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As Bangladesh floodwaters recede, fears of waterborne diseases | Floods News

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The possibility of an epidemic rises with authorities racing to get drinking water to people stranded in their homes in over a dozen districts.

Authorities in Bangladesh are bracing for the spread of waterborne diseases and racing to get drinking water to people stranded in their homes by flooding across a quarter of the country, says an official.

Nearly 2,000 rescue teams were trying to reach flood victims in 17 of the country’s 64 districts and get them water and other supplies, Atiqul Haque, director general of the Department of Disaster Management, told Reuters news agency on Thursday.

“With the floodwaters receding, there is a possibility of an epidemic. We fear the outbreak of waterborne diseases if clean water is not ensured soon,” Haque said. “Ensuring availability of drinking water is our top priority.”

More than 3,400 people have been infected by various waterborne diseases due to the floods since June 18, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said on Wednesday.

More than 4.5 million people have been stranded and 42 killed in the nation’s worst flooding in more than 100 years.

Interactive_Bangladesh floods_June22_2022

The dead included 21 in the northeastern Sylhet administrative division, 18 in the northcentral Mymensingh division and three in the northern Rangpur division, the DGHS said.

The floods have damaged 75,000 hectares (185,000 acres) of paddy and 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of other crops, including maize, jute and vegetables, agriculture ministry official Humayun Kabir said.

“The devastation is huge. More crops could be damaged as new areas are being flooded.”

Al Jazeera’s Tanvir Chowdhury, reporting from Sharishakandi village in Sylhet district, said many people are still stranded and in desperate need of fresh food and water.

“The UN’s children agency warns four million people, including 1.6 million children, in northeast Bangladesh have been cut off by floods and are without fresh drinking water, putting them at risk of waterborne diseases,” he said.

Fatema Begum, a mother of three in the worst-hit Sunamganj district, said the floods had washed away everything.

“There is not even a trace,” she said of her small thatched hut. “We don’t even have a second pair of clothes. No one has come to help.”

The monsoon brings heavy rain and floods to South Asia between June and October, especially in low-lying countries like Bangladesh, where rivers swollen with waters pouring out of the Himalayas often burst their banks.

But extreme weather has become more frequent and environmentalists warn that climate change could lead to more serious disasters.

Saiful Islam, director of the Institute of Water and Flood Management at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, analysed 35 years of flooding data and found that rains were getting more unpredictable and many rivers were rising above dangerous levels more frequently than before.

“The last seven years alone brought five major floods, eroding people’s capacity to adapt, especially in the country’s northern and northeastern regions,” Islam told Al Jazeera.



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Sudan accuses Ethiopia of executing Sudanese soldiers | Military News

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Sudan military says the Ethiopian army displayed the bodies of the executed people to the public.

Sudan’s military has accused the Ethiopian army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who were captives.

In a statement on Sunday, the Sudanese military also accused the Ethiopian army of displaying the bodies of those executed to the public and promised that there would be “an appropriate response”.

“This treacherous act will not pass without a response,” it said.

There was no immediate response from Ethiopian authorities to a request for comment.

Tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia have run high in recent years because of a spillover of the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and Ethiopia’s construction of a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile.

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled into eastern Sudan, and there have been military skirmishes in an area of contested farmland along the border between Sudan and Ethiopia.



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Russia-Ukraine live news: Kyiv asks for modern air defence system | Russia-Ukraine war News

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  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his country needs a more modern air defence system.
  • One person was killed in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and another six injured after Russian attacks hit a residential building and a kindergarten compound in the centre of the city – the first time it has been targeted since early June.
  • Russia’s defence ministry claims it had used high-precision weapons to hit Ukrainian army training centres in the Chernihiv, Zhytomyr and Lviv regions.
  • Leaders from the G7 have had their first day of meetings, where four nations backed a ban on Russian gold, but it is unclear whether there is yet a consensus.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend a round of talks with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, as well as NATO on Tuesday ahead of the summit in Madrid, his spokesperson says.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo states he will call for a ceasefire during a peace-building visit to Russia and Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE - WHO CONTROLS WHAT IN UKRAINE - June 26,2022

Here are the latest updates:

Leaders at G7 mock bare-chested horseback rider Putin

Leaders of the G7 mocked the macho image of their absent adversary Vladimir Putin on Sunday.

