Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Deadly industrial disaster at poultry plant in China

At least 119 people in northeastern China are dead and dozens injured after a fire at a poultry processing plant on Monday in the country’s worst industrial disaster in years.  The fire trapped workers inside the slaughterhouse which was equipped with only one open exit. Officials attributed the fire to explosions caused by an ammonia leak, a chemical used as part of the plant’s cooling system. The accident calls attention to the human costs of China’s industrial safety standards, despite a reported 5 per cent drop in industrial accidents last year from the previous year, according state officials. [CBC]

2. Worst flooding in decade hits central Europe as floodwaters move west from Prague

As deadly floodwaters recede from the Czech capital of Prague, thousands evacuate from the German city of Passau where waters reached levels not seen in 500 years, while Dresden and nearby Meissen, both hit hard from similar floods in 2002, prepare for the worst. Heavy weekend rainfall across Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic caused rivers across the region to overflow with disruptions to rail and road travel with villages cut off and school closings. Czech authorities confirmed seven deaths from the flooding and several missing people while Austria’s Interior Ministry reported two deaths, with another missing. [BBC]

3. Russia withholds missiles for Syria to maintain regional power balance

Russian President Vladimir Putin will withhold Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles intended for Syria to avoid upsetting the region’s balance of power, he said. However, Putin does not intend to abandon the weapons contract between the countries and noted Russian arms deals with Syria were transparent and did not violate international laws. The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, told Russia last month that delivery of advanced missile systems to Syria would destabilize Israel’s security. [Bloomberg]

4. Thousands attend 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey

Two thousand people gathered with members of the British royal family at Westminster Abbey in London to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of the Queen. The 87-year-old monarch was crowned in the abbey on June 2, 1953 and was reunited with St. Edward’s Crown, the jewel-encrusted, golden crown in the first time it has left the Tower of London since the 1953 coronation. Queen Elizabeth’s reign is now 61 years long, two years shy of Queen Victoria’s record of 63 years, great great grandmother to Elizabeth. [Globe and Mail]

5. Thousands attend rally in Hong Kong for 24th anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre

In other anniversary marking-related news, according to event organizers, 150,000 people turned out in a central Hong Kong park to mark the 24th year since the deadly Tiananmen Square demonstrations, the 1989 student-led protests in Beijing that saw soldiers and armoured tanks shooting dead at least hundreds. Protests are effectively banned in mainland China, which attracted mainlanders to the relatively autonomous region of Hong Kong. The annual demonstration is China’s most public display over the grievances from the event whose name and date is still censored on mainland China.

Palmer does the social media for Spectator Tribune and tweets occasionally at @palmerfritschy.