News ID: 92899
Publish Date : 01 August 2021 - 22:14

ABOARD SEA-WATCH 3, Mediterranean (Reuters) – Two humanitarian rescue ships pulled 394 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean overnight on Sunday in an operation lasting about six hours, a Reuters witness said. The German and French NGO ships Sea-Watch 3 and Ocean Viking rescued the migrants in Tunisian waters 68km (42 miles) from the North African coast, near oil facilities and other ships. Sea-Watch 3, which assumed command of the operation, took 141 of the survivors while Ocean Viking took the rest. The yacht Nadir, from the German NGO ResQ Ship, later gave support. It was not clear if there were any deaths or injuries among the migrants who were in the wooden boat, which was crammed with migrants on deck and inside the hull. The craft was taking in water and its engine was not working, the Reuters witness said. Migrant boat departures from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and other parts of Europe have increased in recent months as weather conditions have improved. According to the U.N.-affiliated International Organization for Migration, more than 1,100 people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have perished this year in the Mediterranean.

CALIFORNIA (Reuters) – Fire crews have been struggling to stop the spread of Dixie Fire, the largest active wildfire in California. The U.S. Forest Service performed a prescribed burn using incendiary balls dropped from a helicopter in Meadow Valley, as a way to control the progress of the Dixie Fire, now at nearly a quarter million acres. Now in its third week, the Dixie Fire has burned 244,388 acres in an area north of Sacramento, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It was only 30 percent contained as of Saturday night, they reported.

ALGIERS (Dispatches) – Algeria has waived the license of Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news channel after denouncing it for engaging in “disinformation” targeting the country. The Algerian ministry of communication announced the move in a statement that was carried by the Algerian Press Service (APS). “A decision was reached to withdraw the accreditation of al-Arabiya news channel,” the ministry said. It blasted the channel “for not respecting the rules of professional ethics and practicing media misinformation and manipulation,” the statement added. The ministry did not provide any further details about the decision. Also in June, Algerian authorities similarly invalidated the license of France 24 for “clear and repeated hostility towards our country and its institutions.” Algiers says it does not object to media activities as long as they respect objectivity and professional ethics.

MOSCOW (TASS) – Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin has warned about provocations being plotted from outside in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections in September 2021 and presidential elections in 2024. “Our opponents are preparing to the fullest,” Russia’s foreign intelligence chief said in a live broadcast of the Solovyov Live YouTube channel shown on the Rossiya-1 TV Channel. “This will be both in 2021 and 2024, of course,” Naryshkin said in response to a question about when such provocations might be staged. Russia possesses information on “what points they will act upon and what points they will hit at,” the SVR chief said. “Our corresponding agencies are aware of that, in particular, thanks to our activity,” Naryshkin said.

TOKYO (Dispatches) – While the Olympic Games are being held with multiple restrictions due to the pandemic, some Japanese residents are still protesting against the event, citing cost overruns and a COVID-19 surge. A group of people have been protesting across the street from the tennis venue in the Japanese capital. The group is chanting in English with megaphones saying “No more Olympics”, “Stop playing games. Cancel the Olympics” and “Stop playing the Games. People are suffering and dying! Save lives, not the Olympics!” Police were intervening and moving the group away from the venue. While Olympic athletes have been breaking sporting records at the arenas in Tokyo, the Japanese capital has set a grim milestone of its own. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated that the recent spike in cases in Tokyo and across the country was largely caused by the more infectious Delta variant of the virus.

BANGUI (Al Jazeera) – The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) says six civilians were killed in a militant attack in the country’s northeast. “This morning at dawn elements from the 3R (Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation) launched a large-scale attack against Central African army positions in the village of Mann,” the spokesperson for the UN’s 12,000-strong MINUSCA mission was quoted as saying by AFP news agency. Several civilians were also wounded in the attack, the spokesperson said. The situation in Mann, some 550 kilometers (340 miles) from the capital, Bangui, is now “under control and patrols are under way”, Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall later said. The 3R is one of several armed groups to have emerged in the CAR, which has been mired in violence since a brutal civil conflict erupted in 2013.

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