News China issues top warning for strong typhoon nearing coast
A Taiwanese woman makes her way against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)BEIJING (AP) — China issued its top warning for coastal areas of Zhejiang province Friday ahead of a strong typhoon carrying heavy rain and winds and expected to send an intense storm surge up the mighty Yangzte River.Heavy rain was expected in Zhejiang, Shanghai and nearby provinces on Friday before Typhoon Lekima hits land on Saturday morning, then weakens as it moves north.Parts of northern Taiwan closed offices and suspended classes at schools on Friday as the storm passed northeast of the island. The same area was hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake Thursday that caused minor damage but no deaths or injuries.The red alert China issued is the most serious in its four-tired alert system, prompting authorities to prepare evacuations, suspend train and air travel and require vessels to return to port. In Zhejiang, ferry service had been cancelled and more than 200 tourists evacuated from popular Beiji island.The National Meteorological Center said Lekima was gusting at 209 kph (130 mph) and traveling northwesterly at 13 kph (8 mph). Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau put its sustained winds at 173 kph (108 mph) and said the bands of wind and rains around the storm’s eye were shrinking.The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters warned authorities overseeing seven provinces including Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shanghai Municipality to make preparations and have emergency response systems ready to be deployed. In Zhejiang, nearly 5,000 fishing boats had been recalled to port, authorities reported.An intense storm surge was expected to raise waters in the estuary of the Yangzte River, China’s mightiest, beginning Friday. Three main streams of the Yangzte River are likely to exceed alert levels and the commission overseeing the river for the Ministry of Water Resources has ordered efforts to prevent floods and oversaturation of levees along the river’s banks.
‘This is Fun Isn’t It?’: Snow Falls During Hawthorn Versus GWS Giants Match in Canberra•‘This is Fun Isn’t It?’: Snow Falls During Hawthorn Versus GWS Giants Match in Canberra “This is Fun Isn’t It?” Georgina Hibberd said as snow fell during an AFL football match between Hawthorn and the GWS Giants in Canberra on Friday, August 9.The August 9 match marked the first time in AFL history snow fell during a match, according to local reports. Fans used the #aflgiantshawks hashtag to document the match online, many of them tweeting about the historic snowfall.Hawthorn defeated the Giants, and according to ABC, the temperature dropped to 2.7 degrees at the start of the second quarter. Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson’s has a rule that no player in his team can wear long sleeve jerseys.According to a tweet from the Giants, 11,741 “brave souls” made it to the stadium despite the frigid conditions. Credit: Georgina Hibberd via Storyful
A police watchdog’s investigation of RCMP actions during a shooting in Dieppe earlier this year has been completed, but the force is keeping the results secret.
Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team and the RCMP each says the other is responsible for releasing the report. The provincial government says it’s up to the RCMP.
The Mounties requested the team investigate police actions when a Codiac Regional RCMP member shot and injured a woman during an arrest attempt Jan. 5 near the Moncton airport.
The independent team investigates serious incidents arising from police actions in Nova Scotia and decides whether charges are warranted against an officer. SIRT has been contracted by police forces to carry out investigations because New Brunswick lacks a similar organization.
Can’t discuss report
Felix Cacchione, the director of SIRT, said its investigation is complete and a report was provided to RCMP on June 28. Cacchione said he couldn’t discuss the results of the investigation or whether the officer was cleared of wrongdoing.
„It’s not our information,” said Cacchione. He said a memorandum of understanding signed when the agency is called in leaves releasing information up to the police force.
„The RCMP does not release the reports of independent police review agencies anywhere in the country — that is the responsibility of the independent agency,” Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said in an email.
When asked why SIRT said it was up to police, Rogers-Marsh said there’s no legislation in the province to allow the release of the reports.
„SIRT investigative reports pertaining to incidents involving the RCMP rest with the RCMP to determine any level of disclosure and as such should be addressed with the RCMP,” Coreen Enos, a spokesperson for the Department Safety, said in an email.
