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Fire At Indonesian Oil Depot Kills 17; Thousands Evacuated

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JAKARTA, Indonesia, At least 17 people were killed and dozens more injured when a fire at a fuel storage depot in Indonesia’s capital spread to the surrounding neighborhood on Friday, prompting the mandatory evacuation of thousands of residents.

Pertamina, a government-owned oil and gas firm, maintains a fuel storage facility in the Tanah Merah neighborhood of North Jakarta, not far from a highly populated area. A quarter of Indonesia’s fuel comes from there.

Officials reported that despite the efforts of at least 260 firefighters and 52 fire engines, the blaze in the nearby neighborhood was still growing out of control.

Television footage showed hundreds of residents fleeing the area in panic as firefighters battled the blaze, and thick plumes of black smoke and orange flames filled the sky.

According to Eko Kristiawan, the area manager for Pertamina, preliminary investigation results indicate that the fire began when a pipeline ruptured during heavy rain, possibly due to a lightning strike.

He assured the public that the fire would not affect the availability of fuel across the country.

Heru Budi Hartono, acting governor of Jakarta, has stated that 600 evacuees are housed in various government buildings and sports stadiums.

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Jakarta’s fire and rescue chief Satriadi Gunawan said 50 people, including some with severe burns,

Jakarta’s fire and rescue chief Satriadi Gunawan said 50 people, including some with severe burns, were hospitalized after the blaze. He said 17 people were killed.

Gunawan said the fire caused multiple explosions, quickly spreading to homes.

Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s minister of state-owned enterprises, offered condolences to the victims and their families, and he directed Pertamina to conduct a thorough investigation of the fire and prioritize providing aid to the community as soon as possible.

There will need to be a future evaluation of how well operations are running. As he promised in his video statement, Thohir will monitor this situation.

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Pertamina’s board of directors, saying they must be held accountable for the deadly oil fire.

The fuel depot in Plumpang experienced its second major fire in as many weeks on Friday. At least forty homes were destroyed in a fire in the area in 2014, but no injuries were reported.

Gajah Mada University energy analyst Fahmi Radhi demanded that the depot be relocated away from residential areas.

The company “Pertamina has been negligent by not using international standard security systems,” he told KOMPAS TV. According to him, efforts have yet to be made to implement such a system since the fire in 2014, and he recommended conducting regular inspections to prevent future fires.

Radhi has called for the immediate removal of Pertamina’s board of directors, saying they must be held accountable for the deadly oil fire.

In 2018, a fire started because of an oil spill, and five people died, and hundreds were injured in the port city of Balikpapan. According to the authorities, a pipe used by Pertamina to transport crude oil ruptured.

A fire at the Cilacap gasoline oil storage facility at the largest oil refinery on the main island of Java in March 2021 forced the evacuation of eighty nearby residents and injured at least 20. There are six refineries owned by Pertamina, with Cilacap being one of them. Eight months later, a fire broke out at the Pertamina Balongan Refinery in West Java province, forcing more than 900 people to be evacuated.

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SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Tropical Storm Alberto Weakens Over Northeast Mexico After Heavy Rains Killed 3

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TAMPICO, MEXICO – Tropical Storm Alberto, the season’s first named storm, weakened Thursday as it headed inland across northeast Mexico after dumping torrential rainfall in areas of the arid region and killing at least three.

The storm swiftly faded over land, and the United States National Hurricane Center reduced it to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kmh). Coastal storm watches and warnings in Mexico were withdrawn as Alberto proceeded westward at 18 mph (30 kmh).

However, forecasts predicted several inches of rain were still anticipated inland in Mexico’s Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila states. South Texas was expected to experience less rain on Thursday.

Immediately after it came ashore in Tampico, there was disappointment at the lack of rain. Showers had been irregular throughout the early morning, with the sun occasionally bursting through.

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Alberto | AP news Image

Tropical Storm Alberto Weakens Over Northeast Mexico After Heavy Rains Killed 3

“We hoped it would come because water is so important here, but as far as I can tell, it went somewhere else,” said Tampico resident Marta Alicia Hernández.

The rain Tampico had hoped for could still be arriving from some of the huge system’s outer bands. Heavy rains were reported inland in the adjacent state of Nuevo Leon.

Civil protection authorities reported three deaths as a result of Alberto’s rains. They said that one guy died in the La Silla River in Monterrey, the state capital, while two kids perished from electric shocks in the municipality of Allende. According to local media, the children were riding bicycles in the rain.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel García said on social media site X that Monterrey metro and public transportation services would be suspended from Wednesday night until midday Thursday when Alberto dies away.

Alberto had prompted tropical storm advisories for most of the western Gulf of Mexico’s coastline, from Texas to Veracruz. The storm landed with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 km/h).

Schools in Tamaulipas state, where Alberto touched ashore, were closed through Friday. Shelters were set up across the state to accommodate residents fleeing flooding.