As the besuited leaders sat down for their first meeting of the three-day G7 summit in the sweltering Bavarian Alps, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked if their jackets should come off – or if they should even disrobe further.

“We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin,” Johnson said, to laughter from some of his colleagues.

“Bare-chested horseback riding,” shot back Canada’s Justin Trudeau.

“Oh yes,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Horseback riding is the best.”


Erdogan to meet with leaders of Sweden, Finland before NATO summit in four-way talks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend a round of talks with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, as well as NATO on Tuesday ahead of the summit in Madrid, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin has said.

Speaking to broadcaster Haberturk, Kalin said he and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal would also attend a round of talks with Swedish and Finnish delegations in Brussels on Monday.

“There will be a four-way summit in Madrid at the leader level in Madrid upon the request of the NATO Secretary General with the attendance of our president,” he said. He also said that Erdogan attending the talks with Sweden, Finland and NATO on Tuesday “does not mean we will take a step back from our position”.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish fighters and arms embargoes on Ankara.


Four G7 nations move to ban Russian gold

Four of the Group of Seven rich nations moved to ban imports of Russian gold to tighten the sanctions squeeze on Moscow and cut off its means of financing the invasion of Ukraine.

But it was unclear whether there was G7 consensus on the plan, with European Council President Charles Michel saying the issue would need to be handled carefully and discussed further.

The United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Canada agreed to the ban on new Russian gold imports, the UK government said on Sunday.

It said the ban was aimed at wealthy Russians who have been buying the safe-haven bullion to reduce the financial effect of Western sanctions. Russian gold exports were worth $15.5bn last year.


EU ministers to seek deals on climate laws; Russia’s gas supply cuts loom

Ministers from European Union countries will meet this week to attempt joint plans to fight climate change. The previously scheduled meeting by EU energy ministers will also give them a chance to discuss emergency plans to reduce gas demand, which Brussels is expected to draw up in coming weeks in case of further cuts in supply from Russia.

The energy ministers’ meeting on Monday, and environment ministers’ meeting the following day, are expected to agree on common positions on proposed laws to meet a 2030 target to cut net emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels. The laws would expand renewable energy, revamp the EU carbon market and ban sales of new cars running on fossil fuels from 2035.

Brussels says the energy supply crisis this year caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means the 27 EU countries should move even faster to wean themselves off fossil fuels. But the threat of an economic slump from surging energy prices has also made some countries more cautious about swift change that they fear might bring more disruption.


Ukraine needs a more modern air defence system: Zelenskyy

Ukraine needs a modern air defence system to deter Russian missiles, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said, after a weekend that saw Moscow step up attacks across Ukraine.

In his nighttime address, Zelenskyy decried Sunday’s attack on Kyiv, which killed a 37-year-old man and wounded at least six people, saying that “the second army of the world triumphantly ‘defeated’ a kindergarten and an apartment building.

“Missiles also hit the Mykolaiv region, the Chernihiv region, Odesa, Cherkasy. Artillery and mortar shelling did not stop in the Kharkiv region, in the Sumy region, in Donbas, in the south of our state,” he said in his nightly address, adding that Russia had fired 62 missiles at Ukraine within 24 hours.

“Part of the missiles were shot down. But only part. We need a powerful air defence – modern, fully effective. Which can ensure complete protection against these missiles … And partners need to move faster if they are really partners, not observers.”

Firefighters work at the scene of a residential building following explosions, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Firefighters work at the scene of a residential building following explosions in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, June 26, 2022 [Nariman El-Mofty/AP]

 

Read all updates from June 26 here.

