A major attempt to protect Mauritius and the Indian Ocean from the 980-foot MV Wakashio oil spill is underway.
The ship ran aground off the coast on July 25 carrying 4,000 tons of oil. The fuel started to leak last week when the ship's hull cracked, CBS News reported, causing major damage to the island known for its coral reefs and marine wildlife.
The Associated Press reported that more than 1,000 tons of fuel had already leaked into the sea, and with the high winds and waves, environmentalists, residents, and government officials worry the ship could split and unleash the remaining oil.
Here's a look at the damage the oil has caused in Mauritius so far.
The MV Wakashio ran aground off the coast of Mauritius on its way to Brazil from China on July 25.
"So much oil remains in the ship, so the disaster could become much worse. It's important to remove as much oil as possible. Helicopters are taking out the fuel little by little, ton by ton," Gardenne told the AP.
Oceanographer and environmental engineer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo told AFP that it may already be "too late" to contain the leaking tanker. "If the ship breaks in two, the situation will be out of control," he said.
The company that runs the vessel, Nagashiki Shipping Co., said in a statement on August 7: "Due to the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea. Oil prevention measures are in place and an oil boom has been deployed around the vessel."
A recount in Wisconsin's largest county demanded by Republican President Donald Trump's election campaign ended Friday with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden gaining votes. After the recount in Milwaukee County, Mr Biden had a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, Mr Biden gained 257 votes to Mr Trump's 125. Mr Trump's campaign had demanded recounts in two of Wisconsin's most populous and Democratic-leaning counties, after losing Wisconsin to Mr Biden by over 20,000 votes. The two recounts will cost the Trump campaign $3 million. Dane County is expected to finish its recount on Sunday. Overall, Mr Biden won the November 3 US presidential election with 306 Electoral College votes - many more than the 270 needed for victory - to Mr Trump's 232. Mr Biden also leads by more than six million in the popular vote tally. After the recount ended, Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said: "The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee County are fair, transparent, accurate and secure." The Trump campaign is still expected to mount a legal challenge to the overall result in Wisconsin, but time is running out. The state is due to certify its presidential result on Tuesday.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — They threw her new cellphone on the roof of the station house and placed nails under the wheels of her pickup truck. It was too much for Timika Ingram to bear. “It caused me pain, sleepless nights, suffering, anxiety,” said Ingram, whose four years as a firefighter in North Carolina amounted to a collection of indignities.
French authorities have suspended police officers accused of assaulting and racially abusing a Black man in Paris, after CCTV footage of the incident was released and caused an outcry. The music producer, who has identified himself as Michel, was beaten at the entrance to his studio. French President Emmanuel Macron was quoted by France's BFM TV as being "very shocked" by the CCTV and mobile phone images, which were obtained by the LoopSider news outlet and made headline news on French channels. The officers involved were suspended pending investigation at the interior minister's request. Michel told reporters he'd been walking in the street without a face mask, against French COVID-19 rules. When he saw a police car he went into his studio to avoid getting a fine. But the police followed him inside and arrested him, violently. The video purports to show them kicking and beating him, and he says they hurled racial abuse at him too. They then leave, and throw a tear gas canister into the studio. As anger grew, French soccer stars added to the chorus of condemnation. Kylian Mbappe tweeted that the video was "intolerable" and his fellow Les Bleus striker, Antoine Griezmann wrote: "My France is hurting." The alleged attack on Michel risks inflaming racial tension, and fuelling criticism of a draft law that would limit journalists' ability to show images of French police officers at work. The prime minister's office said on Thursday (November 26) it would set up an independent commission to propose a new draft of the legislation. Some "BlackLivesMatter" protests broke out in Paris in June, a month after the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the United States. The movement resonates in France, in particular in deprived city suburbs, where rights groups say accusations of police brutality, often against people with immigrant backgrounds, remain largely unaddressed. And Paris police were already under fire this week after social media photos and videos showed officers hitting protesters as they cleared out an illegal migrants campsite in a central Paris square.
