Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

UK’s Labour party ponders supporting new Brexit referendum

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Labour Party opened its annual conference on Sunday facing a huge choice — whether to change policy and call for a new referendum that could halt the country’s departure from the European Union.

The support of the main opposition party would be a major boost to campaigners for a second vote on Brexit.

Ever since the U.K. voted in 2016 to leave the EU, Labour has said it will respect the result — but it wants a closer relationship with the bloc than the one that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government is seeking.

Now, with EU divorce negotiations stuck and Britain due to leave the bloc in March, many Labour members think the left-leaning party must change its course.

“Labour have to come to a decision. The time has gone for sitting on the fence,” said Mike Buckley of campaign group Labour for a People’s Vote.

More than 100 local Labour associations have submitted motions to the conference, which starts Sunday, urging a “People’s Vote” — a new referendum — with a choice between leaving on terms agreed by the government or staying in the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has long opposed the idea of such a vote. He told the Sunday Mirror newspaper “I’m not calling for a second referendum.”

But, he said, if Labour’s conference “make a decision, I will not walk away from it and I will act accordingly.”

Deputy leader Tom Watson was even firmer. “We must back it if Labour members want it,” he told The Observer newspaper.

Still, Labour faces a major political dilemma. Most of the party’s half a million members voted in 2016 to remain in the EU, but many of its 257 lawmakers represent areas of the country that wanted to leave.

“For Labour to adopt a second referendum policy would spell political disaster in all those Labour seats that voted leave,” said Brendan Chilton of the pro-Brexit group Labour Leave.

Source

Massive 5.2 Earthquake Hits the Dominican Republic

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

An earthquake has hit the Dominican Republic this morning sending stunned locals and tourists into a frenzy.

The tremor had a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale with the epicentre reportedly near the town Guayubin on the island.

The United States Geological Survey registered the depth of the quake at 8.7 miles.

Twitter user Mills took to social media asking: “Anyone else just feel an #earthquake in Santiago, Dominican Republic?!”

Ernest Sacarello tweeted: “Just heard from a friend in Dominican Republic had an earthquake that shook the whole island.”

The country is a popular holiday destination for sun-seeking Brits, with thousands of tourists descending on the nation each year.

It was also felt in neighbouring Haiti, which was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake in 2010.

That quake registered at an enormous 7.0 on the Richter scale with two aftershocks following at magnitudes of 5.9 and 5.5.

The official death toll of the 2010 disaster was put at 222,570 officially but some estimates suggest up to 100,000 more may have perished.

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Turkish Company Sarkuysan will Invest BGN 17 Million in Shumen Auto Parts Factory

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

A division of the Turkish giant Sarkuysan will invest in a new plant for the production of electric cables in Bulgaria. This morning the company received an investment certificate “A” from the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov.

SARK Bulgaria will invest 17 million leva in a factory near Shumen, opening 40 new jobs. The factory will produce electrical cables, mainly for the automotive industry, as well as special wires that are widely used in the aviation and defense industries. The factory, which is planned to be built in the industrial zone of Shumen, will have a total area of ??69 000 sq.m., will be equipped with environmentally friendly modern machines, fully in line with the modern technical requirements.

The production and administrative buildings will occupy about 7400 square meters. The plant is expected to start work in around five years.

Turkish group Sarkuysan, valued at € 88.5 million on the Turkish Stock Exchange, was founded in 1972 in Istanbul and is the first successful public company. About half of Europe’s light and light commercial vehicles use Sarkuysan cables. The company also sells to NASA suppliers.

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3564 Stores Later, the German Giant KiK Plans to Open its First 10 in Bulgaria as well

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

One of Germany’s largest clothing stores, KiK, will enter the Bulgarian market in 2019 and plans to open 10 stores in the first year. This was stated by the press center of the company in response to Money.bg.

The exact location of the stores is not yet fully specified and analyzes are currently under way. The company says they are looking at different locations – from shopping streets, through shopping centers to specialized markets. Important criteria are affordability, the business environment, the purchasing power, the number of households in the area, and others.

KiK’s model of work is new to the Bulgarian textile market and the chain is in the “discounter” category – it is looking for the lowest possible price through typical techniques for this type of trade, such as large pre-orders, direct work with suppliers without the cost of intermediaries , the use of sea transport, which is the cheapest and others.

KiK operates in 10 European markets, and from the next year they will become 12. The chain comes to the Bulgarian market and the Romanian market with a similar number of stores – 10.

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A Limit of 90 km/h is Introduced on Trakia Highway between Chirpan and Stara Zagora

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Due to bumps on the road of Trakia highway in the section between Chirpan-Stara Zagora on Monday a limit of 90 km / h is introduced, Road Infrastructure Agency announced. The section is 40 kilometers long and was put into operation in 2007.

In this area potholes were formed in the right lane nearly a year after the road was released.

