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Lava bomb hits Hawaii tour boat, 23 injured

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Lava Bomb Kilauea volcano
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos and one of five on the island.

Honolulu, July 17: At least 23 people were injured when a lava bomb hit a tour boat in Hawaii, according to fire officials.

The lava bomb or a flying chunk of molten rock, punctured the boat’s roof on Monday after which it returned to Wailoa Harbour, CNN quoted the Hawaii County Fire Department as saying.

Of the injured, one woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a fractured femur.

It was unclear exactly where or when the incident occurred. But from where lava from the Kilauea volcano is hitting the ocean to the harbour is about an hour’s boat ride, depending on waves.

Kilauea erupted in early May, sending a smouldering flow of lava into residential areas on the Big Island.

Kilauea was still erupting lava as of Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Meanwhile, the lava has also created a tiny new island off the coast of Hawaii.

The island is part of the lava flow that extends underwater away from the coastline, according to the USGS.

If the lava flow stays active, the island will probably connect to the coastline. If not, it might erode away because of wave action.

The agency said the island is just a few metres offshore, and about 20 to 30 feet in diameter.

IANS

India

Nepal bans use of Indian currency notes

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India Rupee

New Delhi, Dec 14: The Nepal government has declared the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations illegal in the country.

So, the government has decided to ban the use of high denomination Indian currency notes and use only Rs 100 notes in the country now onwards, according to a report in the Kathmandu Post.

The decision was announced by Nepal government’s spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Gokul Prasad Baskota.

The decision, which will affect middle and low-income Indian tourists, was taken at the last Cabinet meeting, said Gokul Baskota.

The Nepal government has urged the people of its country to refrain from keeping or carrying Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100 notes as it has not legalised the India bank notes of denomination Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2000, the report said.

When the Indian government introduced the new denominations in the months following demonetisation in 2016, the Nepal government did not make any announcement on the status of the new currency notes. The new denominations were being used freely in Nepal over the last two years, but the latest decision will affect Nepalese labourers working in India, as well as Indian tourists frequently visiting Nepal.

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Kim Jong-un face mask stirs controversy

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kim jong un nuke masks
Thousands of controversial "nuke masks" have been sold in South Korea. (Image Credit-5149/Instagram)

Seoul, Dec 14: A South Korean fashion and cosmetics firm has stirred controversy with a facial mask featuring Kim Jong-un prompting many stores to pull the product of the shelves.

The so-called “nuke masks” were created by 5149, a South Korean fashion and cosmetics company. It said it has sold more than 25,000 “unification moisture nuclear masks” since June, the BBC reported.

Many South Korean stores, though, halted the sales amid a public backlash and concerns over the masks’ legality.

In South Korea, it is illegal to speak favourably of the North Korean government, though the law is rarely enforced.

Dozens of Koreans have posted pictures of themselves on social media with the masks, which cost 4,000 won, the BBC said.

Propaganda-style slogans claim the masks contain mineral water from Mount Paektu, the sacred, active volcano, which is the birthplace of Dangun, founder of the first Korean kingdom more than 4,000 years ago, according to Korean mythology.

“Personally, I don’t like merchandise promoting a certain political agenda,” Irene Kim, a South Korean skincare expert, told the South China Morning Post.

“A few years ago, North Korea was the largest threat to our country… Kim Jong-un was seen as a dictator and a tyrant who would stop at nothing to disrupt world peace, now he’s become the face of a popular face mask,” she added.

The North Korean leader and his regime have been criticised by the UN for “systematic, widespread” human rights abuses.

Both North and South Korea are still technically at war, but leaders from both countries attended talks this year over denuclearisation.

In an interview with the New York Times, 5149 CEO Kwak Hyeon-ju said she wanted the masks to celebrate the “once in a lifetime” Korean summits held earlier this year.

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

The country’s communist regime has been criticised by the UN and human rights groups for “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations”.

IANS

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America

Bomb Threats Across United States – reports

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crime

Law enforcement authorities around the United States were reponding to a wave of bomb threats, many of them sent by email NBC reported.

A spokesman for the Oklahoma City police told NBC News that individuals in and around that city have gotten 10 to 13 specific email bomb threats, with specific addresses.

Bronx Science said it evacuated its building at 11 a.m. after it received a bomb threat by phone. The school said students were “currently well supervised at neighboring schools.”

The New York police department confirmed it received a call about the threat and responded to the school. The department later tweeteed it was monitoring “multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city.”

Nearly a dozen threats were received at businesses throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. At least three others were reported in Orlando.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating after multiple bombs threats were allegedly mailed to “numerous businesses in the state.” Authorities said the MSP Fusion Center is tracking the activity.

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