Over 100 people treated in hospital after ‘chemical haze’ drifts onto Sussex beach

Beachy Head was the scene of the chemical cloud that left people with stinging eyesReuters
An unknown haze coming in from the sea has led to the evacuation of a beach on the southern coast of England.

The first reports of the haze at Birling Gap in East Sussex came through at 5pm Sunday (27 August) and emergency services have been treating people at the beach as well as the surrounding area, with roads closed off and the public being advised to avoid the area.

People living near the coast have been told to keep doors and windows closed with the source of the haze still being investigated.

Eastbourne District General Hospital says it has treated 133 people although Sussex Police says the cause of the “chemical haze” is still unknown.

The National Trust said it was aware of the incident and was working with the emergency services.

In a statement, Sussex police said: “Emergency services are treating people at Birling Gap and clearing the area. People living along the coast in the area have been advised to keep doors and windows shut and to move away from the Birling Gap area in particular.”

One witness described how the haze was “coming in”.

Mark Battershill told Sky News: “Eyes are streaming, I’m at home now with my family, we’re all sitting here and the tears keep running, stinging eyes, sore throats.”

The main area affected stretches several miles from Birling Gap to the famous cliffs at Beachy Head, and to the Sovereign Harbour on the eastern fringes of Eastbourne. Many businesses in Eastbourne have also closed.

Coastguard rescue teams from Birling Gap, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Newhaven helped clear the beaches as visitors feared they had been struck by a chlorine leak, the BBC reported.

‘What do you actually do?’: Ivanka Trump showed off her fan mail and got ruthlessly roasted for it

Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to share pictures of her fan mail and the Internet swiftly roasted her for it.Win McNamee/Getty Images
President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and White House adviser Ivanka proudly shared a picture of her fan mail on Thursday (24 August) and the Internet is ruthlessly mocking her for it. The 36-year-old took to Twitter and Instagram to share photos of herself going through a pile of colourful, handwritten letters and drawings from children covered with hearts and smiley face.

“Overjoyed by these beautiful letters,” Trump tweeted. “Reading them is one of the highlights of my week.”

thanked for? Seriously.”

“And for this nonsense you get a top security clearance?” one person chimed. “You’re a hypocrite.”

Many also joked that the letters were probably from her father.

“Your dad’s handwriting has improved greatly!” one Twitter user wrote. Another person added: “I wish your dad would spend more time studying policy and less time writing you all these letters.”

Other social media users speculated that the letters were written by White House staffers and pinpointed various details in the letters saying they seemed to be written by an adult using different markers. Keen observers zoomed in on one smiley face that showed a smiley face with dollar signs for eyes.

“Whatever staffer made these fake letters to Ivanka Trump, I loved this little touch – was it a commentary on being blinded by greed?” one person wrote.

Another person suggested: “Sarah Huckabees part time job is writing cards to Ivanka.”

Many people also seized the opportunity to share fan letters of their own to Ivanka.

Footage emerges of white man firing gun at protesters at Charlottesville rally

Footage released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia shows the moment a white man fires a hand gun at protesters during the clashes in the city of Charlottesville on 12 August.

In the video, the man can be heard saying the word “nigger” and firing a shot towards someone off-camera before hastily leaving the scene. In the background appears to be law enforcement who do not react – but which cannot be confirmed from the video.

A New York Times report said that the man was firing towards a black man with an “improvised torch”. It is understood to be the same man depicted in a viral photograph from the scene that was also the subject of a New Yorker article. That article named the man as Corey Long who told the New Yorker that protests on the day had seemed peaceful to him until pointed a gun at his head, then his foot “and shot the ground”.

The ACLU of Virginia said that their staff unearthed the footage during a routine review and sent it to the FBI, Virginia State Police and Charlottesville Police Department.

According to the New York Times, Richard W. Preston was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000ft of a school – which could land him 10 years in prison. Reports have said Preston is an imperial wizard in the Ku Klux Klan.

“We believe that the public interest is best served by transparency. Our decision to release the video of this significant event is consistent with our regular calls for law enforcement to release body-camera video that depicts any incident of public concern.” the ACLU said in a statement.

“Our goals continue to be to assist in the arrest and prosecution of anyone who committed a crime or civil rights violation on Aug. 12, to encourage law enforcement agencies by example to act to restore public confidence by releasing their full tactical plan and training materials for Aug. 12, and to help ensure that future events will be safer for everyone involved.”
Charlottesville became the scene of clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups when white supremacists descended on the town to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee.

James Fields, 20, was arrested after he allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a woman named Heather Heyer and injuring 19. Heyer’s mother hit out at US President Donald Trump, saying she would not speak with him after his comments on the violence.

