EletiofeIndia's domestic airlines get a boost as cap on...

India’s domestic airlines get a boost as cap on ticket prices lifts

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AFP News

Kenya waits impatiently for results of close-fought vote

Kenyans on Wednesday were waiting for the results of the country’s presidential election after a largely peaceful poll, with preliminary results on television suggesting a tight race as low turnout pointed to growing frustration with the political elite.

Reuters

Modi’s party loses crucial Indian state after ally switches sides

LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) -Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party on Tuesday lost power in Bihar, the third most populous state in India, after its regional ally broke ranks to join an opposition alliance that now has the majority to form the next government. Bihar sends the fourth most number of elected lawmakers to parliament and the fall in government there is a rare setback for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which dominates politics in the country. Bihar’s coalition collapsed ahead of the 2024 general election, which the BJP is still expected to win for a third straight term unless disparate opposition parties are able to come together to overcome Modi’s popularity.

AFP News

Brazilian woman arrested for stealing mother’s artwork

Brazilian authorities arrested a late art collector’s daughter Wednesday for allegedly orchestrating a scam in which a supposed psychic moved into her octogenarian mother’s home and stole millions, police and media reports said.

AFP News

13 killed in Russian strikes near nuclear plant

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of rocket strikes that killed 13 civilians in areas near a Russian-held power plant, where renewed fighting has raised fears of a nuclear disaster. The overnight strikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine also injured 11 people, with five reported to be in a serious condition. “It was a terrible night, regional governor Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram, urging residents to shelter when they hear air raid sirens. “I am asking and begging you… Don’t let the Russians kill you,” he wrote, adding that Russia had fired a total of 80 rockets at the area. Most of the casualties were in the town of Marganets, just across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s biggest. Regional council head Mykola Lukashuk said the strikes had hit a local power line, leaving thousands of people without electricity. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of recent shelling around the plant itself. Ukraine says Russia has stationed hundreds of troops and stored ammunition at the plant. The tensions have brought back memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in then Soviet Ukraine, which killed hundreds of people and spread radioactive contamination over much of Europe. The plant was captured by Russian troops on March 4 after a battle with Ukrainian forces. – Beachgoers fleeing – The strikes came a day after major blasts at the Saki airfield, a key military base on the Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula. Dramatic amateur footage on social media appeared to show panicked holidaymakers fleeing a Crimean beach with young children, as ballooning clouds of grey smoke rose over the horizon. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has used the region as a staging ground for its attacks, but it has rarely been a target for Ukrainian forces. Moscow insisted that the explosions were caused by detonating ammunition rather than Ukrainian fire. Ukraine’s army, which for months pleaded for long-range artillery from Western allies, has been hitting targets deeper in Russian-held territory since some started arriving in recent weeks. Kyiv has also taken credit for several acts of sabotage inside Russian-held territory. – New buyer for Ukraine grain? – The war has severely hampered grain supply from Ukraine, leading to an international food crisis as it is one of the world’s biggest producers. But some ships have been able to leave Ukrainian ports in recent days after a deal with Russia brokered by the United Nations and Turkey. The first grain shipment to leave on the Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni departed the Ukrainian port of Odessa on August 1 and had been expected to dock in the Lebanese port of Tripoli at the weekend. But the Ukrainian embassy said a new buyer for the shipment was being sought after the original Lebanese buyer cancelled the order. A five-month delay after Russia’s invasion “prompted the buyer and the shipping agent to reach agreement on the cancellation of the order,” the Ukraine embassy said in a statement late Tuesday. It is currently anchored off the Turkish port of Mersin. bur-dt/jv

Reuters

Landfills around the world release a lot of methane – study

Decomposing food waste is releasing thousands of tonnes of planet-warming methane gas at landfills in Buenos Aires, Delhi, Mumbai, and Lahore, new research finds. With about 570 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas emitted every year from both industrial and natural processes, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has been increasing at a record pace https://www.noaa.gov/news-release/increase-in-atmospheric-methane-set-another-record-during-2021#:~:text=NOAA’s%20preliminary%20analysis%20showed%20the,during%202020%20was%2015.3%20ppb, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Yet there is another major global source – garbage.

