Tag Archives: ‘Imminent’

Erdogan Signals Imminent Turkey Incursion of Northeast Syria

Erdogan Signals Imminent Turkey Incursion of Northeast Syria(Bloomberg) — Turkey is ready to start a military operation in northern Syria to claim areas from American-backed Kurdish forces and may act “as soon as today or tomorrow,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.“We have made our preparations, completed our operation plans,” Erdogan said at an AK Party meeting in Kizilcahamam in Ankara Province. “We have given the necessary orders.” The operation in the east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria “will be carried out on land and air,” he said.Erdogan has vowed to create a buffer zone inside Syria by pushing back Kurdish militia and settling Syrian refugees in the country’s north. Turkey suspects that the U.S. is backing Kurdish aspirations for self-rule in Syria and is prepared to use military force to prevent what it perceives as an attempt to redraw the region’s map.Turkey wants to act quickly before winter conditions make it difficult for tanks to operate in muddy terrain, leaving little room for a last-minute settlement with the U.S.Erdogan has repeatedly called on the U.S. to join forces in expanding a previously negotiated security zone in Syria — designed to be off-limits to American-backed Kurdish YPG forces — while threatening an incursion if he didn’t get his way by the end of last month.The YPG, which played a leading role in the defeat of Islamic State, has been at the heart of Turkey-U.S. tensions. Turkey sees the fighters as a critical threat given their link to the separatist PKK, an autonomy-seeking Kurdish group. It’s considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.Erdogan wants to resettle some of the more than 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country’s civil war in the buffer area to alleviate the burden on Turkey’s economy and defuse social tensions over hosting the world’s largest refugee population.To contact the reporter on this story: Cagan Koc in Istanbul at ckoc2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, ;Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Andre Janse van Vuuren, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Italy and France Prepare for Imminent Collapse of Mont Blanc Glacier

Italy and France Prepare for Imminent Collapse of Mont Blanc GlacierJeffy Pachoud/GettyROME–The road that winds towards France from Courmayeur in Italy’s spectacular Aosta Valley is an Alpine paradise. In the spring and summer, the Mont Blanc foothills are covered with a carpet of wildflowers set against a backdrop of the Western Alps, which make up Europe’s highest mountain range. Some 20,000 outdoor enthusiasts come here to hike the Italian side of Mont Blanc every year. In the winter, those numbers triple as glitzy chalet resorts offer breathtaking views and some of the best ski runs in Europe. But all of that is in jeopardy due to the devastating effects of climate change. Tuesday evening, Italian civil protection authorities took the extreme measure of closing down the Italian side of Mont Blanc due to the imminent threat of around 9 million cubic feet of ice breaking away from the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses mountain on the Mont Blanc massif. To get an idea of how big that is, that much ice would make 67.3 million gallons of water if it melted. Courmayeur’s mayor Stefano Miserocchi called the evacuation after a damning report by the Safe Mountains Foundation that showed new fissures in the ice. The glacier has been moving at a rate of between 20 and 24 inches a day, which has authorities concerned that it could crumble at any moment. Extreme heat this summer, followed by torrential warm rains this fall, have only made matters worse. No towns are directly in the path of the glacier, but the damage to infrastructure in terms of roads, ski runs, and the landscape would be devastating to the area. “This phenomenon once again testifies that the mountain is in a phase of strong change due to climatic factors, therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” Miserocchi said in a statement. “This is a matter of public safety.”The section of the glacier at imminent risk of collapse is currently at an altitude of 12,500 feet and straddles the border between France, Switzerland, and Italy. This entire region is supposed to be a crucial venue for the 2026 winter Olympics, which was just awarded to Italy this year. The French towns affected by the closure are Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in France, where the first-ever Winter Olympics was held. The dire situation comes as world leaders met in New York for a Climate Action Summit this week. Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte, who attended the summit, said Wednesday that the Mont Blanc disaster is a call to action. “The news that part of Mont Blanc risks collapsing is a warning that should not leave us indifferent,” he said through his spokesman from New York. “It must shake us all and force us to mobilize.”The crisis backs up another warning issued this week by the World Meteorological Organization, which released their new report to coincide with the climate summit in New York. In it they warn that if temperatures continue to rise at current levels, the ice on the Eastern and Central Alps could disappear completely within two or three decades. They say the only ice that would remain is only in the Western Alps, where the crumbling Mont Blanc glacier is about to break down. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Israel says it thwarts imminent Iranian attack from Syria

Israel says it thwarts imminent Iranian attack from SyriaThe Israeli military attacked targets near Damascus late Saturday in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region. The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.



