Featured World News
08/04/21 10:21 AM
Leading opposition figures went on trial in Belarus Wednesday, part of a multi-pronged crackdown on dissent in the ex-Soviet nation that was rocked by months of protests
08/03/21 4:44 PM
A polar bear in Greenland may be shot dead next time it endangers people after several close encounters, including one where it bit the hand of a documentary team member, authorities said.The attack on the documentary team near an army base comes as the autonomous Danish Arctic territory experiences a record heatwave and as polar bears wander further for food.Early on Monday, while the sun does not set in summer at this latitude, the bear poked his head through a poorly closed window of a research station where the documentary team was staying about 400 metres from the small base of Daneborg.A Danish Artic military unit based in Greenland said the bear bit the hand of one of the three male team members before they used warning pistols to force the animal to flee.Transported first to Daneborg, the injured documentary maker had to be evacuated to Akureyri, a town in Iceland.Already blamed for five incidents until now, the bear returned again later in the morning and then again overnight Monday to Tuesday when it broke a window of the research station before fleeing."The local authorities have from now on categorised the bear as 'problematic,' which allows for it to be shot dead, if it returns," the Danish military unit said.The incident comes as the northeast of Greenland experiences a heatwave, with a new record temperature of 23.4 degrees Celsius (74.2 Fahrenheit).Experts say the retreat of the ice pack, the hunting ground of the polar bear, forces them to stay on land more often and they find it harder to find food and sustain a species already considered vulnerable.Although still rare, the close encounters with humans are increasing as bears more frequently approach inhabited areas in their search for food, environmental protection officers say.A study that appeared in July 2020 in the publication Nature Climate Change warned that polar bears faced extinction around 2100. They currently number around 25,000 individuals.© 2021 AFP
07/31/21 10:59 AM
By Ruma Paul (Reuters) -Heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides and flash floods in refugees camps displacing thousands of Rohingya Muslims in southeastern Bangladesh this week, U.N. and other officials said on Friday, with further heavy rainfall expected. At least six Rohingya, including three children, died in landslides and flooding while 15 Bangladeshis were killed and more than 200,000 stranded by flooding in Cox's Bazar, said Mamunur Rashid, the district administrator. Nearly one million Rohingya live in crowded camps in the border district of Cox's Bazar, the world's largest refugee settlement, after fleeing a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in 2017. The refugees mostly live in shacks made of bamboo and plastic sheets that cling to steep, bare hills. TV footage showed flooded homes and muddy water cascading down steps and hillsides. Children played in chest-high waters. "This is like a nightmare," said Rohingya Rokeya Begum. "I have never seen such flooding in the camps in four years. When the water came, there was nobody from my family at home to help. I was alone but I could take my belongings to a safer place. Now I am staying with another family." The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said more than 21,000 refugees had been "affected" by the flooding while nearly 4,000 shelters had been damaged or destroyed. It said more than 13,000 were forced to relocate in the camps, while thousands of facilities were damaged, including health clinics and toilets. Access has been hindered due to damage to roads, pathways and bridges. And the flooding is likely to get worse. "Heavy rainfall is expected during the next few days, and as such, challenges are likely to increase,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh for the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration. Refugees, many of them still recovering from massive fires that tore through the camps in March, said landslides and floods left homes "totally covered with mud". "Somehow my family members could evacuate," said Abu Siddique, who lives in the Balukhali refugee camp. "The mud that came down from the hill entered my home... All of our belongings inside are covered in mud." (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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