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==March==
 
==March==
 
{{newsitem|[[Ukraine]] proposes demilitarized zone in [[Crimea]] |20 Mar| Ukraine has proposed that Crimea, scene of a Russian-backed armed takeover, be declared a demilitarised zone by the United Nations with a pull-out by both Russian and Ukrainian forces. "The Ukrainian government will immediately appeal to the United Nations to recognise Crimea as a demilitarised zone and take necessary measures for Russian forces to leave Crimea and prepare conditions for redeployment of Ukrainian forces," security chief Andriy Parubiy said on 18 Mar. Referring to his demilitarisation proposal, Parubiy, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, said he hoped the UN would support the idea. [http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/03/ukraine-proposes-demilitarised-zone-crimea-201431918409464439.html]}}
 
{{newsitem|[[Ukraine]] proposes demilitarized zone in [[Crimea]] |20 Mar| Ukraine has proposed that Crimea, scene of a Russian-backed armed takeover, be declared a demilitarised zone by the United Nations with a pull-out by both Russian and Ukrainian forces. "The Ukrainian government will immediately appeal to the United Nations to recognise Crimea as a demilitarised zone and take necessary measures for Russian forces to leave Crimea and prepare conditions for redeployment of Ukrainian forces," security chief Andriy Parubiy said on 18 Mar. Referring to his demilitarisation proposal, Parubiy, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, said he hoped the UN would support the idea. [http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/03/ukraine-proposes-demilitarised-zone-crimea-201431918409464439.html]}}
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 +
{{newsitem|[[Somalia|Somali]] militants attack army hotel |20 Mar| A car bomb exploded by the hotel in Bulo-burde where African Union (AU) and Somali officers were staying and gunfire continued for another five hours, witnesses said. Six soldiers were killed, including a top Somali army commander, the AU said. The al-Shabab Islamist group said it was behind the attack and that 30 AU and army officers had been killed. A spokesman for the 22,000-strong AU force in Somalia (Amisom), Col Ali Adan Humad, said all the al-Shabab fighters involved in the raid had been killed, without specifying numbers. Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has waged an eight-year insurgency to overthrow the weak UN-backed government and create an Islamic state in Somalia. [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26626335]}}
  
 
{{newsitem|[[Crimea]] votes to leave [[Ukraine]] for [[Russia]]|17 Mar| Voters in the Crimea region of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly on 16 Mar to secede from their country and join Russia, in a major victory for [[Moscow]] that followed days of international condemnation that the referendum itself was illegitimate. The results of the vote in the predominantly ethnic Russian peninsula were not unexpected, coming several weeks after Kremlin-led forces took control of the region. But the crucial step toward official annexation by Russia will further raise tensions with Ukraine, as well as with the U.S. and Europe, which have promised an escalation of sanctions. An election official said 95% of voters supported joining Russia, with about half of ballots counted, the Associated Press reports. The military threat Russia poses was palpable during the vote in Crimea, with Russian warships circling Crimea and Moscow-directed troops blockading Ukrainian troops in their bases. Russia said at the time of its initial intervention that it was protecting the majority ethnic Russian population against the new Ukrainian government in Kiev after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.[http://time.com/26537/crimea-ukraine-russia-referendum-results/] }}
 
{{newsitem|[[Crimea]] votes to leave [[Ukraine]] for [[Russia]]|17 Mar| Voters in the Crimea region of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly on 16 Mar to secede from their country and join Russia, in a major victory for [[Moscow]] that followed days of international condemnation that the referendum itself was illegitimate. The results of the vote in the predominantly ethnic Russian peninsula were not unexpected, coming several weeks after Kremlin-led forces took control of the region. But the crucial step toward official annexation by Russia will further raise tensions with Ukraine, as well as with the U.S. and Europe, which have promised an escalation of sanctions. An election official said 95% of voters supported joining Russia, with about half of ballots counted, the Associated Press reports. The military threat Russia poses was palpable during the vote in Crimea, with Russian warships circling Crimea and Moscow-directed troops blockading Ukrainian troops in their bases. Russia said at the time of its initial intervention that it was protecting the majority ethnic Russian population against the new Ukrainian government in Kiev after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.[http://time.com/26537/crimea-ukraine-russia-referendum-results/] }}

Revision as of 18:19, 20 March 2014

This is Wikitravel's Travel news section, about issues affecting travelers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see Wikinews.

