News

MISCELLANEOUS
Another Cyclone Batters Madagascar

Antananarivo, Madagascar, 23 Feb (ONA) --- Cyclone Emnati crashed into the southeastern coast of Madagascar in the early hours today, ripping roofs off houses and raising fears of flooding and food shortages in a region still recovering from the destruction inflicted by another tropical storm just weeks ago. More than 30,000 people were moved to safe accommodation before Emnati arrived. Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management estimates more than 250,000 people could be impacted by the latest cyclone. There were no immediate reports of ...

Italian Coastguard Rescues Migrants In Distress At Sea

Rome, 22 Feb (ONA) ---- The Italian coastguard has rescued more than 570 migrants in the central Mediterranean, though one person was recovered dead. The people on the two overcrowded fishing boats were in distress during the night due to bad weather conditions off the Calabrian coast, the Guardia Costiera said today. The crews of three patrol boats took the people on board and brought them to another coastguard vessel, where medical personnel took care of them. One person died before help could arrive. According to the migrants, the person had died in the past few days.The rescued ...

Fire Subsides on Huge Cargo Ship Adrift in mid-Atlantic

Lisbon, Portugal, 22 Feb (ONA) --- A fire aboard a ship carrying cars in the mid-Atlantic is dying out, a Portuguese navy officer said today. The huge vessel is expected to be towed to the Bahamas. The blaze on the Felicity Ace has burned for six days near Portugal’s Azores Islands. A Portuguese Air Force helicopter evacuated the 22 crew members last week, leaving the 200-meter-long (650-foot-long) vessel adrift. Two ocean-going tugboats with firefighting equipment have hosed down the ship’s hull to cool it. Two more tugboats were expected to arrive by the ...

Storm Franklin Hits UK with Flooding, High Winds

London, 21 Feb (ONA) --- Storm Franklin is continuing to hammer parts of the United Kingdom (UK) with strong winds and heavy rain. There is severe flooding in parts of Northern Ireland and more than 80 flood warnings remain in place in parts of Yorkshire. "Severe disruption" means Network Rail is advising customers to check before they travel. Franklin comes days after Storm Eunice killed three people and left 1.4 million homes without power. Storm Franklin is the third named storm in a week - following Dudley and Eunice - the first time this has happened since ...

Light Rain Brings Hope for Fire-ravaged Argentina Province

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 Feb (ONA) --- Wildfires that have been ravaging northern Argentina for several weeks advanced relentlessly, although the light rains that began over the weekend gave some hope to firefighters. Corrientes province is the most affected area, where local officials said at least eight separate fires continued to burn and had devastated at least 9% of its territory. The flames are consuming about 30,000 hectares (89,000 acres) a day in Corrientes, destroying almost 800,000 hectares so far, according to the latest official reports. Strong winds, low ...

Nearly 200 Still Missing in Flood-hit Brazil City

Rio de Janeiro, 20 Feb (ONA) --- Bad weather has hampered the search for survivors in the Brazilian city of Petrópolis, four days after devastating flash floods and mudslides. Emergency teams had to suspend their work several times because of torrential rains. They say there is little hope of finding anyone alive. Officials say 146 people have died, including at least 27 children and teenagers, while 191 are still missing. More than 900 people are being housed in schools and shelters, BBC news reported. --- Ends/KH ...

Storm Eunice Kills 16 People Across Europe

London, 20 Feb (ONA) --- At least 16 people have been killed as Storm Eunice carved a deadly trail across Europe.According to the German News Agency (DPA), deaths were reported in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom, as fierce winds felled trees and sent debris flying.Millions of homes and businesses lost power across Europe, while hundreds of flights have been cancelled and many more delayed.--- ...

