Connect with us

News

California seeks help as wildfires threaten communities | USA News

Published

on


Nearly two dozen enormous wildfires continued to ravage parts of California on Saturday, fueled by high temperatures and continuing lightning strikes, including 100 that hit on Friday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) said.

The fires have killed six people and incinerated nearly 700 buildings since beginning after an earlier lightning storm last week. Together, the blazes have burned nearly 404,700 hectares (one million acres), the agency said Saturday.

Wildfire is threatening parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, the forested region near the University of California at Santa Cruz and a wide swath of the area between San Francisco and the state capital of Sacramento.

Nearly 14,000 firefighters have been deployed to the blazes, but containment of the largest ones remains low and the state has requested additional support from other states and local jurisdictions in California, CalFire said Saturday.

“They’re scrambling for bodies” to help fight the fires, said Jay Tracy, a fire marshal with the city of Fresno who was deployed as a spokesman for the LNU fire complex, which had burned 127,000 hectares (314,000 acres) in five counties, including some of the state’s storied wine country and communities between San Francisco and Sacramento.

Firefighters have improved containment of the southern edge of that fire, but winds are expected to push it northwest towards the wine country towns of Healdsburg and Guerneville, he said.

Local agencies like his are limited in how many reinforcements they can send to help state firefighters because many are still needed at home, while the sheer volume of fires burning in the state has stretched resources, Tracy said.

Additional lightning storms are expected later this weekend, and the danger of new or growing wildfire is extreme, CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said crews are fighting a total of 560 wildfires across the state, including smaller blazes [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

The fires increased modestly in size on Saturday after more than doubling on Friday, becoming some of the largest in state history and threatening small towns in the path of the flames. In addition to the fatalities, 43 firefighters and civilians have been hurt.

Including smaller blazes, crews are fighting a total of 560 wildfires across the state, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday. Evacuations have been ordered in numerous regions. About 175,000 people were told to leave their homes, although many in the community around Vacaville between Sacramento and San Francisco have been allowed to return.

In Santa Cruz, a city of approximately 65,000 people on California’s central coast, residents were told to prepare “go bags” as bulldozers cut fire lines and flames came within a mile (1.6km) of the University of California Santa Cruz campus.

SOURCE:
Reuters news agency



Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

NGOs call for urgent aid as millions on brink of starvation | Human Rights News

Published

on

By


More than 250 NGOs have urgently called on international governments to increase aid and save more than 34 million people on the brink of starvation this year.

In an open letter (PDF) addressed to world leaders on Tuesday, groups working to fight against inequality said up to 270 million people are acutely food insecure with millions “teetering on the very edge of famine”.

“The combined impacts of conflict, climate change and inequality, coupled with the COVID-19 crisis, have led to an acute food insecurity situation around the world,” the letter, whose key signatories include Oxfam, Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee, read.

“Needs already cannot be met, and we are increasingly likely to face multiple famines if we do not respond now,” the letter, which came in conjunction with the UN’s call for action to avert famine, added.

In a joint statement, the aid groups noted that a year on since the UN warned of “famine of biblical proportions”, donors have only funded five percent of this year’s $7.8bn food security appeal.

The statement said that the amount of additional funding called for by the UN’s World Food Programme amounts to $5.5bn, which is equivalent to less than 26 hours of the $1.9 trillion that countries spend per year on the military.

“The richest countries are slashing their food aid even as millions of people go hungry; this is an extraordinary political failure,” Oxfam’s executive director, Gabriela Bucher, said.

“They must urgently reverse these decisions. And we must confront the fundamental drivers of starvation – global hunger is not about lack of food, but a lack of equality.”

‘I thought about suicide’

While at least $5.5bn is needed in urgent food and agricultural assistance to avert the imminent risk of famine, millions more is needed to provide health care, clean water and other essential, basic services, the statement said.

At the end of last year, the UN estimated that 270 million people were either at high risk of, or already facing, severe levels of hunger. Some 174 people in 58 countries have reached that level and are at risk of dying from malnutrition or lack of food, the groups said.

They warned that this figure will likely increase in the coming months if no actions are taken, and noted that conflict is the biggest driver of global hunger.

Key conflicts in Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Northern Nigeria are forcing millions to the brink of starvation.

The joint statement included testimonies from people living in conflict zones and dire humanitarian conditions.

Fadya, from Lahj governorate in Yemen, recalled how she considered suicide “several times”.

“When humanitarian workers came to my hut, they thought I had food because smoke was coming from my kitchen. But I was not cooking food for my children – instead I could only give them hot water and herbs, after which they went to sleep hungry,” she said.

