Japanese man sets himself on fire over Abe’s state funeral | Politics News

Shinzo Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, however latest polls present greater than half of the general public opposes the ceremony.

A person has set himself on fireplace close to the Japanese prime minister’s Tokyo workplace in an obvious protest over the federal government’s plans to carry a state funeral for former chief Shinzo Abe later this month, Japanese media reported.

TV Asahi mentioned the person set himself alight early on Wednesday and was taken to hospital struggling burns to his whole physique. A police officer who tried to extinguish the flames was additionally injured.

The Kyodo information company and different shops mentioned police have been referred to as to the scene at about 7am (22:00GMT) after experiences a person was “engulfed in flames”. A letter opposing Abe’s state funeral was discovered close by, it added.

Police, the prime minister’s workplace and the cupboard workplace all declined to touch upon the experiences.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was killed whereas campaigning for the ruling Liberal Democratic Occasion (LDP) on July 8. A publicly-funded state funeral can be held in Tokyo on September 27, with some 6,000 folks from Japan and abroad set to attend.

However state funerals are uncommon in Japan, and the choice has been controversial. Latest polls present greater than half of the general public is towards the occasion.

The opposition is linked partly to rising revelations of the hyperlinks between the LDP and the controversial Unification Church. The suspect in Abe’s dying has mentioned the organisation bankrupted his mom and he felt the previous prime minister supported it.

The Unification Church was based in South Korea within the Fifties, and the LDP earlier this month mentioned a survey confirmed almost half of its 379 legislators had some type of interplay with an organisation that has been labelled a cult.

Whereas the Japanese public was narrowly in favour of a state funeral on the time it was introduced, shortly after Abe’s dying, opinion has shifted sharply, damaging assist for present Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

A ballot by the Mainichi Each day carried out on the weekend confirmed Kishida’s assist at 29 %, down six share factors from late August — a degree analysts say makes it tough for a chief minister to have sufficient assist to hold out his agenda.

Help for the LDP fell 6 factors to 23 %, the Mainichi mentioned.

Kishida has defended his determination repeatedly, however a overwhelming majority of voters stay unconvinced, additionally questioning the necessity to maintain such an costly ceremony at a time of rising financial ache for a lot of residents.

In accordance with its newest estimates, the federal government expects to spend 1.65 billion yen ($11.5m) on the occasion at Tokyo’s Budokan, a big venue for live shows and sporting occasions.

World leaders, together with US Vice President Kamala Harris and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, are amongst these anticipated to attend.

Abe was Japan’s best-known politician and remained a outstanding public determine after resigning for well being causes in 2020.

Third fuel tank collapses as fire rages at Cuba oil terminal | Oil and Gas News

With assist from Mexico and Venezuela, Cuba has been battling monumental blaze at main oil terminal in Matanzas.

A 3rd crude tank caught hearth and collapsed Monday at Cuba’s foremost oil terminal in Matanzas, the regional governor has mentioned, as an oil spill unfold flames from a second tank that caught hearth two days earlier within the island’s greatest oil trade accident in many years.

Cuba had made progress preventing off the raging flames in the course of the weekend after drawing on assist from Mexico and Venezuela, however late on Sunday the fireplace started spreading from the second tank, which collapsed, mentioned Mario Sabines, governor of the Matanzas province, about 100km (60 miles) from Havana.

A fourth tank is threatened however has but to catch hearth. Firefighters had sprayed water on the remaining tanks over the weekend to chill them and attempt to cease the fireplace from spreading.

Matanzas is Cuba’s largest port for receiving crude oil and gasoline imports. Cuban heavy crude, in addition to gasoline oil and diesel saved in Matanzas, are primarily used to generate electrical energy on the island.

Sabines in contrast the state of affairs to an “Olympic torch” going from one tank to the following, turning every right into a “caldron” and now encompassing the realm masking three tanks and with flames and billowing black smoke making tackling the state of affairs “difficult”.

“The chance we had introduced occurred, and the blaze of the second tank compromised the third one,” mentioned Sabines.

Native officers warned residents to make use of face masks or keep indoors given the billowing smoke enveloping the area that may be seen from Havana.

Officers have warned that the cloud incorporates sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and different toxic substances.

One firefighter has died and 16 persons are lacking, all from Saturday’s explosion on the second storage tank. The blaze began after lightning struck one of many facility’s eight tanks on Friday evening.

