Deadly Mumbai Building Collapse Follows Days of Heavy Rain
Monsoons have flooded parts of India this week, adding to the toll of a season that has killed more than 1,200 people across South Asia.
A building collapsed Thursday in Mumbai, India, killing at least two people and trapping around 30 others after days of flooding rains in the city.
Rescuers pulled several people from the rubble of the building. A police official told reporters nine families were living there.
Monsoons have flooded India's commercial capital this week and forecasters said more heavy rain was possible in the region Thursday before easing on Friday.
India's neighbors have also been hit by the monsoon season, which began in June and has affected more than 40 million people.
Karachi, Pakistan saw heavy rain Thursday and storms were expected across the country for several days.
Bangladesh and Nepal have also experienced severe flooding that forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Top US Admiral in Pacific Seen as Ambassador to Australia
U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be looking to the military to fill yet another senior post in his administration, according to reports published Wednesday.
Citing three unnamed officials, The Washington Post said Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, is being considered for appointment as the next U.S. ambassador to Australia.
Nominating the Pacific Command's top flag officer to be U.S. ambassador in Canberra would mean another high-profile Trump administration position likely would be held by a member of the U.S. military's most senior cadre, known as general and flag officers. Active-duty or retired generals already serve the president as defense secretary, national security adviser and White House chief of staff.
No decision has yet been made, The Post said, but Australian officials said they would be delighted to see Harris installed as the next U.S. representative in Canberra.
Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said Harris is “a very capable, competent man who knows Australia well.” Bishop said her most recent encounter with Harris was in Sydney during bilateral ministerial discussions in June.
Harris has led the U.S. Pacific Command, or USPACOM, since May 2015. USPACOM has not commented on reports of Harris's possible appointment, of course, but the command’s official social media page has retweeted the admiral's thoughts last year about the alliance between the United States and Australia: “Australia-US alliance matters – it matters to our two great nations, it matters to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and, in my opinion, it matters to the world. No one should doubt the power of this staying alliance to maintain security, prosperity and peace."
Harris was speaking in December to the Australian think tank the Lowy Institute, which featured his remarks on the front of its website Wednesday.
Harris is widely reported to hold tough positions on China, a country key to both the United States and Australia, both strategically and economically. He is known to have described China’s actions in the contested South China Sea as building a “Great Wall of Sand.”
Japan’s Kyodo News reported in May that China's ambassador to the U.S. requested that Harris be removed from his command post as a condition for Beijing's help on North Korea. The Washington Post reported that a similar request was made to President-elect Trump's transition team after last year's U.S. elections.
Chinese officials in Washington and Beijing have denied they made such requests.