10,000 Indian flood victims have entered Nepal for relief: Report

KATHMANDU: Around 10,000 flood victims from India have entered Nepal to seek relief material, being distributed in the Himalayan nation, according to a report. Over 60,000 people have been displaced and 500 industries face closure in Nepal due to spilling of river Saptakoshi.

Facing difficulty in identifying genuine Nepali victims, authorities have asked people to produce recommendation letters from local village development committees to get food and other relief material, the Naya Patrika daily reported.

The daily claimed around 10,000 Indian nationals, who are victims of Koshi flood, have started entering Nepal to get relief materials distributed by Kathmandu.

"Though we can provide Indian flood victims with food and accommodation for few days, yet we encourage them to return to India," Chief Administrator of Sunsari district Durga Prasad Adhikari was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, devastating flood in the Saptakoshi river has left over 60,000 people displaced and 1,000 missing while inundating 5,000 houses.

The East-West highway in Sunsari-Inaruwa section has been completely blocked forcing people from eastern Nepal to use the Indian route to reach Kathmandu and other parts of the country.

Around 500 industries also face closure after they stopped production owing to the blocked highway. (Times of India)

Asian students learn Hawaiian 'style'

Some 160 new student grantees arrived recently at the East-West Center from about 50 Asian and Pacific countries. Part of their weeklong orientation to studying in Hawaii was a kind of crash course in "local style" living yesterday at the center's outdoor Friendship Circle. To open the program, participants gathered in a "yurt circle," grasping arms and alternately leaning back and forward, trusting each other to hold them up. Kamal Raj Sigdel of NEpal, Asal Baragchizadeh of Iran, left, Riana Agnesia of Indonesia and Dolores Cui Tongco of the Philippines took part.

Protestors occupy grounds of Hawaiian palace

HONOLULU _ For the second time this year, a Native Hawaiian sovereignty group has taken over the grounds of Iolani Palace, residence of Hawaii's last monarch.

About a dozen men, wearing red shirts with "security" stenciled in yellow on the back, locked the gates of the landmark Friday evening and posted no trespassing signs that read: "Property of the Kingdom of Hawaiian Trust."

The action came on Admission Day, a state holiday marking Hawaii's admission to the Union on Aug. 21, 1959.

Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of Iolani Palace, told The Honolulu Advertiser by phone that he and other staff members were "in lockdown" in the palace and a nearby administration building.

"These guys are threatening to go in the palace," Chu said. "There's about 25 of them. They've got a king and the king wants to sit on the throne."

Television station KITV quoted an unidentified palace spokesperson as saying security personnel were guarding the palace, while staff locked themselves in the administration building. The Advertiser reported people on the grounds were later allowed to get to their cars.

Calls to the police department spokeswoman were not immediately returned.

"We're going to be here for a while. Four days, five days, a week. A while. As long as it takes," one of the men posting the signs told the Advertiser. He declined to give his name.

An "occupation public information bulletin" distributed by a member of the group began: "Majesty Akahi Nui, the King of Hawaii, has now reoccupied the throne of Hawaii. The Kingdom of Hawaii is now re-enacted."

Akahi Nui claims to have been coronated in 1998.

Hawaiian activists have long used Iolani Palace, the site of Queen Liliuokalani's imprisonment following the 1893 U.S. overthrow, as a prime location for protests against the United States' occupation of the islands.

Another group, the Hawaiian Kingdom Government, occupied the palace grounds April 30.

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