China promotes foreign minister, names new defence chief

China promotes foreign minister, names new defence chiefChina on Monday elevated the status of its current foreign minister and selected a new defence minister as the country deals with rocky relations with the United States and expands its military. The rubber-stamp National People’s Congress endorsed the appointment of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 64, as state councillor, making him a ranking member of the country’s “cabinet”.

Death toll in Philippine hotel fire rises to five

Death toll in Philippine hotel fire rises to fivePhilippine firefighters said on Monday the death toll from a fire in a hotel in the capital Manila had risen to five, after confirming two more fatalities and putting out the blaze a day after it broke out. All the victims were employees at the hotel casino owned and operated by state gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said it was still verifying a report that another victim that was brought to the hospital had also died. Around 300 guests and more than 70 Pagcor employees, who were evacuated from the Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino as the fire raged through several floors, have all been accounted for, firefighters said.

Two men injured in fourth explosion in Austin, Texas, this month

Two men injured in fourth explosion in Austin, Texas, this monthAn explosion in Austin on Sunday wounded two men, thought to be in their 20s, authorities said, as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents rushed to the scene in the Texas capital, where earlier this month three parcel bombs killed two people. Police told a press conference that the wounded men were taken to a hospital, but their injuries were not life threatening. "We have a scene where it is obvious an explosion has taken place," said Brian Manley, Austin police chief. "We just simply do not know a lot at this point." He also told people to stay in their homes and avoid touching any suspicious packages, but did not say whether there was any link between the latest blast and the earlier parcel bombs. The FBI said on Twitter that its agents were at the scene of Sunday's explosion in a residential neighbourhood on the west side of the city, several miles from where the east side neighborhoods where the earlier blasts occurred. Initial Statement from Chief Manley regarding explosion— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 19, 2018 Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were also attending the scene, the FBI said. "Residents in immediate area … wait in your homes and follow instructions of officers," Austin police said on their Twitter feed. Investigators are still looking for the culprits behind the three parcel bombs that exploded in three separate east side neighbourhoods of the city, killing two African-American males and leaving a 75-year-old Hispanic woman fighting for her life. More than 500 federal agents have joined Austin police in the murder investigation. APD responding to Bomb Hotshot call in the 4800 block of Dawn Song Dr. Two male patients transported with unknown injuries. Please avoid the area. Media staging area is 4635 SW Pkwy, corner of SW Pkwy and Boston Ln. APD PIO— Austin Police Dept (@Austin_Police) March 19, 2018 Earlier on Sunday, Austin police said whoever was responsible for the bombs was trying to send a message and should contact authorities to explain any motive. "We are not going to understand that (message) until the suspect or suspects reach out to us to talk to us about what that message was," Mr Manley said. He added that police were also investigating the bombings as possible hate crimes. The first bombing on March 2 killed Anthony Stephan House, a 39-year-old black man. It ripped a hole in a home entrance wall and damaged the front door. A bomb last Monday morning killed Draylen Mason, a 17-year-old African American teenager and promising musician. It also injured his mother. A few hours later, a third bombing injured the 75-year-old Hispanic woman, who has not been named. Police have received more than 735 calls about suspicious packages since the three parcel bomb attacks, but authorities had not found any that posed a security risk, Mr Manley said. A reward of $115,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.