Dhaka Courier

Typhoon Molave set off landslides that killed

Typhoon Molave set off landslides that killed at least 15 people and left 38 missing in central Vietnam, where ferocious wind and rain blew away roofs and knocked out power in a region of 1.7 million residents. The casualties from the landslides bring the death toll to at least 19 with about 64 missing, including 26 crew members from two fishing boats that sank as the typhoon approached with winds of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour. Vietnamese officials say it’s the worst typhoon to hit the country in 20 years.

Details of possible casualties and damage in other typhoon-hit regions have not yet been reported amid the stormy weather and could cause the toll to rise. Rescuers dug up eight bodies in Tra Van village in south central Quang Nam province, where a hillside collapsed on houses. The victims had taken shelter in the community as the typhoon approached, the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

 

India and the United States have signed a military agreement on sharing sensitive satellite data amid Delhi's tense border standoff with Beijing. Access to such data is considered vital for hitting missiles, drones and other targets with precision. The deal was announced after the annual "2+2" high-level talks - a  forum for the two countries’ foreign policy and security/defence departments to come together and steer bilateral ties - in Delhi this week.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper held talks with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also met Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation, or BECA, is among the few deals that the US signs with close partners. It allows India access to a range of sensitive geospatial and aeronautical data that is crucial for military action. The two sides also signed a clutch of other deals in the fields of nuclear energy, earth sciences and alternative medicine.

 

Iran has begun construction at its Natanz nuclear facility, satellite images released this week showed, just as the U.N. nuclear agency acknowledged Tehran is building an underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant after its last one exploded in a reported sabotage attack last summer.

The construction comes as the U.S. nears Election Day in a campaign pitting President Donald Trump, whose maximum pressure campaign against Iran has led Tehran to abandon all limits on its atomic program, and Joe Biden, who has expressed a willingness to return to the accord. Heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. nearly ignited a war at the start of the year. A Planet Labs satellite image Monday shows the site cleared away with what appears to be construction equipment there, while an Oct. 21 image from Maxar Technologies shows trucks, cars, backhoes and other vehicles at the cleared site.

 

Under fire from President Donald Trump and his allies, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google rebuffed accusations of anti-conservative bias at a Senate hearing Wednesday and promised to aggressively defend their platforms from being used to sow chaos in next week’s election. Lawmakers of both parties, eyeing the companies’ tremendous power to disseminate speech and ideas, are looking to challenge their long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech.

With worries over election security growing, senators on the Commerce Committee extracted promises from Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai that their companies will be on guard against meddling by foreign actors or the incitement of violence around the election results. Testifying via video, the executives said they are taking several steps, including partnerships with news organizations, to distribute accurate information about voting. Dorsey said Twitter was working closely with state election officials.

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