U.S. President Donald Trump reads from a prepared statement as he delivers remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S., August 12, 2017.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Trump at first condemned violence on both sides, leading many to say he was equating white supremacists and those protesting them. He then issued a statement condemning racism and bigotry before then taking to a press conference to once again blame both sides for the violence.

His reaction to the events caused a myriad of problems for the already embattled president. Two business advisory groups were disbanded after CEOs faced mounting pressure to resign in protest. Soon after, Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon, who had previously been linked to alt-right groups, left the White House to rejoin right-wing news site, Breitbart.

30 illegal immigrants entering US through cross-border tunnel arrested

Soldiers stand inside a major cross-border drug tunnel during a media presentation in Tijuana on 16 November, 2011. Police discovered the tunnel running to California from Mexico – File PhotoREUTERS/Jorge Duenes
US authorities arrested 30 illegal immigrants who are believed to have entered San Diego through a cross-border smuggling tunnel from Mexico early Saturday morning (26 August), the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

Officials were patrolling the southern San Diego area, which borders the Mexican city of Tijuana, when they came across a group of migrants who appeared to have just entered the country, according to a CBP statement.

The CBP said the group consisted of 23 Chinese — 21 men and two women and seven Mexican nationals, four of them men.

“US agents searched the area and discovered a crude opening in the ground with a ladder inside and determined that is was a smuggling tunnel. The tunnel’s exit is located just north of the secondary fence in the vicinity of the Otay Mesa port of entry,” the CBP said in a statement, according to CNN.

“The 30 aliens are now in Border Patrol custody pending further questioning.”

The CBP added: “While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, they are more commonly utilised by transnational criminal organisations to smuggle narcotics. However, as this case demonstrates, law enforcement has also identified instances where such tunnels were used to facilitate human smuggling.”

The San Diego Tunnel Task Force is investigating the tunnel with the help of law enforcement in Mexico. “Preliminarily it appears this latest tunnel may be an extension of an incomplete tunnel previously discovered and seized by Mexican authorities,” the CBP said.

Pakistan’s support to Taliban militants has to stop, US commander says

General John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, said the US was aware of the presence of Taliban leadership in Pakistan and emphasised the support to the militants has to stop – File photoOmar Sobhani/Reuters
The US is aware of Afghan Taliban leaders’ presence in Quetta and Peshawar areas in Pakistan, General John Nicholson, the commander of US Forces and Nato in Afghanistan, said on Saturday (26 August).

Pakistan has to stop support to these militants, the commander said during an exclusive interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News agency. He added that the issue was being addressed diplomatically.

“The Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura, these shuras are identified by cities inside Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas,” the general said. He stressed the need to address the issue of outside sanctuaries for militants, but noted that it was “being addressed in private between the US government and the Pakistani government”.

“Support for terrorists and insurgents has to be reduced, has to be stopped.

“I am primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan,” but other officials are looking into the issue of sanctuaries in Pakistan, Nicholson added.

He did not rule out a diplomatic solution to the issue and noted that together the US would work with the Afghan government to increase its military capabilities to fight Taliban.

Elaborating on the Afghanistan strategy following US President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this week on increasing troops in the country, Nicholson suggested there will be a full-fledged assault on the militants.

He added that he has a new policy for Afghanistan – “one based on conditions and not time”.

“It gives us additional capabilities. We have a direction now provided by the US policy that is being supported by Nato.

“The Taliban cause the vast majority of civilian casualties and even though they have stated that it is their objective to reduce civilian casualties they have in fact increased civilian casualties,” Nicholson said about the civilian casualties of the ongoing anti-militancy campaign.

“This [civilian casualties] is one of the points that we need to put on the table with the Taliban. They are not acting in the best interests of the Afghan people.

When asked if he sees the Taliban as a terrorist organisation, Nicholson told Tolo News: “They do terrorist activities and they enable terrorists.” He likened the group to al-Qaeda militant group.

When asked if he had the mandate to go out and kill Taliban militants, Nicholson said: “It is our mandate to put military pressure on the Taliban.”

Irish PM Varadkar says ‘no need for passport controls’ on Ireland’s border after Brexit

An Irish police officer removes a Garda checkpoint sign at the Armagh and County Louth border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, during a visit by European Union Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier.Reuters


Passport controls will not likely be required on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit, the country’s prime minister Leo Varadkar has said.

The former Irish president Mary McAleese had asked how there would be a differentiation between Irish citizens and other EU nationals without some kind of ID checking.

If the Common Travel Area (CTA) stays in place after Brexit, British and Irish citizens will be able to travel freely across between the north and south of the island.

