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“We’re doing all we can” -U.S President’s plea to hurricane ravaged state

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All the updates on Hurricane Ida as the tropical storm wrecks havoc across the New Orleans coastline, causing further devastation

Joe Biden speaks out

The US President announced on Monday that Biden administration officials will meet with local leaders to assess the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. 

It comes as New Orleans residents and emergency services commence the gruelling task of rescue and cleanup along the state’s coast.

“We know Hurricane Ida had the potential to cause massive, massive damage, and that’s exactly what we saw,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.

More than 5,000 members of the national guard were deployed to support search, rescue and recovery attempts. 

But as wild weather continues to sweep across the state, Biden asks residents to seek shelter if safe to do so and to rest assured that help is well on its way. 

Now downgraded to a category three tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects heavy rainfall to cross southeast Louisiana, Mississippi and western Alabama.   

Further flooding is also expected to occur, likely to impact portions of the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley and Central and Southern Appalachians.

A long clean up awaits

Drones launched to assess hurricane damage 

The federal government will also look at initiating authorised drones and satellites to assess the damage.

They’ll also work alongside energy providers to help restore power to more than one million Louisiana homes. 

“We’re doing all we can to minimise the amount of time it’s going to take to get power back up for everyone in the region.”

President joe biden

“We’re going to stand with you and the people of the Gulf as long as it takes for you to recover.”

Hurricane Ida continues to devastate

Two casualties have been reported so far – an increase of one from yesterday – however Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says the death toll could rise significantly. 

“This is going to be a long haul…We are still in a life-saving mode here, doing search and rescue.”.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

In the last 36 hours, around 20 water rescues were conducted across three separate counties.

Additionally, four nursing homes in Mississippi are running on generators while some hospitals are functioning on a mix of electric grid and generator sources, according to Jim Craig, senior deputy and director of the Mississippi Department of Health.

Eight-hundred people were also rescued by St. John the Baptist Parish, in what parish president Jaclyn Hotard called a “parish-wide disaster”. 

It’s the first time in 24 hours that residents in the area were able to make phone calls, access the internet and check emails.

“All of our communication systems had failed – even the backups that we had to our communication systems failed, and those backups to the backups failed.”

Jaclyn Hotard, St. John the Baptist Parish President

“We were pretty much cut off from any communication.” 

St. John the Baptist Parish rescue efforts

Affected universities and schools to close for 2 weeks

The education sector also faces repercussions with some primary, secondary and tertiary institutions forced to close for up to two weeks. 

Tulane campus in Louisiana closed its campus earlier on Monday, cancelling all classes through to September 12. 

Jefferson and St Tammany Parishes, among some other schools, are expected to move to remote learning, with several other education facilities closed until further notice.

Hurricane Ida reduces buildings to rubble

Tornado warnings in place for two counties 

And if things weren’t bad enough already, a tornado warning has been issued for parts of two Alabama counties.

Residents in central Lee and northeastern Macon counties are advised to seek immediate shelter, until 4.30pm local time. 

While winds are easing, a thorough assessment to evaluate the damage will not occur until it’s safe to do so. 

The NHC warns that all residents and rescue crews must use extreme caution during the recovery phase as that’s where more injuries – some life-threatening – are likely to occur.

“Post-storm fatalities and injuries often result from heart attacks, heat exhaustion, accidents related to clean up and recovery, and carbon monoxide poisoning from improper generator use,” the NHC says.

Ticker will continue to update our readers on Louisiana’s situation as the news breaks.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Money

Europe is preparing for winter: how can you keep costs down?

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Britain is facing a surge in cold weather, with icy conditions and fog expected for much of this week

The UK Met Office has issued a Yellow warning, which means there could be damage to buildings as Britons brace for cold conditions.

Like much of Europe, the UK are bracing for very strong winds on Wednesday, causing disruption to travel and some utilities.

Drivers are also urged to take extra care on the roads, with warnings in place for icy stretches forming on UK roads.

But some residents who are seeking to heat their homes are on edge, as power prices remain high.