Storm Sweeps Germany, Causing Damage, Delays

Berlin, 17 Feb (ONA) --- Meteorologists warned today that Germany could see more extreme weather after a storm that swept across the country overnight toppled trees and caused widespread delays to rail and air traffic. There were no immediate reports of injuries. German rail company Deutsche Bahn said it halted long-distance connections in seven northern states early today. National carrier Lufthansa and other airlines also canceled several flights due to Storm Ylenia. Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state closed schools as a precaution, and several other ...

Brazil Mudslides Kill at Least 94, with Dozens Still Missing

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 17 Feb (ONA) --- Rio de Janeiro s government has confirmed 94 deaths from floods and mudslides that swept away homes and cars in the city of Petropolis. But even as families prepared to bury their dead, it was unclear today how many bodies remained trapped in the mud. More than 24 hours after the deadly deluge early Tuesday, survivors were digging to find lost loved ones. Rio de Janeiro’s public prosecutors’ office said in a statement last night that it had compiled a list of 35 people yet to be located. Footage posted on social ...

First Fatal Shark Attack in Sydney Since 1963 Recorded

Sydney, 16 Feb (ONA) --- A swimmer has been killed after being catastrophically injured in the first fatal shark attack in Sydney since 1963, Australian officials say. Emergency services were called to Little Bay beach near Malabar today where human remains were found in the water, police say. At the moment, Little Bay and several nearby beaches are closed. Police said the beach would remain closed for the meantime and urged people to practice caution on beaches and follow safety guidance, the BBC news reported. --- Ends/Anas ...

Deadly Landslides Wreak Havoc in Brazil's Petropolis

Petropolis, 16 Feb (ONA) --- About 38 people have died in landslides and flash flooding in the Brazilian city of Petropolis, emergency workers say. The city, which is located in the mountains north of Rio de Janeiro, was hit by torrential rainfall causing the destruction of houses in hillside neighborhoods, and cars being swept away by floodwaters. The city’s mayor declared state of emergency amid ongoing work in search and rescue missions for survivors, the BBC news reported. --- Ends/Anas ...

Over 8 Million Trees Lost This Winter in UK

London, 16 Feb (ONA) --- More than eight million trees have been brought down due to winter storms and many are now threatened by another two named storms expected on Britain. The two storms, named Dudley and Eunice, are expected to worsen the already catastrophic damage caused on trees. The climate’s soaring heat is worsening weather and making it even more unpredictable. Management and planting strategies must adapt more quickly. Richard Tanner, a forest ranger said that the west shore of Windermere has been tremendously affected. All over the place giant ...

At Least 18 Dead In Brazil's Floods

Brasilia, 16 Feb (ONA) -- At least 18 people have died in landslides and floods due to heavy rain in Petropolis city, Brazil today.Floods engulfed the streets and swept away cars and trees and authorities had urged the public to flee to safer places, according to CNN.It added that rescue teams had to use boats to look ...

At Least 10 Dead After Spanish Fishing Boat Sinks Off Canada

Ottawa, 16 Feb (ONA) ---- The bodies of 10 people have been recovered from the icy waters off the Atlantic coast of Canada after a Spanish fishing boat sank, according to reports today. Eleven of the 24 crew members were still missing, Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported citing authorities. Three crew members were rescued alive from a life raft yesterday, though they showed signs of hypothermia. Given the extremely cold water and stormy seas in the area there was little chance of finding more survivors.The boat sank overnight Monday off the coast of Newfoundland. According to ...

NASA says Chinese Rocket, not SpaceX, to Crash Into Moon Next Month

Washington, 15 Feb (ONA) --- After initial reports about the impending impact of a SpaceX rocket on the moon, NASA has offered a correction: A new analysis shows that the debris due to crash into our nearest neighbour is probably part of an old Chinese rocket.It is likely a Chang'e 5-T1 booster that was launched into space from Earth in 2014.NASA concluded this from orbits of the object in 2016 and 2017, dpa has learned.The impact on the far side of the moon is expected on 4 March.Earlier, the US space agency said it expected an errant Falcon 9 rocket stage from SpaceX's could collide with ...

