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Heavy rains in India and Sri Lanka leave 41 dead

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(Last Updated On: November 11, 2021)

Heavy rains across southern India and Sri Lanka have killed at least 41 people, authorities said on Thursday, with weather forecasters expecting the downpours to ease in the next few days as stricken communities pumped out the deluge.

The Indian Meteorological Department forecast light to moderate rain in most affected areas, with occasional flooding of some roads and low-lying areas, Reuters reported.

Counterparts in neighbouring Sri Lanka said rain there was expected to ease from Thursday as the low pressure that brought the bad weather moved away.

“The worst is over and occasional rains will happen,” said Pradeep John, an amateur forecaster who is widely followed in Tamil Nadu, India’s worst-affected state.

“Today rains will be on and off, with large breaks and nothing alarming.”

The rains have killed 25 people in the island nation of Sri Lanka, most of whom drowned, while landslides injured five, officials said.

Sixteen people were killed in Tamil Nadu, state disaster management minister KKSSR Ramachandran told a news conference.

Many parts of the state capital Chennai, which is India’s auto manufacturing centre, were waterlogged and government officials used pumps to drain some communities that had been stranded waist-deep, Reuters reported.

Thousands of people in low lying areas were moved to safety, officials said.

India’s northeast monsoon usually runs from October to December, bringing heavy rain, particularly to the south.

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Three students shot dead, 8 wounded in Michigan school shooting

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(Last Updated On: December 1, 2021)

A 15-year-old boy opened fire in a Michigan high school on Tuesday with a semi-automatic pistol his father had purchased days earlier, killing three fellow students and wounding eight other people before he was arrested, authorities said.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told a news briefing hours after the rampage at Oxford High School that investigators were at a loss to explain what might have precipitated “an unspeakable and unforgivable” act of violence, Reuters reported.

The suspect, disarmed and taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies minutes after the shooting began, has declined to speak with investigators after his parents retained a lawyer and denied authorities permission to interview their son, Bouchard said.

“The person who’s got the most insight on motive is not talking,” the sheriff told reporters.

Bouchard said he was unaware of any previous run-ins with law enforcement by the suspect adding there was “nothing to suggest that there had been disciplinary issues or problems with him at school.”

The bloodshed unfolded around midday in Oxford, Michigan, about 65 km north of Detroit, as terrified students and teachers taking cover inside the school flooded the county emergency dispatch center with more than 100 calls for assistance, authorities said.

Bouchard said his deputies confronted the young suspect advancing down a hallway toward them with a loaded weapon, when he put his hands over his head and surrendered.

Three students died in the shooting spree – a 16-year-old boy who succumbed to his wounds en route to a hospital in a patrol car, and two girls, aged 14 and 17, authorities said.

Of the eight others struck by gunfire, seven were students, two of them hospitalized with gunshot wounds to the head.

At least two girls, aged 14 and 17, were described by Bouchard as critically wounded with chest wounds.

A teacher was also treated for a shoulder wound and later discharged.

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Iran nuclear talks resume in Vienna

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2021)

Talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have resumed in Vienna, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Monday.

“The new round of the Joint Commission has started at the Palais Coburg in Vienna,” IRNA reported.

The Commission comprises Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and Iran, signatories to the nuclear deal that the United States abandoned three years ago.

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Woman arrested after setting fire to Australian quarantine hotel room

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2021)

Australian police are expecting to charge a woman with arson after she set fire to a quarantine hotel facility in Cairns, Queensland, with her two children inside on Sunday.

No one was injured in the fire but over 100 people needed to be evacuated after the 31-year-old mother was alleged to have started the fire in her room.

Video obtained by Reuters showed black smoke billowing out of a rooftop hotel room as fire ladders were extended to put out the fire.

“There was a smell like burnt plastic,” Sarah Orton, a resident of Toowoomba in Queensland, told Reuters.

“Police were very quick to arrive on scene and cordon off the area.”

“The 31-year-old female had been in quarantine for a couple of days and we did have some issues with that female occupant that we were managing,” acting chief superintendent, Chris Hodgman told reporters in Cairns.

Hodgman added that the woman’s two children were being cared for by police.

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