Peter Smith is the director of policy and advocacy at National Energy Action, who said the rising cost of living is impacting Britons.

“The average annual bill has almost doubled since this time last year.”

The organisation seeks to close the gaps when it comes to energy affordability. It predicts 6.7 million UK households will be in fuel poverty in the coming months.

This means millions of Britons will be unable to afford living in a warm, dry and safe home.

“So far the milder than usual weather has protected many from the spiralling bills as they haven’t needed to heat their homes as high or as long as usual,” Mr Smith said.

How to keep warm without blowing your bill

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged people to make their own decisions, as he met with world leaders in tropical Bali last week.

“There are things that we can do—all of us—to improve the efficiency with which we use energy, to be careful about it,” he said.

For example, an efficient heater; taking advantage of the sun, where appropriate; and rearranging furniture are some cost-effective methods to reduce the burden on gas and energy bills.

Pipes at the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline are pictured in Germany.

In addition, there are some other cheap ways to reduce dependence on gas and electricity bills, as the temperature continue to plunge.

  • close off rooms you’re not using
  • lower the temperature of heating
  • make sure windows are fully closed
  • block cold drafts from under doors using door snakes or carpet.

The UK Government has placed a cap freeze on energy prices.

This means households will pay an average £2,500 on their energy bills. But there is a catch: if households use more, they pay more.

National Energy Action believes an additional 2.2 million homes could be in fuel poverty, when compared to the same time last year.

Why are energy prices so high?

As demand increases, so too does the cost of heating homes.

But there is another factor, which has sent prices rising across Europe: the war in Ukraine.

Russia accounts for 25% of global gas trade, 15% of global thermal coal trade and 10% of global oil trade.

However, countries are struggling to find alternative supplies after sanctioning Moscow for the ongoing conflict.

“Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine, and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.”

RISHI SUNAK, UK PRIME MINISTER

Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was expected to double the amount of Russian gas shipped to Europe.

In July, Russia cut the amount of gas pumped through Nord Stream 1 to 20 per cent capacity.

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News

Hoax call between Polish and “French” Presidents

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Poland President Andrezj Duda spoke to a hoaxer posing as France counterpart Emmanuel Macron, on the night a missile hit near the Poland-Ukraine border.

The news was confirmed after two Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus, posted a recording of the incident, and Duda’s office also affirmed the incident.

During the call, Duda was asking who was responsible for the attack on November 15, wanting to avoid a war with Russia.

The missile landed six kilometres from the border.

Initial reports suggested the missile was Russian-made, but it was later discovered to likely be a Ukrainian air defence missile.

This is the second time the pranksters have targeted the Poland President, who have made their names going after celebrities and politicians, especially those opposed to the Kremlin.

ENDS

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News

Russian missiles hit NATO territory, killing two

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Russian missile hits Poland, as the west assesses the attack on a NATO member

Reports a Russian missile has landed in Poland, killing two people. A projectile struck an area where grain was drying in the village of Przewodów, near the Ukraine border. 

An anonymous U.S. intelligence official suggested a barrage of Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian power grid, and spilt into neighbouring Poland.

Poland is a NATO member, therefore, this signifies a potential escalation to the ongoing war. It also marks the first time weapons have impacted a NATO country.

Emergency talks

Currently, the Polish government are holding urgent talks. A Polish spokesman Piotr Mueller has confirmed that top leaders are holding an emergency meeting regarding the “crisis situation.”

Under Article 5 of NATO, an attack on one country is considered an attack on all.

The White House has not confirmed the reports but the Pentagon is assessing the situation.

“I don’t want to speculate or get in hypotheticals. When it comes to our security commitments in Article 5—we’ve been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon Press Secretary

While NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, including in response to the situation in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it has only invoked Article 5 once.

For the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, NATO evoked Article 5 and came to the defence of the United States.

“Terror is not limited to our national borders.

Russian missiles hit Poland. To fire missiles at NATO territory.

This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act.”

volodymyr zelensky, Ukraine’s president

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