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Some of the world’s coolest libraries – National

Picture it. You have a monster test tomorrow and there is no time left for procrastination. The next 12 hours of your life will consist of sitting in an all-too quiet, distraction-free library, with nothing but your thoughts and books to keep you company.

Ugh, the worst amiright?

But find yourself in one of these libraries, arguably some of the most stunning from around the globe, and an all-night cram session may not seem so bad.

Library of Parliament – in Ottawa, Canada

Established in 1876, the Library of Parliament survived numerous fires in its history. In 1916, a blaze destroyed most of Parliament’s Centre Block, but the library survived thanks to its iron doors, which isolated it from the fire. The library is depicted, in hologram form, on the current Canadian ten dollar bill.

The Library of Parliament on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Feb. 28, 2011.


The Library of Birmingham – in Birmingham, England

Described by architect Francine Houben as the ‘people’s palace’, this public library opened in September 2013 and is considered the largest public library in the United Kingdom. It houses Birmingham’s collections of rare books, photographs and archives. It also provides free access to the National Film Archive. Add to that a gallery space, theatre, amphitheatre and performance spaces – you’ve got quite the cultural destination.

An exterior view of the new Library of Birmingham and its outdoor roof terrace garden at Centenary Square on Aug. 27, 2013 in Birmingham, England. The modern exterior of interlacing rings reflects the canals and tunnels of Birmingham.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Library of the French National Assembly – in Paris, France

Located in Paris’ Palais Bourbon, the library of the National Assembly holds many treasures, including the draft French Constitution of 1791, annotated by “The Incorruptible” Maximilien de Robespierre, one of the most important figures in the French Revolution.

A photo taken on Nov. 3, 2012 shows the library of the French National Assembly in Paris.


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Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch – in Vancouver, Canada

Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the exterior of Vancouver’s Central Branch resembles Rome’s Colosseum. “Library Square” – which is comprised of Central Branch, Federal Office Tower and retail spaces – takes up an entire city block. The decision to build Library Square was the result of a referendum held in 1990. Following the referendum, the city of Vancouver held a design competition. Safdie’s design was by far the most radical – and most favoured by the public. The library also boasts a rooftop garden designed by landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander.

The Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, downtown Vancouver, B.C.

Douglas Williams/The Canadian Press

Philological Library at the Freie Universität Berlin – in Berlin, Germany

Designed by world-renowned architect Norman Foster (aka Lord Foster of Thames Bank), Berlin’s Philological Library was built in the shape of a human brain. Foster is also the architect behind the Hearst Tower in New York City and 30 St. Mary Axe in London, England (aka “The Gherkin”).

Students of the Free University of Berlin studying in the library of their University’s Philological Faculty, which was designed by British architect Norman Foster.


UNAM Biblioteca Central – in Mexico City, Mexico

The Central Library of Mexico City’s National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was established in 1950. The building, covered in murals by Mexican artist Juan O’Gorman, is part of a group of buildings on campus that were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Library building in the campus of the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) on November 08, 2012 in Mexico City.


Library of Congress – in Washington D.C., USA

The Library of Congress was established in 1800, making it the oldest cultural institution in the United States. It is arguably the largest library in the world, housing 158 million items. Collections were lost and rebuilt on numerous occasions after being lost in fires. While you’re allowed to go in the library as a member of the public and browse the collections, only high-ranking officials can check out books.

A view of the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.


New York Public Library – in New York City, USA

Second only to the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library is one of the largest in the United States. The library was established in 1895 and has 88 neighbourhood branches all across New York City. Its historical collection boasts a 1493 letter written by Christopher Columbus while at sea during his first voyage.

People wait in line to see a copy of The Declaration Of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, on display at the New York Public Library on July 1, 2014 in New York City.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) – in Paris, France

The National Library of France houses 14 million books and printed materials and three million digital documents, with the mission of collecting and preserving France’s heritage. Although the origins of the BNF date back to the 1300s, the newest library building was commissioned by then-President François Mitterrand in 1988. The new building was criticized for its architecture and cost, but it boasts more than one million visitors each year.

