract soldiers increasingly jailed in occupied Donbas
Russian military personnel are increasingly refusing to take part in its invasion of Ukraine, human rights activists say. Contract soldiers who no longer want to fight in Ukraine or want leave for family reasons are being denied their wish to leave the country. The so-called "refuseniks," as relatives and activists tell DW, are being held in camps and prisons in several locations in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic; that is, in areas that are in Ukraine but not controlled by Kyiv.
From the age of 18, Russian men may sign a temporary contract with the Ministry of Defense to earn a living in the army for a limited time. These contract soldiers are currently fighting alongside professional forces in Ukraine. Many of them had signed their contracts before Russia invaded Ukraine and did not know where they would be sent until the last moment, human rights activists explain.
In the meantime, several parents of soldiers from Russia have made their way to Donbas to push for their sons' release. DW has learned that they traveled to the city of Brianka, where according to media reports, more than 200 such refuseniks are being kept in a camp. Parents have been holding a vigil outside, from morning to night. A Russian soldier who was jailed here told DW the camp is a former penal colony.
Mexico vows to rescue trapped coal miners
The Mexican government on Thursday ramped up its efforts to rescue 10 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in the northern state of Coahuila.
The mine collapsed on Wednesday, when the miners entered a neighboring area filled with water. Undersecretary of Defense Agustin Radiala Suastegui said the miners are stuck in 200-foot (61-meter) shafts that are half flooded.
"With all my soul, I want us to rescue the miners," Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said in a news briefing. "We must not lose faith. We must not lose hope."
Laura Velasquez, the head of Mexico's civil protection agency, said during the news conference that hundreds of local and federal officials are responding to the crisis.
"We haven't slept — we're working day and night. Time is key," Velasquez said. She said five people had managed to escape the mine and were receiving medical treatment.
Velasquez said "time is crucial" in rescuing the miners.
"To get to the miners, we have to go down three shafts," she said. "It's complicated, but we've been managing to do it, pumping out water ... to rescue the miners as soon as possible.
New York Times
Four People in Critical Condition After Lightning Strike Near White House
Four people were in critical condition Thursday night after they were apparently struck by lightning in a park just north of the White House, officials said.
Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said that around 6:50 p.m., two men and two women were in Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, when lightning struck in their “immediate vicinity.”
Secret Service agents and United States Park Police officers were nearby and immediately helped render aid, Mr. Maggiolo said. The four were taken to nearby hospitals.
“The ability to immediately provide lifesaving care is critical to the outcome,” Mr. Maggiolo said.
The four were apparently standing near trees in the seven-acre park when the lightning struck, he said.
New York Times
U.S. Bolsters Aid for Cambodia Amid Efforts to Ease Global Food Crisis
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The United States will give $25 million in agriculture development aid over five years to projects in Cambodia to help alleviate food insecurity, an issue made more urgent by Russia’s war in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Thursday.
The new aid is part of a 12-year-old American food security project in Cambodia and will fund an initiative called Harvest Three, in which the U.S. Agency for International Development will work with Cambodian farmers and others in the food industry to get products to more markets. The focus will include grains and fish, Mr. Blinken said.
“The needs are urgent,” he added. “Far too many Cambodians still live in food insecurity. Far too many Cambodian children are malnourished.” There has been a shortage of grains in parts of the world because Russia’s navy has blockaded ports in Ukraine, a critical exporter.