Please feel free to edit or add to news items below. For instructions on how to use the Newsitem template or how to add news items to the Main Page, please see Wikitravel:How to add travel news.


Contents

March

Ukraine proposes demilitarized zone in Crimea

Ukraine proposes demilitarized zone in Crimea

20 Mar

Ukraine has proposed that Crimea, scene of a Russian-backed armed takeover, be declared a demilitarised zone by the United Nations with a pull-out by both Russian and Ukrainian forces. "The Ukrainian government will immediately appeal to the United Nations to recognise Crimea as a demilitarised zone and take necessary measures for Russian forces to leave Crimea and prepare conditions for redeployment of Ukrainian forces," security chief Andriy Parubiy said on 18 Mar. Referring to his demilitarisation proposal, Parubiy, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, said he hoped the UN would support the idea. [1]


Somali militants attack army hotel

Somali militants attack army hotel

20 Mar

A car bomb exploded by the hotel in Bulo-burde where African Union (AU) and Somali officers were staying and gunfire continued for another five hours, witnesses said. Six soldiers were killed, including a top Somali army commander, the AU said. The al-Shabab Islamist group said it was behind the attack and that 30 AU and army officers had been killed. A spokesman for the 22,000-strong AU force in Somalia (Amisom), Col Ali Adan Humad, said all the al-Shabab fighters involved in the raid had been killed, without specifying numbers. Al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has waged an eight-year insurgency to overthrow the weak UN-backed government and create an Islamic state in Somalia. [2]


Crimea votes to leave Ukraine for Russia

Crimea votes to leave Ukraine for Russia

17 Mar

Voters in the Crimea region of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly on 16 Mar to secede from their country and join Russia, in a major victory for Moscow that followed days of international condemnation that the referendum itself was illegitimate. The results of the vote in the predominantly ethnic Russian peninsula were not unexpected, coming several weeks after Kremlin-led forces took control of the region. But the crucial step toward official annexation by Russia will further raise tensions with Ukraine, as well as with the U.S. and Europe, which have promised an escalation of sanctions. An election official said 95% of voters supported joining Russia, with about half of ballots counted, the Associated Press reports. The military threat Russia poses was palpable during the vote in Crimea, with Russian warships circling Crimea and Moscow-directed troops blockading Ukrainian troops in their bases. Russia said at the time of its initial intervention that it was protecting the majority ethnic Russian population against the new Ukrainian government in Kiev after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.[3]


Earthquake hits LA area

Earthquake hits LA area

17 Mar

A 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook the Los Angeles area on Monday morning, jolting some people awake just before sunrise but bringing no immediate reports of serious damage. The quake, centered about 6 miles north-northwest of Westwood and about 15 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, happened at 6:25 a.m., the U.S. Geological Survey said. At least six aftershocks followed the quake, the strongest of which was a magnitude 2.7, said Egill Hauksson, a California Institute of Technology seismologist. [4]


Deadly bomb blast at Libyan barracks

Deadly bomb blast at Libyan barracks

17 Mar

A car bomb at a barracks has left at least five soldiers dead in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, medical sources say. The attack is said to have targeted people leaving a graduation ceremony for officers. Benghazi is often the scene of attacks blamed on hard-line Islamist groups.It is the largest city in eastern Libya, where some groups want more autonomy and a greater share of the region's oil wealth. [5]


Mauritania Travel Warning

Mauritania Travel Warning

17 Mar

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, and urges those who travel to Mauritania to exercise extreme caution because of activities by terrorist groups in the region, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens. [6]


Protests rage in Venezuela

Protests rage in Venezuela

14 Mar

It's been a month since violent clashes between opposition demonstrators and government forces in Venezuela first grabbed global attention. Protests rage on, and demonstrators show no sign of backing down. A government tally released 11 Mar said at least 23 people had been killed nationwide and more than 200 others have been injured since protests started. The tally did not specify whether the casualties occurred among demonstrators or government forces, or both. Venezuela celebrates Chavez anniversary. Violence surged this week in Tachira state, which borders Colombia. [7]


Nigeria attack

Nigeria attack

14 Mar

Suspected Islamist militants from Boko Haram have attacked an army barracks in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri. The army said it had repelled the attack, inflicting heavy casualties. Eyewitnesses said there were deaths on both sides. The assault on the barracks was an attempt by the attackers to free colleagues held there, a military spokesman said. Militants suspected to be from Boko Haram have killed 500 people this year. Residents said there was a heavy exchange of fire and explosions near Giwa barracks, as the military battled the insurgents. [8]