This picture taken on July 2, 2009 in Paris shows the BNF.


Trinity College Library Dublin – in Dublin, Ireland

Ireland’s largest library was established in 1592. The Old Library, which houses the famous Book of Kells plus 200,000 of the library’s oldest books, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

A general view of the Old Library in Trinity College University, in Dublin.


The National Library of Belarus – in Minsk, Belarus

This library is the cultural centre of Belarus. Though it was founded in 1922, a new 22-floor building for the library opened in 2006. The new library’s architects Mihail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko designed the building’s main structure after a rhombicuboctahedron that lights up the sky at night.

A picture taken in October 2005 shows the National Library of Belarus in Minsk.


Bibliotheca Alexandrina – in Alexandria, Egypt

The New Library of Alexandria was built to capture the spirit of the original ancient library of Alexandria. In addition to space for eight million books, it houses four museums, a planetarium, art galleries, a conference centre and several academic research centres. Some have alleged the library is, among other things, an expensive vanity project for the Egyptian government.

An Egyptian policeman stands in front of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria Oct. 16 2002, on opening night.


Seattle Central Library – in Seattle, USA

Central Library is the flagship location of the Seattle Public Library system. Opened to the public in 2004, the 11-storey modern glass and steel building houses more than one million books and 400 computers free for the public.

An exterior view of Seattle’s Central Library on May 19, 2004 in Seattle, Washington. The glass and steel structure was designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture of the Netherlands and Seattle-based LMN Architects and cost $165.5 million to build.

Ron Wurzer/Getty Images

British Library – in London, England

The British Library’s collection is more than 150 million items strong, with three million items added every year. In addition to manuscripts, maps, magazines, drawings and patents, the library also boasts eight million stamps (stamps!). According to library staff, if you were to visit every day and view five items each time, it would take you 80,000 years to see the entire collection. Treasured items in the British Library’s collection includes Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, the Magna Carta and the world’s earliest dated printed book.

Visitors enjoy the cafe at The British Library on April 5, 2013 in London, England.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Don’t see your favourite library on this list? Add it below using our commenting system.

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Victims’ relatives frustrated as clashes prevent access to Ukraine crash site – National

ABOVE: OSCE observers once again turned back from MH17 crash site

DONETSK, Ukraine – Almost two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky, the remains of some passengers are feared rotting in the 90-degree (32-degree Celsius) midsummer heat, deepening the frustration of relatives desperate to recover the bodies of their loved ones.

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Fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels has kept away international police charged with securing the site, a sprawling area of farmland and villages. And until it’s secured, there is no way for forensic experts to gather up any remaining bodies or collect debris for analysis.

Even the rebels – who initially oversaw the collection of more than 200 of the 298 bodies in a disorganized, widely criticized effort – have stopped their work, saying attacks from the Ukrainian military have forced them to focus on defending themselves.

READ MORE: Families of MH17 victims seek answers

It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after being exposed for so long to the elements. Dutch officials are adamant there are still bodies to be recovered, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said repeatedly that bringing them back is his government’s top priority.

But Dutch officials were gloomy Wednesday about the prospects of reaching the site any time soon.

“We don’t expect the security situation to improve enough over the next few days to make this possible,” said Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the Dutch-led recovery mission.

Two crucial pieces of evidence – the flight recorders – have already been retrieved and analyzed, however.


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The U.S. and Ukrainian governments say the Boeing 777 was brought down July 17 by a Russian-made missile fired by eastern Ukraine’s pro-Moscow separatists. The separatists deny it; Russia denies providing the Buk missile launcher and says the Ukrainian military may have shot the plane down.

After the investigative team’s failure to reach the site on Wednesday, the United Nations called on both sides in Ukraine’s grinding civil conflict to cease hostilities in the area.

“The families of the victims of this horrific tragedy deserve closure and the world demands answers. International teams must be allowed to conduct their work,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

In their latest attempt to get to the wreckage zone, observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe left in two vehicles from the rebel-held city of Donetsk but got only as far as the city’s outskirts.

