Coal mine accident kills 19 workers in northern China

Al Jazeera

A coal mine accident in northern China has killed 19 miners, Chinese state media reported. The accident happened on Wednesday night on an underground platform in a mine in Shuozhou city in Shanxi province, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Its brief report cited the Shanxi Datong Coal Mine Group, which runs the mine. Al Jazeera's Florence Looi, reporting from Beijing, said that there were 129 workers in the mine when the accident happened, and 110 managed to make it to safety. "The cause of the accident is still not known.

Coal Mine Accident In China's Shanxi Province Kills At Least 19 People

International Business Times

At least 19 people were killed in a late-night coal mine accident in northern China Wednesday, local news sources reported Thursday, according to the Associated Press (AP). The incident occurred in an underground platform in a mine in Shuozhou city in Shanxi province, an official told Xinhua News Agency. Of the total 129 people who were inside the mine at the time of the incident, 110 came out safely. The mine was run by Shanxi Datong Coal Mine Group, the AP reported, citing Xinhua. In recent years, several mining accidents have been reported in the world's second-largest economy but increased safety regulations have led to lesser deaths.

Undermining China: towns sink after mines close

The Japan Times

HELIN, CHINA – Deep in the coal heartlands of northern Shanxi province, people in the village of Helin are fighting a losing battle as the ground beneath them crumbles. They are patching up cracks, rebuilding walls and filling in sinkholes caused by decades of coal mining. Around 100 pits in Helin -- buried in the hilly rural outskirts of the city of Xiaoyi -- have been exhausted, and cluttered hamlets totter precariously on the brittle slopes of mines. But while local authorities have begun evacuating the hundreds of thousands of residents most at risk to elsewhere in Shanxi province, Helin's situation -- though serious -- isn't yet considered a priority. "We haven't been told to leave yet, but when the government gives us the order, we'll be happy to go," said Wang Junqi, who lives in a one-room tenement with his family.

Philippines Seeks Coordinated Naval Patrols With Indonesia, Malaysia After Abu Sayaff Beheading

International Business Times

The Philippines is negotiating coordinated naval patrols with Indonesia and Malaysia to protect its ships from attacks and kidnappings from Islamic militants, a senior Filipino official said Thursday, according to Reuters. Philippine Foreign Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said that separate but coordinated patrols would aim to determine routes safe for travel. Islamist rebels are currently holding 23 hostages and have demanded millions of dollars as ransom. Indonesia is trying to free about 14 of its citizens, who were taken from tugboats by rebels from the extremist group Abu Sayyaf from southern Philippines. The hostages also include citizens from Malaysia, Netherlands, Japan, Norway and the Philippines.

The cobalt pipeline: From dangerous tunnels in Congo to consumers' mobile tech

Washington Post - Technology News

The sun was rising over one of the richest mineral deposits on Earth, in one of the poorest countries, as Sidiki Mayamba got ready for work. Mayamba is a cobalt miner. And the red-dirt savanna stretching outside his door contains such an astonishing wealth of cobalt and other minerals that a geologist once described it as a "scandale geologique." This remote landscape in southern Africa lies at the heart of the world's mad scramble for cheap cobalt, a mineral essential to the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power smartphones, laptops and electric vehicles made by companies such as Apple, Samsung and major automakers. But Mayamba, 35, knew nothing about his role in this sprawling global supply chain. He grabbed his metal shovel and broken-headed hammer from a corner of the room he shares with his wife and child. He pulled on a dust-stained jacket. A proud man, he likes to wear a button-down shirt even to mine. And he planned to mine by hand all day and through the night. The risk of a cave-in is constant. "Do you have enough money to buy flour today?" he asked his wife. But now a debt collector stood at the door. The family owed money for salt. Flour would have to wait.