NYC blast site rescue continues

NYC blast site rescue continues

14 Mar

Rescue operations are continuing two days after a gas leak blast demolished two buildings in East Harlem, New York City, killing eight people. With one person still unaccounted for, authorities are searching the rubble for survivors at the scene. Telescopic cameras and sound devices have been deployed to search small spaces in the wreckage. Less than 50% of debris has been removed from the site after the incident on 12 Mar, which injured more than 60. Bulldozers are removing debris from the scene in the Park Avenue and 116th Street area, with authorities aiming to reach the first floor by 15 Mar and then on to the basement to search for victims. City officials and utility company Con Edison continue to search for the source of a gas leak believed to have caused the explosion. [9]


Clashes in Turkey

Clashes in Turkey

11 Mar

Clashes have erupted at a hospital in Istanbul where a boy has died nine months after he was struck on the head by a tear gas canister fired by police. In Ankara, police fired tear gas to disperse some 2,000 protesters. Further protests were reported in the coastal cities of Antalya and Izmir. [10]


Another storm to hit Midwest

Another storm to hit Midwest

11 Mar

The relentless winter of 2013-14 has another trick up its sleeve: A potent snowstorm is forecast to blast portions of the Midwest and Northeast tonight, Wednesday and Thursday with as much as 2 feet of snow. If enough snow falls, the storm could break Detroit's seasonal snowfall record and give Chicago its second snowiest winter. It also could bring the heaviest snowfall of the year to Burlington, Vt., where 12-16 inches are forecast. "The corridor from northern Illinois to northern New England has the greatest potential of being targeted by the substantial snow," according to AccuWeather meteorologist. [11]


Flooding in central Montana

Flooding in central Montana

11 Mar

Floods that washed out rural roads in central Montana left hundreds of people stranded and forced the evacuation of 30 homes in one small town, as forecasts predicted more rain and snow that could worsen conditions in the region. The flooding, which saw water begin streaming over rural roadways near the ranching community of Roundup during the weekend, came as warmer-than-usual temperatures rapidly melted deep snows amid recent storms that brought abundant rains, weather forecasters said. Floods also threatened to inundate three towns in north-central Wyoming where vast ice formations blocked the flow of the Bighorn River and caused it to spill from its banks. [12]


Crimea military base stand-off over

Crimea military base stand-off over

7 Mar

A stand-off involving pro-Russian soldiers at a Ukrainian military base outside the Crimean city of Sevastopol has reportedly ended without incident. Troops wearing Russian uniform without insignia have blockaded bases since taking control of Crimea last week. The incident came hours after Russian parliamentarians promised to support Crimea if it wanted to become part of Russia. Crimea's parliament announced it would hold a referendum on 16 March on whether to join Russia or remain part of Ukraine. [13]


Rio rubbish collectors strike

Rio rubbish collectors strike

7 Mar

Rubbish is still piling up in Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian city's street cleaners continue a strike, despite an announced agreement with the union. Hundreds of refuse workers protested at the mayor's office demanding better pay and working conditions. Tonnes of rubbish left after many street parties and by samba schools and beach goers were left piling up in the city for days.[14]


Flooding in Charlotte

Flooding in Charlotte

7 Mar

Meteorologists say utility crews and North Carolina residents will get several days of spring-like weather to help them clear away the mess left by the most damaging winter storm in more than a decade. While the powerful low pressure system was mostly an inconvenience in the immediate Charlotte area, it left flooded roads in Cabarrus and Union counties and much bigger problems to the north, where more than 460,000 customers were without electricity. Forecasters say much nicer conditions are ahead this weekend and into early next week. High temperatures are predicted to reach the mid and upper 60s Saturday and Sunday and then the lower 70s early in the week. [15]


Protests in Kashmir

Protests in Kashmir

7 Mar

Hundreds of students in Kashmir protested today against the treatment of 67 Kashmiri students studying in India who were suspended and faced sedition charges after they cheered for the Pakistan cricket team in a televised match against India. Although the sedition charges were withdrawn last night, the issue has snowballed into a larger controversy, exposing what critics say is a shrinking space for freedom of expression within the Indian democracy and the deep fault lines that run between India and Kashmir. [16]


