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“Bomb Cyclone’ in time for US’ Thanksgiving celebrations

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The National Weather Service’s US forecast map is currently blanketed by waves of pink, purple and red which convey the winter storm warnings prevailing from California to Michigan.

A “bomb cyclone” is a mixture of blizzard-like conditions in our mountains with near hurricane force winds in Northern California with tropical storm force winds across the Bay Area. It has been at least 15 years since the Bay Area has witnessed a “bomb cyclone”.

The National Weather Service has issued heaps of warnings and precautionary advice to curb the levels of damage which might be inflicted. They estimate this cyclone to be “a big one”.

According to an online forecast discussion by the NWS on Tuesday, “Models continue to show good agreement, the low will strength to 972 mb this afternoon as it nears the Curry coast of Southern Oregon. This is lower than the 975 mb low of the historic Nov 9-10 storm in 1975. This is an unprecedented storm given the track and strength and will manifest dangerous conditions to the area.”

Thanksgiving, a major cause for celebration in the U.S has become a rising question as the weather conditions have started to stall and everything has started to cease functionality. Colorado in the southern part of the USA, has been experiencing increased snowfall which resulted in all facilities coming to a complete standstill. Along the west, the northern parts of California and the southern parts of Oregon are preparing to be swept by 100-mph wind gusts to the coast and multiple feet of snow to the mountains.

Amidst American-Ukrainian tensions, Texan chemical plant explosions, wildfire threats and several concerns in between, USA seems to really have been “snowed in”, this thanksgiving.

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First Time Ever A Police Officer Being Apprehended For Supporting Protests in Hong Kong

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On Friday, seven people were arrested along with an off-duty Hong Kong police officer as they tried o put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge in Tuen Mun. This is the first-ever known case where a police officer faced an arrest for supporting this massive protest going on for seven months arresting more than 65, 000 people.

At 3:00 am on Friday, the officer who was 31 years old along with seven other people aged from 14 to 61 were arrested in Tuen Mun which is a district in northwest Hong Kong. According to the police statement, they were accused of possessing objects with an intent to vandalize or destroy properties along with a suspicion of trying to attempt damage a footbridge. The police said that the group possessed things like posters, plastic scrapers, gloves and electric drills. All the eight are still held in detention for further investigations as of Friday night.

【新屯8街坊無故被扣查】

Posted by 李家偉 Kawai Lee on Thursday, 16 January 2020

 

According to local media reports, the group aimed to build something like a “Lennon Wall” by using collages of pro-democracy visual art which were now in trend in the past few months on walls and roads across the city. The police say that the force has an attachment of great emphasis on its members’ professional ethics and any violation of law by a fellow police officer must be handled in a serious and just manner.

Among the thousands of people who were arrested during protests around 41 of them were civil servants including 24 being from disciplines like the fire services. No police officers were arrested though there were several complaints against police personal of blinding some protestors, driving motorcycles into a march and showing a reporter’s ID card to a camera on a live broadcast.

Carrie Lam who is the city’s chief executive and a pro-Beijing appointee on Thursday said that she would not accept any complaints or accusations of police brutality or that the force had been smeared. The protests began by a trigger proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China in early June which have now evolved into a much larger revolt against China’s control over the semi-autonomous state of Hong Kong. There were several violent clashes between protesters and riot police.

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Hong Kong Student Who Co-Founded Medic Volunteer Team For Protests Arrested in China

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Classmates of Kwok Chun-Fung, a student from Hong Kong who helped to create a network of medic volunteers to help the city’s pro-democracy protests say that he was arrested in China’s mainland. It has been found out that he has been detained on charges that said he solicited prostitutes in Guangzhou which is the capital of Chinese mainland province that shares bores with Hong Kong.

Kwok studied in Guangzhou and was in his early twenties and he co-founded a volunteer group of medics who would help assist wounded protestors along with those who were affected by police tear gas during the seven months of continuous protests that are going on in Hong Kong. On 10th January his disappearance was announced to the public by another co-founder of the group. His mother said that he actually was missing for more than two days from the city.

This fellow volunteer who calls himself Small Cow said that Kwok and he were talking on the phone when suddenly his line went dead. He said that Kwok walked towards the door and the phone fell down and the call got cut.

According to two students from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, the university briefed non-mainland students about Kwok’s disappearance this week. According to them, the university’s officials told them that Kwok was arrested on 8th January late night for soliciting prostitutes in a hotel which is a punishable offence and can lead to 15 days of administrative detention.

According to the staff at the university Kwok has violated some laws and was subjected to detention but they refused to give any other comments. Yuexiu District’s police station which arrested Kwok refused to give and comment on case details. Kwok’s family were not available for comment but however Small Cow and one Hong Kong lawmaker said that the family has not gone to Hong Kong’s police or immigration authority to lodge a complaint.