But McAleese told RTE: “My view is that sooner or later pressure will come on to make it an ID card phenomenon.”

But Varadkar told the Irish broadcaster that the post-Brexit restrictions that the UK wanted to impose would only apply to limiting workers’ rights and benefits rather than physical checks.

“In life and politics nothing is 100% certain, but I am very confident that there won’t be passport controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We want to stay in the Common Travel Area, which allows people to travel freely between north and south and Britain and Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says he doubts there will be a need for ID checks at the Irish border with the UK. Reuters
“The British government wants that too and so do our European partners.

“So while there will be a big debate and difficult negotiations around issues such as trade, around issues such as the financial settlement, the fact that Dublin, Belfast, London and Brussels want to continue passport-free travel between Northern Ireland and Ireland gives me absolute assurance that that won’t be the case.

“I understand former president McAleese’s concerns but it is one area that I am very sure about and that’s that there won’t be a requirement to produce a passport to travel to Northern Ireland.”

The British government has already argued that it would oppose any new physical monitoring either through CCTV cameras or number plate recognition systems, although the EU chief negotiator has viewed the idea of invisible borders with scepticism.

Varadkat told RTE: “The reason why I can be confident that there won’t be passport controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland is the fact that nobody is looking for them.”

Mothers Around The World Are Dying — Let’s Hashtag That

I was in the room when my daughter was born. That was 15 years ago. Since then, more than 4 million mothers worldwide have died from childbirth. That’s a rough estimate based on statistics from the World Health Organization, stating that 830 women die dailyfrom pregnancy and complications related to childbirth.

I can’t imagine. To be blessed with the gift of life growing inside of you. Then, as a mother, to worry your life may be taken before witnessing that blessing. That is the reality. Devastating or not, it is what millions of families have endured since I first held my daughter in the hospital delivery room.

So here we are faced with a tragic but solvable issue, and World Vision, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) and ADRA Canada have come together — with the support of Global Affairs Canada, to put up a fight. Recently, the civil society partners sat side by side, exchanging ideas, sharing stories and offering solutions based on their experiences improving the odds of survival during pregnancy and childbirth in countries around the world.

This is no easy task. And while progress has been made, the fact that so many mothers are still dying of hemorrhaging, malaria or relatively simple infections proves there’s a long way to go. Looking from the outside in, it may be difficult to understand why mothers are dying from preventable causes, but maternal health is far more complex than it may initially appear.

Once you begin peeling back these layers, only then do you recognize the enormity of the issue. It’s far more complicated than building more healthcare facilities — although that is part of the solution. Any organization hoping to make serious strides in maternal care must first understand the culture and the community they are approaching. Social and gender norms are not the same in every community, and remaining ignorant to cultural practices will stall real progress.

So education is a key. First, the organization needs to educate themselves on the community they are engaging, and then they need to share their knowledge of maternal care throughout that community, beginning with the mothers, faith leaders and community leaders.

PHOTO BY ANNIE SPRATT ON UNSPLASH
It takes more than simply handing out a pamphlet to expectant mothers. Depending on the community, the mother may not be able to read. And, even if she can read or has direct access to information through a local individual, a more sustained engagement strategy is needed to convince her to make use of resources to promote a safe pregnancy.

In addition to education, proximity to a health centre is an issue. Creating a strategy with the household on how the mother will be transported to that medical facility needs to be in place. Also, health centres must have trained, professional medical staff on site and ready to offer immediate assistance.

I’m just grazing the tip of this problem. I am, however, thankful international development organizations are working every day to make childbirth safe for all mothers, regardless of geography. So often, we don’t recognize how lucky we are to live in a country where delivering a baby is relatively safe. But, giving birth in a hospital with multiple doctors and trained medical staff on site shouldn’t be a luxury.

The joining together of organizations like CCFC, World Vision and ADRA is a great start. More unions like this need to take place so the flow of ideas and solutions can continue.

In Rare Double Euthanasia, 91-Year-Old Couple Died ‘Confidently Holding Hands’

Ninety-one-year-old lovebirds Nic and Trees Elderhorst kissed each other goodbye and, while still holding hands, died together in a rare double euthanasia, a Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported last week.

The couple, who hailed from the town of Didam in the Netherlands, died on their own terms on June 4, their daughter told the paper.

“Dying together was their deepest wish,” she said.

View image on Twitter

Nic Elderhorst’s health had been on the decline since he suffered from a stroke five years ago, reported the Dutch paper. His wife, Trees, was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year.

To qualify for assisted suicide in the Netherlands, which in 2001 became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia, doctors must deem a patient to be under “unbearable and hopeless suffering.”