Malaria 'spreading to new altitudes'

Malaria 'spreading to new altitudes'

7 Mar

Researchers have found that people living in the highlands of Africa and South America are at an increased risk of catching the mosquito-borne disease during hotter years. They believe that temperature rises in the future could result in millions of additional cases in some areas. The research is published in the journal Science. To investigate, scientists looked at densely populated areas in the highlands of Colombia and Ethiopia, where there are detailed records of both temperature and malaria cases from the 1990s to 2005. They found that in warmer years, malaria shifted higher into the mountains, while in cooler years it was limited to lower elevations. [17]


February

Big storm headed to California

Big storm headed to California

26 Feb

California is bracing for two storms which are expected to dump the most significant rainfall in almost three years, promising a brief respite to the state’s drought. Moderate to heavy showers on Feb 26 were due to be followed on Feb 28 by heavier torrents, a blessing for farmers and water management authorities but unwelcome news for motorists and organisers of the Oscars. The deluge is expected to dump between one and three inches of rain in coastal and valleys areas and five to seven inches in hills and mountains – a dramatic event by California’s desiccated standards. [18]


Barricades go up in Venezuela

Barricades go up in Venezuela

25 Feb

As Venezuelan opposition leaders push for demonstrators to stay in the streets, "he who tires, loses" is their mantra. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles called for demonstrators to keep demanding change from the South American country's government and described President Nicolas Maduro as "an error in the history of the country." Outrage at soaring crime and a tanking economy triggered protests earlier this month.Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said that 13 people have died and at least 147 people have been injured in clashes since protests began. [19]


Pollution hides Beijing skyline

Pollution hides Beijing skyline

25 Feb

Beijing remained cloaked in hazardous white pollution hiding much of its skyline, despite the announced closures or production cuts at 147 of the city's industrial plants. PM2.5, a key measure of pollution, reached 444 micrograms per cubic meter in central Beijing, according to the National Meteorological Center. The World Health Organization considers 25 micrograms a safe level. The meteorological center said moderate or severe pollution had persisted in northern China, and that it was particularly serious in Beijing and its surrounding area. It forecast that the pollution would continue in parts of eastern, northern and central China, when precipitation and wind should help to disperse it. [20]


Kashmir villagers clash with Indian troops

Kashmir villagers clash with Indian troops

25 Feb

Hundreds of angry villagers have clashed with police in Indian-administered Kashmir following suspicions that security forces shot dead seven civilians they mistook for rebels, a police officer and a witness said. The villagers torched a police station in the forested Kupwara region close to the defacto border with Pakistn to demand security forces hand over the bodies for identification and for burial, an unnamed officer said. "Police fired tear gas and warning shots in the air to disperse the angry crowd who were hurling rocks at them," the officer said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media. [21]


Mass arrest of protesters in Russia

Mass arrest of protesters in Russia

25 Feb

Russian police have made nearly 500 arrests at opposition rallies in the country's two main cities, including several well-known protest figures. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was among those picked up in Moscow, as he attended an unapproved rally near the Kremlin. While the rallies in Moscow and St Petersburg were called to protest at the Bolotnaya sentences, some demonstrators also made shows of solidarity with the protesters in Ukraine, who brought down President Viktor Yanukovych last week.


Clash erupts on Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Clash erupts on Temple Mount in Jerusalem

25 Feb

Israeli police have clashed with Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A police spokesman said about 20 youths threw stones and fireworks at officers from the holy site, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). Police then entered the compound and arrested three people, he added. The unrest came as the Israeli parliament prepared to debate a motion calling on Israel to "realise its sovereignty over the Temple Mount". [22]


Ukraine truce crumbles amid gunfire

Ukraine truce crumbles amid gunfire

20 Feb

A short-lived truce crumbled as gunfire erupted at Independence Square, the center of anti-government protests and an increasingly violent crisis that threatens catastrophe for this divided nation. As protesters fortified barricades and some tried to dodge apparent sniper bullets, Western leaders denounced the violence. Russia's United Nations ambassador accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup. The head of the protesters' medical service said 100 people died and 500 were injured in clashes on Feb 20, just hours after the government declared a truce in fighting that had shocked world leaders with the deaths of 28 people two days before. The violence inflames a crisis that started in November, when President Viktor Yanukovych reversed a decision to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead turned toward Russia. Ukraine has long been divided between historic loyalties to Europe and its eastern neighbor. [23]