Early Notification System for Pollen Release to Operate in Three Bulgarian Cities

Veliko Tarnovo, 15 Feb (ONA)--- An early notification system for flowering trees and pollen release will become operational in the cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia and Plovdiv (Southern Bulgaria) in spring 2022, said agronomist Roman Rachkov, Head of the non-governmental Bulgarian Association for Biological Plant Protection (BABPP). The project aims to help both those who have pollen allergies and all interested in natural processes such as fruit-growers, beekeepers, farmers, among others. Its purpose is to notify people when trees are flowering so that they take measures ...

Refugee Child Found In UN Buffer Zone On Cyprus

Nicosia, 15 Feb (ONA) ---- UN peacekeepers discovered a 4-year-old child in the buffer zone of the divided island of Cyprus during a night-time patrol, state media reported today. Cyprus Radio (RIK) said the little girl had been handed over to child welfare workers. She is thought to come from an Arab country. It is suspected that the child was separated from her parents. Soldiers from the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) are now working with the police to find the parents. ---- ...

Both Train Drivers Among Seriously Injured In Fatal Crash Near Munich

Berlin, 15 Feb (ONA) ---- Investigators near Munich in southern Germany were still searching today for what caused two trains to crash head-on on a single-track line. One person was killed in the accident near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station south of Munich yesterday afternoon. The number of those considered seriously injured had risen to six, including both train drivers, police said today. Andreas Franken, chief spokesman for the Munich police, said 18 people in total were injured in the accident. Police had acquired the journey recording devices, equivalent ...

IAEA Reviews Water Release from Damaged Japan Nuclear Plant

Tokyo, 14 Feb (ONA) --- A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency today began its review of Japan’s plan to begin releasing more than a million tons of treated radioactive water into the sea from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant; a review that Japan hopes will instill confidence in the plan. The 15-member team is to visit the Fukushima plant tomorrow (Tuesday) and meet with government and utility officials during its five-day mission. The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings announced plans last year to begin gradually releasing the ...

Boeing Online Parts Sales Higher Than Before Pandemic

Chicago, 14 Feb (ONA) ---- A branch of aerospace company Boeing that sells parts online said internet sales increased significantly last year, in a sign of recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. The Boeing Company said today that it has posted a steep rise in its online parts sales for 2021 to over $2 billion, better than its pre-pandemic sales, reflecting recovery from Covid-19. The company's arm Boeing Distribution sold nearly 70,000 parts products through its portal in 2021. Out of which, reflecting a recovery in the airline industry, the commercial online sales orders were ...

Record High Destruction of Trees in Brazilian Amazon in January

Brasilia, 13 Feb (ONA) --- The number of trees cut down in the Brazilian Amazon in January 2022 far exceeded deforestation for the same month last year, according to government satellite data. The area destroyed was five times larger than 2021, the highest January total since records began in 2015. Protecting the Amazon is essential if we are to tackle climate change. Trees are felled for their wood as well as to clear spaces to plant crops to supply global food companies. At the climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, more than 100 governments ...

Solar Storm Destroys 40 New SpaceX Satellites in Orbit

Washington, 10 Feb (ONA) --- Over the past three years, SpaceX has deployed many satellites into low-earth orbit as part of its business to beam high-speed internet service from space, but the latest deployment of 49 new satellites did not go as planned. As a consequence of a geomagnetic storm triggered by a recent outburst of the sun, up to 40 of 49 newly launched Starlink satellites have been knocked out of commission. The geomagnetic incident resulted in the Starlink transmitters drifting back into Earth’s atmosphere, where they will burn up.The sun has an 11-year long cycle in ...

Homes Engulfed as Deadly Landslide Hits Colombia

Bogotá, 9 Feb (ONA) --- A landslide triggered by heavy rains has killed at least 14 people in central Colombia, local officials said. Another 35 people were now in hospital after several homes were engulfed in the Dosquebradas municipality, Risaralda province. Other residents living close to a swollen river nearby have been moved to safety. Rescue teams have been searching in the mud for more survivors, Colombia's disaster management officials said. There are fears that the death toll will rise further. Landslides are common in Colombia and houses ...

