World news in brief
French capital scarred by rubbish mounds
Tons of rubbish has piled up on Paris pavements as bin collectors and street cleaners refused to work for a ninth day yesterday, the most visible sign of widespread anger over a bill to raise the French retirement age by two years. More than 6,000 tons of rubbish has piled up, drawing complaints from some district mayors. Strikes have intermittently hobbled other sectors including transport, energy and ports, but Emmanuel Macron remains undaunted as his government presses ahead with trying to get the unpopular pension reform bill passed in
parliament. The bill would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 for most people and from 57 to 59 for most people in the sanitation sector.
Gursel Durnaz, who has been on a picket line for nine days, said: “There are bins everywhere, stuff all over. People can’t get past. We’re completely aware.” But, he added, president Emmanuel Macron has only to withdraw his plan to increase the French retirement age “and Paris will be clean in three days”. British visitor Nadiia Turkay said: “It’s a bit too much because it was even hard to navigate ... you see all the rubbish and everything. The smell.” Ms Turkay nevertheless sympathised with striking workers and accepted her discomfort as being “for a good cause”.
More than 200 dead as Cyclone Freddy hits Africa
Tropical Cyclone Freddy has killed at least 216 people in Malawi and Mozambique, with the death toll expected to rise. Heavy rains that triggered floods and mudslides have killed 199 people in Malawi, authorities said yesterday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared a “state of disaster” in the country’s southern region and the now-ravaged commercial capital, Blantyre. Some 19,000 people in the south of the nation have been displaced, according to Malawi’s disaster management directorate. Reports from Mozambique’s disaster institute said that 17 people have died in the country and 1,900 homes have been destroyed in the coastal Zambezia province. Tens of thousands of people are still holed up in storm shelters and accommodation centres.
Freddy will continue to thump central Mozambique and southern Malawi with extreme rainfall before it exits back to the sea late this afternoon, the UN’s meteorological center on the island of Reunion projected. Cyclone Freddy has been causing destruction in southern Africa since late February. It also pummelled the island states of Madagascar and Reunion last month as it traversed across the ocean.
Protests in Pakistan as police try to arrest Imran Khan
Protests erupted in cities across Pakistan yesterday, with clashes between police and supporters of ousted leader Imran Khan ahead of his possible arrest. Police charged at supporters with batons and lobbed teargas shells. Hundreds of Khan supporters gathered outside his house after a police team arrived from Islamabad to arrest him on a court order, government spokesperson Amir Mir said. Khan called on his supporters to stand up for the supremacy of law and fight for true independence. “Police have come to arrest and send me to jail,” he said in a video posted on his Twitter feed. “If something happens to me, or sent to jail, or they kill me, you’ve to prove that this nation will continue to struggle even without Imran Khan.” Similar clashes took place last week.
Crocodile fears as flooding affects Australia
As flooding in parts of Australia looks set to worsen, local authorities have warned residents to be wary of local wildlife – crocodiles and snakes included – entering their homes. Queensland is experiencing record-breaking floods as the Gregory River continues to swell, with its peak reaching 12.3m (40ft). This almost doubled a previous record of 6.78m (22ft) in 2011, with residents in the remote town of Burketown warned to restrict their movements due to crocodile-flooded waters. Now, Burketown residents – 100 of which have been evacuated to higher ground – have been told that crocodiles and snakes could enter their homes.
Zachariah Sowden, a ranger, said: “As the flood waters start to enter town from the surrounding river systems the local population of saltwater crocodiles will also move with these flood waters. A few crocodiles have already been sighted in different areas of the community. Please ... stay out of the water where possible to limit a chance encounter with a crocodile.”
Short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles yesterday, the South Korean military said. This is the latest of several weapons tests as the United States and South Korea conduct joint military drills. Agencies reported that the missiles were launched from the southwestern coastal town of Jangyon and flew across North Korea before landing in the sea off that country’s east coast. South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement that both missiles travelled about 620km (385 miles). This was North Korea’s second weapons test this week. On Monday, North Korea said it test-fired two cruise missiles from a submarine. Want your views to be included in The Independent Daily Edition letters page? Email us by tapping here email@example.com. Please include your address
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