Violence escalates in divided Venezuela

Violence escalates in divided Venezuela

20 Feb

Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several cities in an escalation of protests against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government, witnesses said. At least five people have died since the unrest turned violent last week, with scores of injuries and arrests. The demonstrators, mainly students, blame the government for violent crime, high inflation, product shortages and alleged repression of opponents. In affluent east Caracas overnight, security forces fired teargas and bullets, chasing youths who threw Molotov cocktails and blocked streets with burning trash, witnesses said. Tensions have escalated since opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, turned himself in to troops this week. He is being held in Caracas' Ramo Verde jail and faces charges of fomenting the violence. [24]


Snowstorm sweeps into New York

Snowstorm sweeps into New York

13 Feb

A powerful storm system that left thousands of commuters stranded in the South and caused power failures along the East Coast swept into New York, blanketing the city yet again in a cover of white. Local and state officials in more than a dozen states scrambled to handle the blast of winter weather, the latest in a series of storms that have left many communities short on critical supplies – especially salt — needed to mitigate the effects of snow and ice. “It is a storm that has brought wide-ranging effects, from heavy snow and ice to severe weather, including strong winds and hail, down south,” said Joey Picca, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. Related Coverage. In New York City, the storm gathered in intensity just as people were heading to work, producing near white-out conditions in some areas. The visibility in Central Park was less than a quarter mile, according to the National Weather Service, and snow fell at a pace of nearly two inches per hour.[25]


Anti-government protests in Venezuela

Anti-government protests in Venezuela

13 Feb

Armed vigilantes on motorcycles attacked anti-government demonstrators, setting off a stampede by firing into crowds after the biggest protest to date against President Nicolas Maduro’s year-old administration. Two people were killed. Chaos erupted in downtown Caracas when the gang roared up and began shooting at more than 100 protesters who had been sparring with security forces at the tail end of heated but otherwise peaceful protests organized by hard-line members of the opposition. Most participants in the demonstrations had already gone home. [26]


Floods hit homes in England

Floods hit homes in England

13 Feb

Exceptionally strong winds in western England and Wales may add to people's woes. The Met Office, the UK's national weather service, issued a "red" warning, its most serious, saying winds were expected to gust at 80 mph across a wide area and might reach 100 mph in the most exposed parts of west and northwest Wales. After the wettest January in England since 1766, even if the heavy rain stops, ground water levels are so high that it could be weeks before life returns to normal. Streets have turned into rivers, cars are submerged up to their windshields, and homes have been abandoned. And Britain is not the only place facing wild weather. Huge waves are crashing onto the Portuguese coast, causing extensive damage, and there are high wind alerts in parts of Ireland, which faces the worst storm yet of the winter. [27]


Bomb explosions in Somalia

Bomb explosions in Somalia

13 Feb

At least six people have died after a car bomb exploded close to the gate of the international airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, police say. Most of those who died were passers-by and several UN body guards were wounded in the explosion, the witnesses said. The al-Shabab Islamist group has said it was behind the explosion in one of the most heavily fortified areas in the city - where many embassies are based. Residents also report an increase in sustained night-time attacks, with mortar and gunfire, on the northern outskirts of the city. [28]


Flood Emergency Declared, Bolivia

Flood Emergency Declared, Bolivia

4 Feb

Officials in Bolivia say the number of people who have died due to torrential rain since the beginning of the year has risen to 29. More than 35,000 families have been affected by the rains and the flooding, the ministry of defense said. The worst affected province is Beni, in north-eastern Bolivia, where 10 people have died, followed by La Paz in the north-west and central Cochabamba. The rainy season in Bolivia usually lasts until March. [29]


Ecuador Tungurahua volcano spews ash

Ecuador Tungurahua volcano spews ash

4 Feb

The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador has been spewing lava and ash, covering villages hundreds of kilometres away with a white dusting. The ash travelled as far as Loja province, on the border with Peru. The volcano, which became active again in 1999 after a long period of dormancy, lies 135km (85 miles) south-east of the capital, Quito. The latest series of eruptions began on 1 Feb with two moderate explosions followed by a third of greater size. The blasts launched an 8km-high column of ash above the volcano. The lava reached the Acupashal mountain pass, blocking the route to the town of Banos, local authorities said, The authorities have declared an orange alert, the second highest, but the president of the Emergency Operations Committee, Hermuy Calle, said the activity was "simply a release of pressure", and that the volcanic activity was not expected to increase further in the coming hours. [30]