Trakia highway repairs continue on the 17th and 18th kilometers in the direction of Burgas (before Ihtiman), which caused traffic jams on Saturday. The movement takes place in two ways in the lanes for Sofia.

Drivers should also move with caution in the section between Ihtiman and the Trayanovi Vrata tunnel from km 45 to km 53, where a speed limit of 90 km / h is introduced in the two traffic lanes due to uneven road surfaces.

The repairs are also carried out on the bridge over the river Elshishka at the 89th km of Trakia highway. The movement is made in two ways in the lanes for Plovdiv.

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‘Fat’ traces confirm weird fossils were earliest animals

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

AFP – A strange fossil that looks a bit like a giant leaf, or a fingerprint the size of a coffee table, has intrigued scientists for decades.

Thousands of the fossils have been found over the past seven decades, revealing that it lived at the bottom of the ocean, without a mouth, intestines or anus, half a billion years ago.

Was it a mossy plant? A giant single-celled amoeba? A failed experiment of evolution? Or the earliest animal on Earth?

After digging one of these fossils off a cliff in Russia and analyzing its contents, researchers discovered molecules of cholesterol, a type of fat.

This confirms that the creature, known as Dickinsonia, is the Earth’s earliest known animal, said the report Thursday in the journal Science.

“Scientists have been fighting for more than 75 years” over the nature of these “bizarre fossils,” said associate professor Jochen Brocks from the Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences.

“The fossil fat now confirms Dickinsonia as the oldest known animal fossil, solving a decades-old mystery that has been the Holy Grail of paleontology.”

- Edge of cliff -

Dickinsonia contained rib-like segments the length of its oval-shaped body, which came in a variety of sizes and could grow as large as 4.6 feet (1.4 meters).

The analysis showed the animals were abundant 558 million years ago, millions of years earlier than previously thought, according to Brocks.

The creature was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived on Earth during a time when bacteria reigned, 542-635 million years ago.

The Edicarian Period was about 20 million years prior to emergence of modern animal life — a period known as the Cambrian explosion.

“The question has been, is that real? Is that an event that happened in Earth history? Or have we just not found the older fossils?” David Gold, geobiologist and assistant professor at the University of California, told AFP.

“This paper is another really good line of evidence to support the idea that it is in fact an animal, and that animals are much older than the Cambrian.”

Dickinsonia could be an ancestor of “many forms of animal life today” including worms and insects, added Gold, who was not part of the current study.

Scientists had a difficult time finding Dickinsonia fossils with organic matter still attached.

Many of the known fossils were in Australia, and had been exposed to too many elements over many millions of years.

The fossil for the current study came from cliffs near the White Sea in the northwest of Russia.

“I took a helicopter to reach this very remote part of the world — home to bears and mosquitoes — where I could find Dickinsonia fossils with organic matter still intact,” said Ilya Bobrovskiy, a doctoral researcher at ANU.

“These fossils were located in the middle of cliffs of the White Sea that are 60 to 100 meters high. I had to hang over the edge of a cliff on ropes and dig out huge blocks of sandstone, throw them down, wash the sandstone and repeat this process until I found the fossils I was after.”

- Worm ancestor? -

Other researchers have previously claimed to have solved the mystery of the oddball animal.

In September 2017, British researchers said they were certain it was an animal, based on a study of multiple fossils.

Another team of researchers, including Gold, also concluded in 2015 that it was a relatively advanced type of animal because of the way its body grew differently than plants or mushrooms.

While the matter wasn’t entirely settled, paleobiologist Doug Erwin said: “I think the consensus among the majority of people who have worked on these fossils for the last decade or so has been they’re somehow related to animals.”

The Australian team “tries to make it more of a controversy than I think is in fact the case. The paper is still a good paper,” he told AFP.

“This is a new line of evidence which is certainly welcome.”

In that sense, the report represents the first time that biomarkers have been used to determine that a fossil from the Edicarian Period is an animal instead of something else.

“It’s part of a renaissance in the field in paleontology,” said Gold.

“We’re discovering, as our tools and technologies get better and better, we’re finding that actually there are all sorts of organic matter — proteins, fats, different carbon compounds — things that we didn’t think could survive for such a long period of time,” he added.

“Because of that we can find things like preserved pigments to see the colors of dinosaurs, or in this case, the cholesterol content of 500-million-year-old fossil.”

Source

Ghana Flooding Kills 34 During Heavy Rains

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

AFP – At least 34 people have died in northern Ghana during flooding caused by heavy rains and waters spilling from a dam in neighbouring Burkina Faso, relief agency officials said Thursday.

Bagre Dam is located on the White Volta river that begins in Burkina Faso and which converges with the Black Volta downstream and feeds into Lake Volta in southern Ghana.

The authorities open the dam’s spillways during annual rains, but the excess volumes of water regularly flood communities along the rivers.

People living along the White Volta have been urged to stay away from its banks.Others have been told to move to higher ground.