The observers talked with rebels and turned back after being “warned of gunfire on the route and in the surrounding areas,” the Dutch said in a statement.

READ MORE: ICAO to set up task force in wake of downing of Flight MH17

Recent offensives by the Ukrainian army have enabled it to take back swaths of territory from the rebels. But the fighting has edged ever closer to the crash zone.

“We are still waiting and it is a miserable process,” said Jasmine Calehr, the grandmother of two Dutch brothers who died in the crash.

Despite her mounting frustration, Calehr said she did not want investigators to go unless it was safe.

“Other people are not supposed to risk their lives,” she said. “But that there is nobody strong enough to put pressure on a bunch of rebels is very painful.”

Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said in New York that Ukrainian forces have adhered to President Petro Poroshenko’s order not to conduct operations within a 40-kilometre (24-mile) radius of the crash site. He accused the rebel side of bombing the site.

Sergeyev said Ukrainian forces are trying to “liberate the villages and the cities around this site and to give the possibility to international experts to come in.”

Of the 298 who died, 194 were Dutch citizens, and Ukraine has asked for their government’s help in investigating the crash. Thirty-seven were from Australia. A total of 227 coffins have been flown to the Netherlands for identification and investigation.

With the debris field left unsecured over the past two weeks, international observers say wreckage has been cut, moved or otherwise tampered with.

Ukrainian government security spokesman Andriy Lysenko added to security concerns Wednesday by accusing the separatists of mining the approaches to the area. Even if rebels leave, he said, it will take time to remove the mines and make the area safe for investigators.

Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine’s security services revealed what he said was fresh satellite imagery proving Russia had created a major cross-border corridor for the delivery of military equipment to the rebels.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said other photographs showed burn marks from rockets fired at Ukrainian troops from a position two kilometres inside Russian territory.

©2014The Canadian Press

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Toronto Morning: What you need to know today – Toronto


The Toronto police officer who shot and killed a teenager on a streetcar last summer will reportedly face an additional charge. According to the National Post, Constable James Forcillo will be hit with an additional charge of attempted murder at the old city hall courts later this morning. The officer currently faces a second degree murder charge in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.Toronto police will release a re-enactment video later this morning on the 29th anniversary of Nicole Morin’s abduction. Detective Sergeant Madelaine Tretter will update the media on the ongoing investigation at 10 a.m. Morin was last seen leaving her family’s apartment with a friend on July 30, 1985 and never returned home.Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Michigan Gov Rick Snyder are expected to announce a U.S.-Canadian panel today to oversee plans for a new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont. The Canadian government has already agreed to finance the construction of the $1-billion bridge, which would open in 2020.Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school sheltering Gaza war refugees Wednesday, killing 15 Palestinians and wounding 90 after tearing through two classroom walls, a health official and a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency said. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.Marcus Stroman was so good against the Boston Red Sox last week that he went with the same plan Tuesday night. And the result was his second solid start in five days, leading the Toronto Blue Bays over the Red Sox 4-2.


A mix of sun and cloud. 40 percent chance of showers this afternoon with risk of a thunderstorm. High 22. UV index 7 or high.

More on current weather conditions and a 7-day forecast. 

To get real-time weather for your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app.

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Mass Transit: Click for TTC and GO Transit Updates.

Roads: Click for the latest Toronto traffic.

Do you have any suggestions or additions for our Toronto morning roundup? Reach us via email at [email protected]杭州夜网, on 桑拿会所 or on Facebook.

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Rights group: Syria using barrel bombs, defying UN – National

BEIRUT – The Syrian government is still indiscriminately bombing civilians with explosives-filled barrels in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution, an international human rights group said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch’s statement came as the Security Council is expected to meet later in the day for a fifth round of reporting on the resolution.

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February’s resolution demanded a halt to all attacks against civilians and indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment — including the use of so-called barrel bombs — in populated areas.

