Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Ukraine Plane Crash Death Toll Rises to 26, With 1 Survivor

Top Bollywood Star Deepika Padukone Questioned in Drug Probe

New Delhi (AP) — A top Bollywood star, Deepika Padukone, was questioned Saturday by India’s narcotics agency that is probing the movie industry’s links with drug peddlers and cartels, officials said.

She arrived at the Narcotics Control Board’s office in Mumbai after receiving summons earlier this week while on a shooting stint in the western beach resort of Goa. Media reports say no drugs have been seized from her.

The board said in a statement that it started the Bollywood drug probe after the death of young actor Sushant Singh Rajput, whose body was found at his Mumbai residence in June. An investigation is ongoing.

According to the local media, Padukone was reportedly being questioned on whether she procured banned drugs for consumption following interception of phone messages making queries with local contacts. She is one of more than a dozen people working with the Hindi movie industry who have been questioned by the board in the past two weeks.

Deepika’s manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday and two other Bollywood actors are expected to be queried on Saturday.

A top Bollywood filmmaker, Karan Johan, said in a statement Friday that allegations of narcotics being consumed at a party hosted by him in July last year at his residence were “false and baseless.”

Johar’s response came after an old video from a star-studded party at his residence surfaced on social media.

Audi considering electric car venture with China's FAW: Automobilwoche

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German premium brand Audi is in talks with long-term partner FAW Group [SASACJ.UL] about creating a second joint venture to build electric cars on its PPE platform in China, Germany’s Automobilwoche reported on Saturday.

Audi and FAW have a Chinese joint venture to build combustion-engined cars in the northeastern city of Changchun and the southern city of Foshan.

An Audi spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

China’s Ping An Insurance Increases Stake in HSBC to 8%

China’s Ping An Insurance Group Co. raised its stake in HSBC Holdings Plc, cementing its position as the lender’s biggest shareholder.

Ping An Asset Management Co., a unit of the insurer, bought 10.8 million shares of HSBC on Wednesday, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Friday. That brings the group’s stake to 8% from 7.95% previously. BlackRock Inc., the second-biggest holder, currently owns 7.14%.

HSBC’s shares have fallen to a 25-year low as pressures mount on several fronts including a potential threat to its China expansion.

Ping An purchased the shares at an average HK$28.2859 apiece. HSBC ended Friday at HK$28.20.

— With assistance by Charlie Zhu, Amanda Wang, and Winnie Zhu

North Korea’s Nuclear Facility Affected by Typhoons: 38North

North Korea’s nuclear complex at Yongbyon has been affected by a typhoons that hit the country recently, the 38North website said.

Commercial satellite imagery of the Yongbyon facility shows damage to a dam that controls the water level of a river near the complex, the website said on Friday.

A lower water level at the dam means two pump houses that service nuclear reactors are “high and dry” and this may affect operations, according to the report.

Repair work that looked to have been happening at the uranium enrichment plant in July seems to have been suspended, 38North added.

North Korea suffered widespread damage from the recent typhoons, prompting leader Kim Jong Un to reconsider major projects planned for this year, state media reported earlier this month.

Phone meeting between Japan's Suga, Putin set for Sept. 29: Kyodo

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TOKYO (Reuters) – A telephone conversation between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Russian President Vladimir Putin is being arranged for September 29, Kyodo news agency reported on Saturday.

It will be their first discussion since Suga took over as Japan’s leader.

The two leaders are expected to confirm to continue to cooperate in a wide range of areas including the economy, as well as the importance of peace treaty talks, the report said.

Ukraine Plane Crash Death Toll Rises to 26, With 1 Survivor

Moscow (AP) — Searchers combing the area where a Ukrainian military aircraft crashed found two more bodies on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 26. One person survived.

The plane, a twin-turboprop Antonov-26 belonging to the Ukrainian air force, was carrying a crew of seven and 20 cadets of a military aviation school when it crashed and burst into flames Friday night while coming in for landing at the airport in Chuhuiv, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the capital Kyiv.

Two people initially survived the crash, but one later died in a hospital. No cause for the crash has been determined.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared Saturday to be a day of mourning for the crash victims and ordered that flights of An-26 planes be halted pending investigation of the crash cause.

Zelenskiy, who visited the crash area on Saturday, called for a full assessment of the condition of the country’s military equipment and said he wanted an official report on the crash by Oct. 25.

The An-26 is a transport plane used by both military and civilian operators. Nearly 1,400 of the planes were manufactured from 1969 to 1986, according to the company’s website. The age of the plane that crashed Friday was not immediately reported.

An An-26 chartered by a contractor for the World Food Program crashed on Aug. 22 while taking off from Juba in South Sudan, killing seven people.

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