Fires in southern France under control


Emergency chief says ‘We are winning the fight’, but firefighters say new fires could start in hot, windy conditions. Huge fires that forced mass evacuations of areas of southern France have been under control, firefighters have said, although they warned new blazes were still starting.

In the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, located near beaches popular with tourists on the Cote d’Azur, “the fire is not completely under control but we are winning the fight”, said Lt Col Michael Bernier, the civil security officer leading the emergency effort there.

He said “Things are going in the right direction but new fires are starting caused by gusts of wind”. In the neighbouring Bouches-du-Rhone region, three fires that had burned thousands of square kilometres were tamed or being dampened down on Thursday, firefighters said.

But authorities were on high alert, fearing that new blazes could start in the hot, dry conditions, fanned by the strong Mistral wind. “In such dry conditions, we really fear that fires could start again,” one firefighter said.

Around 10,000 holidaymakers and residents were forced to flee to the safety of public shelters overnight on Tuesday as flames swept towards campsites. Some holidaymakers took refuge on beaches. The French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, visited an accommodation centre for evacuees in Bormes-les-Mimosas on Wednesday evening.

More than 6,000 firefighters, troops and civil security officials are involved in efforts to put out the flames, backed by 19 planes that drop containers of water on the flaming trees and bushes. More than 7,000 hectares of vegetation have been burned.

Forest fires also raged early on Thursday in Portugal, cutting off roads in the centre of the country and forcing thousands of people to flee just a month after deadly blazes left more than 60 people dead.

The biggest fire was in Serta, in the Castelo Branco region, where more than a quarter of the country’s firefighters were attempting to halt the flames.

Gallery in east London


A new photography gallery is to open in the East End of London. The first overseas branch of Sweden’s Fotografiska, founded in Stockholm in 2010.

Fotografiska will take the entire ground-floor area of a new building in Whitechapel, close to the acclaimed Whitechapel Gallery, according to an announcement from the property investment company Derwent.

Apart from a brief statement from the centre’s Swedish co-founder and chairman, Tommy Rönngren, confirming the deal, no details have been released of the new gallery. The White Chapel Building, designed by Fletcher Priest architects, is due for completion in 2018.

The original Fotografiska was created in a restored 1906 customs building on the Stockholm waterfront, and has become an important centre for exhibitions of photography, with changing shows in four large galleries. Exhibitions have featured the work of Annie Leibowitz, Robert Mapplethorpe and Guy Bourdin. It also houses an award-winning restaurant.

The statement from Rönngren said: “Fotografiska has for a long time been searching for suitable facilities in London, one of the world’s most dynamic cities when it comes to photography. Whitechapel, which is one of London’s most dynamic areas, will be a perfect location.” The centre is also said to be scouting for a site in New York.

Manhood is treated by this lizard


Recently, Armed Border Force (SSB) 17th Battalion has confiscated 5 Taka Gecko (a special species of Lizard) in a search operation in West Bengal. Explain that this lizard is used to make masculine-enhancing medicine. Diabetes, impotence, AIDS and cancer medicines are made from its meats.

Toc Geico is a rare and extinct species of lizards, there is a huge demand in its international market. Taking hold of it is illegal trafficking in Southeast Asian countries from north-eastern Indian states. It is very demanding in Southeast Asian countries. The people here believe that Gecko meat can be cured of many diseases. The price of this lizard found in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Northeast India, Philippines and Nepal is reported to be worth one crore rupees.

Wild life experts say that a year ago, the number of smugglers of lizards in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Assam of North Eastern India is increasing rapidly. Merchants living in Myanmar sell these lizards to China, Indonesia, Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.

People are superstitious because of the high demand of lizards, which is the reason people catch lizards. According to media reports, the price of one kg of meat made from toked meat can be up to 10 thousand euros in the international market.

Flood victims are waiting for hours to eat


Flood wrecks continue in Bihar, India. The number of people killed in this disaster has now crossed 215. Old Gangak, in Muzaffarpur, Bagmati is the worst condition in Samastipur Darbhanga. People are living their life on the road to save their lives. The condition in Eastern Champaran (Motihari) is so bad that people are waiting for the food on the road. They are hungry and thirsty and sit on the road. Population of 1.21 lakhs of 18 districts are affected.

Flood water is still entering new areas every day. This has brought people’s lives on the road. The flood water has entered some areas of Muzaffarpur city, while the entry of large vehicles has stopped at the city’s lifeline, Akharmghat bridge. The pressure of Bagmati on the Haighat rail bridge has stopped the operation of trains on the Samastipur-Darbhanga railway section. The Army is in charge of Gopalganj.

Dozens of villages of Chhapra and Siwan districts have been hit by the flood. Water has penetrated in Mehsi block on Saturday in Eastern Champaran. Lakhandai river in Sitamarhi is like a devastation due to the uprising of the river. Twenty-five panchayats of Madhubani’s Benipatti have lost contact. On Saturday, the number of people drowning in the floods reached 17. By Saturday the population of 20 lakhs was affected.