Peering down from their balconies at the luxury Waikiki hotel, more than a thousand migrants gaze out towards the sea that carried them on their desperate journey fleeing Africa. Their rickety fishing boats lie piled up on docksides waiting to be scrapped. Smashed hulls still bob in the water, a reminder of the eight lives claimed this week off Lanzarote as hundreds more migrants reached Spain’s Canary Islands. The survivors’ safety in hotel accommodation amid the sprawling resorts of southern Gran Canaria is testament to local islanders’ proud benevolence. But generosity is running thin as tempers fray amid a growing crisis that has split Canarian leaders from their mainland colleagues, and reopened old wounds in Europe's hopeless attempt to control migration. The Canary Islands has seen arrivals increase tenfold in a year to around 20,000 by late November. Plans are now afoot to build one of Europe's largest migrant camps, housing 7,000 across three islands. Around 6,000 are currently living in 15 hotel complexes after a deal was struck between hoteliers and the Spanish government.
Former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne left behind a cloud of confusion when he resigned in 2019 from the internet retailer he’d founded after panicking investors with his bizarre claims that he had romanced a Russian agent at the behest of “Men in Black” working for the United States government.Now he’s back, with what he has described as his own personal “army,” touting what he claims is proof that Democrats stole the election from Donald Trump.“I’ve funded a team of hackers and cybersleuths, other people with odd skills,” Byrne said in a Tuesday interview at One America News, where OAN personality Chanel Rion praised Byrne as the head of an “elite shadow cyber security team.”Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Claims Maria Butina Offered to Arrange One-on-One for Him With PutinAs Trump’s chances of securing a second term dwindle down to nothing, Byrne has launched a media tour to promote his mysterious hacker team, appearing from an “undisclosed location” on OAN, Newsmax, and a series of far-fringe YouTube shows associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory movement. On Friday, a guest host on the popular Rush Limbaugh talk radio show praised Byrne’s allegations about voter fraud and proposed inviting Byrne on the show.With Trump allies on his legal team and in conservative media scrambling for any evidence that Trump didn’t legitimately lose the presidential race, Byrne has become a hero to the MAGA crowd, despite his history of making off-the-wall allegations.Byrne claims he’s funding teams of “hackers and crackers” who realized all the way back in August that Dominion voting machines could be used to steal the election from Trump. Since the election, those voting machines have figured prominently in Trump supporters’ allegations of fraud, despite the company’s repeated denials and any actual proof the voting tallies were changed.The actual details of Byrne’s supposed hacker super-team, however, similarly thin.“I’m a free agent, and I’m self-funded, and I’m funding this army of various odd people,” Byrne said in a Nov. 23 appearance on a podcast with a QAnon promoter who used the name InTheMatrixxx. “It’s really going to make a great movie someday.”Asked for more details on his hacker team, Byrne referred The Daily Beast to his blog, “DeepCapture.” But the 40,000-word explanation on Byrne’s website focuses on his long-running feud with Wall Street short-sellers, and Byrne’s conversations with a mysterious financial whistleblower called the “Easter Bunny,” rather than on any election investigations team.Byrne stopped responding to emails from The Daily Beast when asked whether any members of his hacker team would be available for interviews.Despite his vague claims, Byrne says he’s been funneling allegations about the election to the White House and one-time Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for weeks. Byrne’s claims are similar to those Powell has made publicly, including an allegation that deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez somehow meddled in the election seven years after his death.“Sidney was the first to really get it, and to get what we’re saying is so vast, that you need kind of a very open-minded person to get it,” Byrne said in the InTheMatrixxx podcast.In the aftermath of the election, Byrne has become the latest with a broad “tech” background to reinvent himself as an expert on voting machines. Byrne is joined in that niche by former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins, who left his position managing the site for its QAnon posts on Election Day and has since appeared on OAN as a so-called elections investigator.During his post-election media tour, Byrne has made a series of other strange claims, including that he could be the reincarnation of an ancient Chinese monk.