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14th May 2014

Top news


Over 200 dead, many trapped in Turkish coal mine

  • Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said 787 people had been inside the mine at Soma in Manisa province when an electrical fault triggered the blast.
  • Nearly 450 workers have been rescued, according to the mine operator.
  • Three days of mourning have been declared by the government.
  • Lignite coal mining is a major industry in the Soma area, helping to supply a nearby lignite-fired thermal power plant, but safety has long been a concern.
  • An MP with Turkey's opposition CHP party has accused the government of rejecting a recent proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into mine accidents in Soma.

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Boko Haram leader offers to free schoolgirls in exchange for prisoners

  • Boko Haram has released a video claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging the teenagers had converted to Islam and warning that they would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed.
  • A total of 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram on 14 April from the north-eastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community.
  • International efforts to trace the girls have widened in recent days. On Sunday, Israel joined the bid to find the hundreds of teenagers abducted from their dormitory in Nigeria's restive north-east.
  • Britain, the US and France have already sent specialist teams and equipment to help Nigeria's military in the search concentrated in the remote north-east, which has been hit by five years of deadly violence.
  • Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely from the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria as "western education is sin", has attacked schools, churches, government installations and, increasingly since 2009, civilians.

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Christopher Columbus Ship The Santa Maria May Have Been Found

  • It's been missing for more than 500 years, but now there are reports that the Santa Maria, the largest ship among the trio that made Christopher Columbus' first expedition to North America, may be found.
  • "All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus' famous flagship, the Santa Maria," Clifford tells Britain's The Independent.
  • Clifford is a well-known wreck hunter, having found the pirate ship and former slave vessel the Whydah, which sank off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717.
  • The Santa Maria sank after hitting reefs off the Haitian coast around Christmas of 1492, months after arriving from Spain.
  • Verifying the wreck's identity will be harder now than it would have been in 2003, when they returned recently, Clifford says "all the key visible diagnostic objects including the cannon had been looted by illicit raiders".

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