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At least 50 people have been killed over the past two weeks after Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupted four separate times.
At least 50 people have been killed over the past two weeks after Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupted four separate times.
Worldcrunch

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014

U.S. AND RUSSIA TO TEAM UP AGAINST ISIS
The United States and Russia have agreed to share more intelligence on ISIS, as part of a renewed cooperation on global security and counter-terrorism efforts, Secretary of State John Kerry said after he met with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Paris on Tuesday. The Associated Press quotes Kerry as saying that he had stressed the fact that as world powers, the U.S. and Russia have “major” responsibilities. Speaking separately, Lavrov confirmed the sharing of intelligence and spoke positively about improving ties between the two countries, which had become tense over the Ukrainian crisis. "Mr. Kerry and I don't represent warring sides," Lavrov said.

  • Kerry also confirmed that Russian troops were withdrawing from Ukraine and the border zone, and returning to their permanent bases, French dailyLibérationreports. The Secretary of State added this was a necessary initiative for Western sanctions against Russia to be lifted. "There are four to five principal requirements with respect to lifting the sanctions: release of hostages, release of all prisoners, is one; the withdrawal of troops and equipment is another," he said.

  • Meanwhile, American-led forces have sharply intensified air strikes in the past two days against Islamic State fighters threatening Kurds on Syria's Turkish border after the jihadists' advance began to destabilize Turkey, Reuters reports.

NEW EBOLA CASE IN TEXAS
A second health worker in Texas has tested positive for Ebola, medical officials announced Wednesday, the BBC reports. A 26-year-old nurse is already being treated after she became infected with the virus by a Liberian man who died from Ebola last week at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 contacts of the Liberian man and healthcare workers who treated him are currently being monitored.

  • Speaking at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday, the assistant director general of the World Health Organization Bruce Aylward said the number of new Ebola cases was likely to be between 5,000 and 10,000 by early December, The Guardian reports. Aylward added that according to detailed investigations, only around 30% of people infected with Ebola survived.

  • According to the WHO, at least 4,447 people have died of Ebola, mainly in West Africa, since the beginning of the outbreak earlier this year.

SNAPSHOT
At least 50 people have been killed over the past two weeks after Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupted four separate times.

HONG KONG TENSION RISES AFTER VIDEO OF POLICE BEATING
A video showing the alleged beating of a Civic Party member by a group of plain-clothes police officers has outraged pro-democracy protesters across Hong Kong, raising tension even further in demonstrations that have now lasted for more than two weeks. Pictures later show the victim, Ken Tsang, with cuts and bruises across his body. According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong authorities have launched an investigation into the beating and the concerned officers are set to be temporarily removed from their duties.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO
From biblical times to crusades and jihad, self-proclaimed "holy wars" are not driven by God — but rather by power, territory and economic interests, writes Die Welt. “It is not the belief in Allah, Yahweh or God that unleashes religiously motivated violence. More is needed for that, like excessive striving for power, riches, influence, sexual fulfillment and bloodlust. The religious systems merely provide the mask under which the banality of evil can hide. Killing and robbing are sanctioned by invoking God or Allah.”
Read the full article, What So-Called Religious Wars Are Really About.

DRONE & BRAWL INTERRUPT EURO 2016 QUALIFIER
A Euro 2016 qualifying soccer match between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade had to be abandoned after 41 minutes of play, after a brawl erupted between players and hooligans. The incidents were sparked by a drone flying over the pitch carrying a flag of “Greater Albania”, a nationalist project covering all parts of the Balkans where ethnic Albanians live. A Serbian player grabbed the flag, prompting violent reactions by some Albanian players and scrambles around the Partizan stadium. The riots came a few days before the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is set to visit Belgrade, a first in almost 70 years. Watch expand=1] a video of the incidents here.

MOZAMBIQUE VOTES
Mozambicans are voting in key presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections today. This is seen as a crucial test for the incumbent Frelimo party, which is however expected to remain in power, according to the French-language pan-African news outlet Jeune Afrique. Mozambique is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and is hoping to escape years of poverty and conflicts through these elections.

$25 MILLION
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have made a major donation to fight the outbreak of Ebola.

VERBATIM
Brazil’s incumbent president Dilma Rousseff and her rival Aécio Neves traded accusations of corruption and nepotism during a heated televised debate yesterday, with the center-right candidate branding Rousseff’s campaign as “nothing but lies.”

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
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BARACK O’BAMA
After visiting this teeny tiny Irish town once in 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama has saved it. Read about in The Irish Times.

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Green

China Can't Kick Its Coal Habit

China has endured two months of scorching heatwaves and drought that have affected power supply in the country. Spooked by future energy security, Beijing is reinvesting heavily in coal with disastrous implications for climate change.

The Datang International Zhangjiakou Power Plant shown at dusk in Xuanhua District of Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province.

Guangyi Pan and Hao Yang*

Two months of scorching heatwaves and drought plunged China into an energy security crisis.

The southwest province of Sichuan, for example, relies on dams to generate around 80% of its electricity, with growth in hydropower crucial for China meeting its net-zero by 2060 emissions target.

Sichuan suffered from power shortages after low rainfall and extreme temperatures over 40℃ dried up rivers and reservoirs. Heavy rainfall this week, however, has just seen power in Sichuan for commercial and industrial use fully restored, according to official Chinese media.

The energy crisis has seen Beijing shift its political discourse and proclaim energy security as a more urgent national mission than the green energy transition. Now, the government is investing in a new wave of coal-fired power stations to try to meet demand.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, China approved 8.63 gigawatts of new coal plants and, in May, announced C¥ 10 billion (around $1.4 billion) of investment in coal power generation. What’s more, it will expand the capacity of a number of coal mines to ensure domestic supply as the international coal market price jumped amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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