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    Chile plane en route to Antarctica goes missing with 38 on board

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    Chile plane en route to Antarctica goes missing with 38 on board:: A Chilean military plane with 38 people on board "lost radio communication", after taking off from the south of the country for a base in Antarctica, Chile,s Air Force said on Tuesday. The C-130 Hercules took off at 16:55 local time (19:55 GMT) from the city of Punta Arenas on Monday to the President Eduardo Frei Antarctic Base, it lost contact at 18:13 local time (21:13 GMT), Chile,s Air Force said in a statement. The plane carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers, including three civilians. The personnel were to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base. Years-long search for missing Malaysian airliner ends Search for missing football player resumes in English Channel Cardiff City footballer Sala on board plane that disappeared President Sebastian Pinera said in a tweet that he would fly to Punta Arenas along with Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel. Once there, they would meet up with Defence Minister Alberto Espina to monitor the search and rescue mission. Drake,s Passage, where the plane went missing, is infamous for severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and ferocious storms. But the air force said late on Monday that the weather was good when the plane began its flight, or the mission would not have been carried out. @Worldnews

    Chile plane en route to Antarctica goes missing with 38 on board:: A Chilean military plane with 38 people on board "lost radio communication", after taking off from the south of the country for a base in Antarctica, Chile,s Air Force said on Tuesday. The C-130 Hercules took off at 16:55 local time (19:55 GMT) from the city of Punta Arenas on Monday to the President Eduardo Frei Antarctic Base, it lost contact at 18:13 local time (21:13 GMT), Chile,s Air Force said in a statement. The plane carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers, including three civilians. The personnel were to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base. Years-long search for missing Malaysian airliner ends Search for missing football player resumes in English Channel Cardiff City footballer Sala on board plane that disappeared President Sebastian Pinera said in a tweet that he would fly to Punta Arenas along with Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel. Once there, they would meet up with Defence Minister Alberto Espina to monitor the search and rescue mission. Drake,s Passage, where the plane went missing, is infamous for severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and ferocious storms. But the air force said late on Monday that the weather was good when the plane began its flight, or the mission would not have been carried out. @Worldnews

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    Why Elon Musk Is Cash Poor (For A Billionaire)

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    Why Elon Musk Is Cash Poor (For A Billionaire):: Elon Musk took the stand on Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom as part of a defamation trial over his 2018 tweets, in which he called a little-known British citizen a “pedo guy.” During his testimony, a lawyer for the plaintiff asked Musk to estimate his net worth. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO confirmed he has roughly a $20 billion fortune (Forbes pegs it at $23.6 billion), but added that his liquid assets are relatively low. “Some people think I have a lot of cash,” he said. “I actually don’t.” The revelation adds to the stakes of the trial. If the jury levels a large judgment against Musk, he may have to sell part of his stake in Tesla or SpaceX, a move he has historically avoided. (Another possibility: He could borrow more money, using his shares as collateral.) As much as 99% of Musk’s wealth is held in shares of those two companies, Forbes estimates, which helps explain his lack of liquidity. In 2018, for instance, the bulk of his compensation at Tesla came in the form of stock options. Musk declined to accept his base salary of $56,380. More important, Musk, 48, owes more than $500 million in debts, according to financial documents published earlier this year. That includes $208.9 million in liabilities owed to Morgan Stanley and $213 million borrowed from an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. Musk has pledged nearly half of his Tesla stake as collateral for those loans. @Worldnews

    Why Elon Musk Is Cash Poor (For A Billionaire):: Elon Musk took the stand on Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom as part of a defamation trial over his 2018 tweets, in which he called a little-known British citizen a “pedo guy.” During his testimony, a lawyer for the plaintiff asked Musk to estimate his net worth. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO confirmed he has roughly a $20 billion fortune (Forbes pegs it at $23.6 billion), but added that his liquid assets are relatively low. “Some people think I have a lot of cash,” he said. “I actually don’t.” The revelation adds to the stakes of the trial. If the jury levels a large judgment against Musk, he may have to sell part of his stake in Tesla or SpaceX, a move he has historically avoided. (Another possibility: He could borrow more money, using his shares as collateral.) As much as 99% of Musk’s wealth is held in shares of those two companies, Forbes estimates, which helps explain his lack of liquidity. In 2018, for instance, the bulk of his compensation at Tesla came in the form of stock options. Musk declined to accept his base salary of $56,380. More important, Musk, 48, owes more than $500 million in debts, according to financial documents published earlier this year. That includes $208.9 million in liabilities owed to Morgan Stanley and $213 million borrowed from an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. Musk has pledged nearly half of his Tesla stake as collateral for those loans. @Worldnews