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Alberto | AP news Image

Tropical Storm Alberto Weakens Over Northeast Mexico After Heavy Rains Killed 3

According to the hurricane center, some portions of northeast Mexico and southern Texas could receive up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, with higher isolated totals likely. Some higher elevations in Mexico could experience up to 20 inches (50 cm) of rain, causing mudslides and flash flooding, particularly in the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon.

Mexican authorities had minimized Alberto’s risk, instead relying on its potential to alleviate the region’s water shortage.

“The (wind) speeds are not such as to consider it a risk,” said Tamaulipas state Secretary of Hydrological Resources Raúl Quiroga Álvarez during a news conference late Wednesday. Instead, he urged people to welcome Alberto cheerfully. “This is what we’ve been waiting for for eight years in all of Tamaulipas.”

Much of Mexico has suffered from severe drought, with northern Mexico particularly heavily afflicted. Quiroga highlighted that the state’s reservoirs were depleted, and Mexico owed the United States a significant water debt for their shared usage of the Rio Grande.

“This is a win-win event for Tamaulipas,” he told reporters.

Alberto was also causing rain and floods along the Texas coast.

According to the National Weather Service, the major hazard for southern coastal Texas is flooding caused by excessive rain. On Wednesday, the NWS stated that there is “a high probability” of flash flooding in southern coastal Texas. Tornadoes and waterspouts are possible.

alberto

Alberto | AP News Image

Tropical Storm Alberto Weakens Over Northeast Mexico After Heavy Rains Killed 3

On Wednesday, areas along the Texas coast experienced road flooding and severe rip currents, while waterspouts were reported offshore.

Octavio González, a Tampico resident, was noticeably disappointed with Alberto’s light rain.

“Very little water fell,” he explained. “We are experiencing severe drought on the south side of Tamaulipas. And the truth is, we have a lot of optimism for rain.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Putin Signs Deals With Vietnam In Bid To Shore Up Ties In Asia To Offset Moscow’s Growing Isolation

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HANOI, Vietnam — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed at least a dozen deals with his Vietnamese counterpart on Thursday and offered to supply fossil fuels, including natural gas, to Vietnam on a long-term basis during a state visit that comes as Moscow seeks to strengthen ties in Asia in response to its growing international isolation over its military actions in Ukraine.

Putin and Lam agreed to strengthen cooperation in education, research and technology, oil and gas exploration, sustainable energy, and health. The two countries agreed to collaborate on a road map for a nuclear scientific and technology center in Vietnam.

None of the 12 officially announced agreements specifically addressed defense. However, Lam stated that additional deals had not been made public.

Following their talks, Putin stated that the two countries are interested in “developing a reliable security architecture” in the Asia-Pacific region that does not allow for “closed military-political blocs.” Lam also stated that Russia and Vietnam wished to “further cooperate in defense and security to cope with non-traditional security challenges.”

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Putin | AP News Image

Putin Signs Deals With Vietnam In Bid To Shore Up Ties In Asia To Offset Moscow’s Growing Isolation

According to Nigel Gould-Davies, a senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and a former British ambassador to Belarus, the agreements between Russia and Vietnam were not as significant as the pact Putin signed with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the day before, which promised mutual aid in the event of an invasion.

Putin’s recent visits to China, North Korea, and Vietnam attempt to “break the international isolation,” according to Nguyen Khac Giang, an expert at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Giang stated that Russia is vital to Vietnam for two reasons: it is the largest provider of military weapons to the Southeast Asian country, and Russian oil exploration technologies assist Vietnam in retaining its sovereignty claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Vietnam has also granted Russian state-controlled oil giant Zarubezhneft a license to develop an offshore block off its southern coast.

Putin landed in Hanoi on Thursday morning from North Korea after signing the strategic pact. The pact comes as both nations face rising standoffs with the West and may symbolize their deepest ties since the end of the Cold War.

According to the Vietnam News Agency, Putin also met with Vietnam’s most powerful politicians, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Putin drove to Vietnam’s Presidential Palace on Thursday afternoon, where he was met by schoolchildren waving Russian and Vietnamese flags.

Much has changed since Putin’s previous trip to Vietnam in 2017. Russia is now facing a slew of US-led sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. In 2023, the Foreign Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin for alleged war crimes, making foreign travel difficult for the Russian president. The Kremlin dismissed the warrant as “null and void,” emphasizing that Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam sharply criticized Putin’s trip, stating that “no country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities.” Allowing Putin to travel freely “could normalize Russia’s blatant violations of international law,” according to a statement.

The United States and its allies have expressed growing concern about a potential arms deal in which North Korea provides Russia with much-needed munitions for use in Ukraine in exchange for Russian economic assistance and technology transfers, which could exacerbate the threat posed by Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Both countries dispute claims of weapons deliveries, which would violate many U.N. Security Council sanctions that Russia has previously supported.

According to Ridzwan Rahmat, a Singapore-based analyst with the defense intelligence business Janes, Vietnam is unlikely to give Russia major quantities of weaponry, putting at risk the progress it has made with NATO allies on military equipment, mainly the United States.

