Daily round-up, Sep 16: Fire engulfs office tower in China; Xi and Putin call for shake-up of world order

Daily round-up, Sep 16: Fire engulfs office tower in China; Xi and Putin call for shake-up of world order

Let’s get you up to speed with the day’s stories.

A massive fire engulfed a high-rise office building in downtown Changsha, capital of China’s southern province of Hunan, on Friday afternoon. Dozens of storeys of the more than 200m-tall China Telecom building “burned with great intensity”, state broadcaster CCTV said.

36 fire trucks and 280 firefighters were deployed to the scene. No casualties were found, according to Hunan’s fire department. 

Preliminary investigations showed that the outer wall of the 42-storey building caught fire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for a shake-up of the world order as they met with Asian leaders in Uzbekistan on Friday (Sep 16) for a summit challenging Western influence.

It was the two leaders’ first face-to-face meeting since the start of the Ukraine war.

Xi told leaders at the summit that it was time to reshape the international system and “abandon zero-sum games and bloc politics”.

Putin hailed the growing influence of countries outside the West, slamming what he called “instruments of protectionism, illegal sanctions and economic selfishness”.

The United States meanwhile says it is concerned about the deepening relationship between China and Russia, and that they “share a vision for the world that is starkly at odds with the vision that’s at the centre of the international system”.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also noted Putin’s “striking” admission that Xi had questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine.

He added that the US has information that Russia was seeking security assistance from China.

Analysts say that China’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during talks with Putin was a delicate balancing act that was not easy for Beijing to pull off.

The queue to see Queen Elizabeth lying in state in London was temporarily closed on Friday (Sep 16) after reaching capacity. Government officials warned of waiting times of at least 14 hours.

Tens of thousands came to see her coffin on its journey to London, and that many more have now joined to pay their respects during a four-and-a-half-day lying-in-state ceremony.

About 750,000 people in total are expected to file past the Queen’s coffin before Monday morning.

The queue was around 8km long as of 9am GMT (5pm, Singapore time), the culture department’s live queue tracker showed.

Singapore reported a higher rate of workplace fatalities in the first half of 2022, even as the number of reported workplace injuries fell.

There were 28 workplace deaths in the first half of the year, bringing the 6-month fatality rate per 100,000 workers to 0.8. This was higher than the 0.4 deaths per 100,000 workers in the second half of 2021 and 0.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers in the first half of last year.

Falls from height and vehicular-related incidents made up half of the 28 deaths reported.

A total of 10,429 workplace injuries were reported in the first half of 2022, 4.5 per cent lower compared with the second half of 2021. This was driven by a decline in the number of both major and minor injuries.

The construction industry accounted for the highest number of fatalities, with 10 deaths reported in the first half of 2022. It was also the biggest contributor of major injuries reported.

The Manpower Ministry said it has stepped up enforcement efforts in the construction industry.

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