Seji Saji, deputy head of Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organisation, said the situation was under control and teams were working flat out to reach those affected.

“In all we have on record 34 deaths and two people missing. The affected people are over 52,000 and we are still assessing the situation,” he added.

“All these happened during the time that the river overflowed its banks but the rate of spillage has reduced considerably and fortunately since last week and this week there has not been any heavy rainfall.”

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government have been criticised for not visiting victims of the floods.

Aid agency Oxfam’s inequality programmes and campaign manager in Ghana, Zakaria Sulemana, said the situation required “high-powered political attention”.

“People want to hear the president, in fact we should have seen the president visit the area to console them or better still initiate an action to ensure that this does not happen again,” he added.

Saji said Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia will be visiting flood victims this weekend.

In 1999, flooding in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern and Brong Ahafo and Volta regions of northern Ghana affected more than 300,000 people, according to NADMO.

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Toll Jumps to 29 in Central Philippine Landslide

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

The death toll from a landslide in the central Philippines has risen to 29, police said Friday, as rescuers frantically dug for survivors of the latest tragedy in the storm-hit nation.

Dozens were still missing as authorities probed whether a nearby rock quarry could have played a role in the massive hillside collapse Thursday that hit rural communities in Naga on the tourist island of Cebu.

The rescue effort came as the nation was still reeling from Typhoon Mangkhut, whose toll hit 95 dead on Thursday, mostly from a massive landslide in the country’s mountainous north.

Rescuers on Cebu have pulled 29 corpses from the debris, the Philippine National Police said, as people living in homes spared from the landslide were evacuated as a precaution.

Hundreds of police, firemen, and specialists using heavy equipment were looking for about 50 people, provincial disaster office spokesman Julius Regner told AFP.

Authorities are not sure whether the limestone quarry near the slide-hit area contributed to the disaster, but they have ordered a temporary 15-day halt to quarry operations around the country as a precaution.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu told a press conference the government will conduct a national review “to determine the safety of quarry operation areas, most especially the surrounding communities.”

The Philippines has a poor record of regulating mining, with tunnel collapses and landslides regularly killing people in other areas in recent years.

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Tornado Batters Area near Canadian Capital of Ottawa

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

MORE than 200,000 people in Canada’s capital region of Ottawa were without power on Saturday and two people were critically injured after a powerful tornado ripped apart dozens of homes and threw cars into the air.

After visiting the hard-hit Dunrobin area, in the city’s west, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson likened it to an aerial bombing, adding that Friday’s tornado was among “the top two or three traumatic events that have affected our city” in history.

Gatineau, in Quebec province just north of Ottawa, was also hit hard by the storm whose winds reached 200km per hour.

Around 30 people were hurt, with six taken to hospital and two in a critical condition as of Saturday, according to hospital authorities.

The storm also downed dozens of electric lines throughout the region, as Mayor Watson predicted it may take several days for power to return to everyone affected.

 

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Joshua Overpowers Povetkin to Retain World Heavyweight Titles

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

AFP – Britain’s Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by inflicting the first stoppage defeat of Alexander Povetkin’s professional career with a ruthless seventh-round finish at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A previously close contest turned in Joshua’s favour decisively when he sent the Russian crashing to the canvas with a straight right hand and left hook.

Povetkin gamely beat the count but Joshua piled in before referee Steve Gray stopped the contest at one minute and 59 seconds of the seventh round.

Victory saw Joshua extend his unbeaten professional record to 22 wins from 22 fights, with 21 knockouts, in front of a raucous home crowd.

“Povetkin is a very tough challenger and he proved it tonight,” Joshua told Sky Sports.

“I realised he was strong to the head but weak to the body.

“I got my knockout streak back, I found my right hand again.”

Joshua was putting his International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation belts on the line against 39-year-old Russian challenger Povetkin.

This fight was the latest in a line of professional heavyweight title bouts, featuring the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, between two former Olympic champions, with Joshua having won gold in front of his home crowd at the 2012 London Games — eight years after Povetkin stood atop the podium in Athens.

Joshua, 28, had a significant height and reach advantage of several inches over Povetkin.

Friday’s weigh-in also confirmed a significant size difference, with Joshua tipping the scales at 17 stone 8 pounds (111.5 kilogrammes) compared to Povetkin’s 15st 12lbs.

This fight saw Joshua returning to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph, an 11th-round stoppage of former champion Wladimir Klitschko last year.

Klitschko was the only man to have previously inflicted a blemish on Povetkin’s now 36-fight record, with a points win back in 2013.

Joshua, born in nearby Watford but based in London, had been taken the distance for the first time as a professional in his last title defence — a unanimous points victory over New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff in March.

The undercard of that fight saw Povetkin serve notice of his formidable punching power with a sickening knockout of Britain’s David Price.

Povetkin, who in 2016 was given an indefinite ban from boxing after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium that was later cut to a year, had insisted in the build-up he was a far stronger fighter than the one beaten by Klitschko.

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