Connect with us

Published

on

Two people died and more than 40 others were injured when a fast train from Munich collided with a commuter passenger train in the Czech Republic.

Four people who were seriously injured were taken to hospital by helicopter and seven others required surgery.

Another 31 people were injured in the crash near the western Czech town of Domazlice, the regional rescue service said.

More than 40 people were injured in the crash near the western Czech town of Domazlice. Pic: Plzen Fire and Rescue
Image:
More than 40 people were injured in the crash near the western Czech town of Domazlice. Pic: Plzen Fire and Rescue

TV footage on Czech Television showed the driver’s damaged cabin of the fast train’s locomotive, as well as the front part of the local train.

Both trains remained upright on or close to the tracks.

Czech Railways said an international high-speed train that connects the western city of Plzen with Munich in Germany and a local passenger train were involved in the collision.

CTK news agency said the emergency services deployed four helicopters after the crash, which happened shortly after 8am local time near the village of Milavce, which is 140km (87 miles) southwest of Prague.

Commander Jaroslav Hrdlicka of the regional fire department said on Czech Television rescue workers were still looking for one missing person in the wreckage.

The accident happened shortly after 8am local time near the village of Milavce. Pic: Plzen Fire and Rescue
Image:
The accident happened shortly after 8am local time near the village of Milavce. Pic: Plzen Fire and Rescue

Continue Reading

World

Israel v Iran – Is escalation inevitable?

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

World

Vietnam: Property tycoon Truong My Lan sentenced to death after country’s biggest fraud trial

Published

on

By

Vietnam: Property tycoon Truong My Lan sentenced to death after country's biggest fraud trial

A property tycoon has been sentenced to death in Vietnam after the biggest fraud trial in the country’s history.

Truong My Lan was sentenced on Thursday by a court in Ho Chi Minh City after being found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and violations of banking rules following a month-long trial, state media reported.

The 67-year-old chair of the company Van Thinh Phat (VTP) was accused of fraud amounting to $12.5bn – nearly 3% of the country’s GDP in 2022.

Lan and her accomplices were charged with illegally controlling the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) between 2012 and 2022 to siphon off funds through thousands of ghost companies and by paying bribes to government officials.

From early 2018 to October 2022, when the state bailed out SCB after a run on its deposits, Lan appropriated large sums by arranging unlawful loans to shell companies, investigators said.

The start of the trial featured prominently in state media, which showed pictures and footage of Lan in the courtroom surrounded by dozens of police officers.

Truong My Lan
Pic: AP
Image:
Lan was sentenced after a month-long trial. Pic: AP

“Lan didn’t plead guilty and didn’t show remorse,” Thanh Nien newspaper cited the prosecutors as saying last month, while demanding the death penalty on the charge of embezzlement.

“The consequences are extremely serious and irreparable, and therefore, there must be a strict punishment for Truong My Lan and remove her from society,” it added.

The harsh sentence was due to the seriousness of the case, with the court saying Lan was at the helm of an orchestrated and sophisticated criminal enterprise that had serious consequences – with no possibility of the money being recovered, state media VnExpress reported on Thursday.

“We will keep fighting to see what we can do,” a family member told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity. Before the verdict was issued, he had said Lan would appeal against the sentence.

A total of 84 defendants in the case received sentences ranging from probation to life imprisonment, reported Thanh Nien.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

VTP was among Vietnam’s richest property firms, with projects including luxury residential buildings, offices, hotels and shopping centres.

Lan’s arrest in October 2022 was among the most high-profile in an ongoing anti-corruption drive in Vietnam.

The crackdown, dubbed “blazing furnace”, has led to hundreds of senior state officials and high-profile business leaders facing prosecution or being forced to step down.

Former President Vo Van Thuong resigned in March after being implicated in the campaign.

Read more from Sky News:
Woman found stabbed to death at home named
Police to review decision to charge Caroline Flack

Nguyen Phu Trong, leader of the ruling Communist Party, has pledged for years to stamp out corruption in the country.

In November, he said the anti-corruption fight would “continue for the long term”.

Continue Reading

World

Risks of bigger war rising as Iran intends to hit back over suspected Israeli embassy strike – but Biden knows he can’t blink

Published

on

By

Risks of bigger war rising as Iran intends to hit back over suspected Israeli embassy strike - but Biden knows he can't blink

The risks of the Gaza war expanding into a much bigger regional conflict had seemed to have subsided. Not any longer.

Comments from Iranian and American leaders in the last 24 hours may be entirely predictable but they raise the prospects of escalation.

Iran knows it’s been directly attacked in the airstrike on its embassy in Damascus and unless it retaliates it is weakened.

And in this region that is dangerous.

So on Wednesday, celebrating the end of Ramadan, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei issued a stern warning that Israel must be punished and will be.

Middle East latest:
Iran attack on Israel could be imminent

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with members of the Air Force in Tehran, Iran 
Piv:WANA/Reuters
Image:
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Piv: WANA/Reuters

The US president knows the attack presumed by most to have been the work of its ally Israel violated international law which declares embassies ‘inviolable’.

And Biden’s relations with the man who almost certainly ordered it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are rock bottom.

But the US president also knows any sign of weakness on his part is dangerous, too.

It would only embolden Iran to do its worst and that in turn would provoke Israel to do the same – potentially setting the entire region alight.

Joe Biden during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pic: AP
Image:
Relations are strained between Biden and Netanyahu. Pic: AP

So Joe Biden has declared his ironclad support for Israel and raised the prospect of America becoming directly involved if war were to break out between its ally and Iran.

It is exactly the same calculus that led the US president to send two naval carrier groups to the waters off Israel in the wake of the 7 October attacks by Hamas to warn Iran – ‘don’t get involved’.

That move was successful. This time Biden may need to do more.

Read more:
Three sons of Hamas leader killed in Israeli strike
Key element in path to peace still missing

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Biden: ‘We want to address Iranian threat’

Iran has shown remarkable restraint holding back in this war despite frequent attacks by Israel on its assets and allies in Syria and Lebanon.

It has done so by claiming those attacks were not direct strikes on Iran itself.

The logic is clear. The ayatollahs are weak at home after the biggest uprising against its rule since its revolution and a regional war would be devastating.

But a direct attack on an embassy can’t be overlooked. The Iranians have made that clear.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

They believe they have to retaliate.

But by the same logic, they may try to calibrate their response to avert a regional conflagration.

The region watches and waits.

The balance of stability in the Middle East hangs on Tehran’s decision.

Continue Reading

Trending