Stromboli eruption: Tourists flee ‘high
intensity’ explosion on Italian island as volcano spews ash and lava(Source The Independent)
volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli has erupted for the second time in
two months, sending streams of ash and lava into the sky and sea and forcing
tourists to flee.
Stromboli, a tiny island off the
north coast of Sicily, is a popular spot for visitors to the area who come to
enjoy the beaches.
on Wednesday a “high intensity” explosion was recorded by Italy’s National Institute of
Geophysics and Vulcanology as the volcano erupted, spewing huge clouds of black
smoke and ash high into the sky. Streams of lava also were seen rolling down
the hills into the sea, forcing tourists to flee.
posted online show visitors who were close to the shore in small boats
desperately racing out to sea to avoid clouds of hot ash, which tore down the
slopes of the volcano and into the waters surrounding the island.
injuries or damage has so far been reported, although the lava flows did start
several small fires, forcing the authorities to send helicopters to dump water
on the conflagrations.
eruption is the second major activity at Stromboli in recent months. In July,
a similar sudden explosion
killed a tourist who was hiking towards the volcano’s summit, and injured others.
EU insists Iran nuclear deal must be part of
any future pact
(Source Associated Press)
European Union’s top diplomat said Thursday that the existing nuclear deal
between Iran and world powers must not be sacrificed as part of any U.S. moves
to forge a new security agreement with Tehran amid attempts to set up a meeting
between President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart.
have risen sharply between Washington and Tehran since Trump unilaterally
pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement last year.
re-imposed and escalated U.S. sanctions kicked in, further hurting Iran’s
virtually moribund economy, Iran lost billions of dollars in business deals
allowed by the nuclear accord. The U.S. sanctions largely blocked Tehran from
selling crude abroad, a crucial source of hard currency for the country.
Separately, the Islamic Republic was accused of launching attacks on a number
of cargo ships in the strategic Straits of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Persian
EU, meanwhile, has encouraged Iran to respect the nuclear deal and has set up a
system to help keep money moving into the country. Tehran, however, has
increased its uranium enrichment activities after the U.S. pullout from the nuclear
a G7 summit on Monday, Trump said there’s a “really good chance” he
could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, although Rouhani wants sanctions
lifted before agreeing to such high-profile talks.
at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Finland what a possible meeting might
mean for the Europeans, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini,
said the pact aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is a multinational
agreement enshrined in a U.N. Security Council resolution and that “what
is existing needs to be preserved.”
Trump cancels Poland visit as hurricane heads
(Source Yahoo) US President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled a trip to Poland
as Hurricane Dorian bore down on Florida, where it could make landfall as a
dangerous Category 4 storm. Trump, who had been scheduled to attend World War
II anniversary commemorations in Poland this weekend, said he would focus
instead on preparations for the approaching hurricane.
highest priority is the safety and security of the people in the path of the
hurricane,” he told reporters in the White House Rose Garden.
President Mike Pence would go to Poland in his place, Trump said.
called his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda to apologize for the cancelation,
saying the storm could be “catastrophic,” the president’s chief of
staff Krzysztof Szczerski said, according to the PAP agency. Weather
forecasters said Dorian, currently a Category 1 storm — the lowest on a five-level
scale — could make landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with the
potential to cause life-threatening storm surges. Florida’s governor declared a
state of emergency in all 67 of the state’s counties, warning the millions of
people who live up and down the eastern coast of the “Sunshine State”
to prepare for a potentially major hurricane.
Floridians really need to monitor Hurricane Dorian and make the necessary
preparations,” Governor Ron DeSantis said. “Have your plan and make
those preparations right now.”
‘Catastrophic impacts’ – Georgia — another southeastern state potentially in
the storm’s path — followed suit for 12 counties. Governor Brian Kemp said the
storm “has the potential to produce catastrophic impacts to citizens”
throughout the southeast coastal region of the United States.
New China tariffs a ‘job killer,’ US industry
(Source AFP) President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods are a
“job killer” that will slam consumers and could make a recession more
likely, industry groups said Wednesday. The latest cry for peace in Trump’s
year-long trade war came just days before the first in series of tariff
increases is due to go into effect — potentially raising prices ahead of the
crucial holiday shopping period. In a sharp deterioration in the US-China trade
war, Trump last week ramped up the punitive duties for the vast majority of US
imports from China.
five percent increases, which will take the tariffs to 15 percent and 30
percent, are due to roll out in stages through December and target some popular
items, such as laptops, mobile phones and some shoes. More than 200 footwear
manufacturers and retailers, including major brands such as Nike and Foot
Locker, signed onto the letter alerting that the new tariffs could cost US
consumers an additional $4 billion a year and increase the chances of an
broad array of 160 other trade groups — including software and electronics
manufacturers, as well as retailers, liquor producers and others — also warned
Trump of higher prices and damaged consumer confidence and urged him to abandon
the tariff strategy. “We’ve been telling the White House since the
beginning that tariffs will be paid by Americans in the form of higher prices,
and that due to our already high import taxes, this will be a job killer,”
Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America,
said in a statement.
