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Greek police move thousands of asylum seekers displaced by fire to new camp – National


A Greek police operation is underway on the island of Lesbos to move thousands of migrants and refugees left homeless after a fire destroyed their overcrowded camp into a new facility on the island.

Police said Thursday morning’s operation included 70 female police officers who were approaching asylum-seekers with the aim of persuading them to move to the new camp in the island’s Kara Tepe area. No violence was reported as the operation began.

Read more:
Thousands of asylum seekers left homeless after fire at refugee camp in Greece

The notoriously squalid Moria camp burned down last week in fires that Greek authorities said were deliberately set by a small group of the camp’s inhabitants angered by lockdown restrictions imposed after a coronavirus outbreak.

The blazes have left more than 1,200 people in need of emergency shelter. The vast majority have been sleeping rough by the side of a road leading from Moria to the island capital of Mytilene, erecting makeshift shelters made of sheets, blankets, reeds and cardboard.

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Fire destroys Greece’s largest refugee camp


Fire destroys Greece’s largest refugee camp

The new camp consists of large family tents erected in a field by the sea. By Wednesday night, it had a capacity of around 8,000 people, according to the UN refugee agency, but only around 1,100 mostly vulnerable people had entered.

New arrivals are tested for the coronavirus, registered and assigned a tent.

“This is an operation for the protection of public health and with a clear humanitarian content,” the police said in a statement.

Read more:
Thousands flee fires at migrant camp in Greece amid coronavirus lockdown

Six Afghans, including two minors, were arrested on suspicion of causing last week’s fires at Moria. The blazes broke out after isolation orders were issued during a generalized camp lockdown, when 35 people tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Moria had a capacity of just over 2,700 people, but more than 12,500 people had been living in and around it when it burned down. The camp and its squalid conditions were held up by critics as a symbol of Europe’s failed migration policies.



© 2020 The Canadian Press





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Brazil police finish investigation into National Museum fire


The police also said museum directors’ conduct did not constitute neglect, given efforts underway to bring the building up to fire code. It was more than two centuries old.

The National Museum housed furniture and art belonging to the royal family, recordings of Indigenous languages — some of which are no longer spoken — priceless specimens of everything from rare butterflies to coral and a collection of Egyptian mummies and artifacts considered the largest in Latin America.

Some artifacts have been recovered, notably most fragments of a skull belonging to a woman dubbed Luzia. It is one of the oldest human fossils ever found in the Americas, and was a top museum treasure. Recovery efforts have been suspended since March due to the ongoing pandemic.

The building was once a royal palace that served as the seat of the united Portuguese and Brazilian empire before the museum’s collection was transferred there in 1892. Today the colonial-era facade is a burned-out shell that is fenced off for reconstruction.

Following an inspection by Rio’s firefighting corps, the National Museum began negotiating a deal with the Rio-based development bank BNDES to renovate the building and upgrade its fire-prevention system. The loan agreement was signed in June 2018, but the funds hadn’t yet been disbursed when the fire occurred in September.

The fire represented a gut punch for many Brazilians, who felt the incident laid bare the decay of cultural institutions during years of corruption, economic collapse and poor governance. The education ministry and science and technology ministry have since directed millions to the museum for emergency and recovery works. Companies and individuals have also donated, along with the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO, Germany’s government and the British Council.

The museum has so far raised about half the $60 million required for reconstruction, and aims for partial reopening by 2022, the bicentenial of Brazil’s independence, its press office said in a statement.

Last month, part of the the Federal University of Minas Gerais’ Natural History Museum also burned down.

“We cannot — and should not — ignore another situation like this, especially taking into account the tragic fire of the National Museum,″ the latter institution’s director, Alexander Kellner, said in a statement posted to Facebook at the time.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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Israel army says targets Hamas infrastructure after rocket fire


Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Israel retaliated by air and tank fire Monday against Hamas positions after rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the army said.

The tensions came after Gaza rulers Hamas called for unity among Palestinians and “resistance” against Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army said that a rocket had been fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip “into Israel”, the first such act in more than a month.

“Airplanes targeted Hamas infrastructure” in southern Gaza and “tanks targeted (its) military posts,” the army said.

Palestinian security sources confirmed that Hamas targets had been hit.

Earlier on Monday, senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil told a news conference “we call for the annexation project to be confronted with resistance in all forms”.