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    Huawei Sues FCC Over New Restrictions On U.S. Sales

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    Huawei Sues FCC Over New Restrictions On U.S. Sales:: Huawei has launched a legal challenge against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the regulator classified it as a national security threat and barred it from accessing government subsidies for telecom infrastructure worth up to $8.5 billion. In a press conference on Thursday, Huawei said the FCC had not provided evidence to show that the company was a national security threat and called the decision “political.” The Chinese tech giant announced it had filed a petition in New Orleans to challenge the decision. It comes after the FCC last month voted to designate the Chinese telecom titan a threat to national security over its ties to the Chinese government and fears its telecom infrastructure could be hijacked for spying. At the time, the FCC’s Chairman, Ajit Pai, said the action was taken “based on evidence ... as well as longstanding concerns from executive and legislative branches.” The ruling meant that Huawei and ZTE were cut from the supplier list for the Universal Service Fund, which subsidizes telecom infrastructure purchases for small and rural carriers, Huawei has been caught at the center of the U.S-China trade war, but the lawsuit from the Shenzhen-based tech giant is the latest step in its fight to continue doing business in the United States and beyond. The FCC announced on Wednesday $9 billion of funding for the rollout out of 5G coverage in rural America, but for Huawei the real prize is likely winning huge 5G infrastructure contracts with U.S allies like the United Kingdom, and with other nations. Huawei’s lawsuit is just one front of an international PR blitz and a step-up in its lobbying spend in Washington to $1.9 million this year from $165,000 in 2018, according to lobbying watchdog OpenSecrets. @Worldnews

    Huawei Sues FCC Over New Restrictions On U.S. Sales:: Huawei has launched a legal challenge against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the regulator classified it as a national security threat and barred it from accessing government subsidies for telecom infrastructure worth up to $8.5 billion. In a press conference on Thursday, Huawei said the FCC had not provided evidence to show that the company was a national security threat and called the decision “political.” The Chinese tech giant announced it had filed a petition in New Orleans to challenge the decision. It comes after the FCC last month voted to designate the Chinese telecom titan a threat to national security over its ties to the Chinese government and fears its telecom infrastructure could be hijacked for spying. At the time, the FCC’s Chairman, Ajit Pai, said the action was taken “based on evidence ... as well as longstanding concerns from executive and legislative branches.” The ruling meant that Huawei and ZTE were cut from the supplier list for the Universal Service Fund, which subsidizes telecom infrastructure purchases for small and rural carriers, Huawei has been caught at the center of the U.S-China trade war, but the lawsuit from the Shenzhen-based tech giant is the latest step in its fight to continue doing business in the United States and beyond. The FCC announced on Wednesday $9 billion of funding for the rollout out of 5G coverage in rural America, but for Huawei the real prize is likely winning huge 5G infrastructure contracts with U.S allies like the United Kingdom, and with other nations. Huawei’s lawsuit is just one front of an international PR blitz and a step-up in its lobbying spend in Washington to $1.9 million this year from $165,000 in 2018, according to lobbying watchdog OpenSecrets. @Worldnews

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    Russia ,angry, after doping ban

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    Russia ,angry, after doping ban:: The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday banned Russia for four years from major global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data, prompting an angry response from President Vladimir Putin. Wada,s executive committee, meeting in Lausanne, handed Russia the "robust" four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from a doping testing laboratory that was handed over to investigators earlier this year. The toughest ever sanctions imposed on Russian state authorities will see government officials barred from attending any major events, while the country will lose the right to host or bid for tournaments. "For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport," Wada president Craig Reedie said. "Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial." @Worldnews

    Russia ,angry, after doping ban:: The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday banned Russia for four years from major global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data, prompting an angry response from President Vladimir Putin. Wada,s executive committee, meeting in Lausanne, handed Russia the "robust" four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from a doping testing laboratory that was handed over to investigators earlier this year. The toughest ever sanctions imposed on Russian state authorities will see government officials barred from attending any major events, while the country will lose the right to host or bid for tournaments. "For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport," Wada president Craig Reedie said. "Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial." @Worldnews