Cuban state-run tv has lined the unfolding catastrophe dwell since Saturday and President Miguel Diaz-Canel has been a relentless presence there, highlighting the financial and political significance of the state of affairs.

The closely US-sanctioned nation has been affected by blackouts, gasoline and different shortages that had already created a tense state of affairs with scattered native protests following final 12 months’s anti-government demonstrations in July.

A tanker carrying Russian crude to Matanzas, recognized by Refinitiv Eikon monitoring service, is unlikely to have the ability to discharge subsequent week even when docks usually are not affected by the fireplace, due to attainable injury to tanks, pipelines and valves, analysts mentioned.

At midday on Monday, authorities introduced the nation’s most vital energy plant, positioned a couple of kilometre from the fireplace, had been shut down as a result of low water strain within the space.

Fire is seen over fuel storage tanks that exploded near Cuba's supertanker port in Matanzas, Cuba
Residents have been advised to put on masks or keep indoors because the smoke incorporates poisonous components. A fourth tank is prone to catching hearth [Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters]

Yosemite fire grows as crews try to protect iconic giant sequoias | News

A wildfire threatening the biggest grove of large sequoias in Yosemite Nationwide Park greater than doubled in dimension in a day.

A wildfire threatening the biggest grove of large sequoias in Yosemite Nationwide Park greater than doubled in dimension in a day, and firefighters are working in tough terrain to guard the long-lasting bushes and a small mountain city.

Campers and residents close to the blaze have been evacuated, however the remainder of the sprawling park in California remained open, although heavy smoke obscured scenic vistas and created unhealthy air high quality on Sunday.

“Right this moment it’s truly the smokiest that we’ve seen,” Nancy Phillipe, a Yosemite fireplace data spokesperson, stated on Sunday.

“Up till this morning, the park has not been in that unhealthy class, however that’s the place we at the moment are.”

Greater than 500 mature sequoias have been threatened within the famed Mariposa Grove however there have been no reviews of extreme injury to any named bushes, together with the three,000-year-old Grizzly Big.

A sprinkler system arrange inside the grove saved the tree trunks moist and officers have been hopeful that the regular spray of water together with earlier prescribed burns can be sufficient to maintain flames at bay, Phillipe stated.

The reason for the Washburn Hearth was beneath investigation. It had grown to almost 6.5sq km (2.5sq miles) by Sunday morning, with no containment.

Past the bushes, the group of Wawona, which is surrounded by parkland, was beneath risk, with individuals ordered to go away late on Friday. Along with residents, about 600 to 700 campers who have been staying on the Wawona campground in tents, cabins and a historic lodge have been ordered to go away.

A firefighter protects a sequoia tree as the Washburn Fire burns in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park
A firefighter protects a sequoia tree because the Washburn Hearth burns in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite Nationwide Park, California, US [Noah Berger/AP Photo]

The enormous sequoias, native in solely about 70 groves unfold alongside the western slope of California’s Sierra Nevada vary, have been as soon as thought of impervious to flames.

However they’ve change into more and more susceptible as wildfires – fuelled by a buildup of undergrowth from a century of fireside suppression and drought exacerbated by local weather change – have change into extra intense and harmful.

Phillipe, the park spokesperson, beforehand stated among the huge trunks had been wrapped in fire-resistant foil for cover, however she corrected herself on Sunday and stated that was not the case for this fireplace. Nonetheless, crews have wrapped a historic cabin within the protecting foil, she stated.

Lightning-sparked wildfires up to now two years have killed as much as a fifth of the estimated 75,000 large sequoias, that are the most important bushes by quantity and a serious draw for vacationers to the nationwide park.

To this point in 2022, greater than 35,000 wildfires have burned almost 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) in the US, in response to the Nationwide Interagency Hearth Heart, nicely above common for each wildfires and space burned.

S Korea, US fire eight missiles in response to N Korea tests | News

South Korean army says the motion is an indication of the allies readiness to answer North Korean ‘provocations’.

South Korea and the USA have condemned North Korea’s newest missile launches, firing eight ballistic missiles of their very own in a present of pressure geared toward demonstrating the 2 allies’ readiness to answer Pyongyang’s “provocations”.

The launches early on Monday got here a day after North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles in direction of the ocean off its east coast, in what analysts stated was the biggest single check ever by the nuclear-armed nation.

In an announcement, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Workers (JCS) stated the allies launched eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea beginning at 4:45am native time (19:45 GMT on Sunday) for about 10 minutes.

