The Independent

World news in brief


Vienna climate activists throw dye over Klimt painting

Climate activists smeared black dye on Gustav Klimt’s famous painting Death and Life while another glued his hand to the frame in protest against oil drilling in Vienna yesterday.

After throwing the liquid on the screen protecting the masterpiec­e, one of the activists was pushed away by a museum guard. Members of the group Last Generation Austria said they had targeted the 1915 painting at the Leopold Museum in

Vienna due to the government’s use of fossil energies, tweeting: “New drilling for oil and gas is a death sentence for humanity.”

In a video of the incident, one activist can be heard shouting: “We have known about the problem for 50 years – we must finally act, otherwise the planet will be broken. Stop the fossil fuel destructio­n. We are racing into a climate hell.”

The episode is the latest in a series of climate change activists throwing liquid at or gluing themselves to famous works of art in museums or the equipment protecting those works in order to raise awareness about the environmen­t.

Russian bombing raids ‘have targeted civilian areas’

Russia’s bombing raids across two conflicts in the past decade have overwhelmi­ngly targeted built-up civilian areas, new analysis shows, with the vast majority of victims being classed as non-combatants.

The study of Russian airstrikes, missile and artillery bombardmen­ts covered both the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine since 2012, and reveals the Kremlin’s “blatant disregard for civilian protection”, according to the London-based research charity Action on Armed Violence.

The organisati­on’s analysis, which has been provided to The Independen­t, found that 84 per cent of Russia’s targeted bombings in the last 10 years were aimed at densely-populated towns and cities. From these attacks, 98 per cent of the victims were classified as civilians.

The charity says that the targeting of densely populated areas and public infrastruc­ture during conflicts dramatical­ly increases the challenge of rehabilita­tion for locals once the fighting subsides.

Canada arrests man on spying charges for China EV researcher

An employee at Canada’s largest electricit­y producer HydroQuebe­c was arrested and charged with espionage for allegedly

passing trade secrets to China. Yuesheng Wang, 35, who worked at the state-owned firm as a researcher in battery materials was arrested on Monday from his home in Quebec province’s Candiac region, the Royal Canadian Mounted police said.

He is facing four criminal charges and appeared in court yesterday. According to the authoritie­s, his charges include obtaining trade secrets, unauthoris­ed computer use, fraud for obtaining trade secrets, and breach of trust by a public officer.

Mr Wang was arrested following an investigat­ion by the special national security unit, which found that he had been spying at the electricit­y utility from February 2018 to October this year. “While employed by Hydro-Quebec, Mr Wang allegedly obtained trade secrets to benefit the People’s Republic of China, to the detriment of Canada’s economic interests,” Canadian police said on Monday.

His arrest comes at a time when Sino-Canadian relations have been choppy for some years, with both nations accusing each other of industrial espionage. Ottawa earlier this month ordered three Chinese companies to divest their investment­s in Canadian critical minerals due to national security.

Court asks how bridge contract went to Indian clock company

A court in India has asked why a bridge renovation contract was awarded to a clock-making company, after the reopened structure collapsed last month, killing 135 people in one of the country’s worst public safety disasters.

The 230m-long bridge, built during British colonial rule in the 1800s, had been closed for six months and reopened just a week before the tragedy took place on 30 October. The suspension bridge, known as “Jhulta Pul” or hanging bridge, snapped, plunging dozens of people into the Machchhu river below.

According to eyewitness­es, the bridge collapsed following overcrowdi­ng by hundreds of people who had gathered there on account of the weekend as well as the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja.

Yesterday, the Gujarat high court while hearing the case lashed out at the civic body for the manner in which the contract for renovation of the bridge was granted to the Gujarat-based Ajanta Manufactur­ing, a part of the Oreva Group.

The city of Morbi’s municipal authoritie­s had awarded a 15-year contract to Oreva Group, which is best known for the Ajanta brand of wall clocks.

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 ?? (AFP) ?? ‘New drilling for oil and gas is a death sentence for humanity,’ group warns
(AFP) ‘New drilling for oil and gas is a death sentence for humanity,’ group warns
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