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News ID: 103937
Publish Date : 21 June 2022 - 21:24
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AMSTERDAM (AFP) -- The Dutch joined Germany and Austria in reverting to coal power following an energy crisis provoked by Russia’s operation in Ukraine. The Netherlands said it would lift all restrictions on power stations fired by the fossil fuel, which were previously limited to just over a third of output. Berlin and Vienna made similar announcements on Sunday as Moscow, facing biting sanctions over Ukraine, cuts gas supplies to energy-starved Europe. Germany however said it still aimed to close its coal power plants by 2030, in light of the greater emissions of climate-changing CO2 from the fossil fuel. Russia’s operation in pro-Western neighbor has sent global prices for energy soaring and raised the prospect of shortages if supplies were to be cut off. Russian energy giant Gazprom has already stopped deliveries to a number of European countries, including Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands.
 
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BAMAKO (AFP) -- Suspected takfiris massacred more than 130 civilians over the weekend in neighboring central Mali towns, the latest mass killings in the Sahel region. Local officials reported scenes of systematic killings by armed men in Diallassagou and two surrounding towns in the Bankass circle, a longtime hotbed of Sahelian violence. “They have also been burning huts, houses, and stealing cattle -- it’s really a free-for-all,” said a local official who for security reasons spoke on condition of anonymity. He and another official, who like him had fled his village, said the death toll was still being counted on Monday. Nouhoum Togo, head of a party in Bankass, the main town in the area, said the toll was even higher than the 132 announced by the government, which has blamed Al-Qaeda-affiliated takfiris for the killings.
 
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WARSAW (Reuters) -- Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party leader and deputy prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has resigned from his position in government, PAP news agency said on Tuesday. Kaczynski, who was also the head of the government’s national security and defense affairs committee, said that he would be replaced by the Minister of National Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak. Kaczynski had earlier signaled that he wanted to resign from government functions in order to focus on the ruling party’s preparations for next year’s parliamentary elections. The nationalist PiS has been in power since late 2015, but Kaczynski only joined the government in October 2020. He was to work on a bill on national defense, but analysts said his presence in the government was also meant to rein in conflicts between members of the ruling coalition.
 
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PARIS (AFP) -- The number of migrants seeking to cross the Channel from France to England rose 68 percent in the first half of 2022, the French interior ministry said. From January 1 to June 13, there were 777 attempted crossings involving 20,132 people, up 68 percent on the same period last year, the ministry told AFP. It emphasized that the French security forces had prevented most of the crossings, with 61.39 percent of the attempts thwarted in the first half, up 4.2 percent on last year. Some 52,000 people tried to cross in 2021, with 28,000 of the migrants succeeding, according to the French authorities. The numbers come as the UK seeks to toughen its policy against arrivals. Britain has repeatedly accused the French authorities of not doing enough to stop the crossings, a charge denied by Paris in a spat that has further strained relations after Brexit.
 
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BEIJING (AP) — Two of the four female victims remain hospitalized 11 days after a group assault in northern China that sparked nationwide outrage, authorities said Tuesday, as they announced the firing of one police official and an investigation into the handling of criminal cases by the local police. The Hebei province Public Security Department said in-depth investigations are being carried out into the slow response to incidents and “serious violations of laws and discipline” by police in the city of Tangshan, which is about 150 kilometers (100 miles) east of Beijing. The assault raised concern about public safety and the mistreatment of women in society. Hundreds of thousands of people commented after videos of the attack were posted online, many calling for justice. 
 
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BRASILIA (AFP) -- A 290-million-year-old fossil forest is discovered by an investigation team in the state of Parana, southern Brazil. It is a group of 164 logs of ‘lycophytes’ (without fruits, flowers and seeds) of an extinct variety, whose upright position preserved over time is considered a rare occurrence. The Paraná forest was found at the end of 2018, when a road was opened in the area to give access to an industrial plant. Geologists went to the site to study the exposed rocks, but to their surprise they found this fossil forest. There were only two other similar findings in the southern hemisphere, but of smaller dimensions, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul (south) and in Argentinean Patagonia.
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