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XINHUA (China), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

An explosion in a coal mine in southwest China has killed 19 people and left 28 trapped, reports Chinese news agency Xinhua.

According to state media, rescue efforts are still underway to rescue the remaining miners, reports BBC News.

The accident occurred Wednesday at around 6 p.m. at Xiojiawan Coal Mine in the province of Sichuan.

154 people were working underground when a gas explosion struck the mine (watch footage of the explosion below).

According to Xinhua, the mine belongs to Zhengjin Industrial and Trade Co., Ltd. in Panzhihua.

The owner of the mine has been taken into police custody and the authority launched an investigation.

Safety rules are often ignored in China, a country that has an estimated 12,000 coal mines. Last year, 1,973 people were killed in mining accidents.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Overselling The Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal Is One More Putin Scam

Moscow and Kyiv reached a much hailed accord in July to allow transport of Ukrainian agricultural output from ports along the Black Sea. However, analysis from Germany's Die Welt and Ukraine's Livy Bereg shows that it has done little so far to solve the food crisis, and is instead being used by Putin to advance his own ambitions.

Vladimir Putin inspecting the wheat harvesting at the village of Vyselki, Krasnodar Territory in 2009.

Oleksandr Decyk, Christian Putsch

-Analysis-

Brokered by Turkey on July 22, the Grain Deal between Russia and Ukraine ensured the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the country's largest sea ports. Exports by sea of grains and oilseeds have been increasing. Optimistic reports, featuring photos of the first deliveries to Africa, are circulating about how the risk of a global food crisis has been averted.

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But a closer look shows a different story. The Black Sea ports are not fully opened, which will impact not only Ukraine. The rest of the world can expect knock-on effects, including potentially hunger for millions. Indeed, a large proportion of the deliveries are not going to Africa at all.

As with other reported "breakthroughs" in the war, Vladimir Putin has other objectives in mind — and is still holding on to all his cards.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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