Nova Scotia requires public release
SIRT’s mandate in Nova Scotia requires it to publicly release a report summarizing its findings. SIRT will still release a report — though with less detail — if the person affected by police actions is facing criminal charges, Cacchione said.
But in New Brunswick it defers to the police force that asked it to investigate.
RCMP would not provide an interview on the report or say what it found.
Michael Boudreau, a St. Thomas University criminology professor, said he was perplexed by the situation.
„It’s a clear conflict of interest for the RCMP to first ask for this investigation, and then not to release the findings,” Boudreau said.
He said it reinforces the need for New Brunswick to have its own version of SIRT that would require public release of investigations.
Boudreau said such a team would be different from the New Brunswick Police Commission as it would investigate police-involved shootings and tends to be led by civilians instead of former police officers.
The Italian government has announced it will be rerouting cruise ships away from central parts of Venice. This move follows a long campaign by residents to stop large ships from docking in the Unesco-listed city.
Italy’s transport minister Danilo Toninelli said on Wednesday that cruise ships would be diverted away from their current route, reported the Financial Times, therefore banning them from entering the historic grand canal.
Toninelli said he had been looking at temporary ports “to avoid witnessing more invasions of the Giudecca by these floating palaces, with the scandals and risks that they bring.”
In 2018, 502 cruise ships brought 1.56 million passengers to Venice, contributing to the overcrowding already swamping the narrow canals and walkways.
Meanwhile, there are environmental concerns about the impact of ships passing through the Venetian Lagoon and along the Giudecca Canal.
In June, a collision between 2,150-passenger ocean cruise ship MSC Opera and Uniworld river cruise ship The River Countess (in which four passengers were injured) heightened calls for a ban. Italy’s environment minister Sergio Costa tweeted that the incident confirmed ships must not pass the Giudecca area.
As of next month, some cruise ships will dock at the Fusina and Lombardia terminals away from the city centre but still within the lagoon. However, from next year a third of cruise ships will be rerouted away from the city.
A plan to reroute cruise ships dates back to 2017 when an Italian governmental committee decided that cruise vessels weighing 96,000 tonnes or more would be prevented from docking in the lagoon in front of St Mark’s Square.
Under this plan, larger ships would need to head to a terminal in the industrial port of Marghera on the mainland. Smaller ships, those of 55,000 tonnes or less, would be allowed to continue along the current route.
But works on this new route were expected to take up to four years, and so ships have continued to dock in front of St Mark’s Square.
Andy Harmer, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK and Ireland director, said: „There is currently no ban in place preventing cruise ships from visiting Venice. CLIA cruise lines have been actively engaged in discussions for a considerable time about using the Vittoria Emanuele Canal as the preferred alternative solution.
„We have been cooperative in simulations and studies that supported the Comitatone [the inter-ministerial committee for planning, coordinating and monitoring Safeguarding of the Venice Lagoon] recommendation. CLIA urges all parties in Venice to reach a conclusion to start the preparation work to prepare the Vittoria Emanuele Canal so we can begin to reroute the larger ships.
“The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Mayor of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Port Authority and many others to find viable solutions to allow larger cruise ships access to the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal.
„We are in agreement with the solution developed by Comitatone in 2017 to utilize the Vittorio Emanuele Canal as the best and most prudent means to move larger cruise ships away from the Giudecca. CLIA cruise line members welcome and will support the urgent implementation of this solution.”
Toninelli’s announcement on Wednesday follows Venice’s call last week for other port authorities to unite against cruise ship problems.
Pino Musolino, chairman of the northern Adriatic Sea port authority, wrote to eight other port authorities asking them to “join forces” to oblige cruise lines to „launch ships compatible with our structures and the environment”.
Other popular European cruise ports are seeking to curb cruise ship calls, too.
Last month, CLIA and the City of Dubrovnik signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the city through responsible tourism management. This will include managing the number of cruise calls to the ancient city.