The motion was an indication of “the potential and readiness to launch fast precision strikes on the origins of provocations and their command and help forces”, the JCS stated.

“Our army strongly condemns the North’s sequence of ballistic missile provocations and critically urges it to instantly cease acts that elevate army tensions on the peninsula and add to safety issues,” it added.

An official from South Korea’s Defence Ministry confirmed eight Military Tactical Missile Techniques (ATACMS) had been fired.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took workplace final month, has promised to take a more durable line in opposition to North Korea, which has stepped up the event of its missile and nuclear programme, and agreed with US President Joe Biden at a Might summit in Seoul to improve joint army drills and their mixed deterrence posture.

The 2 allies on Saturday wrapped up three days of naval drills in worldwide waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa. The workouts concerned a US plane service for the primary time since November 2017.

North Korea has criticised earlier joint drills for example of Washington’s continued “hostile insurance policies” in direction of Pyongyang, regardless of its speak of diplomacy.

It has performed a flurry of missile launches this 12 months, from hypersonic weapons to test-firing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for the primary time in practically 5 years.

It additionally examined one other suspected ICBM on Might 25, hours after Biden had left Asia following a six-day tour to the area. South Korea and the US fired two missiles in response to reveal their “overwhelming energy” to answer any assaults from North Korea.

Officers in Washington and Seoul have in the meantime warned that North Korea additionally appeared able to resume nuclear weapons assessments for the primary time since 2017.

Final week, the US known as for extra United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its document ballistic missile launches, however China and Russia vetoed the suggestion, publicly splitting the UN Safety Council on North Korea for the primary time because it began punishing it in 2006, when North Korea performed its first nuclear check.

Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner composer Vangelis dies aged 79 | Obituaries News

Vangelis, the Oscar-winning composer of the music for Chariots of Fireplace and Blade Runner, and a pioneer of digital music, has died. He was 79.

In keeping with a number of media retailers within the musician’s native Greece, Vangelis died of coronavirus in France, the place he lived part-time. He additionally had properties in London and Athens.

“It’s with nice disappointment that we announce that the good Greek Vangelis Papathanassiou handed away late on the night time of Tuesday, Might 17,” Vangelis’s lawyer was quoted as saying by the ANA information company.

Over his greater than 50-year profession, Vangelis was famend for his musical experimentation and eclectic influences. He received an Oscar in 1982 for his theme for the British movie Chariots of Fireplace, and went on to develop the scores for a slew of different films, together with Ridley Scott’s cult traditional Blade Runner, in addition to for theatre and ballet.

“Vangelis Papathanassiou is not with us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted.

“The world of music has misplaced the worldwide (artist) Vangelis.”

Born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou in central Greece, Vangelis developed an early curiosity in music and experimented with sound by banging pots and pans or fixing nails, glasses and different objects to the strings of his mother and father’ piano. He carried out his first piano live performance on the age of six.

“I’ve by no means studied music,” he informed Greek journal Periodiko in 1988, wherein he additionally bemoaned rising “exploitation” by studios and the media.

“At one time there was a craziness … now it’s a job.”

“You may promote one million data whereas feeling like a failure. Otherwise you won’t promote something feeling very blissful,” he mentioned.

After finding out portray on the Athens Faculty of Wonderful Arts, Vangelis made his begin with native Greek rock bands. He left for Paris when he was 25, a part of an exodus of inventive expertise following the 1967 navy coup.

In Paris, he joined fellow Greeks Demis Roussos and Lucas Sideras within the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Youngster, reaching cult standing and promoting hundreds of thousands of data earlier than they broke up in 1972.

Fascinated by the then-new discipline of digital synthesizers, Vangelis settled in London in 1974, the place he established Nemo Studios, the “sound laboratory” that produced most of his solo albums for greater than a decade.

However he valued his independence over report gross sales.

“Success is good and treacherous,” the composer informed Britain’s Observer newspaper in 2012. “As an alternative of having the ability to transfer ahead freely and do what you actually want, you end up caught and obliged to repeat your self.”

‘Advert astra’

Vangelis, who had a minor planet named after him in 1995, had a fascination with house from an early age.

In 1980, he contributed music to Carl Sagan’s award-winning science documentary Cosmos. He wrote music for NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey and its Juno Jupiter missions, in addition to a Grammy-nominated album impressed by the Rosetta house probe mission in 2016.