Heavy snow cuts power to Iran homes

Heavy snow cuts power to Iran homes

4 Feb

Heavy snow in northern Iran has left around 480,000 homes without power and some towns and villages cut off. An official in Mazandaran province, on the Caspian Sea, said the winter storms were the worst in 50 years, with two metres of snow falling in some areas since the weekend. The head of Iran's Red Crescent said around 11,000 people had been rescued after getting stuck in heavy snow. "Some 3,800 people have also been settled in emergency shelters," Pir Hossein Kolivand was quoted as saying by the official Irna news agency. Irna reported that 79 people had been taken to hospital as a result of the bad weather. [31]


January 2014

Bangkok state of emergency

Bangkok state of emergency

21 Jan

The Thai government has declared a state of emergency in the capital Bangkok and surrounding areas to cope with protests aimed at forcing the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power. Chalerm Yubumrung, Thailand's labour minister, announced that the restrictions would last 60 days. "We need it because the protesters have closed government buildings, banks and escalated the situation, which has caused injuries and deaths. The government sees the need to announce the emergency decree to keep the situation under control," the minister said. The decree will allow security agencies to impose curfews, detain suspects without charge, censor media, ban political gatherings of more than five people and declare areas off-limits. Yingluck said police, not the military, would mainly be used and her government had no intention of confronting the protesters. [32]


East Coast Snowstorm, NYC

East Coast Snowstorm, NYC

21 Jan

The storm, which threatened to dump more than a foot of snow on New York City, already grounded thousands of flights in the region, and the evening commute promised to be treacherous for millions of workers. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority urged customers using Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road to leave work early, warning that snow drifts as tall as two feet could cause significant delays. In Washington, the government was shut down. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who canceled his inaugural ball on Ellis Island because of the storm, declared a state of emergency. [33]


Clashes in Ukraine

Clashes in Ukraine

21 Jan

Violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police continued in the center of Ukraine's capital, Kiev. Demonstrators have been rallying since the weekend in defiance of new laws that limit the right to protest. The Interior Ministry said Tuesday that more than 30 protesters had been detained and 119 police officers injured since Jan 19, when the clashes began. The city health care department reported 122 injured and 50 hospitalized. The number injured is probably higher, as many people reportedly turn to medical volunteers for help rather than official services for fear of consequences. Protest organizers said those treated in hospitals are questioned by police and registered as participants of mass protests, which may lead to arrest and criminal charges. The controversial new protest laws go into effect on Jan 22, raising concerns they could be used to put down demonstrations. [34]


Thousands displaced by Jakarta deadly floods

Thousands displaced by Jakarta deadly floods

21 Jan

Several Indonesians have been killed and thousands displaced by deadly floods in Indonesia's capital. More than 10,000 Indonesians have fled their homes in the capital due to flooding that has left five dead, an official said, with people using rubber dinghies and wading through waist-deep water to reach safer ground. "So far 10,530 people in Jakarta have been displaced by floods caused by heavy rains," disaster agency official Tri Budiarto said. Buildings in some parts of the capital, which has a population of 10 million and is regularly afflicted by floods during the six-month rainy season, were half submerged, with roads blocked in many areas. [35]


Shangrila destroyed by heater blaze

Shangrila destroyed by heater blaze

21 Jan

Chinese authorities have arrested a guesthouse owner whose heater allegedly sparked a fire that burned for nearly 10 hours and destroyed an ancient Tibetan town. More than 2,000 firefighters, soldiers, police, local officials and volunteers responded to the early morning blaze , which destroyed 343 houses and many historic artifacts in Dukezong, Shangri La county's old neighbourhood. Once called Gyaitang Zong, the county surrounding Dukezong renamed itself Shangri La in 2001, hoping to draw tourists by referencing the mythical Himalayan land described in James Hilton's 1933 novel. [36]


Military airstrikes in northwestern Pakistan kill dozens

Military airstrikes in northwestern Pakistan kill dozens

21 Jan

At least 40 people were killed and scores were wounded in overnight airstrikes by the Pakistani military on areas in the country's northwest where militants are based. The airstrikes in the northwest came after recent militant bombings that struck military targets. The strikes by fighter jets and helicopter gunships targeted areas in North Waziristan, a Taliban stronghold bordering Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It was unclear whether there were any civilian casualties in the attacks. The military official said the dead and wounded were militants. [37]