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Putin | AP news Image

Putin Signs Deals With Vietnam In Bid To Shore Up Ties In Asia To Offset Moscow’s Growing Isolation

“I would imagine Vietnam wouldn’t want to take a risk, inviting the wrath of Western countries by supplying the Russians,” Rahmat told reporters.

Hanoi and Moscow have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1950, and this year, they celebrate the 30th anniversary of a treaty that established “friendly relations” between Vietnam and Russia. According to Prashanth Parameswaran, a Wilson Center’s Asia Program fellow, Vietnam is “reinforcing” its partnership while diversifying with newer partners.

Evidence of the lengthy relationship and its effect may be found in Vietnamese cities such as the capital, where numerous Soviet-style apartment complexes have been replaced with skyscrapers. A statue of the Soviet Union’s founder, Vladimir Lenin, stands in a park where children skateboard every evening. Many of the Communist Party’s top leaders in Vietnam, including party boss Trong, attended Soviet universities.

In an article published in Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Putin thanked “Vietnamese friends for their balanced position on the Ukrainian crisis” and praised the country as a “strong supporter of a fair world order” based on international law, equality, and geopolitical non-interference.

Vietnam’s pragmatic stance of “bamboo diplomacy” — a term coined by Trong to describe the plant’s suppleness, bending but not breaking in the shifting headwinds of global geopolitics — is under growing scrutiny.

Vietnam, a manufacturing powerhouse and increasingly vital in global supply networks, will host US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2023.

According to former ambassador Gould-Davies, Putin’s visit is significant diplomatically for Hanoi.

“Perhaps for Vietnam it’s a matter of just showing that it’s able to maintain this very agile balance of its bamboo diplomacy,” the foreign minister suggested. “Already in the course of a year they’ve hosted visits by the heads of state of the three most powerful countries in the world, which is pretty impressive.”

He believes Russia’s visit was more about optics than anything else, as Moscow strives to interact and influence other countries, particularly those in the so-called Global South.

“Since the war began, Putin has not been able to travel much or very far, and he’s made very few trips beyond the countries of the former Soviet space,” he told reporters.

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Putin | AP News Image

Putin Signs Deals With Vietnam In Bid To Shore Up Ties In Asia To Offset Moscow’s Growing Isolation

Vietnam has remained neutral about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But neutrality is getting difficult.

Parameswaran stated that Vietnam requires US assistance to pursue its economic objectives and diversify its defense relationships. “It has to carefully calibrate what it does with Russia in an environment of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.”

Bilateral commerce between Russia and Vietnam was $3.6 billion in 2023, compared to $171 billion with China and $111 billion with the United States.

Since the early 2000s, Russia has supplied over 80% of Vietnam’s arms imports. This has been dropping over the years as Vietnam strives to diversify its supply. However, according to Giang, weaning itself completely from Russia would take time.

Given Putin’s international isolation, Vietnam is doing him a “huge favor and may expect favors in return,” wrote Andrew Goledzinowski, the Australian ambassador to Vietnam, on the social networking platform X.

“Vietnam will always act in Vietnam’s interests and not anyone else’s,” he said in the letter.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Climate Alarmists Arrested for Spraying Stonehenge Orange

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Stonehenge: Yahoo Image

Two climate alarmists were detained on Wednesday for using orange cornflour to temporarily paint Stonehenge orange on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.

According to a press release from the coalition Just Stop Oil, which organised the event, the Stonehenge rally is part of a larger effort to persuade the incoming UK government to sign “a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.”

On the podcast PoliticsJOE, Just Stop Oil spokesman James Skeet emphasised the organization’s belief that the orange cornflour will wash off the prehistoric monument in a few days.

He identified the demonstrators as Niamh Lynch, a 21-year-old Oxford University student, and Rajan Naidu, 73, from Birmingham.

“The orange cornflour we used to create an eye-catching spectacle will soon wash away with the rain, but the urgent need for effective government action to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the climate and ecological crisis will not,” Lynch stated in a press release.

The Wiltshire Police said they arrested two persons on suspicion of destroying the ancient monument, but did not reveal their names.

On Wednesday, English Heritage, the charity that maintains hundreds of historic sites, and UK MPs chastised Just Stop Oil for their conduct.

limate Alarmists Arrested for Spraying Stonehenge Orange

“Obviously, this is extremely upsetting, and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage,” English Heritage wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “More updates to follow but the site remains open.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak informed news organisations, including the Guardian, that defacing Stonehenge was a “disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK’s and the world’s oldest and most important monuments.”

About Stonehenge

Stonehenge, the renowned stone circle in England, has enthralled people for generations. Built circa 2500 BC, it is a historical conundrum. Those gigantic stones, some weighing up to 25 tonnes, did not arise out of thin air.

People most likely transported them with logs and ropes. It wasn’t a quick job either. It took hundreds of years and a significant amount of manpower. The site’s alignment with the sun at solstices shows that it was an ancient calendar.

Some say it was a burial site, while others believe it was a place of healing. Regardless of the theories, no one knows for certain.

Every year, thousands of people travel to witness this ancient treasure and try to unravel its mysteries. Stonehenge is a symbol of human ingenuity and mystery.

Source: Yahoo News

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