News in brief


Swiss mountain claims four lives in two days


Geneva, August 4 (IANS/MAP): Three people have died while climbing the Piz Bernina mountain on the Swiss-Italian border, police said. The trio were roped together and climbing at about 3,600 metre altitude when they fell at around 7.30 a.m. on Thursday, police said in a statement. Witnesses called the Rega air rescue service which found the bodies. However, owing to falling rocks their bodies could only be helicoptered off the mountain on Friday morning. On Wednesday, another person died on the same mountain. A 32-year-old German woman was climbing with a group on the Piz Bernina when she slipped and fell.



Russian diamond mine floods in Siberia; 17 missing


Moscow, August 4 (AP): Russian officials say 17 people are missing inside a flooded diamond mine in Siberia. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry says rescue workers have established contact with 134 of the 151 miners who were down in the pit when it got flooded today. The ministry says 133 people have been evacuated to safety so far. The Siberian mine is one of the largest diamond deposits of the state-controlled Alrosa company.



Singapore expels US-Chinese professor for ‘espionage’


Bangkok, August 4 (IANS): Singapore authorities on Friday announced the expulsion of an American professor and his wife, both of whom are of Chinese descent, from the country for allegedly spying on behalf a foreign nation. Huang Jing, an expert on US-China relations, worked at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) in Singapore and was Director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Efe news reported. Huang “has been identified as an agent of influence of a foreign country. He knowingly interacted with intelligence organisations and agents of the foreign country (…) to influence the government’s foreign policy and public opinion in Singapore,” the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement. “Huang’s wife, Yang, was aware that Huang was acting through his position at the LKYSPP to advance the agenda of a foreign country,” added the ministry. “Huang’s continued presence in Singapore, and that of his wife, are therefore undesirable. Both will be permanently banned from re-entering Singapore,” the statement said.