“We call on our people to transform this hardship into an opportunity to get the Palestinian project back on track,” Bardawil said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to begin a process of annexing West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley from July 1, as part of a US peace initiative.

Deep divisions remain between Islamist movement Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, but Bardawil called for a “union of the political class”.

“It is the duty of each free Palestinian citizen to rise up against this flagrant aggression on our land,” he said.

Bardawil called for a meeting between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which includes various other Palestinian groups.

Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, after ousting forces of president Mahmoud Abbas in a near civil war among the Palestinians.

Both the PA and Hamas stand opposed to annexation in the West Bank, which forms part of a controversial peace plan unveiled in January by US President Donald Trump.

The initiative paves the way for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but on reduced territory and without key Palestinian demands such as a capital in east Jerusalem.

Israel’s intention to press ahead with annexation has been met with warnings from the United Nations that such a move would likely spark violence.



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Edmonton announces new fire chief – Edmonton


The City of Edmonton has announced Joe Zatylny as the city’s new fire chief.

Zatylny is currently a deputy chief with the Calgary Fire Department.

“With more than 25 years of emergency service experience, including over 10 years in senior fire leadership roles, we are fortunate and excited to have Joe lead Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and continue its legacy of exceptional work,” interim city manager Adam Laughlin said in a media release Tuesday morning.

Zatylny’s appointment comes after former chief of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services Ken Block announced his resignation in December.


READ MORE:
Chief Ken Block resigns from Edmonton fire department: ‘We are truly grateful’

Block was Edmonton’s fire chief for 10 years before announcing he was heading to Australia to become the first fire commissioner of soon-to-be established Fire Rescue Victoria in Victoria, Australia.

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During his time with the Calgary Fire Department, Zatylny led the fire training academy, critical medical response support, technical teams support, 911 service management and hazardous materials response support.

He also focused much of his work on training sustainability, fostering a culture of empowerment and enhancing firefighter health and wellness, the City of Edmonton’s media release read.

“Building on the strengths of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, incoming chief Zatylny has been given a clear mandate to evolve and enhance EFRS to meet the demands of a changing, growing and diverse city,” said Rob Smyth, deputy city manager of Citizen Services.

“We expect he will focus his leadership on strengthening our frontline fire rescue services, fire prevention programs and public education to make the city a safer and healthier place.”

Zatylny has a a Bachelor’s Degree from Lakeland College Canada in Applied Business of Emergency Services and an Advanced Certificate in Labour and Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. He also received a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Leadership from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Zatylny will officially take over the role on June 1.




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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Wood Green fire: Residents evacuated from flats


Fire at flats in Wood GreenImage copyright
@AjmalMasroor

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Footage posted online appeared to show the roof of the building ablaze

About 20 people have been evacuated from their homes after a large fire broke out at a block of flats in north London.

The London Fire Brigade said 70 firefighters and 10 engines were sent to tackle the blaze on Acacia Road, Wood Green.

Two floors of the four-storey building remain alight, and parts of the roof are also ablaze, firefighters said.

Three people were treated by paramedics at the scene, the brigade added.

Footage posted online appeared to show flames emerging from the roof of the building, reported to be a council-owned block.

A number of those sharing images of the blaze said the fire had spread quickly from one of the maisonettes.



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Mom, 6 kids killed in Mississippi house fire, authorities say


A deadly fire broke out around 12:30 a.m. in Clinton, Mississippi early Saturday.
A deadly fire broke out around 12:30 a.m. in Clinton, Mississippi early Saturday.

JACKSON, Miss. – Six children and one adult have been killed in a house fire in Clinton, Mississippi, authorities say.

The fire broke out around 12:30 a.m. Saturday on Old Vicksburg Road and Hobby Farm Road, Clinton Fire Chief Jeff Blackledge said. 

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control with four engines and a ladder truck on the scene.

Mark Jones with the city of Clinton said a mother and her six children were killed in the fire. The ages of the victims range from 1 to 33. Their identities have not yet been released. 

Jones said the father, who attempted to rescue his family, survived. He was transported to a local hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation, burns, cuts and bruises.

Feb. 6: Three people dead in fiery rural Louisiana plane crash

His condition was not immediately known.

