Rescue bid for kids lost in mountains
LONDON • A mission was under way yesterday to rescue 20 schoolchildren after they became lost in the Brecon Beacons, a mountainous area in Wales.
Three specialist rescue teams were trying to reach the children on foot after they were spotted in the Dan yr Ogof area by a coastguard helicopter which was unable to land.
The BBC reported that the rescue teams had been in intermittent phone contact with the children, and two were believed to be suffering from hypothermia.
Aid convoy reaches besieged Syria towns
BEIRUT • Trucks carrying medical and food aid entered two blockaded towns near Damascus yesterday, meaning that humanitarian agencies have now reached all besieged areas of Syria this year, the United Nations said.
The 38-truck convoy carried aid for some 20,000 people who the UN estimates are living in the rebel-held towns of Zamalka and Irbin, which are being besieged by the government side.
The UN says there are more than half a million Syrians living in 18 areas across the country that are under siege from warring sides in the five-year conflict.
Huge uncut diamond tipped to fetch $95m
LONDON • The world's largest uncut diamond was put up for auction at Sotheby's yesterday, where it was expected to be sold for £52 million (S$95 million).
The Lesedi la Rona diamond was unearthed in Botswana in November and is almost the size of a tennis ball, the BBC reported.
The rough diamond is believed to be more than 2.5 billion years old and has been evaluated at 1,109 carats.
The name of the diamond means "our light" in Botswana's Tswana language.