Double euthanasia is thus a very rare occurrence, said Dick Bosscher of the Dutch Association of Voluntarily Life Ending, according to The Telegraph. “It is factually a coincidence when both people meet the demands for euthanasia at the same time.”

In the case of the Elderhorsts, the couple had to wait months before their applications were approved, according to local media.

“They gave each other a big kiss and passed away confidently holding hands,” their daughter recalled of the couple’s last moments.

The Elderhorsts had been married for 65 years.

Euthanasia accounts for 4.5 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands, according to an Associated Press report from earlier this month. The vast majority of people seeking assisted suicide were individuals who had serious illnesses or “health problems from old age, early-stage dementia or psychiatric problems or a combination” of these illnesses, the report said.

Service Member Missing After U.S. Black Hawk Helicopter Crashes Off Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen on Friday during a training mission and a search was under way for one U.S. service member, the U.S. military said.

U.S. Central Command said in a statement that five other service members aboard the aircraft had been rescued after the crash, which took place about 20 miles (32 km) off the southern coast of Yemen at 7 p.m. (16000 GMT).

A U.S. official told Reuters that the cause of the crash was under investigation.

“When the incident took place the helicopter was not very high above the water,” CENTCOM spokesman Colonel John Thomas said.

The United States has been carrying out air strikes against al Qaeda in Yemen, with at least 80 launched since the end of February.

A small number of ground raids using U.S. Special Operations forces have also taken place, including one in January which resulted in the death of a U.S. Navy Seal.

There have been a number of aviation mishaps involving U.S military aircraft in the past few months.

The U.S. Coast Guard recently said that it had suspended its search off Hawaii for five Army aviators missing since their Black Hawk helicopter crashed earlier this month.

In April, a Black Hawk U.S. Army helicopter crashed on a Maryland golf course, killing one crewmember and seriously injuring two others.

Last month, a military transport plane crash killing 16 service members including elite special operations forces in northern Mississippi.

Attack outside Buckingham Palace, London

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command are now investigating the incident which occurred near Buckingham Palace,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The Queen’s London residence was put into lockdown and tourists evacuated from the area as police scrambled to secure the area and assess the extent of the threat.

The Metropolitan Police later tweeted that two officers sufered minor injuries to their arms while arresting the man. The London Ambulance Service was called and the officers were treated at the scene.

View image on Twitter

 The man was initially detained on suspicion of grevious bodily harm and assault on police.

No others persons were injured.

Twitter user Amir Jan Malik wrote: “Stuck outside Buckingham palace with many armed police officers. Heavy rifles on display traffic at a halt.”

Eyewitness Kiana Williamson told the Press Association that “there was one police van and one car, there was also a civilian’s car that had veered towards the police car.

“They were trying to get the man out of the car, shouting, more police were arriving on to the scene and the man was fighting back,” she said.

“The man had been restrained and looked almost unconscious by the side of the road.

“I didn’t see the car driving but the car had been left at the side of the road and an eye witness had said that he had driven towards the police car,” she added.

Police officers stand guard at a police cordon next to Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP/Chris J Ratcliffe

Police officers stand guard at a police cordon next to Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP/Chris J RatcliffeSource:AFP

The incident, which took place shortly around 8.35pm local time (5.35am AEST) came just two hours after a man armed with a machete attacked soliders in Brussels.

It is not known if any members of the royal family were in the palace at the time.

The Queen is at her Balmoral estate with family members, as is her usual custom during August.

Buckingham Palace, which is surrounded by tall gates, has seen past security breaches. Last year, a man convicted of murder climbed a wall while the queen was at home, and was detained in the grounds.

In 1982, an intruder managed to sneak into the queen’s private chambers while she was in bed. Elizabeth spent 10 minutes chatting with him before calling for help.

Buckingham Palace has been the site of a number of security-related incidents in the past. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA via AP

Buckingham Palace has been the site of a number of security-related incidents in the past. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA via APSource:AP

A palace spokeswoman said the palace did not comment on security issues.

The Buckingham Palace attack continues a horror year for incidents in the heart of the British capital. The country’s threat level is set at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.

On March 22, 52-year-old British man Khalid Masood went on a car and knife rampage, killing five people and injuring up to 50 before he was shot dead.

And on June 4, three Islamic fanatics went on a car and stabbing rampage on London Bridge and the adjacent Borough Market. Eight innocent people were killed in the incident.

This picture taken from the Twitter account of Matt Vincent, shows policemen stand guarding the streets outside Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP/Twitter/Matt Vincent

This picture taken from the Twitter account of Matt Vincent, shows policemen stand guarding the streets outside Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP/Twitter/Matt VincentSource:AFP