 



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Ukraine: Russian warplanes pound Kyiv after weeks of calm | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Russian air strikes hammered Ukraine’s capital Kyiv for the first time in weeks, slamming into an apartment block and kindergarten and killing at least one person with others trapped in destroyed buildings.

Up to four explosions shook central Kyiv in the early hours of Sunday.

“The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s administration.

Deputy Mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said one person was killed and six wounded. He said explosions heard later in other parts of Kyiv were air defences destroying further incoming missiles.

There had been no major strikes on Kyiv since early June.

The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on the Telegram messaging app that some people were trapped in the rubble of a nine-storey apartment block.

“They have pulled out a seven-year-old girl,” Klitschko said. “She is alive. Now they’re trying to rescue her mother.”

A Ukrainian air force spokesperson said the strikes were carried out with long-range missiles fired from Russian bombers more than 1,000km (620 miles) away in the southern Russian region of Astrakhan.

Ukrainian experts work outside a damaged residential building hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv on June 26, 2022
Ukrainian experts work outside a damaged residential building hit by Russian missiles in Kyiv [Sergei Supinsky/AFP]

‘Symbolic attack’

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Klitschko said the missile fire on Kyiv was a “symbolic attack” in the run-up to a NATO summit set to take place on Tuesday.

Klitschko added the air strikes were reminiscent of ones that took place during the late April visit of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who went on to describe the conflict as a “senseless war”.

Russian missiles also struck the central city of Cherkasy, which until now had been largely untouched by bombardment, according to regional authorities, who said one person was killed and five others wounded.

Russia’s defence ministry said it used high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian army training centres in the regions of Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, and Lviv – an apparent reference to attacks reported by Ukraine on Saturday.

Russia denies targeting civilians, but Ukraine and the West accuse its forces of war crimes in a conflict that has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing Ukraine, and destroyed cities.

United States President Joe Biden called the attacks “barbarism” after he arrived in Germany for a Group of Seven (G7) summit.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said G7 countries should respond to the latest missile strikes by imposing more sanctions on Russia and providing more heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Severodonetsk falls

The eastern battlefield city of Severodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces on Saturday after Ukrainian troops retreated, saying there was no longer anything to defend in the ruined city after months of fierce fighting.

It was a major defeat for Kyiv as it seeks to keep control of two eastern provinces, Luhansk and Donetsk, that form the Donbas region, which Moscow demands Kyiv cede to separatists.

The RIA news agency quoted a pro-Russian separatist official as saying separatist forces had evacuated more than 250 people, including children, on Sunday from Severodonetsk’s Azot chemical plant.

The plant’s surrounding industrial area was the last part of the city held by Ukrainian forces.

Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the same official as saying forces were now advancing on Lysychansk across the river from Severodonetsk. Lysychansk is now the last major city held by Ukraine in Luhansk.

A Ukrainian servicemen attend to a wounded fellow soldier during a medical evacuation
Ukrainian servicemen attend to a wounded fellow soldier during a medical evacuation on a road in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas [File: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP]

‘Have to stay together’

Biden condemned Russia’s actions and stressed that allies need to remain firm even as the economic reverberations from the war take a toll around the globe by fuelling inflation, food shortages and more.

“We have to stay together because Putin has been counting on from the beginning that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter. But we haven’t and we’re not going to,” the US president said during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who holds the G7′s rotating presidency and is hosting the gathering.

The leaders were set to announce new bans on imports of Russian gold, the latest in a series of sanctions the club of democracies hopes will further isolate Russia economically.

Glenn Diesen, a professor at University of South-Eastern Norway, told Al Jazeera while sanctions on gold could lead to “more problems” for Russia, they may also have the same effect on the global economy as they did on Russian energy sources.

“When the NATO countries began to [implement] sanctions, oil and gas prices rose significantly to the point where Russia could simply export less but still made much more money than it did in the past,” he said.

“This could also happen to gold as well.”

G7 leaders meet
G7 leaders gather for a dinner event at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany [Markus Schreiber via AP]

 



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