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    Ocean oxygen levels drop endangering marine life

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    Ocean oxygen levels drop endangering marine life:: Experts say about 700 sites had been identified globally with low oxygen levels, up from only 45 in the 1960s. The loss of oxygen from the ocean due to climate change and nutrient pollution risks "dire effects" on sea life, fisheries and coastal communities, a global conservation body has warned The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Saturday that about 700 sites had been identified globally with low oxygen levels - up from only 45 in the 1960s. In the same period, the group warned in the largest peer-reviewed study to date that the volume of anoxic waters - areas totally devoid of oxygen - have quadrupled. "What we are seeing is a decline of 2 percent in the global oxygen level [in the oceans]. It doesn,t sound like a lot but this small change will have enormous ramifications," "Deoxygenation will have an impact on biodiversity, on biomass of commercially important species and on vulnerable rare species. It will also have an impact on habitats. We are seeing species migrating because of this," she added. The report found that the loss of oxygen is increasingly threatening fish species such as tuna, marlin and sharks, all particularly sensitive to low levels of the life-giving gas due to their large size and energy demands. The ocean absorbs about a quarter of all fossil fuel emissions, but as global energy demand continues to grow there are fears that the world,s seas will eventually reach saturation point. On current trends, oceans are expected to lose 3-4 percent of their oxygen globally by 2100. However, most of that loss is predicted to be in the upper 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) - the richest part of the ocean for biodiversity. "With this report, the scale of damage climate change is wreaking upon the ocean comes into stark focus," Grethel Aguilar, the IUCN,s acting director, said. "As the warming ocean loses oxygen, the delicate balance of marine life is thrown into disarray." The report on ocean oxygen loss concluded that deoxygenation is already altering the balance of marine life to the detriment of species across the food chain. The biomes that support about a fifth of the world,s current fish catch are formed by ocean currents that bring oxygen-poor water to coastlines. These areas are especially vulnerable to even tiny variations in oxygen levels. "Impacts here will ultimately ripple out and affect hundreds of millions of people," the IUCN said. The group this year issued a landmark assessment of the world,s natural habitats, concluding that human activity was threatening up to one million species with extinction. Ocean life is already battling warmer temperatures, rampant overfishing and plastic pollution. The World Meteorological Organization this week said that due to man-made emissions growth, the ocean is now 26 percent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution. "Ocean oxygen depletion is menacing marine ecosystems already under stress from ocean warming and acidification," said Dan Laffoley, a senior marine science adviser at the IUCN. "To stop the worrying expansion of oxygen-poor areas, we need to decisively curb greenhouse gas emissions as well as nutrient pollution from agriculture and other sources." The IUCN report also found that pollution around coastlines was having a significant effect on oxygen levels, with fertiliser and agricultural runoff promoting more algae growth, which in turn depletes oxygen as it decomposes. World leaders will gather in Marseille in June for the IUCN,s World Conservation Congress. Policymakers are currently in negotiations at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid charged with ratifying a comprehensive rulebook for the 2015 Paris accord. "Decisions taken at the ongoing climate conference will determine whether our ocean continues to sustain a rich variety of life, or whether habitable, oxygen-rich marine areas are increasingly and irrevocably lost," Epps said from the Spanish capital. @Worldnews