On Twitter, NASA paid tribute with the phrases ‘Advert astra’ (to the celebrities), sharing a video from the Juno mission.

In 2018, he composed a bit for the funeral of Stephen Hawking that included the late professor’s phrases and was broadcast into house by the European Area Company.

He was showered with honours, receiving the Max Steiner movie music award, France’s Legion d’Honneur, NASA’s Public Service Medal and Greece’s prime honour, the Order of the Phoenix.

Vangelis fastidiously guarded his privateness and little identified was identified of his private life.

“I don’t give interviews, as a result of I’ve to attempt to say issues that I don’t have to say,” he informed the LA Occasions in 2019.

“The one factor I have to do is simply to make music.”

Thick smoke over Indian capital after landfill site catches fire | Climate News

The landfill in Bhalswa within the metropolis’s north is taller than a 17-storey constructing and covers an space greater than 50 soccer fields.

Acrid smoke is hanging over New Delhi for a second day after a large landfill caught hearth throughout a scorching heatwave, forcing casual waste staff to endure hazardous situations.

The landfill in Bhalswa within the metropolis’s north is taller than a 17-storey constructing and covers an space greater than 50 soccer fields.

Waste staff who reside in close by houses had emptied onto the streets on Tuesday night.

India Landfill Fire
Hearth officers assess a raging hearth on the Bhalswa landfill in New Delhi [Manish Swarup/AP Photo]

However by Wednesday morning, the hundreds of people that reside and work on the landfill had begun the harmful strategy of attempting to salvage garbage from the hearth.

“There’s a hearth yearly. It’s not new. There’s threat to life and livelihood, however what will we do?” requested Bhairo Raj, 31, an off-the-cuff waste employee who lives subsequent to the landfill. He mentioned his youngsters studied there and he couldn’t afford to depart.

The Indian capital, like the remainder of South Asia, is within the midst of a record-shattering heatwave that consultants mentioned was a catalyst for the landfill hearth. Three different landfills across the Indian capital have additionally caught hearth in current weeks.

India Landfill Fire
A thick layer of smoke popping out of a fireplace on the Bhalswa landfill envelopes New Delhi [Manish Swarup/AP Photo]

The landfill within the newest hearth was deliberate for closure greater than 10 years in the past, however about 2,300 tonnes of the town’s garbage remains to be dumped there day-after-day. The natural waste within the landfill decays, leading to a build-up of extremely flamable methane gasoline.

“With excessive temperatures, this spontaneous combustion will happen,” mentioned Ravi Agarwal, the director of Toxics Hyperlink, a New Delhi-based advocacy group that focuses on waste administration.

A number of hearth engines rushed to the landfill on Tuesday to try to douse the hearth. At evening, the landfill resembled a burning mountain and it smouldered till early morning.

India Landfill Fire
Hearth vans seen on a highway as smoke billows from burning garbage on the landfill website [Adnan Abid/Reuters]

The final month was the most well liked March in India in additional than a century and the present month has been one of many hottest Aprils in years. Temperatures crossed 43 levels Celsius (109.4F) in a number of cities on Tuesday and are forecast to proceed rising.

“India’s present heatwave has been made hotter by local weather change,” mentioned Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in local weather science on the Grantham Institute in Imperial Faculty London.

She mentioned except the world stops including greenhouse gases to the environment, such heatwaves will change into much more frequent.

India Landfill Fire
A waste collector seems to be for recyclable supplies as smoke billows from burning garbage on the Bhalswa landfill website in New Delhi [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

US officials attend migration summit while policies under fire | Migration News

Guatemala Metropolis, Guatemala – Prime United States officers are in Panama for a summit on migration within the Americas, the place migrant rights teams say US policies exacerbate the risks confronted by migrants and asylum seekers heading north.

The US secretaries of state and homeland safety are becoming a member of their counterparts from 20 different international locations within the western hemisphere for a ministerial conference on migration on Tuesday and Wednesday in Panama Metropolis.

“The US delegation will deepen our ongoing efforts to enhance bilateral and regional cooperation on irregular migration and compelled displacement, and lay the groundwork for a profitable Summit of the Americas in June,” the State Division said on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, migrant rights advocates contend that safety and deterrence policies pushed by the US and different vacation spot international locations worsen the dangers migrants and asylum seekers face in transit by way of the area.

