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Covid hospital fire: 82 killed by exploding oxygen tank

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Covid hospital fire iraq

An Iraqi covid hospital fire has killed at least 82 people and left 110 injured.

The fire was caused by an exploding oxygen tank at Ibn Khatib hospital in Iraq’s capital city, Baghdad.

About “30 patients were in the intensive care unit”, which was reserved for the most severe cases of Covid, a hospital source told the AFP news agency.

Emergency service officials said many patients died when they were taken off oxygen machines to be evacuated, while others were suffocated by smoke.

The Iraqi Prime Minister suspended the health minister over the fire.

The Iraqi PM referred the health minister to authorities for investigation.

The head of Iraq’s Civil Defence, Gen Kadhim Bohan, said the fire had broken out in the hospital’s intensive-care unit.

In a statement, the government’s human rights commission said the incident was “a crime against patients exhausted by Covid-19”.

“Once the fire started somebody needed to put the auto central pipes off, which means basically cutting the oxygen from those who need it most,” Halla Sarraf, the director of Iraqi Health Access, a non-governmental organisation, told the BBC.

The fire adds strain as Iraq passes the one-million mark of Covid infections this week.

Iraq’s hospitals have been pushed to the limit during the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the strains wrought by years of war, neglect and corruption.

Covid infections have been rising steeply since February in Iraq, and the total passed the one-million mark this week.

The health ministry has recorded 1,025,288 cases and 15,217 deaths since the pandemic began.

The country launched its vaccination campaign last month, and has received nearly 650,000 doses, most of which have come from Covax, a global programme for sharing jabs.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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Climate Change

Australia places honeybees in lockdown

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Honeybees in Australia are in lockdown after a deadly parasite was discovered in Sydney

A parasite has been found to weaken and kill bee colonies, which could threaten the already-scarce bee population.

Australian bees have been into lockdown, which means beekeepers are not allowed to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice from biosecurity.

Local authorities say swift measures are being taken to contain the disease.

“We have immediately launched an eradication plan which involved setting up a biosecurity zone, containing the infected hives and euthanising the bees.”

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders

Until now, Australia is one of a few continents who did not have the varroa destructor, which can attach itself to the body of a bee and weaken its fat.

Nearly one-third of Australia’s food production relies on bee pollination. But the outbreak could cost the honey industry millions of dollars.

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Crypto

North Korea bears the brunt of the crypto market crash

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The crypto market crash is impacting North Korea’s weapons programme

The recent crypto market crash has made its way to North Korea, where hackers are bearing the brunt.

The isolated country relies on stolen crypto to fund part of their weapons program.

But as crypto holdings drop by millions of dollars, the nation is reportedly scrambling to find new ways to fund Pyongyang’s missile plans.

KCNA

North Korea has ramped up its stolen crypto assets in recent times leading to one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record earlier this year.

Hackers allegedly stole $615 million worth of crypto prompting the U.S. tplace a warning about potential workers who are hiding their identities to find jobs abroad.

Meanwhile, crypto holdings have decreased in value with the market sliding below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Ukraine Crisis

Sean Penn visits President Zelensky in Kyiv

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Sean Penn is the latest celebrity to travel to Ukraine and meet with President Zelensky

Actor Sean Penn is reportedly creating a documentary on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is seeking to visit the war-torn areas where Russian troops have allegedly committed war crimes.

The leader thanked Penn for his support during the meeting. It comes a week after Zelensky met with Hollywood star Ben Stiller, who was visiting for humanitarian reasons.

“The whole world will soon be able to see the whole truth about the war thanks to his film. Sean, thank you for the support of our state and our people.”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Meanwhile, fresh vision has emerged of a Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the country’s east.

It’s understood 18 people are dead, and dozens are still missing. Moscow says it struck a nearby arms depot and is claiming the mall was empty at the time.

The blast sent shockwaves around surrounding areas, where people can be seen running away from the areas of impact.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky is calling Russia a terrorist state. He urged his U.N. counterparts to stand up and pay their respects, as he dialled in for urgent talks.

“Who of you does not agree that this is terrorism?”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Zelensky named victims of the war, including a three-month-old. He also drew on the U.N. Charter for maintaining international peace and security.

Meanwhile, Russia’s representatives expressed concern about President Zelensky’s speech. Dmitry Polyanskiy says he did not receive any consultation beforehand.

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