The New York-based group has documented over 650 strikes on rebel-held neighbourhoods in the northern city of Aleppo since the resolution’s adoption. It noted in the report that opposition fighters also carry out indiscriminate attacks, including mortar strikes and car bombings.

The crude weapons – barrels packed with explosives and scraps of metal and pushed out of helicopters – cannot be precisely targeted, and have caused widespread civilian casualties.

Barrel bombs on Aleppo have killed more than 2,000 people this year, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists inside the war-torn country.

“Month after month, the Security Council has sat idly by as the government defied its demands with new barrel bomb attacks on Syrian civilians,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Russia and China need to allow the Security Council to show the same resolve and unanimity it brought to the issue of humanitarian aid to call a halt to these deadly attacks on civilians.”

“In the first 140 days since the resolution was passed, Human Rights Watch identified over 650 new major impact strikes in Aleppo neighbourhoods held by opposition groups, an average of almost five a day,” the group said.

Over 170,000 people have been killed in Syria in more than three years of fighting, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

©2014The Canadian Press

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Police release re-enactment video of Nicole Morin abduction – Toronto

Watch above: Police renew their search for Nicole Morin, a girl who went missing in 1985. Catherine McDonald reports. 

TORONTO – Toronto police have released a re-enactment video on the 29th anniversary of Nicole Morin’s abduction with the hope of finding new leads in the case.

Investigators say 8-year-old Morin was last seen leaving her family’s apartment at 627 The West Mall in Etobicoke around 11 a.m. on July 30, 1985.

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Police say Nicole made plans to meet a friend in the lobby of her building to go swimming and was never seen again.

“We have received leads continually since 1985,” said Detective Sergeant Madelaine Tretter during a press conference on Wednesday. “We have received leads as currently as this year. We’ve never lost hope in finding Nicole.”

Over 15,000 man hours were put into the investigation at the time, including the creation of a 20-member Task Force.

Over 900 community members also joined the search for Morin.

In addition to the re-enactment video, police have also created the hashtag #FindNicole for 桑拿会所 and Facebook users to share photos and information on Morin’s abduction.

“We’re continuing to investigate some of the tips,” said Det. Sgt. Tretter. “We’re actually going back and reviewing the case.”

Earlier this month, investigators announced they were tracking new leads in the case but details were not released to the public at the time.

Police have cleared all family and friends of playing a role in her disappearance.

Authorities are appealing for the public to come forward with any information regarding the case.

“We’ve seen cases in the United States that people missing have been found alive,” Det. Sgt. Tretter explained.

WATCH: Toronto police release a re-enactment video on the abduction case of Nicole Morin in 1985

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Lawyers for Bryan Singer sex abuse accuser want out

HONOLULU – Lawyers for a former child model accusing X-Men director Bryan Singer of sex abuse said Tuesday they want to get off the case because their relationship with the accuser has deteriorated.

Attorneys Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Honolulu asking to withdraw as counsel for Michael Egan III. They say they no longer talk to Egan except through a new lawyer.

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Egan, now 31, accuses Singer in a lawsuit of sexually abusing him during trips to Hawaii when he was 17 in 1999. Singer has denied the allegations.

The California law firm cited in the filing as representing Egan declined to comment.

Gallagher declined to comment, directing questions to Herman. Herman did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press.

Singer’s lawyer, Marty Singer, said in a statement that Egan’s lawyers were willing to settle the case for a low amount, demonstrating a “lack of confidence in their chances for success.” The amount was not specified.

“Bryan and his team will continue to fight to clear his name and intend to pursue charges of malicious prosecution against Egan,” Marty Singer said.

Gallagher and Herman said in their filing that their relationship with Egan “has broken down completely and cannot be repaired.”

The lawyers said they could not give a full explanation except under seal.

Egan previously dropped three similar Hawaii lawsuits against other Hollywood figures. One of the men, former network television executive Garth Ancier, responded with a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Egan, saying the accusations damaged his reputation.

The lawsuits were filed under an unusual state law that created a window for civil cases in sex abuse cases where the statute of limitations has passed.

