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One dead as Hurricane Ida rages through Louisiana

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The category four hurricane is expected to be one of the most devastating storms since Katrina ravaged the New Orleans coastline in 2005.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that deputies responded to a home in Louisiana’s capital city on a report of someone injured by a fallen tree. The person has since been pronounced dead.

Hurricane Ida has left 750,000 homes in New Orleans without power as it continues to intensify.

President Biden says that he expects “life-threatening” destruction.

The hurricane officially made landfall in the US state of Louisiana earlier today with 240km/h wind gusts and record rainfall.

Thousands of people have already fled the state, with authorities now warning that it is too late to leave.

Hurricane Ida sweeps the Louisiana coast

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) expects the category four hurricane to be one of the most powerful storms within the last century.

“Catastrophic wind damage will occur near the core of Ida as it moves inland over southeastern Louisiana during the next few hours,” the NHC warns.

“These winds will likely lead to widespread tree damage and power outages.” 

On Sunday, Louisiana saw sustained winds of 150mph.

Despite slowing down and seeing a drop in wind gusts throughout the day, widespread damage occurred along the coast.

More than 400,000 homes were left without power by mid-afternoon and roofs, trees and even ferries were left with little chance, blowing away in the strong wind gusts. 

Hurricane Ida also turned the mighty Mississippi River on its head quite literally, with the river seen temporarily flowing from south to north.

Major concerns for medical facilities

There are major concerns growing for medical facilities.

It’s expected that hundreds of victims will require medical attention from hospitals already overrun with COVID patients. 

There is also extensive roof damage to Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Lafourche Parish close to where Ida made landfall. 

“Once again we find ourselves dealing with a natural disaster in the midst of a pandemic,” says Jennifer Avegno, the top health official for New Orleans.

Louisiana governor, John Bell Edwards, says Ida is close to following in the footsteps of powerful storm, Hurricane Katrina. 

“This is not the kind of storm that we normally get,” he told the Associated Press. 

“This is going to be much stronger than we usually see and, quite frankly, if you had to draw up the worst possible path for a hurricane in Louisiana, it would be something very, very close to what we’re seeing.”

16 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Ida comes 16 years to the day following the devastation of Katrina which tore up the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005. 

The category three storm killed 1800 people with repercussions from the storm lasting several years.

Written by Rebecca Borg

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia

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Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.

In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.

Protests engulf major Russia cities

In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.

Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.

As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.

The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.

In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.

Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.

In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.

In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.

“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.

Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.

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Ukraine Crisis

U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future

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U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch

The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.

Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.

Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.

“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.

When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.

Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.

This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
fighter jets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.

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Ukraine Crisis

Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine

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A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.

The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.

Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.

The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”

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