“I love the Chinese, I speak Chinese, I think I’m the reincarnation of a Shaolin monk, maybe,” Byrne said on the “InTheMatrixxx” podcast.Here’s How Hugo Chavez, Dead Since 2013, Became Responsible for Trump’s Election LossByrne has also encountered some other strange allegations on his media tour. In an appearance on a QAnon YouTube show hosted by a woman named “Cirsten W,” Byrne listened as his host claimed that Bill Clinton and late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein have been cloned.Byrne’s habit of making oddball claims made headlines in 2019, when he was still the CEO of Overstock. Using company letterhead, Byrne issued a statement claiming that “Men in Black” figures in the federal government had urged him to romance Russian agent Maria Butina, who was at the time allegedly trying to infiltrate conservative circles as a gun rights activist. Overstock’s share price plunged, and Byrne eventually resigned after Overstock’s insurer refused to insure the company with Byrne at the helm.A Senate Intelligence Committee report issued in August lays out a different view of Byrne’s interactions with Butina. In the report, Butina sees Byrne as a potential avenue to reach Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), then a presidential candidate. In a July 2016 email published in the committee report, Butina’s boyfriend, Paul Erickson, wrote that Byrne was “stalking” Butina after meeting her at a libertarian conference and claimed that Byrne made her a $1 million offer related to having his child.“Byrne is a bachelor by choice and consequences of his intellectual gifts and limitations, but is now concerned with his mortality and family legacy,” Erickson wrote. “Since meeting Maria, he has found ever more creative ways to pitch a standing $1 million offer to her ‘to have a baby with him.’ He is utterly enamored of her imagined gene stock and believes that a baby would cement not only his familial line but also relations between our two nations.”Byrne didn’t respond to The Daily Beast about the allegations made in Erickson’s email.Byrne’s other allegations haven’t always paid off, either. In 2018, he lost a landmark defamation trial filed against him by a Canadian businessman who had been described on Byrne’s blog as a terrorist financier and drug and arms trafficker, with the plaintiff awarded $1.2 million in damages.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The Government is preparing for a 100 per cent increase in the number of Hong Kong citizens coming to Britain after Boris Johnson offered up to three million residents sanctuary. The Prime Minister said in July that Hong Kong's freedoms were being violated by a new security law and those affected would be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship. The Foreign Office estimated that 200,000 people would move from Hong Kong to the UK, but a leaked internal briefing paper warned of a "rapid rise in the issue of British National (Overseas) passports since June". BN(O) passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months. Under the Government's plans, all BN(O)s and their dependents will be given the right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. They will be able to apply for settled status and, after a further year, seek citizenship.
The high-profile epidemiologist who led Sweden's no lock-down strategy in the spring appears to be being sidelined by the government after his prediction that greater immunity would mean a lighter second wave proved badly wrong. Anders Tegnell's biweekly press conference was on Thursday pushed into the shade by an overlapping press conference fronted by Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, where new scenarios prepared by the Public Health Agency were announced. "There's certainly a split, and I'm pretty sure that many in the government have rather lost faith in the Public Health Agency," said Nicholas Aylott, an associate politics professor at Stockholm's Södertorn University. "By some counts, we've now got exactly the same level of spread of the virus that we had in the spring, and that's about as clear a refutation of Tegnell's strategy as you could wish for." Dr Tegnell has always insisted that his Public Health Agency has never pursued a herd immunity strategy, but he repeatedly suggested in the summer that his counterparts in Norway, Finland and Denmark would face a tougher task over the winter because of lower levels of immunity in their populations. This month, though, the number of deaths in Sweden has again begun to soar above that of its Nordic neighbours, with 630 deaths so far registered as a result of Covid-19. That is about ten times the per capita death rate in Norway -- where just 30 Covid-19 deaths were registered between October 28th and November 25th.
Heavy shelling struck the capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region on Saturday, the local government and humanitarian sources said, as the city of half a million braced for an attack against leaders of the regional ruling party. Ethiopia's military "has started hitting with heavy weaponry and artillery the centre of Mekele", the local government said in a statement carried by Tigrayan media - a claim confirmed by two humanitarian officials with staff in the city. "The Tigray regional state calls upon all who have a clear conscience, including the international community, to condemn the artillery and warplane attacks and massacres being committed," the statement said. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, announced November 4 he had ordered military operations against Tigray's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). More than three weeks of fierce fighting has left thousands dead "including many civilians as well as security forces", the International Crisis Group said Friday.