World news in brief
Tanker breakup threatens marine wildlife
An oil slick off the coast of the Philippines is threatening wildlife in a protected marine area, environmentalists have warned. The pollution is the result of the sinking of the tanker MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 800,000 litres of industrialised fuel oil when it sank off the northeast coast of Mindoro Island on 28 February. Despite days of efforts to contain the oil spill, officials
of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have warned that up to 21 locally managed marine protected areas may have been impacted by the spill.
The affected areas include the Verde Island Passage, a marine ecosystem that provides food and livelihoods to millions of people. The Philippine Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident. The probe will determine if there are people accountable for the sinking of the oil tanker.
Two dead as dozens of police held hostage in Colombia
A police officer and a civilian were killed during protests in Colombia’s Caqueta province as 79 officers and nine oilfield workers were taken hostage by members of rural communities. The violence on Thursday erupted in part of the San Vicente del Caguan municipality, where members of rural and Indigenous communities blocked access to an oil field, national police said, to demand Emerald Energy help fix roads.
President Gustavo Petro said: “We have a popular movement which by its exclusion and the influence of groups which want to destroy this government and subsume Colombia in war, has ended up murdering a young policeman,” he said. The attorney general’s office should investigate the killings, while the Red Cross should attend to those being held hostage, he said. Protests in areas close to oil and mining projects regularly occur in Colombia as communities push for companies to build infrastructure including roads and schools. Reuters
Nigeria extends old banknotes amid cash shortage
Nigeria’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered the central bank to extend until 31 December the use of old banknotes, whose withdrawal from circulation became an election issue after it caused cash shortages, widespread hardship and anger. Sixteen states in Nigeria had brought the case to the court, arguing that most Nigerians were stuck with old notes and needed more time
beyond the 10 February date when the bills ceased to be legal tender in a botched move to replace them with newer ones.
Replacement banknotes have been in short supply, which has caused chaotic scenes at banks. It has also overwhelmed the digital banking network, as a flood of transactions shifted into cyberspace. In a country where most people rely on cash for everything from taxi fares to buying food from markets, the shortages of naira bills has riled citizens, some of whom have attacked banks and burned cash-dispensing machines. Reuters
Greece train crash victim buried
The first funeral for the nearly 60 victims of Greece’s worst rail disaster was held yesterday as families began receiving remains after a harrowing identification process. Athina Katsara, a 34year-old mother of an infant boy, was buried in her hometown of Katerini, northern Greece. Her injured husband was in hospital and unable to attend. Recovery teams spent a third day scouring the wreckage in Tempe, 378km (235 miles) north of Athens, where a passenger train slammed into a freight carrier near Larissa just before midnight on Tuesday.
After evening protests over the past two days, some 2,000 students took to the streets in Athens yesterday, blocking the road in front of parliament for a moment of silence. Railway workers extended their strike to a second day yesterday, and more rallies were planned, as many demanded how such a tragedy could have happened. Almost 40 survivors remain in hospital, seven of them in intensive care. Anger has grown across the country over the crash, which the government has attributed to human error but which unions say was inevitable due to lack of maintenance and faulty signalling.
Want your views to be included in The Independent Daily Edition letters page? Email us by tapping here firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your address BACK TO TOP