Australia heat wave sparks wildfires

Australia heat wave sparks wildfires

16 Jan

Temperatures soared to more than 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) in southeastern Australia as a heat wave strained electricity supplies and sparked wildfires. Extreme heat across the states of Victoria and South Australia is causing high demand for electricity and as many as 100,000 homes and businesses may be affected by power outages and reduced supply. Bushfire warnings were in place across the two states and New South Wales, with high winds forecast to increase the danger, emergency authorities said. [38]


13 dead, 40,000 displaced in Indonesia floods

13 dead, 40,000 displaced in Indonesia floods

16 Jan

Landslides and rising waters have cut off several villages in one district of the province of North Sulawesi province, leaving about 1,000 residents stranded, the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) said. Heavy rains started drenching the region and have resulted in about 40,000 people leaving their homes to seek temporary shelter, according to the NDMA. Power is down in most parts of the region and communication lines are disrupted. There are four main rivers in Manado, the provincial capital, that are overflowing, the NDMA said.This year's floods are far worse than previous ones, NDMA spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. Heavy rains have also caused deadly landslides and flooding this week on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao -- roughly 500 kilometers (320 miles) north of North Sulawesi. [39]


Thailand crisis

Thailand crisis

13 Jan

Protesters are blocking roads in parts of the Thai capital, Bangkok, in a bid to oust the government before snap elections on 2 February. The protesters have built barricades and occupied key road junctions, and want to replace the government with an unelected "People's Council". The government has deployed 18,000 security personnel to maintain order. Thousands are reported to have turned out for demonstrations. Protesters say they intend to achieve what they are calling a shutdown of the capital. [40]


Tonga damaged by powerful cyclone

Tonga damaged by powerful cyclone

13 Jan

Homes have been flattened and trees uprooted in the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga after it was hit by one of the most powerful storms on record. Cyclone Ian battered the central Ha'apai islands, home to 8,000 people, over the weekend, packing gusts of up to 287km/h (178mph). It was a "miracle" only one woman lost her life, said emergencies director Leveni Aho. Rebuilding could take years, said aid agency Oxfam. "It's not only the people's houses that need to be rebuilt, it's also the infrastructure like the ferry terminal, the port, the roads. It's really badly damaged," Oxfam New Zealand executive director told Radio New Zealand. [41]


Tibetan town fire system shut off

Tibetan town fire system shut off

13 Jan

The fire-fighting system in an ancient Tibetan town in Shangri-La county which was destroyed by a blaze was shut off at the time, Chinese officials say. The equipment was closed down to prevent pipes from bursting in below-freezing temperatures, the local fire brigade said. Nearly 300 mostly wooden houses were destroyed in the blaze in Dukezong in Yunnan province on 11 Jan. The town, which dates back 1,300 years, is popular with tourists. Officials said that more than 2,600 people have lost their homes in the blaze, which raged for nearly 10 hours before it was put out by 2,000 firefighters, police and volunteers. No fatalities were reported. A store owner surnamed Pan told AP on Monday that they would likely be rebuilding what they had lost. "Travel is really the only industry here," he said. [42]


Puerto Rico Earthquake

Puerto Rico Earthquake

13 Jan

Puerto Rico was hit with a large earthquake on 12 Jan. A 6.4 magnitude quake hit about 35 miles north of Hatillo. The tremors were felt by several villages along the northern coast. The National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a small possibility of a local tsunami following the earthquake off the coast. However experts don't think there is a widespread, destructive tsunami impending. It was later determined that no tsunami formed, the Associated Press reports. [43]


Eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra

Eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra

04 Jan

The emergency response to the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra has been extended until January 4, 2014 as the volcano still shows signs of increased activity.[44]


Blizzard to reach from NYC to Boston Thursday night

Blizzard to reach from NYC to Boston Thursday night

02 Jan

During Thursday and Thursday night, the storm will affect 20 states with more than 120 million people in the Midwest (United States of America) and the Northeast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities.[45]


Heatwave hits inland Australia

Heatwave hits inland Australia

01 Jan

Heatwave: temperatures climb towards 50C in parts of Australia. Weatherzone says intense air mass is centred over northern NSW and western Queensland, but it's cooler in the capital cities.[46]


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