    Ocean oxygen levels drop endangering marine life:: Experts say about 700 sites had been identified globally with low oxygen levels, up from only 45 in the 1960s. The loss of oxygen from the ocean due to climate change and nutrient pollution risks "dire effects" on sea life, fisheries and coastal communities, a global conservation body has warned The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Saturday that about 700 sites had been identified globally with low oxygen levels - up from only 45 in the 1960s. In the same period, the group warned in the largest peer-reviewed study to date that the volume of anoxic waters - areas totally devoid of oxygen - have quadrupled. "What we are seeing is a decline of 2 percent in the global oxygen level [in the oceans]. It doesn,t sound like a lot but this small change will have enormous ramifications," "Deoxygenation will have an impact on biodiversity, on biomass of commercially important species and on vulnerable rare species. It will also have an impact on habitats. We are seeing species migrating because of this," she added. The report found that the loss of oxygen is increasingly threatening fish species such as tuna, marlin and sharks, all particularly sensitive to low levels of the life-giving gas due to their large size and energy demands. The ocean absorbs about a quarter of all fossil fuel emissions, but as global energy demand continues to grow there are fears that the world,s seas will eventually reach saturation point. On current trends, oceans are expected to lose 3-4 percent of their oxygen globally by 2100. However, most of that loss is predicted to be in the upper 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) - the richest part of the ocean for biodiversity. "With this report, the scale of damage climate change is wreaking upon the ocean comes into stark focus," Grethel Aguilar, the IUCN,s acting director, said. "As the warming ocean loses oxygen, the delicate balance of marine life is thrown into disarray." The report on ocean oxygen loss concluded that deoxygenation is already altering the balance of marine life to the detriment of species across the food chain. The biomes that support about a fifth of the world,s current fish catch are formed by ocean currents that bring oxygen-poor water to coastlines. These areas are especially vulnerable to even tiny variations in oxygen levels. "Impacts here will ultimately ripple out and affect hundreds of millions of people," the IUCN said. The group this year issued a landmark assessment of the world,s natural habitats, concluding that human activity was threatening up to one million species with extinction. Ocean life is already battling warmer temperatures, rampant overfishing and plastic pollution. The World Meteorological Organization this week said that due to man-made emissions growth, the ocean is now 26 percent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution. "Ocean oxygen depletion is menacing marine ecosystems already under stress from ocean warming and acidification," said Dan Laffoley, a senior marine science adviser at the IUCN. "To stop the worrying expansion of oxygen-poor areas, we need to decisively curb greenhouse gas emissions as well as nutrient pollution from agriculture and other sources." The IUCN report also found that pollution around coastlines was having a significant effect on oxygen levels, with fertiliser and agricultural runoff promoting more algae growth, which in turn depletes oxygen as it decomposes. World leaders will gather in Marseille in June for the IUCN,s World Conservation Congress. Policymakers are currently in negotiations at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid charged with ratifying a comprehensive rulebook for the 2015 Paris accord. "Decisions taken at the ongoing climate conference will determine whether our ocean continues to sustain a rich variety of life, or whether habitable, oxygen-rich marine areas are increasingly and irrevocably lost," Epps said from the Spanish capital. @Worldnews

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    Five bright ideas for the future from COP25,s ,green zone,

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    Five bright ideas for the future from COP25,s ,green zone,:: A 3,000 square-metres space at climate summit is dedicated to raising awareness and showcasing innovative projects. A "green zone" at Madrid,s COP25 climate summit is dedicated to showcasing innovative projects and encouraging dialogue among direct action groups in relation to fighting climate change. All participants - ranging from businesses to indigenous groups to local governments - have to answer one overriding question: what actions are you taking to help achieve the United Nations, goal for a carbon-neutral planet by 2050? For David J Yanez, a University of Valladolid graduate, it was the 1940 footage showing the Tacoma Narrow bridge collapsing in high winds that inspired him to look at the possibility of designing bladeless windpower turbines. These are turbines where the entire structure oscillates in the wind, while the motor to convert wind to energy is inside its column. "Not only is it very cheap to make, oil-less and low-maintenance, tests suggest each structure will last longer than 15 or 20 years, all of which I think is a very useful contribution to the fight against climate change," says Yanez, who hopes to commercialise bladeless windpower by launching his own business in the next two to three years. "It,s also silent and does far less damage to birds than normal wind turbines," adds the 43-year-old. "2050 is too late!" declares Paola, a member of Juventud por el Clima, a youth movement for climate spanning the whole of Spain. Instead, Paola says, the group is seeking to get "a million signatures for the European Climate Emergency Declaration for a reduction of 80 percent of carbon in 2030". Along with launching such initiatives, Juventud por el Clima also organises demonstrations every Friday and holds talks in schools, street theatre performances and workshops, according to its members who are at pains to emphasise that helping create a carbon-neutral planet is anything but boring. As Blanca, another member points out, sometimes when acting alone it,s difficult to see a global effect. "But when you,re in a big group doing things like planting trees, helping something living to grow and knowing that,s going to consume CO2 - that works." In the European Union, more than 100 million tonnes of biowaste are thrown away each year and 75 percent goes to landfill or is incinerated, producing greenhouse gases and costing 143 billion euros ($158bn). Rather than turning biowaste into compost, one groundbreaking solution being proposed by the EU cities of Kozani, Madrid, Albano Laziale and Lund, alongside waste management companies and technology developers, is the transformation of biowaste products such as urban sewage into high value-added products including bioplastics and foodstuffs. @Worldnews

