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At least 120 killed in Paris attacks

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

At least 120 people killed in Paris ‘terror’ attacks
Phuket Gazette/The Nation


PARIS: Police in the French capital are reporting that at least 80 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall Friday evening, with many more feared dead after a series of bombings and shootings.

The French government has declared a national state of emergency, ordering public services, including schools, closed on Saturday.

At the Bataclan music venue in eastern Paris, police reported that armed attackers shot dead people attending a rock concert one by one before police stormed the building.

One witness said an attacker had earlier yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is greatest) and fired into the crowd at the concert given by US rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

It was one of a series of attacks at seven locations across Paris in an unprecedented night of carnage in the French capital, which is still recovering from jihadist attacks in January.

The Bataclan lies just 200 meters from the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which was one of the targets of those attacks.

In addition to the carnage at the concert hall, there were three explosions near the Stade de France national stadium in the north of the capital, where France were playing Germany in an international football match, security sources said. Le Parissiene reported that four died in the attacks, 11 people were in a critical condition and 39 others were injured.

One of the explosions was caused by a suicide bomber, witnesses said.

President Francois Hollande was attending the match and had to be hastily evacuated.

A Cambodian restaurant – Petit Cambdge – near the concert hall was also attacked, with further deaths reported.

“We heard gunfire, 30 seconds of fire, it was interminable, we thought it was fireworks,” said Pierre Montfort, who lives near Rue Bichat, where the Cambodian restaurant is located.

“Everyone was on the floor, no one moved,” said another eyewitness who had been at the Petit Cambodge restaurant.

“Terrorist attacks of an unprecedented level are underway across the Paris region,” President Hollande said in an emotional televised message.

“It’s a horror,” he said.

Authorities also reported that further attacks took the lives of 19 people on Rue Charonne, 14 were killed on Rue Bichat and four more were dead on Avenue de la Republique, with dozens injured at all location, many in critical condition.

President Hollande declared a state of emergency across the entire country and cancelled his trip to the G20 summit due to take place in Turkey at the weekend.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker said they were ‘deeply shocked’ by the attacks.

The focus of the attacks was the Bataclan theater. Armed police eventually stormed the venue at around 23.35 GMT, accompanied by a series of explosions.

“I saw 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor and people were very badly injured, gunshot wounds,” Julien Pierce, a witness at the Bataclan, told Europe 1 radio.

“Some of them were dead. Some of them were very badly wounded, but it was a bloodbath.”

At the Stade de France, spectators flooded the pitch as news of the attacks spread before organizers started an evacuation.

An AFP reporter outside the Bataclan said before the police stormed the venue, hundreds of officers carrying machine-guns were keeping guard and more than 20 police wagons with their lights flashing were at the scene.

1,500 military personnel were mobilized to reinforce police and ensure no further attacks took place, and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, asked Parisiens to stay in their homes until the situation is under control.

Counter-terrorism prosecutors said they had opened a preliminary investigation.

France has been on high alert since the attacks in January against Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket that left 17 dead.

Several other attacks have been foiled through the year.

Security had begun to be stepped up ahead of key UN climate talks to be held just outside the French capital from November 30, with border checks restored from Friday.

More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to official figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 expressed a desire to go there.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50%

Caitlin Ashworth

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Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50% | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Alexander Popov

The richest people in the world, who make up just 1% of the population, are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study shows that the “1 percenters” make up twice as much carbon pollution than the poorest half of the world. Some say the poor are the least responsible for climate change, but have to deal with most of the negative consequences.

In a 25 year study led by Oxfam, researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute found that wealthy countries were responsible for using up nearly a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. The study was conducted from 1990 to 2015, when annual emissions grew by 60%.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.

63 million people made up the richest 1% of the world. Since 1990, they have been responsible for 9% of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can go into the air before temperature rises to catastrophic levels. 3.1 billion people make up the poorest half of the world’s population. The carbon emissions growth rate of the rich 1% was 3 times more than the poorest half of the world.

There’s not just an economic inequality between the rich and the poor, according to the head of policy, advocacy and research, Tim Gore. He told AFP the research shows the world’s “carbon inequality.”

“It’s not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it’s not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction …But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption … And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible.”

Carbon emissions have decreased since the pandemic. But just a few months doesn’t take away the damage that has been done for years. Temperatures are still on track to rise several degrees this century. Although the 2015 Paris climate deal was set to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, emissions have continued to increase.

“It’s clear that the carbon intensive and highly unequal model of economic growth over the last 20-30 years has not benefited the poorest half of humanity… It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to choose between economic growth and fixing the climate crisis.”

Some say the global economy needs to prioritise “green growth.” If not, the decrease in pollution during the pandemic will have a very small and insignificant overall impact on climate change. Some say carbon emissions affect the poorest nations the most who don’t have enough resources to fight natural disasters possibly brought on by the rising temperatures, like wildfires and droughts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | AFP

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World

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine

The Thaiger & The Nation

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England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine | The Thaiger

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers are receiving up to a 10,000 pound fine, starting September 28, according to British PM Boris Johnson. The fine will be handed down to anyone who tests positive for the virus or has been in contact with someone who has the virus and dodges the rules for self-quarantine.

For the first offence, rule breakers will receive a 1,000 pound fine and from there it will rise up to 10,000 pounds for those who repeatedly break the rules. Employers who threaten to fire staff over choosing to self-isolate instead of going to work will receive the maximum fine amount of 10,000 pounds. For those lower income workers, Johnson says they will receive a 500 pound support payment in addition to other benefits in which they may qualify.

Despite current British Covid-19 quarantine guidelines matching those of the rest of the world, there has reportedly been little enforcement of self-quarantine rules. Now, Britain is seeing a fast influx of Covid cases prompting the government to get the police involved in compliance checks.

Johnson has come under scrutiny after repeatedly being called to issue a lockdown nationwide with reports coming in that he is planning to reject calls from advisors to issue a 2 week lockdown to slow the virus’ spread.

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Thailand

US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River

The Thaiger & The Nation

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US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River | The Thaiger

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Chinese companies of “exploitative practices” in the Mekong River region after a new partnership has been launched to combat “transnational crimes”. Pompeo named the China Communications Construction Company as one of the big offenders and says the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the increase in human, wildlife and drug trafficking in the region.

He says the new partnership will also strengthen water security for partner countries where China has added to a drought in the region as an upstream damming by China has been carried out in “a completely non-transparent and non-consultative way.”

“We encourage countries of the Mekong region to hold the CCP accountable to its pledge to share its water data. That data should be public. It should be released year-round. It should include water and water-related data, as well as land use, and dam construction and operation data.”

“We stand with our ASEAN partners as we insist on the rule of law and respect for sovereignty in the South China Sea, where Beijing has pursued aggressive campaigns of coercion and environmental devastation.”

Pompeo also said such companies associated with the CCP are linked to human and narcotics trafficking but he did not provide evidence to support the accusation.

Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand all share resources of the Mekong delta and Pompeo reiterated that they “deserve good partners”. The US has reportedly pledged a total of US$156.4 million for multiple initiatives under the new US-Mekong Partnership.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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