London-Trains are too expensive

Victoria Train Station

If there is one piece of news guaranteed to draw ire from embattled commuters, it is the annual hiking of season rail ticket fares. As anyone forced to endure the nightmarish vagaries of public transport can attest, whatever the cost of a seat (if you’re lucky enough to get a seat), commuting on trains that are often overcrowded and late rarely feels like value for money. With price hikes of 3.6% now expected for many – the biggest annual increase in five years, at a time when average wages aren’t going up – there are fresh calls for a freezing of rail fares and nationalisation.

Reasonable as this rage may feel, it masks a more important story about our transport system: it is an important driver of inequality. The government spends over £5bn on public transport subsidies, which is around double the amount spent on NHS A&E services across the country. But for decades, it’s been the most affluent who benefit the most. The richest 10% of households each receive on average nearly double the subsidy of the poorest 10% of households.

The root cause of this imbalance is the huge subsidy provided for rail travel in London and the south-east. As the thinktank IPPR North has shown, more than half of the UK’s total spending on transport networks is invested in London, and this gulf in investment is expected to get worse. An estimated £1,943 is being spent per person in London on current or planned projects, compared with just £427 in the north. A household in London benefits from almost four times as much rail subsidy as a household in Wales.

Bus subsidies are much more evenly distributed across households of different incomes because people on a lower income are more likely to use buses. Those who clean London’s offices can often be seen before daylight, starting their day’s work after a long bus ride into the centre a shorter journey made by rail is beyond their means. But the level of subsidy for Britain’s bus network is much lower than for rail.

Uneven transport subsidies may seem trivial, but they have profound consequences. They mean the poorest are often effectively locked out of access to good jobs, schools, health services and social or cultural activities.

What should we do about it? For many, the answer is simple: renationalisation. The arguments in support of this are appealing to those of us fed up and appalled by the high level of shareholder dividends and bloated executive pay often seen in train companies.

But when it comes to subsidies, the government should be prioritising transport infrastructure in poorer areas. It could invest more in the buses and trams used by people on lower incomes and less in the rail transport used by better-off people. Or it could even give the subsidy directly to people on low incomes for use on transport, for example by expanding the free bus travel that already applies to elderly people and the disabled to those who are unemployed or on very low incomes.

It is an inherent failure of public policy that these sorts of solutions haven’t been sufficiently considered. Our transport system is vital to just about all of us. It’s how we get to work, send our kids to school, how we shop and generally move around. It quite literally binds society together.

But despite this, it is still failing many of our poorest. We remain too likely to see investment that disproportionately benefits the most affluent households as a net positive, because there is no assessment of its impact on inequality. This is despite the large and growing evidence base of the harmful social and economic effects of inequality.

The Equality Trust is calling on the government to take into account the impacts of all of its decisions – from transport, to education to healthcare – on economic inequality. Until that happens, we’re on the road to greater inequality, and an even more fractured and divided nation.

Don’t forget your pollution mask

sea smoke

If you’re heading to Venice on holiday this summer, don’t forget to pack your pollution mask. Worrying about toxic air might seem strange in a city with few roads and cars, but Venice’s air carries hidden risks.

Every day five or six of the world’s largest cruise ships chug into the heart of the ancient city, which hosts the Mediterranean’s largest cruise terminal. These ships advertise luxurious restaurants, vast swimming pools and exotic entertainment – but keep quiet about the hidden fumes they pump into the city’s air.

It’s one reason locals are so enraged over the impact of tourism on their famous city. Protests against cruise ships are common place. In May nearly 20,000 Venetians voted in an unofficial referendum, with 99% backing a motion to keep cruise ships away. They are right to be angry.

Ship operators claim they use low-emission fuel when they are near big cities, but measurements I have taken near the port of Venice tell a different story. The fuel they burn while at berth contains more than 100 times as much sulphur as truck diesel.

As big ships sailed down the main canal, just a stone’s throw from the shore, my team recorded up to 500 ultra-fine particles per cubic centimetre – 500 times higher than clean sea air.

These particles linger in the air long after the ships have passed, and are carried hundreds of kilometres inland by the winds. Particulate matter is linked to severe health problems such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including strokes and cancer.

The World Health Organization places diesel particles in the same carcinogenic category as smoking and asbestos.

And it’s not just particulates we should worry about. The dieselgate scandal has reminded us that diesel engines produce a range of other pollutants that damage human health, the environment and the climate, including carcinogenic soot and sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

Figures by the European commission estimate that about 50,000 people die prematurely every year in Europe because of pollution from the shipping sector. This is a scandal because there are measures available to fix the problem cost-effectively, from using cleaner fuels to installing filters and using battery technology near the coast.

But the very profitable cruise industry has proven unwilling to engage with the problem. Nearly a million Britons take a cruise holiday every year, many paying up to £1,000 each for a week-long trip around the Mediterranean. With more than 6,000 passengers packing the larger ships, that’s a decent revenue.

