Fire causes heavy damage to British clipper ship
A fire caused heavy damage to the clipper ship Cutty Sark on Monday, leaving one of London's proudest maritime relics a blackened hulk.
Firefighters responded to an alarm at 4.45 am (0915 IST) at the ship's dry dock. The fire was out by 7 am (1130 IST) and the cause was under investigation.
"We are treating this as a suspicious incident," said police Inspector Bruce Middlemiss, who added that a number of people were known to be in the area at the time the fire started.
Chris Levett, the chairman of Cutty Sark Enterprises, said half of the ship's planking and many historic artefacts had been taken away during restoration work. He expressed confidence that the vessel could be restored.
"It will be the old ship. The ship has been through many things in its lifetime," Levett told BBC radio.
"This is going to make us even more determined to get this ship back up and running and keep her as original as possible," Levett said.
The ship was the world's only surviving example of an extreme clipper, regarded as the ultimate development of a merchant sail vessel. Most of the original hull had survived since the ship was built for the 19th-century tea trade.
Cutty Sark had been closed to visitors since last year for a USD 50 million renovation.
The ship was used for training naval cadets during World War II, and in 1951 it was moored in London for the Festival of Britain.
Shortly afterward, the ship was acquired by the Cutty Sark Society.
The man set to interview Salman Rushdie in New York state moments before the renowned novelist was attacked said Sunday he initially thought someone was playing a cruel joke, but was jolted to reality when he saw blood. "It was very difficult to understand. It looked like a sort of bad prank and it didn't have any sense of reality," Henry Reese, president of non-profit group City of Asylum, told CNN. "Then when there was blood behind him, it became real."
The father of a man charged with attempting to murder novelist Salman Rushdie has locked himself in at his home in southern Lebanon and is refusing to speak to anyone, town mayor Ali Tehfe said on Sunday. The suspect in Friday's attack in New York state has been identified by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. Matar is originally Lebanese and his family comes from the south Lebanon town of Yaroun.
Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalized on Friday with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent and a son said on Sunday. One of Rushdie's sons said his father remained in critical condition but was able to say a few words after getting off the ventilator.
The Taiwan government on Sunday expressed gratitude to more than 50 countries, including India, that have called on all sides to exercise restraint and avoid unilateral actions to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had called for “exercise of restraint, avoidance of unilateral actions to change status quo [and] de-escalation of tensions”. Bagchi had said India's policies are well-known and consistent, and “do not require reiteration”.
The de facto US embassy in Taipei said the delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is being accompanied by four other lawmakers on what it described as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region.