“I thought about suicide several times but I did not do it because of my children.”

The open letter further warned that funding alone is not sufficient.

“The situation requires urgent action, at a scale we are simply not seeing. If no urgent action is taken, lives will be lost.”

Countries need to take immediate political action to stop these conflicts from continuing, and need to address rising inequality, the groups said.

“It is imperative that we raise our collective voices to secure the international attention this cause deserves before it is too late,” they said in closing remarks.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

News

Mudoma to Replace Ministerial Positions with Commissions in Bugisu Cultural Institution

Published

on

By


Jude Mike Mudoma, one of the elected leaders of the Bugisu Cultural Institution (Inzu Ya Masaaba) has announced he will scrap off all ministerial positions and replace them with Commissions immediately after being gazetted as the next Umukuuka.

Following endless wrangles on the rightful next Umukuuka of Bamasaaba between two conflicting factions; one affiliated to the former cultural leader Bob Mushikori and another to the Chairman of the Board Stephen Mungoma, Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Gender, Labor and social development instructed them to reconcile and come up with one leader.

Tumwebaze ordered the two elected leaders; Mudoma of Mungoma’s side and John Amram Wagabyalire of Mushikori’s to hold roundtable discussions and decide on one leader whose name should be forwarded to the Ministry for gazettement.

However, Mudoma has come out to declare he is the rightful Umukuuka and the likely winner in this reconciliation drive.

Addressing journalists on Sunday, Mudoma said he plans to scrap off what he called redundant and dormant ministerial positions and replace them with commissions, “which will serve the people appropriately.”

“I am going to create 24 commissions and do away with the system of ministers, in the last regime they have been having 72 ministers in an institution where there is no money,” he said.

These Commissions, he said, are going to create “super human resource” and develop a working module.

“For example, Bugisu Coffee/Cotton Commission will organize Bamasaaba for growing high quality coffee and quantities which will lead to better market. This way, we shall have improved on social economic development of our people than appointing someone as a minister but they don’t have anything lined up for the people,” Mudoma said.

On optimism of becoming the next leader, Mudoma said he is the true elected Umukuuka according to the Laws governing the cultural institutions and the Inzu Ya Masaaba constitution because he followed all procedures “and the government should gazette me so I can start serving my people.”

“The Committee of the General Assembly made a consultation with all the Bamasaaba clans and a list of individuals with their qualifications was compiled. The list was then presented to the cultural council, the candidates were shortlisted and their names submitted to the general assembly for elections where I emerged the winner,” he said.

He told journalists that he was personally surprised to hear that another faction also emerged led by Wepondi after three months in office and even went ahead to elect Wagabyalire, “which has brought all these fights but I am the rightful Umukuuka III who started from grassroot up to General Assembly but I think politics has entered in our IYM issues,” he said.

The post Mudoma to Replace Ministerial Positions with Commissions in Bugisu Cultural Institution first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

Continue Reading

News

‘Unprovoked escalation’: US slams Russian plan to block Black Sea | Russia News

Published

on

By


US state department says the move is part of ongoing campaign to destabilise Ukraine amid Russian troop build-up in the region.

The US State Department has branded as an “unprovoked escalation” reported Russian plans to block parts of the Black Sea, which could ultimately impact access to Ukrainian ports amid heightened tensions over Moscow’s military manoeuvres.

The US and its European allies have expressed concerns regarding Russia’s military build-up in recent weeks and fear Moscow might be planning to invade Ukraine. Russia, which backs separatists in eastern Ukraine, annexed Crimea in 2014.

Russian state media have reported that Moscow intends to close parts of the Black Sea to foreign military and official ships for six months, which could affect access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait.

Russia has temporarily restricted the movement of foreign warships and what it called “other state ships” near Crimea.

“This represents yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilise Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“This development is particularly troubling amid credible reports of Russian troop buildup in occupied Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders, now at levels not seen since Russia’s invasion in 2014,” he added.

Sanctions

Last week, Washington slapped sanctions on Russia and expelled its ambassadors over Moscow’s interference in last year’s US presidential election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged “malign” actions.

Days later, Russia expelled US diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.

Ukraine and Russia have traded blame over a spike in violence in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces in a conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.

The US Federal Aviation Administration on Monday urged airlines to exercise “extreme caution” when flying near the Ukraine-Russian border, citing potential flight safety risks.

EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday that more than 100,000 Russian troops have amassed on Ukraine’s border and in annexed Crimea.

He said no new economic sanctions or expulsions of Russian diplomats were planned for the time being.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after addressing EU foreign ministers, called on the EU to impose new sanctions on Russia.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

Trending