Indonesia Frees Croc from Tire Stuck on its Neck for 6 Years

Jakarta, 9 Feb (ONA) --- A wild crocodile with a used motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for six years has finally been freed by an Indonesian bird catcher in a tireless effort that wildlife conservation officials hailed as a milestone today. The 4.5-meter (14.8-foot) saltwater female crocodile has become an icon to the people in Palu, the capital city of Central Sulawesi. The beast was seen on the city’s river with the tire around its neck becoming increasingly tighter, running the risk of choking her. Conservation officials were racing to rescue the crocodile ...

13 Million People Face Severe Hunger in Horn of Africa: UN

Kampala, Uganda, 8 Feb (ONA) --- Drought conditions have left an estimated 13 million people facing severe hunger in the Horn of Africa, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). People in a region including Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya face the driest conditions recorded since 1981, the agency reported today, calling for immediate assistance to forestall a major humanitarian crisis. Drought conditions are affecting pastoral and farming communities across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, south-eastern and northern Kenya, and south-central Somalia. ...

Nature in Denmark’s Coastal Regions at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels: Report

Nature in Denmark’s Coastal Regions at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels: ReportCopenhagen, 7 Feb (ONA)--- A research team from Danish consulting group Cowi and the University of Southern Denmark studied how rises in seawater levels would affect nature along the country’s coasts over the next 50 and 100 years, Danish news service Ritzau reported.“We are losing some coastal zones and these shallow coastal areas – also called salt marshes – in particular, will disappear,” said Torben Ebbensgaard, biologist and project manager at Cowi.“These are breeding areas for large numbers of ...

Playing with Dolls Helps Children Talk about How Others feel: Says Study

Playing with Dolls Helps Children Talk about How Others feel: Says Study Washington, 7 Feb (ONA)--- Playing with dolls encourages children to talk more about others’ thoughts and emotions, a study has found. The research suggests that playing imaginary games with dolls could help children develop social skills, theory of mind and empathy. The neuroscientist who led the work said that the educational value of playing with Lego and construction toys was widely accepted, but the benefits of playing with dolls sometimes appeared to have been overlooked. “When children ...

At Least Eight Killed as Long-distance Bus Overturns in Mexico

Cancun, Mexico, 7 Feb (ONA) --- At least eight people died south of the Mexican resort town of Cancun when a bus overturned, local justice authorities said. Several others were injured, the attorney general of Quintana Roo state added.The accident is being investigated. The long-distance bus went off the road and overturned on a highway near the town of El Tintal, some 70 kilometres south-west of Cancún.Local media reported that the bus collided with a truck, but the exact cause of the accident was not immediately known.Several passengers had to be freed from the bus after initially ...

Australia to Allow Entry for Vaccinated Tourists Starting 21 February

Canberra, 7 Feb (ONA) --- Australia announced today that it will open its borders to vaccinated international tourists after almost a two-year halt caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister said that Double-vaccinated tourists and all remaining visa holders will be allowed into Australia from 21 February. Australia’s border saw a semi-reopening which started last year, with international students, working visa holders and backpackers welcomed back in stages. "You must be double vaccinated to come to Australia," Morrison ...

Vancouver's most Vulnerable Residents at Elevated Risk for Brain Injuries: study Finds

Vancouver's most Vulnerable Residents at Elevated Risk for Brain Injuries: study Finds Victoria, 6 Feb (ONA)--- Researchers from two prominent universities in Vancouver are developing new research about health outcomes for the city's most vulnerable residents will result in better awareness, treatment and prevention of traumatic brain injuries. After tracking 326 people for a year who live in the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver's poorest neighborhood, researchers from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia discovered that the precariously-housed residents ...