    Five bright ideas for the future from COP25,s ,green zone,:: A 3,000 square-metres space at climate summit is dedicated to raising awareness and showcasing innovative projects. A "green zone" at Madrid,s COP25 climate summit is dedicated to showcasing innovative projects and encouraging dialogue among direct action groups in relation to fighting climate change. All participants - ranging from businesses to indigenous groups to local governments - have to answer one overriding question: what actions are you taking to help achieve the United Nations, goal for a carbon-neutral planet by 2050? For David J Yanez, a University of Valladolid graduate, it was the 1940 footage showing the Tacoma Narrow bridge collapsing in high winds that inspired him to look at the possibility of designing bladeless windpower turbines. These are turbines where the entire structure oscillates in the wind, while the motor to convert wind to energy is inside its column. "Not only is it very cheap to make, oil-less and low-maintenance, tests suggest each structure will last longer than 15 or 20 years, all of which I think is a very useful contribution to the fight against climate change," says Yanez, who hopes to commercialise bladeless windpower by launching his own business in the next two to three years. "It,s also silent and does far less damage to birds than normal wind turbines," adds the 43-year-old. "2050 is too late!" declares Paola, a member of Juventud por el Clima, a youth movement for climate spanning the whole of Spain. Instead, Paola says, the group is seeking to get "a million signatures for the European Climate Emergency Declaration for a reduction of 80 percent of carbon in 2030". Along with launching such initiatives, Juventud por el Clima also organises demonstrations every Friday and holds talks in schools, street theatre performances and workshops, according to its members who are at pains to emphasise that helping create a carbon-neutral planet is anything but boring. As Blanca, another member points out, sometimes when acting alone it,s difficult to see a global effect. "But when you,re in a big group doing things like planting trees, helping something living to grow and knowing that,s going to consume CO2 - that works." In the European Union, more than 100 million tonnes of biowaste are thrown away each year and 75 percent goes to landfill or is incinerated, producing greenhouse gases and costing 143 billion euros ($158bn). Rather than turning biowaste into compost, one groundbreaking solution being proposed by the EU cities of Kozani, Madrid, Albano Laziale and Lund, alongside waste management companies and technology developers, is the transformation of biowaste products such as urban sewage into high value-added products including bioplastics and foodstuffs. @Worldnews

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    Hard Times: One UK town,s struggle in the age of austerity

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    Hard Times: One UK town,s struggle in the age of austerity:: From the quiet corner of a library nestled in the heart of Charles Dickens country, Vince Maple,s calm voice belies his frustration. Of late, he explains, it has been the worst of times for his hometown in southeast England, situated just 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of the capital, London. Perched by the River Medway, Chatham was once the stomping ground of the famed author and, for centuries, a shipbuilding powerhouse courtesy of the local dockyard. Now, however, it lies testament to years of recent struggle; home to a tired high street and surrounding residential roads where dilapidated houses rub up, row-upon-row, against one another. The decline can be traced back to the 1980s, when the dockyard was closed down and some 7,000 jobs evaporated almost overnight. "We,ve never replaced that," Maple, a local councillor since 2007, admits softly as the library empties around him, casting young students and volunteers out into the biting cold of a winter night. But it was in the last decade, he says, that things really took a turn for the worse as the town was ravaged by the United Kingdom,s age of austerity, forcing its poorest residents to confront levels of hardship that echo Victorian-era Britain. "Austerity to me is a working person having to access a charity to have enough food to eat," explains Maple, who is running as the main opposition Labour Party,s candidate for the constituency of Chatham and Aylesford in the UK,s upcoming December 12 general election. "We are one of the biggest economies on the planet, so how on earth we have got to the situation where people who are deemed to be in good quality jobs are having to access charity to survive is just ludicrous." In 1945, after World War II had drawn to a close in Europe, the newly-elected left-leaning Labour Party government immediately moved to reshape the country after successfully campaigning on a promise to tackle poverty. Under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Clement Attlee, it passed a series of measures designed to take care of the British people from "the cradle to the grave", creating over a period of six years what has since come to be known as the "Welfare State". Since then, healthcare has been free at the point of use in the UK,s National Health Service, financial protections have been afforded to the unemployed, and public housing provided to those who are homeless, or deemed to be most at the need of it. But recently, the system has been creaking; edging closer than ever to breaking point as successive Conservative-led governments have overseen sweeping budget cuts as part of an austerity agenda ostensibly aimed at rebalancing Britain,s books in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.In Medway, the unitary authority under which Chatham falls, the number of people living on the streets has risen by at least 171 percent this decade, according to the latest figures compiled by Kent County Council. Amid the crisis, local organisations such as the homeless shelter run by Liz Shaw and Marc Silvester have stepped in to try and help out. Just off the high-street, which is lined by budget stores and shuttered-up shops, the pair have bunkered down in the corner of the shelter,s supply room to weigh up One Big Family,s importance to its users. @Worldnews

