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Middletown Press

@middletownpress - 2m 6s ago

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Britain concerned about consular employee missing in China

BEIJING (AP) - The British foreign ministry said it is "extremely concerned" about an employee of its consulate in Hong Kong who has been missing since crossing into China on a business trip. A statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it is seeking information from Hong Kong and Guangdong province about the fate of the employee, who was detained while crossing from the Chinese city of Shenzhen into Hong Kong. Local media reports identified him as Simon Cheng Man-kit, a trade and investment officer at the Scottish Development International section of the consulate. The reports say he attended a business event in Shenzhen on Aug. 8 but never returned to Hong Kong despite plans to do so the same day. "We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen. We are providing support to his family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong," said the statement, which was forwarded by the British Embassy in Beijing. It is unclear whether the man possessed a diplomatic passport, but the seizure of consular staff of any status or rank is highly unusual. Despite Beijing's declaration of a "golden era" in Sino-British ties, relations have grown tense in recent months amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a British colony for 156 years before its handover to Chinese rule in 1997. Asked about the case at a daily briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded, "I'm not aware of that." Press officers for the Guangdong police and Ministry of Public Security could not be reached by phone. The ministry did not immediately respond to faxed questions about the case.

middletownpress.com
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Milford Mirror

@milfordmirror - 2m 6s ago

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Firefighter injured after lightning sets Norwalk house on fire

NORWALK - A firefighter was injured after a lightning strike sparked a fire that heavily damaged a Richlee Road house late Monday afternoon. The two occupants of the home, two dogs and a cat were unharmed in the blaze, fire officials said. The firefighter was hurt when sections of the ceiling fell on him knocking him temporarily unconscious. Firefighters that were in the immediate area helped remove the firefighter out of the house He was later transported to Norwalk Hospital by paramedics, that responded to the scene. The firefighter was undergoing tests and was in "good spirits," at Norwalk Hospital, the department said. Firefighters responded to a reported lightning strike to a home at 1 Richlee Road, Monday at 4:50 pm. While responding, the call was upgraded to a working structure fire, with the occupant leaving the home with his two dogs. "Upon arrival at the split level ranch style home, heavy fire was engulfing the rear corner and had worked its way into the interior, of the home," the department posted on its Facebook page. "Firefighters made entry through the front door to fight the fire that had engulfed the kitchen, dining room and living room. At the same time firefighters contended with a 120-gallon propane tank against the rear of the home, that was blowing off pressure with a 40-foot fireball. "Fire crews cooled the propane tank to prevent a failure, until the contents were completely expelled through the relief valve." The fire was placed under control at 5:25 p.m. with firefighters leaving the scene by 7 p.m. The Red Cross responded and made arrangements for the two adult occupants of the home along with their 2 dogs and cat...

milfordmirror.com