AFP News

Ailing beluga put down as last-ditch French rescue bid fails

An ailing beluga whale that strayed into France’s Seine river was put down by vets Wednesday after a last-ditch rescue attempt failed because of its rapidly deteriorating health, local officials said. The fate of the whale captured the hearts of people across the world since it was first spotted in the highly unusual habitat of the river that flows through Paris, far from its usual Arctic waters. Rescuers had worked overnight to lift the male out of the Seine by crane for transfer to a saltwater pen, in a precarious effort to save the life of the mammal, which was no longer eating. It was then driven at a painstakingly slow speed north to the Normandy port of Ouistreham, where vets hoped to release the animal into a harbourside pen and then possibly into the wild. But the six vets unanimously decided after examining the beluga on arrival in Ouistreham that there was no other option than to put it down, the local authority of the Calvados region said. “Despite the technical and logistical efforts, the condition of the cetacean unfortunately deteriorated during the trip,” it said. “Examinations showed that the beluga was in a state of great weakness and its respiratory activity failing. The decision was therefore taken collectively, with the veterinarians, to euthanize it,” it added. – ‘Tragic outcome’ – After nearly six hours of work by dozens of divers and rescuers, the 800-kilogramme (1,800-pound) cetacean had been lifted from the river by a net and crane at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT) and placed on a barge under the immediate care of a dozen veterinarians. The 24 divers involved in the operation and the rescuers handling the ropes had to try several times to lure the animal into the nets to be lifted out of the water. The beluga was then given a health check and driven to Ouistreham. “During the journey the vets noted a worsening of his health and in particular the breathing,” said Florence Ollivet-Courtois, a vet for the local emergency services, in a video posted on social media. “The animal was not getting enough air and suffering visibly. We therefore decided that it made no sense to set it free and proceeded to euthanasia.” It remains unclear why the beluga had strayed this far south and Ollivet-Courtois said an autopsy may give further clues about is condition. The Sea Shepherd NGO, which has been assisting in the rescue, said on Twitter that the rescue operation was “risky” but “essential” to give the animal a chance. “Following the deterioration of his condition, the vets took the decision to euthanize him. We are devastated by this tragic outcome that we knew was very likely,” it said. The four-metre (13-foot) whale was discovered more than a week ago heading towards Paris and was stranded about 130 kilometres (80 miles) inland from the English Channel at Saint-Pierre-la-Garenne in Normandy. Since Friday, the animal’s movement inland had been blocked by a lock some 70 kilometres northwest of Paris, and its health deteriorated after it refused to eat. – Killer whale also died – This is the second drama involving a big marine mammal in an unexpected area to grip France in the last months. A sick killer whale — a member of the dolphin family also known as an orca — was spotted in the Seine in May but died after attempts failed to guide the animal back to the sea. Interest in the beluga’s fate has spread far beyond France, generating a large influx of financial donations and other aid from conservation groups as well as individuals, officials said. While belugas migrate south in the autumn to feed as ice forms in their native Arctic waters, they rarely venture so far. According to France’s Pelagis Observatory, which specialises in sea mammals, the nearest beluga population is off the Svalbard archipelago, north of Norway, 3,000 kilometres from the Seine. The trapped whale is only the second beluga ever sighted in France. The first was pulled out of the Loire estuary in a fisherman’s net in 1948. bl-mb-sjw/jh/jj

AFP News

Endangered sharks, rays caught in protected Med areas: study

Endangered sharks, rays and skates in the Mediterranean are more frequently caught in protected than in unprotected areas, according to research published Tuesday highlighting the need for better conservation for critically threatened species.

AFP News

Disney+ subscribers surge as Netflix stumbles

The Disney+ streaming service saw its number of paying subscribers leap beyond expectations in the last quarter, as rival Netflix’s client count ebbed, results showed Wednesday.

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