38 killed in Chinese coal mine blasts
BEIJING • At least 38 people were killed in two separate Chinese coal mine blasts last week, according to death tolls reported by state media yesterday.
One blast occurred last Tuesday at a private mine in Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang province, trapping 22 workers, the Xinhua news agency said. Twenty-one people were confirmed dead on Friday, it said, citing provincial authorities.
In a separate incident, a mine in Inner Mongolia was struck by an explosion that left at least 17 dead, according to local authorities. An unspecified number of miners were still buried and rescue efforts were under way, Xinhua said.
Former US Navy official jailed over bribes
WASHINGTON • A retired US Navy official was sentenced to six years' jail after he admitted taking more than US$350,000 (S$496,000) in bribes and sexual favours from an Asian defence contractor.
Paul Simpkins, a former contracting supervisor based in Singapore, is the sixth navy official so far to get prison time in a massive corruption scandal that has rattled the maritime service since the first defendants were arrested in 2013.
Another six current and former navy officers have pleaded guilty but are still waiting for their sentences. More arrests are expected. Prosecutors have said that 200 people are under investigation.
WTO seeks tariff deal on green products
GENEVA • The heavyweights of world trade, including the United States, China and Japan, meet in Geneva this weekend to establish a list of environmentally friendly products for which tariffs can be eliminated or reduced.
The green products include solar panels, wind turbines and air quality monitors "that can help achieve environmental and climate protection goals", the World Trade Organisation said.
Gambia's presidential victor hails new era
ANJUL (Gambia) • Opposition candidate Adama Barrow hailed a "new Gambia" after he pulled off a stunning presidential election victory, putting an end to the 22-year rule of Mr Yahya Jammeh.
Mr Jammeh - who has been frequently accused over the years of suppressing his opponents - conceded defeat on television, accepting that Gambians had "decided that I should take the backseat".