Crocodile takes refuge on rooftop in flood-hit Indian state

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2019   •   500

Heavy rain and landslides have killed 147 people in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra and forced hundreds of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps on Monday (August 12).

The flooding has forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge in relief camps, while train services were canceled in several flood-hit areas.

Humans were not the only ones seeking higher ground as a crocodile could be seen atop a submerged house after it entered a residential area on Sunday (August 11) in the southern flood-hit Belgaum city.

Floodwater receded in some parts of western Kolhapur and southern Belgaum areas, bringing some relief to the residents.

Belgaum resident Shabana Sandhi said she had been living outside her home for eight days and her food and household materials were severely damaged by the floodwater.

While Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have been the worst hit this year, several other states including Gujarat, Assam and Bihar have also seen heavy damage due to floods. (REUTERS)

(Production Credit – Polly Rider)

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Sta. Ana, Cagayan evacuees return home as flood subsides

Maris Federez   •   November 21, 2019

CAGAYAN, Philippines – As the rain quiets down in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, the evacuees who have occupied the town’s multipurpose hall queued to return to their respective houses.

Sixteen barangays in Sta Ana were submerged in water, affecting 377 families or 1,514 individuals, according to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the local government distributed relief supplies to the affected families before they set out to return to their homes.

“So far, ngayon Ma’am, nag-subside na po iyong tubig so safe na po silang pabalik sa kanilang bahay,” said social welfare assistant Hilda Bañezta.

Officials expect that the power supply will be restored by Thursday or Friday (November 22).

Meanwhile, the local government announced that classes in the whole province of Cagayan have resumed on Thursday except those in preschool and kindergarten.

Further suspension of classes at any level will be at the discretion of the local executives in the 20 municipal mayors in the province. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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US Military: No footage on Baghdadi’s death will be released

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump answers a reporter’s question as he participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 07 October 2019. At right is United States Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EPA-EFE/Ron Sachs

Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were no plans to share footage on his death, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley announced on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria.

Trump said earlier that part of the footage on the operation would be released, but military sources said that the footage might expose some confidential information about the U.S. military, adding that the footage should go through strict checks before it is published.

The Associated Press on Monday released footage taken by a witness when the U.S. military launched a raid in northwestern Syria — but the authenticity of the footage has not been verified.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday expressed “prudent welcome” to Baghdadi’s death, saying the U.S. has made a big contribution to fighting terrorism “if confirmed”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it does not have reliable information about the U.S. operation in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria that allegedly killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday stressed that the extremist ideology and the support for it still exist in the Middle East, and the death of Baghdadi was a “creature” killed by the U.S.

On the same day, Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiee said al-Baghdadi’s death is the end of a symbol of “destructive terrorism,” and the U.S. should end its interventions in the Middle East. (Reuters)

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