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California earthquake: Fears of imminent major quake grow after ‘swarmageddon’

California earthquake: Fears of imminent major quake grow after ‘swarmageddon’The strongest quake to hit Southern California in two decades years has brought fears an even bigger tremor is likely.A 6.4 magnitude quake hit the US state at 10.30am on Thursday near the town of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The large quake and subsequent aftershocks have rattled nerves, as well as causing injuries and damage in the town near the quake’s epicentre. And as residents began picking up the pieces, experts have not ruled out the chance of another large shock of the same level or higher hitting in the next week. The shallow tremor (only 6.7 miles deep) was felt in an area inhabited by 20 million people. Only a few injuries were reported, but two houses were reported to have caught fire from broken gas pipes; water gushed from zigzagged cracks in the busted pavement; and deep fissures were seen snaking across the Mojave Desert. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, California governor Gavin Newsom approved an emergency proclamation, and Ridgecrest mayor Peggy Breeden said she had declared a state of emergency, a step that enables the town to receive help from outside agencies.Ms Breeden said she had asked residents to check on their neighbours in the desert town.“We’re a close-knit community and everybody is working to take care of each other.”President Donald Trump said he was fully briefed on the earthquake and that it “all seems to be very much under control!” The following morning, as residents were still assessing the damage from the July 4 quake, a strong 5.4 magnitude quake struck 11 miles west of Searles Valley at 4.07am local time. The initial 6.4 quake, which the United States Geological Survey estimated caused damage in the millions of dollars, came off the back of hundreds of “foreshocks” that rattled the region late last month. It said the amount of quakes would decrease in the coming weeks – but there was still the risk of an even larger quake. “USGS estimates a 9 per cent chance of one or more aftershocks of magnitude 6.4 or larger in the next week.”USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso said the quake was the largest in Southern California since the 1994 magnitude 6.6 Northridge earthquake.That quake, which was centred in a heavily populated area of Los Angeles, killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars of damage. Additional reporting Associated Press and Reuters



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Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack imminent, called for talks: Iranian officials

Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack imminent, called for talks: Iranian officialsIranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent. “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues…He gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” one of the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.



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Exclusive: Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack was imminent, called for talks – Iranian officials

Exclusive: Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack was imminent, called for talks - Iranian officialsIranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent. “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues … he gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” one of the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.



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Striking Los Angeles teachers picket in rain with no deal imminent

Striking Los Angeles teachers picket in rain with no deal imminentStudents arriving at some 900 campuses across the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) were met by their teachers carrying laminated picket signs in the city’s first teachers’ strike in three decades. “It’s an existential battle for the future of public education,” teacher Mike Finn told Reuters outside John Marshall High School in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz. Officials for the LAUSD, which serves mostly working-class families who would lack child care if classes were canceled, kept schools open, staffed by administrators and substitute teachers.



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Pompeo hopes for imminent end to US govt shutdown

Pompeo hopes for imminent end to US govt shutdownUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hopes for an imminent end to the longest government shutdown in American history, he said Sunday during a whistle-stop Middle East tour. “I hope it ends tomorrow,” Pompeo said to applause as he addressed US diplomats in Doha, the latest stop on his eight-day regional tour. The partial US government shutdown entered its 23rd day on Sunday and has seen 800,000 federal employees go without wages being paid — including embassy staff.



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Officials warn largest Hawaii volcano eruption is ‘imminent’

Officials warn largest Hawaii volcano eruption is ‘imminent’When the lava lake inside Kilauea drops, a catastrophic explosion could launch ballistic boulders the size of cars into the air and plumes of ash could rise 20,000 feet.



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Hawaii volcano latest: Eruption imminent as locals ordered to prepare for evacuation

Hawaii volcano latest: Eruption imminent as locals ordered to prepare for evacuationHawaiians have been told to “prepare to evacuate” amid growing fears a volcano which forms the state’s largest island could be about to erupt. Authorities have closed 16,000 acres of national park and begun identifying shelters after hundreds of earthquakes heightened concerns that lava and molten rocks could spew out of Kilauea volcano. Geologists warned a continued increase in seismic activity following the collapse of a crater floor on Monday suggested eruption could be imminent.



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