News ID: 92358
Publish Date : 12 July 2021 - 21:37

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Firefighters working in searing heat struggled to contain the largest wildfire in California this year while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines. A large swath of the West baked during the weekend in triple-digit temperatures that were expected to continue into the start of the work week. The California Independent System Operator that manages the state’s power grid issued a five-hour ”flex alert” starting at 4 p.m. Monday and asked consumers to “conserve as much electricity as possible” to avoid any outages. California and other parts of the West are sinking deeper into drought and that has sent fire danger sky high in many areas. In Arizona, a small plane crashed Saturday during a survey of a wildfire in rural Mohave County, killing both crew members.

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -- A Danish nurses’ strike will be expanded next month to involve an additional 702 nurses to show that they take their demand for higher pay seriously, their union said on Monday. A tenth of Denmark’s nurses, around 5,400, went on strike in mid-June after union members voted against a pay deal that their union leadership had approved. “We need to do something to get politicians and employers talking, and make them know that we take this seriously,” union president Grete Christensen said in a statement on Monday. “If nothing is done about the nurses’ salaries and working conditions, we will have even fewer nurses in the future, and that will have a severe effect on the health service.” Danish nurses in March rejected a government offer of a 5.02% wage increase over three years.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- South Africa’s top court began hearing a challenge by former president Jacob Zuma against a 15-month prison term on Monday as police said six people had been killed and over 200 arrested in related protests and looting since last week. Sporadic violence and looting continued on Monday, after a weekend of unrest by pro-Zuma protesters, mainly concentrated in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Some disturbances spilled into the country’s largest city Johannesburg. read more Zuma, 79, was sentenced for defying a constitutional court order to give evidence at an inquiry investigating high-level corruption during his nine years in office until 2018. The decision to jail him resulted from legal proceedings seen as a test of post-apartheid South Africa’s ability to enforce the rule of law, including against powerful politicians.

HONG KONG (Dispatches) — Hong Kong’s national security police on Monday arrested five more people in relation to an alleged bomb plot. The five — four males and one female — were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to plan terrorist activities under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing a year ago in the former British colony. Last week, police arrested nine people, including six students, accused of planning to manufacture and plant explosives around the city, including in courts, cross-harbor tunnels and trash cans. Police said then that they found chemicals in a makeshift laboratory for the manufacture of the explosive triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which has been widely used in bombings in Europe and elsewhere. Police on Monday said they did not rule out further arrests in relation to the case.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will set up a military training mission in Mozambique to help the government tackle a growing takfiri insurgency and to protect civilians, the bloc said on Monday. Mozambique, which has called on the EU for help, has been grappling with a rebellion in its northernmost province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. Violence has grown significantly in the past year. EU foreign ministers took the formal decision at a meeting in Brussels on Monday although it was not immediately clear which countries will provide the necessary troops. “The mandate of the mission will initially last two years,” the European Council, representing EU members states, said in a statement. Portugal already sent 60 soldiers to its former colony in May to run a four-month programme training troops to counter the insurgency, share intelligence and use drones to track militants’ movements. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that 200-300 personnel could be deployed to Mozambique by the end of the year.

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — Swashbuckling billionaire Richard Branson hurtled into space aboard his own winged rocket ship Sunday, bringing astro-tourism a step closer to reality and beating out his exceedingly richer rival Jeff Bezos. The nearly 71-year-old Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company reached an altitude of 53.5 miles (86 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert — enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and witness the curvature of the Earth — and then glided back home to a runway landing. “The whole thing, it was just magical,” a jubilant Branson said on his return aboard the gleaming white space plane, named Unity. The brief, up-and-down flight — the space plane’s portion took only about 15 minutes, or about as long as Alan Shepard’s first U.S. spaceflight in 1961 — was a splashy and unabashedly commercial plug for Virgin Galactic, which plans to start taking paying customers on joyrides next year.

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