The lawyer shuffle in Egan’s case against Singer comes as the court is scheduled to consider a motion from Singer to dismiss the case Sept. 9.

As part of that motion, Singer filed a signed declaration saying he was never in Hawaii during the time Egan claimed in the lawsuit and didn’t have sexual contact with him. Singer said he was working on the first X-Men film in the Toronto area at the time.

©2014The Associated Press

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UARB looks for public input on Arthur review – Halifax

HALIFAX — The Utility and Review Board’s investigation into Nova Scotia Power’s preparedness and response to post-tropical storm Arthur is well under way, and the public is getting a chance to tell their Arthur-related story.

At its peak 100,000 residents in Nova Scotia lost power. Outages lasted up to a week, leaving some families and businesses to absorb a major financial hit.

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The backlash towards Nova Scotia Power was fierce, with many people saying it shouldn’t have taken a full week before power was restored across the province. Communication from Nova Scotia Power was unclear and often inaccurate, which compounded the frustration. Residents often weren’t able to get in touch with anyone through the company’s help line, and when they did the estimates on when power would be restored were often wrong.

The electricity company’s slow response to the storm prompted Premier Stephen McNeil to call for a review from the UARB. At the time McNeil said the “response to this storm has not been acceptable quite frankly and the blame is across a number of organizations.”

In the immediate aftermath of the storm Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Neera Ritcey defended the company’s preparedness. “We’re very confident in our overall complement that we have,” said Ritcey. “It’s the extent of the damage that is taking time despite the resources that we have.”

The review will be checking to make sure Nova Scotia Power did have enough resources in place.

There are two ways for the public to have their concerns heard at the UARB’s review.

You can apply for formal standing at the review, where you will be able to submit your own comments on the power company’s response to the storm and also possibly cross examine other witnesses. The deadline for applying for formal standing is July 31.

If you don’t want to be as heavily involved in the review you can submit your comments to the board via email or a posted letter by September 9.

More information can be found on the UARB’s website.

Four groups have already applied for formal standing at the review.

The board will decide whether additional investigations need to be undertaken after reviewing comments from intervenors and consultants, as well as Nova Scotia Power’s response, which is to be filed on September 16.

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James Forcillo faces additional charge in death of Sammy Yatim – Toronto

Watch above: The officer charged with killing Sammy Yatim has now been charged with attempted murder as well. Mark Carcasole reports. 

TORONTO – The Toronto police officer who shot and killed a teenager on a streetcar last summer faces an additional charge of attempted murder.

Constable James Forcillo was given the charge at Old City Hall court house Wednesday morning.

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The officer currently faces a second degree murder charge in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.

The Crown filed the new indictment and Forcillo was charged with attempted murder “by shooting (Yatim) with a firearm and thereby wounding him.”

A report in the National Post quoted Forcillo’s lawyer Peter Brauti saying the crown is looking for a “fallback position” in the case.

Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association, echoed Brauti and suggested the crown was “throwing stuff at the wall [to] see what sticks.”

“We’re surprised at this additional charge,” he said. “To us it sort of indicated that maybe the crown is losing confidence in their case.”

“Why else would they be adding this charge right now?”

READ MORE: Should we be hiring more compassionate cops?

Forcillo’s preliminary inquiry concluded last month though all of the evidence heard by Judge Richard LeDressay is under a publication ban.

The accused returns to the courtroom Sep. 22 for a judicial pre-trial. His trial isn’t expected to start until fall 2015.

Yatim was shot and killed on an empty streetcar on July 27, 2013 – an incident captured on surveillance and cellphone video, on which nine shots can be heard following shouted commands to drop a knife.

Forcillo, who is free on $510,000 bail, was suspended with pay, but quietly returned to active duty at Toronto Crimestoppers in an administrative role in February.

Watch cellphone video of the shooting below. WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised.

With a file from The Canadian Press

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Inmates repeatedly escape Australia prison, return drunk – National

TORONTO – An internal investigation is underway after at least four inmates repeatedly escaped a prison in Australia, became intoxicated and then voluntarily returned to the facility in hopes that their absence went unnoticed.

