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17.08.18  /  Extreme  /   – The Silence From The Vatican On Sex Abuse By Priests 'Disappointing'

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17.08.18 The Silence From The Vatican On Sex Abuse By Priests 'Disappointing'

The Vatican has come under fire for its failure to respond to a shocking grand jury report which alleged decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

The Holy See's press office declined to comment on the report but critics said the Pope's office should respond to the claims against some 301 clergymen over a period of more than 70 years.

One Catholic writer said Pope Francis's response to the claims had been 'disappointing' while an academic called the Vatican's silence 'disturbing', CNN reported.

At least 1,000 children were molested and assaulted by 'predator priests' who used Catholic rituals and symbols of the faith to commit their horrifying abuse, the grand jury found.

The Holy See's press office declined to comment on the report but critics said Pope Francis (pictured) should respond to claims against some 301 clergymen over a more than 70 years

The Holy See's press office declined to comment on the report but critics said Pope Francis (pictured) should respond to claims against some 301 clergymen over a more than 70 years

Pennsylvania theology academic Massimo Faggioli said: 'The silence from the Vatican is disturbing.

'I don't think the Pope necessarily has to say something today. He needs time to understand the situation... but someone from the Vatican should say something.'

Catholic magazine editor Matthew Schmitz said on Twitter: 'Francis has at times been unfairly attacked for his handling of sex abuse but his record is still disappointing.

'He needs to act now by authorizing a full investigation of the American hierarchy.'

17.08.18  /  Extreme  /  India – Troops Led Operation To Rescue People Trapped By Floods In Kerala State

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17.08.18 India Troops Led Operation To Rescue People Trapped By Floods In Kerala State

Hundreds of troops led a desperate operation to rescue families trapped by mounting floods in India's Kerala state on Thursday as the death toll passed 100 with dozens more feared perished.

Helicopters airlifted stranded victims from rooftops and dam gates were thrown open as incessant torrential rain brought havoc to the southern state.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state now faces an 'extremely grave' crisis with downpours predicted to last days more. The region's main airport has been closed until August 26.

State authorities said the official toll had reached 106 on Thursday. Media reports said up to 30 more people were feared dead in landslides and rivers that burst their banks, flooding scores of villages.

Floods have killed 77 and destroyed thousands of homes in India's Kerala state. Pictured: A recsue worker takes a child away in rising waters 

Floods have killed 77 and destroyed thousands of homes in India's Kerala state. Pictured: A recsue worker takes a child away in rising waters

The popular tourist state, known for its tea plantations and palm-lined beach resorts, is always battered by the annual monsoon but this year's damage has been the worst in almost a century.

'The official toll now is 106 dead. A total of 1,331 camps have been opened across the state, in which 147,000 people have moved in by this evening,' a Kerala state disaster management official told AFP.

At least eight people were killed when an irrigation dam burst and a landslide hit three houses in the town of Nenmara, Palakkad district, authorities said.

17.08.18  /  Extreme  /  China – Tropical Storm Rumbia Tracking

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17.08.18 China Tropical Storm Rumbia Tracking

China (Security threat level - 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0600 UTC on 16 August 2018, Tropical Storm Rumbia was located in the East China Sea, approximately 270 km (168 mi) east-southeast of Shanghai, and was moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 11 kph (7 mph). The storm had maximum sustained winds of 74 kph and gusts of up to 93 kph. The most recent forecast model has Rumbia maintaining its current strength as it passes over Zhejiang province’s Zhoushan archipelago, located at the southern mouth of Hangzhou Bay, overnight on 16-17 August local time. The storm will then make another landfall on the bay’s northern coast, just south of Shanghai. The Shanghai area is expected to receive 25-75 mm (1-3 in) of rain, with isolated amounts of up to 100 mm possible due to the storm. Meteorologists state that wind damage is also possible in Shanghai but that the worst effects will be in coastal areas south of the city. Once on land, Rumbia will weaken, but is still expected to bring 75-100 mm of rain to Anhui, Hubei and southern Henan provinces over the course of the upcoming weekend.

16.08.18  /  Extreme  /  Congo, Democratic Republic of the – Death Toll From Fresh Outbreak Of Ebola Now 41

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16.08.18 Congo, Democratic Republic of the Death Toll From Fresh Outbreak Of Ebola Now 41

Image result for ebola alert

Forty-one people are now feared to have died from Ebola in a fresh outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Official figures show the death toll has jumped by a fifth in the space of a week as aid workers work round-the-clock to control the situation.

Virologists have already warned the situation is ‘hard to control’ because the cases are in a conflict zone, roamed by armed militias. This means those infected could be displaced into refugee camps, where they could easily spread the virus.

In a desperate attempt to stem the outbreak, the World Health Organization's chief yesterday called for an end to the fighting in the DRC.

Dr Tedros Adhanom travelled to east DRC to examine the situation in person and told reporters in Switzerland he was 'actually more worried after the visit than before'.

He said: 'We call on the warring parties for a cessation of hostilities because the virus is dangerous to all. It doesn’t choose between this group and that group.'

The Ebola virus is considered one of the most lethal pathogens in existence, and was responsible for the brutal pandemic of 2014 that sparked international fear.

16.08.18  /  Extreme  /  Mexico – Woman Elected To Serve In Congress Has Been Kidnapped

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16.08.18 Mexico Woman Elected To Serve In Congress Has Been Kidnapped

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A woman recently elected to serve in Mexico's Congress has been kidnapped after a violent ambush at gunpoint. Norma Azucena Rodríguez is the latest Mexican official to be abducted in central Hidalgo state, one of the most dangerous regions in the country. She was said to be travelling down a highway when two men opened fire on her vehicle, injuring her driver and assistant and causing the car to flip over.
Ms Rodríguez was then seized by the gunmen, who pulled her out of the vehicle and fled after forcing her into their car. Her whereabouts, along with the motive of the assailants, remain unknown.
The 32-year-old representative of the centre-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) previously served as the mayor of of Tihuatlán in Veracruz, and was elected 1 July to serve in the lower house of Congress. She is due to be sworn in on 1 September. Just last month, a mayor was kidnapped on the same highway in Hidalgo where Ms Rodríguez was taken from this week. Assailants seized Genaro Negrete Urbano, the mayor of Naupan, from a vehicle driving on the street in July. Mr Urbano was later found dead with a gunshot wound.

15.08.18  /  Extreme  /  Italy – Bridge That Collapsed In Genoa Had History Maintenance Issues

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15.08.18 Italy Bridge That Collapsed In Genoa Had History Maintenance Issues

The motorway bridge which collapsed in Genoa, Italy, killing at least 35 people had been the subject of a series of 'exorbitant' maintenance works and had been causing issues for decades, it has emerged.

Engineering experts had warned that it would have been more cost effective to knock the bridge down than to continue to repair the 'uneven' construction.

The Morandi Bridge, built in 1967, was a main thoroughfare connecting the A10 and A7 highways and had therefore been heavily trafficked for more than 50 years.

Tuesday morning was no different, and dozens of cars fell several hundred feet when a 260ft section of the concrete bridge collapsed shortly after 11.30am.

Tragedy: This graphic shows the part of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa which collapsed on Tuesday morning, killing at least 35 people
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