World Briefs: 44 missing in building collapse in Sao Paulo

44 missing in building collapse in Sao Paulo

SAO PAULO • Forty-four people were still missing yesterday, after a 24-storey building used by squatters in central Sao Paulo caught fire and collapsed, the Brazilian city's fire department said.

In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's disaster, one man was only seconds from being rescued before the building suddenly crashed down.

"The fire department is continuing to search, with 31 vehicles, 78 firefighters," it tweeted. "44 missing."


Protesters shut down Armenian capital

YEREVAN • Tens of thousands of Armenians converged on the capital yesterday, blocking key transport links and government buildings, as popular anger exploded over the ruling party's rejection of opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan's bid to become prime minister.

In an unprecedented show of defiance, protesters including the elderly, pupils and even housewives paralysed Yerevan, with streets closed to traffic, and the subway and numerous stores shut.

The poor, Moscow-allied nation was plunged into its most serious political crisis in years last month when mass demonstrations led by Mr Pashinyan forced the resignation of longtime leader Serzh Sarkisian.


UK breast cancer screening scandal

LONDON • As many as 270 women's lives may have been shortened after an IT failure in England's breast cancer screening programme meant 450,000 patients were not invited for appointments, Britain's Health Minister said yesterday.

Mr Jeremy Hunt apologised in Parliament for the "serious failure", which he said was the result of a mistake in a computer system's algorithm, and ordered an independent review.

"Our current best estimate, which comes with caveats... is that there may be between 135 and 270 women who had their lives shortened as a result," he said.

The IT error took place in 2009 but only came to light this January, Mr Hunt said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe