2 March 2017

8 miners killed by Ukraine coal mine blast, 6 miners injured

An explosion at a coal mine in western Ukraine left eight people dead Thursday, the state emergencies agency said.

The blast took place in the Stepovaya mine in the Lviv region, 460 kilometers (285 miles) west of the capital Kiev, about 550 meters (1,800 feet) underground. The agency said six miners were injured by the explosion.

3 skiers killed, 5 hurt in avalanche in Italian Alps

Italian alpine rescuers say three skiers have been killed in avalanche in the northern Italian Alps near the French border that injured another five people.

Milan Walter of the national alpine rescue corps says the group was back-country skiing when the avalanche was triggered at Plan de la Gabba, 5 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of Courmayeur, around midday. The dead included an Italian, a German and a Belgian, according to police.

At least 57 al-Shabab extremists killed in Somalia assault

In this Oct. 30, 2009 file photo, al-Shabab fighters sit on a truck as they patrol in Mogadishu, Somalia. The African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia says at least 57 members of the al-Shabab extremist group have been killed Thursday, March 2, 2017 after AU and Somali forces attacked one of its camps.
At least 57 members of the al-Shabab extremist group were killed Thursday as African Union and Somali forces attacked one of its camps, the AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia announced. It was one of the deadliest assaults on the al-Qaida-linked group by the joint forces.

The multinational force said on Twitter that vehicles and equipment were destroyed in the morning assault on the al-Shabab camp outside Afmadhow and "a large cache of weapons" was captured. The statement said helicopter gunships supported the attack.

AP Explains: What to know about China's legislative sessions

In this March 12, 2015 file photo, a delegate takes a photo before a plenary session of the National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Democracy Chinese-style will go on display when the country's rubberstamp legislature, the National People's Congress opens its annual sessions in Beijing on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
Governing Chinese-style will go on display when the country's rubberstamp legislature, the National People's Congress, and its advisory body open their annual sessions in Beijing over the next few days.

The largely ceremonial events come months ahead of an even more momentous gathering, the twice-a-decade national congress of the ruling Communist Party that will usher in changes to the top leadership as president and party chief Xi Jinping embarks on his second five-year term in office.

Tiny tubes in Canadian rock may be oldest known fossils

This microscope image made available by Matthew Dodd in February 2017 shows tiny tubes in rock found in Quebec, Canada. The structures appear to be the oldest known fossils, giving new support to some ideas about how life began, a new study says.
Tiny tubes and filaments in some Canadian rock appear to be the oldest known fossils, giving new support to some ideas about how life began, a new study says.

The features are mineralized remains of what appear to be bacteria that lived some 3.77 billion to 4.28 billion years ago, the scientists said. That would surpass the 3.7 billion years assigned to some other rock features found in Greenland, which were proposed to be fossils last August.