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Geopolitics

Fire At Mexican Gas Plant Kills 26

LA JORNADA (Mexico), CNN (USA), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

MEXICO CITY – An explosion followed by a fire at a gas plant in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has killed at least 26 people, reports La Jornada.

Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said the fire broke out at around lunch time Tuesday outside the city of Reynosa, a few miles south of the U.S. border, reports BBC News.

Four of the dead were employees of the state oil company and 22 others were contractors, Pemex said. Forty-six people were injured, said CNN.

The road between Monterrey and Reynosa was shut down for a few hours as ambulances and firefighters rushed to the facility to try to control the situation and rescue the wounded.

Mexican troops have also been called in to help while more than 5,000 were evacuated.

According to the energy company, the fire was extinguished in 90 minutes and investigators are still working to determine the cause of the blast.

Such incidents are frequent in Mexico. Four workers were injured last week in a nearby plant owned by Pemex.

Another Pemex gas plant in Tamaulipas state was hit by a fire on August 13, but the company said no one was injured.

Plant accidents in Mexico are most often caused by illegal tapping of the state oil company's pipelines.

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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