“The US authorities has been so centered on enforcement,” mentioned Kennji Kizuka, affiliate director for refugee safety analysis and evaluation at Human Rights First, a US non-profit group. “That has compelled many asylum seekers to take extra harmful routes,” he advised Al Jazeera.

‘Holistic response’

Excessive-level dialogue on the convention this week will pursue a “holistic response to the challenges irregular migration generates all through our continent”, Panama’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.

Multilateral banks, non-governmental organisations and worldwide establishments – together with the United Nations refugee company (UNHCR) – are additionally taking part within the ministerial convention.

A couple of-fifth of the estimated 82.4 million folks forcibly displaced on the planet are within the Americas, mentioned William Spindler, UNHCR’s spokesman for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The simplest and sustainable technique to realize the stabilisation of populations on the transfer is to put money into regularisation and integration processes,” Spindler advised Al Jazeera by way of e-mail.

“An instance is the granting by Colombia of a temporary protection status for a period of 10 years to all Venezuelans residing in its territory,” he mentioned.

UNHCR representatives attending the ministerial convention will even spotlight the significance of regional coordination mechanisms and engagement with worldwide and personal sector actors to handle the basis causes of displacement.

“At a time when the eye of the world is concentrated on the crisis in Ukraine, it is very important keep in mind that there are different conditions that additionally deserve and want the political dedication and assets of the worldwide group,” mentioned Spindler.

Harmful journeys

Panama made repeated requires worldwide assist final yr to bolster humanitarian help efforts in the Darien region, the place migrants and asylum seekers from dozens of nations enter from Colombia and stroll for days by way of the jungle.

River crossings, publicity and armed teams all pose severe risks to folks transiting the world. At the least 51 folks have been reported lacking or lifeless final yr, in line with UNHCR.

The overwhelming majority of the greater than 133,000 migrants who crossed by way of the Darien area in 2021 have been of Haitian origin or descent, in line with Panamanian authorities information. However the sample has since shifted.

Venezuela is now the highest nationality of migrants transiting the Darien. Of the 13,425 migrants and asylum seekers recorded within the area over the primary three months of this yr, 4,257 have been Venezuelans, already far surpassing that nation’s whole in 2021.

Since taking workplace in January final yr, US President Joe Biden’s administration has centered on what it calls addressing “the root causes” of migration from Central America, as kids and households have been arriving on the nation’s southern border with Mexico in giant numbers.

Biden has additionally continued past US administrations’ pressure on Mexico – and to a rising extent now additionally Guatemala – to cease migrants and asylum seekers earlier than they attain the border.

The stress on Mexico to clamp down on migrants and asylum seekers transiting north possible performed a task within the enhance within the Darien area, in line with Kizuka. “Mexico was pushed by the USA to impose a visa restriction on Venezuelans,” he mentioned. “The US has pushed extra folks by way of Panama, by way of the Darien Hole.”

Mexico instated a visa requirement for Venezuelans in January, following suspensions late final yr of visa exemptions for nationals of Ecuador and Brazil. As of this month, Colombians should preregister on-line to enter Mexico.

US southern border

The US additionally instantly locations migrants and asylum seekers in hurt’s manner by proscribing entry to asylum by way of insurance policies at its southern border, in line with rights teams. The way forward for a few of these insurance policies is unsure.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the administrations of Donald Trump and now Joe Biden have summarily carried out more than 1.7 million expulsions on the nation’s southern border on fiercely contested public well being grounds, utilizing what is called “Title 42”.

Human Rights First has discovered almost 10,000 instances of kidnapping, sexual assault, torture and violence in opposition to folks in Mexico blocked or expelled by the US resulting from using Title 42 by the Biden administration. Folks expelled to different international locations usually face related dangers.

Cinthia, an asylum seeker from Honduras, deliberate to request safety within the US however was expelled underneath Title 42 earlier than she obtained the possibility, after making it throughout the border. She mentioned she faces demise threats in her house nation from armed extortionists.

“All of the governments speak about supporting migrants however they do the other,” she advised Al Jazeera, requesting her final identify not be used for safety causes.

Using Title 42 is presently set to end on Might 23, however court docket action, Congress or the administration itself may change that course. “There are indicators of pressure inside the Democratic Get together round what to do with Title 42,” mentioned Kizuka.

“That is considered as a political difficulty,” he mentioned. “The administration, it looks like, is making coverage choices based mostly on election prospects for the midterms.”