This was not the first time someone was allegedly arrested. Simon Cheng who is a Hong Kong employee of the British consulate also faced similar allegations when he was in the mainland for a trip during August 2019. Before he fled overseas, Cheng said that he was forced to confess.

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Nirbhaya Case: Death execution dates revised, Will Now Hang On Feb 1 At 6 am, Says Delhi Court

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Today, hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected a mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts a new date has been issued revising the death execution of the four convicts for the heinous crime.

The four men will now be executed at 6 am on February 1, who are convicted of the gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedic student medical student in Delhi in 2012, Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said today.

The new death warrants are dated to exactly 14 days from today, in accordance with a law that states convicts to be executed must have a reprieve from the time their mercy plea is turned down.

Last week the same trial court judge had declared Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh, and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on January. However, Tihar officials on Thursday, five days before, the scheduled execution, asked for a new date, saying the executions could not take place till after all mercy pleas were settled.

The petition had been forwarded to the President via the Home Ministry late Thursday night and was rejected this afternoon. Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, had made a public appeal to the President to summarily reject the petition.

The dates can be prolonged ahead as the three other convicts too have yet to file their respective mercy petitions, which they may do at any time prior to their execution. Therefore, each time such a petition is filed and rejected, that 14-day period will be observed, and thereby potentially prolonging the execution.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

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Australia’s authorities ordered to kill more than 10,000 water-starved camels to tackle bushfires

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Amidst the blazing bushfires in Australia since November, the government authorities came up with an absurd idea of shooting more than 10,000 camels as they drink too much water during the wildfires.

In a statement on Facebook, the report explains that, in a five-day campaign starting today, the government will send helicopters to kill up to more than 10,000 camels in order to prevent them from drinking too much water in drought-afflicted South Australia region.

Marita Baker, an Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) (large, sparsely-populated local government area for Aboriginal Australians) executive board member, said that the camels were causing problems in her community of Kanypi.

“We have been stuck in stinking hot and uncomfortable conditions, feeling unwell, because the camels are coming in and knocking down fences, getting in around the houses and trying to get to water through air conditioners,” she said.

Camels were introduced to Australia from India and Afghanistan during the 19th century and were used for transport and construction. Australia now is thought to have the largest wild camel population in the world, with official estimates suggesting more than one million are roaming the country’s inland deserts.

The animals are considered a pest, as they foul water sources and trample native flora while foraging for food over vast distances each day.

If culling did not take place, the camel population would double every eight to 10 years.

According to report papers, the animals are also being culled over concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, as they emit methane equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide per year.

The locals to have complained that the animals have been entering communities and wreaking havoc as they look for any available water source, including taps and tanks.

Although the disaster has killed more than a dozen people and caused the displacement or deaths of 480 million animals and their habitats collectively, according to the University of Sydney researchers.

The disaster comes after Australia experienced its hottest and driest year on record in 2019, with the severe drought causing some towns to run out of the water and fuelling deadly bushfires that have devastated the country’s southeast.

Although, coming up with such a decision is questionable as being a human.

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Iraq Parliament Passes Resolution, Says No To Foreign Troops

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On Sunday, Iraq’s Parliament passes a resolution asking the government to remove foreign troops in the country after the US airstrike kills one of the top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The resolution calls Iraq’s government to cancel the previous request made for assistance from the US-led coalition operating in the country to fight ISIS.

The resolution read that the government will revoke the assistance from international coalition that is trying to fight ISIS as there is an end of military operation along with victory. It also said the government must prohibit foreign troops from using the country’s land, airspace and water for any reason.

Abdul Mahdi told the parliament that though the country might face some difficulties, whether internal or external, this option is the most practical option for Iraq. Iraq’s parliament held an extraordinary session so that the lawmakers would use to vote on the resolution to end the presence of foreign troops. He also claims the deaths of Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as political assassinations.

The request for the resolution was put forward on Sunday by Fatah which is that largest bloc in the legislature. Many Sunni and Kurdish legislatures were absent from the session as they oppose the resolution and the removal of foreign coalition troops. Hence, 180 legislatures of the 329 members were present in the parliament.

This coalition of foreign troops included troops from the USA, the UK and others. Around 6,000 US troops and 400 UK troops are based in Iraq with the only objective to fight ISIS. This resolution has led to a seize in their operations.

After the Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani died in a US airstrike, many of the Shiite militias were enraged. Baghdad government has further accused Washington of violating Iraq’s sovereignty.

On the other side, the Pentagon seemed to be shocked about Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani as they thought the “President was not serious about it.” As the attack was launched without consultation with US allies, many of them including the UK are abandoning Trump on the issue.

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