Russia’s nuclear weapons tests were linked to
a radioactive explosion. Trump’s friendliness with Putin makes it hard for NATO
to do anything about it.
a radioactive explosion in Nyonoksa, Russia, this month, NATO has been watching
closely, and, according to sources in the alliance, quickly concluded it was
part of a reckless test to develop an experimental new nuclear-powered cruise
missile. However, NATO has felt incapable of taking a hard line with President
Vladimir Putin over his weapons program in part because of US President Donald
Trump’s troublingly friendly approach to Russia, three NATO officials told
to the officials — who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to
discuss the issue on the record — the agency agrees with widespread assessments
that the explosion at a military facility near Nyonoksa on August 8 was part of
a nuclear weapons program. The blast killed five scientists and threw
radioactive fallout into the air that could be detected in Western Europe. But
it has not prompted a strong international response.
officials each said that NATO was unlikely to directly confront Russia because
the incident occurred at a time when multiple strategic issues from Syria to
Ukraine to election interference already vex relations. “Developing a
nuclear-powered cruise missile to carry and deliver nuclear warheads is
obviously something that concerns NATO,” said one military intelligence
official based at NATO headquarters in Brussels. However, the official said
that Trump’s recent suggestion to reinstate Russia to the G7 group of developed
economies has hobbled NATO’s ability to respond robustly.
AMAZON BURNING: BRAZIL REPORTS RECORD SURGE
IN FOREST FIRES
raging in Brazil‘s Amazon rainforest have hit a record high number
this year, according to new data from the country’s space research agency.
spotted more than 9,500 new forest fires since Thursday alone, mostly in the
Amazon basin, home to the world’s largest tropical forest and seen as vital to
slowing the pace of global warming.
showed the northernmost state of Roraima covered in dark smoke, while
neighbouring Amazonas declared an emergency in the south of the state and
in its capital Manaus over the blazes. Acre, on the border with Peru, has
been on environmental alert since Friday due to the fires.
daytime blackout on Monday in Sao Paulo caused by smoke brought in by strong
winds from forest fires in Amazonas and the state of Rondonia, more than
2,700km away, prompted tens of thousands of people to take to social media and
voice their concerns for the welfare of the Amazon rainforest.
“Seeds of Destruction” and “The Global
more than ever, the world’s food resources are being hijacked by giant
corporations that are turning farms into factories and replacing natural
resources with genetically modified “food-like” substances. In all major
regions of the world, the economic recession is deep-seated, resulting in mass
unemployment, the collapse of state social programs and the impoverishment of
millions of people. The meltdown of financial markets was the result of
institutionalized fraud and financial manipulation.
economic crisis is accompanied by a worldwide process of militarization, a “war
without borders” led by the U.S. and its NATO allies.
China could ‘render US military bases
useless’ within hours of conflict in Asia, report says (Source The Independent) China’s military could use
missiles to overwhelm American military bases in Asia within hours, a think
tank has warned. The US defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific is “in the throes
of an unprecedented crisis”, according to a report from the United States
Studies Center, at the University of Sydney in Australia.
report said China has deployed a “formidable array of precision missiles and
other counter-intervention systems to undercut America’s military primacy” in
the region. “This growing arsenal of accurate long-range missiles poses a major
threat to almost all American, allied and partner bases, airstrips, ports and
military installations in the Western Pacific,” it added. “As these facilities
could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a
conflict, the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] missile threat challenges
America’s ability to freely operate its forces from forward locations
throughout the region.” The report described the US military as an “atrophying
force that is not sufficiently ready, equipped or postured for great power
competition in the Indo-Pacific”. It said Washington’s commitment to nearly two
decades of wars in the Middle East and budget instability has “dangerously
overstretched its defence resources”, leaving US forces “ill-prepared” for a
confrontation with China.
The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on
fire. Here’s what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space. (Source Business Insider)
was the hottest month ever on record. This summer, vast areas of the Arctic
were engulfed in flames. Satellite images showed plumes of smoke
engulfing parts of Russia, Greenland, and Alaska.
wildfires can be linked to the warmer temperatures and drier conditions that climate change
Arctic is known for its icy expanses, frozen tundra, and massive floating
glaciers. Not blazing wildfires. But in the midst of a record-breaking
summer, the Arctic is burning. Last month, megafires
razed the northernmost parts of Russia and Greenland. In Alaska,
meanwhile, 2.4 million acres of forest have burned this year.
In June and July, plumes from the Swan Lake fire engulfed Anchorage. Amid the
smoke on July 4, the city experienced its hottest day in recorded history: 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32
blazes were big enough to be seen from space: On July 24, colossal pillars of smoke were
visible above Russia, Alaska, and Greenland simultaneously. As of today, parts
of British Columbia, Canada and Alaska are still burning, while more than 13.5 million acres of Siberia are ablaze.
Russia, China accuse U.S. of stoking tensions
with missile test(Source
and China accused the United States on Tuesday of stoking military tensions by
testing a ground-launched cruise missile, but the foreign ministry in Moscow
said it would not be drawn into an arms race. The Pentagon said on Monday it
had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after
more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, its first such test since the demise of
a landmark nuclear pact this month.
United States formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range
Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of
violating it, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin.
text would have been banned under the INF, which prohibited land-based missiles
with a range of between 310 and 3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both
countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice. Washington had “obviously taken the
course of escalating military tensions,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Sergei Ryabkov said
would, however, not allow itself “to be pulled into a costly arms
race” and did not plan to deploy new missiles unless the United States did
so first, he was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.
Kremlin said the U.S. missile test showed that Washington had long been preparing
to exit the nuclear pact.