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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

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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