The group, who were in the low-security section of a work release centre at Darwin’s Berrimah Prison, would reportedly sneak out for a few hours from “time to time” by jumping a cyclone fence and meeting with partners who would supply them with items like alcohol and marijuana.

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  • 5 infamous helicopter prison escapes

READ MORE: Inmate hid in laundry basket to escape, say police

The inmates would then return to the prison before the 7 p.m. headcount.

“It is alleged that four of the prisoners had earlier climbed a perimeter fence to retrieve contraband items from someone on the outside,” said the department spokesman in an interview with Australia’s ABC.

The prisoners were caught after security patrol responded to what appeared to be “yelling and fighting” in one of the rooms on Sunday.

“Five prisoners were found to be in various states of inebriation and were allegedly fighting over a mobile phone,” said the spokesperson in a statement to ABC.

READ MORE: 5 infamous helicopter prison escapes

A search uncovered contraband items such as empty bottles of alcohol, several mobile phones, phone chargers, a cigarette lighter, rolling paper and a small quantity of a “green leafy substance.”

Although it is unknown how many times the inmates have “escaped” to get supplies, authorities say they believe it has occurred “more than once.”

An investigation is now being conducted to determine how many people broke out, and what charges, if any, should be laid.

The inmates have now been transferred to the main prison’s maximum-security section.

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Rain-triggered landslide kills at least 21 in remote Indian village – National

WATCH: Aftermath of the deadly landslide that hit a remote Indian village

NEW DELHI – Rescuers worked in rain Thursday to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said.

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They had already worked through the night using floodlights mounted on jeeps and earthmoving vehicles to pull seven injured people out of the mud and twisted wreckage, Vitthal Banot, a disaster management official, said Thursday. They were taken to a nearby government-run hospital, but their injuries were not life threatening.

But continuing rains and bad roads were hampering rescue efforts in Ambegaon, a village in Pune district in Maharashtra state, said Alok Avasthy, a National Disaster Response Force commander.

Banot said 21 bodies — 11 men and 10 women — had been recovered from under mud, rocks, trees and other debris.

“Everything on the mountain came down,” said Suresh Jadhav, a district official, describing how a cascade of mud, rocks and uprooted trees swamped the area.

But with 70 homes buried and reports of another 158 hit by the landslide, rescuers anticipated more dead in the village, home to 704 people in the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains.

Large crowd of people from nearby villages reached the spot and helped rescue workers in moving fallen trees and rocks with bare hands, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The landslide hit Wednesday morning, but details of the damage only began to trickle out several hours later. The area received 10.8 centimetres (4.25 inches) of rain Tuesday, with a heavy downpour continuing through Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the loss of lives in Maharashtra state and said all possible efforts must be made to help the victims, according to a statement from his office. He sent Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the disaster area.

About 250 disaster response personnel were in the area assisting local police and medical teams who began clearing the debris. At least 100 ambulances were also sent to the area, Jadhav said.

Large crowds of people from nearby villages were helping rescue workers move fallen trees and rocks with bare hands, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

“It is a small village and this happened very suddenly,” local legislator Dilip Walse Patil told CNN-IBN TV network. One local commissioner, Prabhakar Deshmukh, said earlier that more than 150 people could be trapped.

Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June through September.

Pune district is about 150 kilometres (95 miles) southeast of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital. The nearest medical centre is about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the village.

The area around the village has been deforested extensively, increasing its vulnerability to landslides.

Similar deforestation and environmental damage have caused floods and landslides in other parts of India.

On Thursday, heavy rains hit a remote mountainous village in a northern India and six members of a family were feared dead, said police officer Pravin Tamta.

Police have recovered two bodies and were searching for four others in Tehri district in the hilly Uttarakhand state, Tamta said. The village is 300 kilometres (200 miles) north of New Delhi.

Last year, more than 6,000 people were killed as floods and landslides swept through Uttarakhand state during the monsoon season.

©2014The Associated Press

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