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Last Updated = Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 12:24 am SL Time

* China chemical blast death toll rises to 47

Mar 22 (BBC) The death toll in a huge blast at a chemical plant in eastern China has jumped to 47, with 90 injured, according to state news agency Xinhua. The powerful explosion followed a fire at the factory which produces fertiliser. China's earthquake administration reported a tremor equivalent to 2.2-magnitude at the time of the blast.
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* Christchurch shootings: New Zealand falls silent for mosque victims

Mar 22 (BBC) New Zealand has broadcast the Islamic call to prayer and observed a two-minute silence in ceremonies to mark a week since the Christchurch attacks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined thousands of mourners near the Al-Noor mosque, one of two places of worship targeted in last Friday's shootings.
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* Mount Everest: Melting glaciers expose dead bodies

Mar 21 (BBC) Expedition operators are concerned at the number of climbers' bodies that are becoming exposed on Mount Everest as its glaciers melt. Nearly 300 mountaineers have died on the peak since the first ascent attempt and two-thirds of bodies are thought still to be buried in the snow and ice.
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* Brexit: EU leaders agree Article 50 delay plan

Mar 22 (BBC) EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the Article 50 process, postponing Brexit beyond 29 March. The UK will be offered a delay until 22 May, if MPs approve the withdrawal deal negotiated with the EU next week.
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* Italian driver hijacks and torches school bus full of children

Mar 21 (BBC) A bus carrying 51 schoolchildren was hijacked by its driver and set alight near Milan in Italy. The children, some of them tied up, were rescued through smashed windows at the back of the bus and no-one was badly hurt. Fourteen people suffered smoke inhalation.
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* Christchurch mosque shootings: New Zealand to ban military style weapons

Mar 21 (BBC) New Zealand will ban all types of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles following the Christchurch attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said. The country's gun laws have been in the spotlight since 50 people were killed at two mosques last Friday.
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