Jones said “we ask for your prayers” on behalf of the family and those who responded to the fire. He said the family was “some of the nicest people” he had met. He said the father and his sons would do some yard work for some of his neighbors from time to time.

Jones said the state Fire Marshal’s Office is involved in the investigation.

“During the course of the investigation the state fire marshals and the fire marshal for Clinton will be looking at the cause of the fire and working together to lead the investigation,” Jones said. No foul play is suspected, he said.

“The house was fully engulfed in flames and we know it was built it 1951,” he added.

He said it may be next week before the cause of the fire is known.

Follow Italiana Anderson on Twitter: @ItalianaAnders2

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Clinton, Mississippi house fire: Mom, 6 kids killed, authorities say





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U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle catches fire in Poland – Defence Blog


A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle caught fire in Poland Saturday afternoon.

The incident according to an eyewitness happened near Gorzekaly village in northern Poland on 18 January.

As firefighters arrived, they found a Stryker armored vehicle involved in flames, according to Orzysz 998 volunteer fire brigade. Four fire brigades took part in the firefighting operation: WSP Bemowo Piskie, OSP Drygały, OSP Orzysz, JRG Pisz.

No one was injured in the fire. Two Soldiers were in the vehicle at the time the fire began and reported hearing a loud noise before smoke began seeping into the back of the cab.

The eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle is the U.S. Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team primary combat and combat support platform. Significantly lighter and more transportable than existing tanks and armored vehicles, the Stryker fulfills an immediate requirement to provide Combatant Commanders with a strategically deployable (C-17/C-5) and operationally deployable (C-130) brigade capable of rapid movement anywhere on the globe in a combat ready configuration.

The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) combines the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. The Stryker vehicle enables the team to manoeuvre in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.

Photo by Orzysz 998
Photo by Orzysz 998

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Chilean fire: Massive Christmas Eve fire destroys 120 homes in a seaside town



As of Wednesday, the fire, which was intensified by strong winds, consumed more than 120 homes in the popular tourist town, known for its vividly colored wooden houses. There were no reports of casualties.

“We have decided to decree a communal emergency, which will facilitate debris removal and reconstruction,” Sharp said in a tweet early Wednesday.

“In addition, we will file a complaint against those who are responsible for the obvious intentionality of this fire,” he added.

The effort to extinguish the fire continued through the morning. Helicopters doused the affected areas, and two schools were turned into shelters for residents who fled the blaze. According to the Associated Press, many of the homes in the low-income neighborhoods where the fire occurred had no running water at the time.

Chile has recently been battling its most severe drought in decades. In September, the country declared water shortages in more than 50 communities across three regions.

President Sebastián Piñera said in a statement posted on Twitter that emergency responders were fighting “tirelessly” to control the blaze in Valparaiso, one of the country’s largest cities and a major Pacific port.

“We deeply regret the fire that affects so many families in the hills of Valparaiso and especially on Christmas Eve,” he said.





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Man dies after setting fire to keep warm in Cudahy, authorities say



A man died Monday night in Cudahy after apparently starting a fire in an enclosed dumpster area in an attempt to keep warm, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire behind a store in the 4500 block of Santa Ana Street about 10:30 p.m. and found two dumpsters burning. They put out the flames and discovered the man’s body.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the man climbed into a walled-in and gated enclosure where dumpsters are stored and set a fire beside them to heat himself, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred said. He then caught fire, suffering significant burns and probable smoke inhalation, Alfred said.

The man is believed to have been homeless. His name was not immediately released.





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6 dead after man opens fire in Czech hospital waiting room


PRAGUE (AP) — Six people were killed in a shooting in a hospital in the eastern Czech Republic Tuesday, the prime minister said. Police said the suspect is at large and described him as armed and dangerous.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis told Czech public television the shooting took place around 7 a.m. in a waiting room. The attacker opened fire at people’s heads from close range, Babis said.

He said he was heading for the site, at the University hospital in the eastern city of Ostrava, 350 kilometers (220 miles) east of Prague.

Police said the man left in a silver-grey Renault Laguna car and called on the public not to try to stop him.

Police published a photo of the suspect, having withdrawn an earlier photo of a different man. They said that man was now considered to be a witness.

Video footage and pictures published by public radio showed police arresting a person at the site but that person did not appear to be the shooting suspect.

Officials say people have been evacuated from the clinic. Police are boosting security across the country.



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