Despite this, major shipping lines still refuse to spend money on proper exhaust gas technology, creating a massive threat to the health, not only of citizens and guests of the ports they visit, but of citizens along the coasts and even inland.

The fumes can also endanger the passengers: the German lung doctors association recently gave a warning to passengers with pre-existing conditions not to go on the deck of a cruise vessel. Even newer ships still pump out incredible levels of pollution.

The cruise industry is failing to meet basic public standards on the environment and human health. The good news for Venetians is that the Port Authority expects 10% fewer vessels this year, which may allow residents to breathe slightly easier.

But until ships are fitted with better filters and burn cleaner fuel, I’d advise you to pack a mask for when they sail by.


Dogs color is happening Blue in this area of ​​Mumbai


People are worried about pollution worldwide. Either India is also not untouched by it. These days, there is a lot of discussion among the blue dogs roaming around the Taloja industrial area of ​​Navi Mumbai. Let us tell you that the colors of these dogs were not blue before. Then what happened that its color became blue.

About 5 blue dogs appeared in the Taloja Industrial Area last day. At first, people were surprised to see why the color of these dogs has suddenly become blue? But when the truth was detected, it was all astonished. In fact, there are about one thousand factories in this area. The dirt of all these factories is dropped in the Kasadi river located here. In the past, a blue-colored animal appeared near this river. On discovering, it became known that he was no stranger dog but a stray dog ​​roaming around the street. In search of food, this  landed in the cassady river. Due to pollution, the water of this river has become so dirty that after the exit, the dog’s color became blue. Understanding the seriousness of the matter, Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell has filed a case in which the problems related to animals due to this dirty river have been mentioned.

Anil Mohkar of the Pollution Control Board of Maharashtra said that leaving the dye in the river is illegal. Well there are many factories in this area, but perhaps the detergent factory is leaving dye in water. For this reason the dog’s color was blue. By the way, only a single dog color change has come to light. But Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell is worried about the interests of the rest of the animals and is trying to avoid it again.

100 years ago photo in India


World Photography Day is considered on August 19th. Australian photographer Korske Ara introduced this to bring positive chances to the world. During this time, relatable photographs are shared with historical, geographical subjects in all newspapers, websites and magazines.

On this occasion, we are showing you a rare pictures of the time when British rule was in India. How was life and how were the views of cities and societies in India?

Crowds of people standing near a seller of sweets at a fair in Kolkata. Non-Bengali people are also seen in this.

Heat warnings issued in Europe



Eleven southern and central European countries have issued extreme heat warnings amid a brutal heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, with residents and tourists urged to take precautions and scientists warning worse could be still to come.

Authorities in countries including Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia are on red alert, the European forecasters’ network Meteoalarm said, and swaths of southern Spain and France are on amber.

As temperatures in many places hit or exceeded 40C (104F) in the region’s most sustained heatwave since 2003, emergency services are being put on standby and people have been asked to “remain vigilant”, stay indoors, avoid long journeys, drink enough fluids and listen for emergency advice from health officials.

A spokeswoman for Abta, the UK travel trade organisation, reinforced the advice for holidaymakers, saying they should take sensible precautions, keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, stay out of the sun in the middle of the day, and follow any advice issued by health authorities in specific destinations.

The highest temperature on Thursday was 42C in Cordoba, Spain, and Catania, Italy. Split in Croatia also hit 42.3C on Wednesday. The spell is forecast to peak at the weekend with temperatures of 46C or higher in Italy and parts of the Balkans.

Authorities in Italy, which is suffering its worst drought in 60 years, have placed 26 cities on the maximum extreme heat alert, including Venice and Rome. Many of Rome’s fountains have been turned off, and last week the city only narrowly averted drastic water rationing.

In Florence, the Uffizi art gallery was temporarily closed on Friday when the air-conditioning system broke down. In Hungary, keepers at Budapest zoo cooled down two overheating polar bears with huge ice blocks.

Temperatures along parts of Croatia’s Adriatic coast, including Dubrovnik, were expected to hit 42C during the day. In the Serbian capital of Belgrade there were reports of people fainting from heat exhaustion.

In the journal Environmental Research Letters, the scientists said if a similar “mega-heatwave” to that of 2003 were to occur at the end of the century, when average temperatures are widely expected to be noticeably higher after decades of global warming, temperatures could pass 50C.

The researchers noted that climate models suggest “human influence is expected to significantly increase the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves in Europe” and said their modelling suggested that by 2100, peak summer temperatures could rise by between 6C and 13C against historical records.

The country’s winemakers have started harvesting their grapes weeks earlier than usual due to the heat. The founder of the Slow Food movement, Carlo Petrini, said no harvest in living memory had begun before 15 August.

The heatwave is likely to cost Italy’s agricultural sector billions of euros, with as many as 11 regions facing critical water shortages. Olive yields in some areas are forecast to be down 50% and some milk production has fallen by up to 30%.

Bosnian officials said the heatwave and drought had nearly halved agricultural output, which represents 10% of the country’s economic output, and Serbia said its corn production could be cut a third.