    Hard Times: One UK town,s struggle in the age of austerity:: From the quiet corner of a library nestled in the heart of Charles Dickens country, Vince Maple,s calm voice belies his frustration. Of late, he explains, it has been the worst of times for his hometown in southeast England, situated just 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of the capital, London. Perched by the River Medway, Chatham was once the stomping ground of the famed author and, for centuries, a shipbuilding powerhouse courtesy of the local dockyard. Now, however, it lies testament to years of recent struggle; home to a tired high street and surrounding residential roads where dilapidated houses rub up, row-upon-row, against one another. The decline can be traced back to the 1980s, when the dockyard was closed down and some 7,000 jobs evaporated almost overnight. "We,ve never replaced that," Maple, a local councillor since 2007, admits softly as the library empties around him, casting young students and volunteers out into the biting cold of a winter night. But it was in the last decade, he says, that things really took a turn for the worse as the town was ravaged by the United Kingdom,s age of austerity, forcing its poorest residents to confront levels of hardship that echo Victorian-era Britain. "Austerity to me is a working person having to access a charity to have enough food to eat," explains Maple, who is running as the main opposition Labour Party,s candidate for the constituency of Chatham and Aylesford in the UK,s upcoming December 12 general election. "We are one of the biggest economies on the planet, so how on earth we have got to the situation where people who are deemed to be in good quality jobs are having to access charity to survive is just ludicrous." In 1945, after World War II had drawn to a close in Europe, the newly-elected left-leaning Labour Party government immediately moved to reshape the country after successfully campaigning on a promise to tackle poverty. Under the leadership of then-Prime Minister Clement Attlee, it passed a series of measures designed to take care of the British people from "the cradle to the grave", creating over a period of six years what has since come to be known as the "Welfare State". Since then, healthcare has been free at the point of use in the UK,s National Health Service, financial protections have been afforded to the unemployed, and public housing provided to those who are homeless, or deemed to be most at the need of it. But recently, the system has been creaking; edging closer than ever to breaking point as successive Conservative-led governments have overseen sweeping budget cuts as part of an austerity agenda ostensibly aimed at rebalancing Britain,s books in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.In Medway, the unitary authority under which Chatham falls, the number of people living on the streets has risen by at least 171 percent this decade, according to the latest figures compiled by Kent County Council. Amid the crisis, local organisations such as the homeless shelter run by Liz Shaw and Marc Silvester have stepped in to try and help out. Just off the high-street, which is lined by budget stores and shuttered-up shops, the pair have bunkered down in the corner of the shelter,s supply room to weigh up One Big Family,s importance to its users. @Worldnews

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    Syria: More than a dozen killed in Idlib air raids

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    Syria: More than a dozen killed in Idlib air raids:: Air raids by Syrian government and Russian forces have killed at least 18 people in the last major rebel stronghold in northwest Syria, according to rescue workers who operate in opposition-held areas. Attacks on Idlib province have intensified over the past few weeks as the government appears to be preparing for an offensive on rebel-held areas east of the province to secure the main highway that links the capital Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria,s largest and once a commercial centre. @Worldnews

    Syria: More than a dozen killed in Idlib air raids:: Air raids by Syrian government and Russian forces have killed at least 18 people in the last major rebel stronghold in northwest Syria, according to rescue workers who operate in opposition-held areas. Attacks on Idlib province have intensified over the past few weeks as the government appears to be preparing for an offensive on rebel-held areas east of the province to secure the main highway that links the capital Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria,s largest and once a commercial centre. @Worldnews

