New Zealand declares National State of Emergency
New Zealand has declared a National State of Emergency due to the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The Minister for Emergency Management signed the declaration early Tuesday morning.
This is only the third time in New Zealand’s history that a National State of Emergency has been declared.
Thousands are without power in New Zealand as a tropical cyclone hits part of the country.
Gabrielle was downgraded from a category two to a category one storm before it made landfall.
“It’s a one in 100 year weather event and we seem to be getting a lot of them at the moment,” said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
But New Zealand is bracing for even more severe weather.
The regions of Northland and Auckland are under a state of emergency.
Professor Ian Young from the University of Melbourne said climate change is prompting western countries to act.
“Right now, the annual impact of coastal flooding is about 0.3% of global GDP. And we estimate that if we do nothing that will rise to about 3% of GDP,” he said.
Air New Zealand has cancelled over 500 flights with services expected to resume on Tuesday.
The airline is adding 11 extra flights to help with the recovery effort.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Defence Force has located 150 staff throughout Auckland and neighbouring regions.
“This is part of a growing problem for low lying countries. Look at developed nations particularly those in Asia, places like Bangladesh, in particular areas in Egypt, in the Delta of the Nile, for instance.
“These are relatively low elevation areas, so they’re particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and to extreme coastal flooding,” Professor Young said.
U.S. Sec. Blinken testifies in wake of Xi-Putin Summit
When President Biden took office, he promised that America was back. But, is that really the case?
On Wednesday, the United States’ top diplomat testified on Capitol Hill about his agency’s foreign policy priorities before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered a stark and candid view on the global situation.
His testimony comes following Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President, Xi Jinping publicized their goal for a New World order during their three-day summit in Moscow.
The unholy alliance frightens the United States.
Republicans say President Joe Biden failed to take a stronger stance with China and Russia—especially after a Russian fighter jet downed a U.S. Reaper drone and the Chinese spy balloon incursion over the continental United States.
The top republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee Marco Rubio says the fight in Ukraine is more than a proxy war— there are concerns about China’s designs for Taiwan.
China and Russia share similar goals and stand in opposition against western influences. As their alliance grows deeper, President Xi has invited President Putin to visit China in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, officials at the White House say they’re still working to schedule a phone call between President Biden and President Xi.
Two Australian Army personnel injured in helicopter crash
The helicopter crashed into water during counterterrorism training
Two Defence Force personnel have been injured after an Australian Army helicopter crashed into the water during routine counterterrorism training on New South Wales south coast.
There were 10 personnel on board the aircraft when the incident occurred and all have been recovered from the water.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart says the incident had the potential to end in “tragedy”.
He notes the quick responses of ADF personnel and emergency services alongside well drilled teams prevented potential loss of life.
An investigation into this incident has been launched to determine the cause.
The training activity has been temporarily paused as a precaution and the MRH-90 Taipan fleet will be grounded while the cause of the incident is determined. #trending
Volodymyr Zelensky visits Bakhmut frontline
The President was handing out medals and visited the wounded
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited his troops near the frontline city of Bakhmut, the ongoing battle for the city being one of the bloodiest of the war.
Footage released by the president’s office shows him handing out medals and visiting wounded in the Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is located. He’s telling the troops that they’re there to protect the land for their children and later, in the hospital, “good luck, boys.”
Zelensky’s visit came after a swarm of Russian drones hit Ukrainian cities including the capital overnight, said by Ukraine’s military to include Iranian-built suicide drones.
And in a tweet, Zelensky apparently referenced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow, saying: Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”
Meanwhile, the British government is rejecting accusations from Moscow that ammunition it has given Ukraine made from depleted uranium risks raising the nuclear stakes in the war.
Depleted uranium shells are used by many militaries including Russia to penetrate armour such as tanks.
The U.K. doesn’t consider it nuclear armament, but the dust it creates does pose a risk to people wherever the shells land after being fired.
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