Barcelona’s mayor has also pledged to restrict the number of cruise ships that can call in the Spanish city.
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The British scientist found dead at the bottom of a ravine on a Greek island died instantly from a fall, a Greek coroner said on Thursday.
Natalie Christopher, 34, was discovered on Wednesday morning on the Greek island of Ikaria, which she was visiting on holiday.
Miss Christopher, an astrophysicist and avid trail runner who lived in Cyprus, had set off for a run from their hotel, her boyfriend said. The area has trails along steep cliffs and ravines, and Miss Christopher was found at the bottom of a 65-foot ravine.
Vangelis Kriaras, a volunteer, told local TV that rescue workers had come close the site “at least twice before”, but because of its inaccessibility had failed to spot her.
It was only when one volunteer walked through the gorge that her body was discovered, hidden beneath a boulder.
Nikos Karakoukis, a Greek coroner who travelled to the island from Athens, said evidence from an initial assessment of the area where Miss Christopher’s body was found was „consistent with a fall from a height.”
He said she had suffered a head injury and died instantly. Her body was on Thursday being transported to a morgue in the Greek capital, Athens.
Miss Christopher’s disappearance led to a two-day manhunt across the island.
Greek media reported that traces of blood had been found in the hotel room she shared with her Cypriot partner, but he explained that she had suffered a nose bleed.
The forensic police examined the hotel as well as her partner’s telephone.
Miss Christopher was well known in Cyprus as an active sportswoman and for her involvement in several social media projects, including one – „Cyprus Girls Can” – which aims to break down barriers between Greek and Turkish youngsters on the divided island.
President Nicos Anastasiades was among those who expressed sorrow, calling her death “an unjust loss of a young scientist and active citizen who had her whole life ahead of her and much to give”.
The incident comes a month after the murder of US molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton on Crete.
The 59-year-old had been attending a conference near the city of Chania and gone out on July 2 without taking her mobile phone, the police said.
Her body was found six days later in an abandoned World War II bunker.
A 27-year-old farmer confessed to raping and killing Eaton, who had worked for the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University.
The statue of a moose at the side of Topsail Road has been turning the heads of plenty of drivers in the year or so it’s been up, but what people may not know is the story behind it.
„This moose is in memory of my father,” said Brandon Smith, standing next to the big bronze statue his father, Brad Smith, had ordered before his death.
Smith said his dad had been in Arizona undergoing cancer treatment at a facility where there were four or five similar bronze animal sculptures, and he took a liking to them.
When he texted his son that he was thinking of ordering one from overseas, it wasn’t much of a surprise.
„He said, ‘I think I’m gonna get one for the lawn at work,'” Smith recalled with a laugh, standing in front of the colourful building of S&S Supply and Crosstown Rentals in Mount Pearl, where the statue stands.
„[I didn’t know] whether to take him seriously or not, you know? He was pretty unpredictable.”
Sure enough, Smith said his dad ordered the moose statue from overseas.
‘Made the grieving process easier’
But sadly, Brad Smith died just two weeks before it arrived.
„It was an emotional time for me, I gotta be quite honest with ya, because … just that my dad never got to witness it. He would have had so much fun with it,” Smith told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show.
Last year, people slung bras over the statue’s antlers as part of a fundraiser to support people living with breast cancer.
While Smith said he’s sad his father isn’t around to enjoy what’s sure to be a long legacy of playfulness with the moose statue, putting it up and tending it is a way for his family to heal.
„It definitely made the grieving process easier because you can take the bad and turn it into a good, and remember my father for truly who he was,” Smith said.
„He wouldn’t want to be remembered as [he was in] the last few months, quite honestly. He’d want to be remembered as the person he was.”
And just who was that person?
Come enjoy it, take some pictures with your family, whatever you want to do. – Brandon Smith
„A very loving, caring, fun person. He just loved to see people happy, smiling, scratching their heads — that’s just the type he was,” Smith said, adding that his father definitely reached that goal, if the public response to the statue is any indication.