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    Iran frees Chinese-American scholar for US-held Iranian scientist

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    Iran frees Chinese-American scholar for US-held Iranian scientist:: Iran and the United States have exchanged prisoners in a swap facilitated by the Swiss government, marking a potential breakthrough between the two countries after months of tensions. Tehran on Saturday announced the release of Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani from the US, shortly before Washington said Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang was returning home. @Worldnews

    Iran frees Chinese-American scholar for US-held Iranian scientist:: Iran and the United States have exchanged prisoners in a swap facilitated by the Swiss government, marking a potential breakthrough between the two countries after months of tensions. Tehran on Saturday announced the release of Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani from the US, shortly before Washington said Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang was returning home. @Worldnews

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    Iran unveils ,budget of resistance, against US sanctions

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    Iran unveils ,budget of resistance, against US sanctions:: Iran,s President Hassan Rouhani announced what he called a $39bn "budget of resistance" to counter US sanctions following a fuel price rise that sparked deadly nationwide protests. Rouhani said on Sunday the aim was to reduce "hardships" as the Islamic Republic suffered a sharp economic downturn with a plummeting currency sending inflation above 40 percent and increasing import prices. The United States sanctions imposed in May last year in a dispute centred on Iran,s nuclear programme include an embargo on the crucial oil sector. Washington aims to reduce sales to zero in a campaign of "maximum pressure". Rouhani told Parliament the budget, which includes a 15-percent public sector wage increase, "is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions." It would "announce to the world that despite sanctions we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil," he added. Rouhani said the 4,845 trillion rial ($39bn) budget was devised to help Iran,s people overcome economic difficulties. The budget forecasts oil revenues falling 40 percent, leaving a gap it plans to plug using state bonds and selling state properties. Iran will benefit from a $5bn "investment" from Russia that was still being finalised, he said, without giving further details. "We know that under the situation of sanctions and pressure, people are in hardship. We know people,s purchasing power has declined," said Rouhani. "Our exports, our imports, the transfer of money, our foreign exchange encounter a lot of problems. We all know that we encounter problems in exporting oil. Yet at the same time, we endeavour to reduce the difficulty of people,s livelihood." Rouhani said despite the US sanctions, his government estimated that Iran,s non-oil economy would "be positive" this year. "Contrary to what the Americans thought, that with the pressure of sanctions our country,s economy would encounter problems, thank God we have chosen the correct path ... and we are moving forward," he said. The draft budget is for the financial year starting late March 2020. It must be scrutinised and voted on by Parliament. @Worldnews

    Iran unveils ,budget of resistance, against US sanctions:: Iran,s President Hassan Rouhani announced what he called a $39bn "budget of resistance" to counter US sanctions following a fuel price rise that sparked deadly nationwide protests. Rouhani said on Sunday the aim was to reduce "hardships" as the Islamic Republic suffered a sharp economic downturn with a plummeting currency sending inflation above 40 percent and increasing import prices. The United States sanctions imposed in May last year in a dispute centred on Iran,s nuclear programme include an embargo on the crucial oil sector. Washington aims to reduce sales to zero in a campaign of "maximum pressure". Rouhani told Parliament the budget, which includes a 15-percent public sector wage increase, "is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions." It would "announce to the world that despite sanctions we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil," he added. Rouhani said the 4,845 trillion rial ($39bn) budget was devised to help Iran,s people overcome economic difficulties. The budget forecasts oil revenues falling 40 percent, leaving a gap it plans to plug using state bonds and selling state properties. Iran will benefit from a $5bn "investment" from Russia that was still being finalised, he said, without giving further details. "We know that under the situation of sanctions and pressure, people are in hardship. We know people,s purchasing power has declined," said Rouhani. "Our exports, our imports, the transfer of money, our foreign exchange encounter a lot of problems. We all know that we encounter problems in exporting oil. Yet at the same time, we endeavour to reduce the difficulty of people,s livelihood." Rouhani said despite the US sanctions, his government estimated that Iran,s non-oil economy would "be positive" this year. "Contrary to what the Americans thought, that with the pressure of sanctions our country,s economy would encounter problems, thank God we have chosen the correct path ... and we are moving forward," he said. The draft budget is for the financial year starting late March 2020. It must be scrutinised and voted on by Parliament. @Worldnews

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