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    @World News 21 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World


    Auto plant closures tied to surge in opioid overdose deaths

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    Auto plant closures tied to surge in opioid overdose deaths:: Opioid overdose deaths have spiked in the wake of automotive assembly plant closures across the U.S. South and Midwest, a new study suggests. Plant closures were associated with an 85% surge in opioid overdose mortality rates among working-age adults five years later, compared with what would have been expected if these factories had remained open, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine. "We found that automotive assembly plant closures - which led to dramatic reductions in economic opportunities in manufacturing for individuals living in those areas - were strongly associated with poor health outcomes, specifically higher opioid overdose death rates," said lead author Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "The fading American dream may be more than an economic problem - it may also adversely affect America,s health," Venkataramani said by email. Venkataramani,s team examined opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2016 in 112 manufacturing counties near major automotive assembly plants. At the start of the study, 2.7% of adults aged 18 to 65 lived in these counties. During the study period, 3.4% of opioid deaths nationwide occurred in these counties, including 29 counties that experienced plant closures and 83 that did not. At the start of the study period, opioid overdose death rates were similar in all of these manufacturing counties at roughly 1 per 100,000 population. But where plants closed, there were 8.6 more deaths for every 100,000 people five years later compared with counties where factories remained open. White male young adults were hardest hit. Five years after plant closures, there were 20.1 more opioid-related deaths per 100,000 among white men ages 18 to 34 and 12.8 more opioid deaths per 100,000 among white men ages 35 to 65, compared to counties without plant closures. Younger white women were hard-hit too. There were 6.4 more opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 among white women ages 18 to 34 five years after plants closed; deaths also rose for older women but the difference was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance. The authors note that although the study shows a large, robust association between plant closures and fatal opioid overdoses, the closures are not the only cause of the opioid crisis. The supply of drugs plays a major role, the study team notes, and many efforts to combat the opioid crisis during the study period focused on curbing opioid prescriptions. In the wake of plant closures, however, overdose death rates rose for both prescription and street drugs. At the same time, drug overdoses are increasingly seen as "deaths of despair" not unlike fatalities from smoking and drinking, which tend to rise during economic downturns, the study team points out. "When an automotive plant closes, thousands of people may lose jobs that provide economic opportunity, community and stability," said Dr. Michael Barnett, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "There could be many factors connecting this to opioid use and addiction: worsening mental health, loss of access to health care, fewer avenues to engage in community outside of substances," Barnett said by email. "It is very difficult to say which of the many possibilities is most important." The findings may not be unique to the auto industry, Barnett added, although more research is needed to assess how much factory closures in other sectors might impact drug use or fatalities. "This study definitely provides strong support for the idea that economic conditions and unemployment may have played a role in catalyzing the opioid crisis, particularly in the states with many closures, like Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee," Barnett said. "It reinforces that health is not just biology and genetics - the economy, poverty, and social factors are crucial as well." @Worldnews

    Auto plant closures tied to surge in opioid overdose deaths:: Opioid overdose deaths have spiked in the wake of automotive assembly plant closures across the U.S. South and Midwest, a new study suggests. Plant closures were associated with an 85% surge in opioid overdose mortality rates among working-age adults five years later, compared with what would have been expected if these factories had remained open, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine. "We found that automotive assembly plant closures - which led to dramatic reductions in economic opportunities in manufacturing for individuals living in those areas - were strongly associated with poor health outcomes, specifically higher opioid overdose death rates," said lead author Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "The fading American dream may be more than an economic problem - it may also adversely affect America,s health," Venkataramani said by email. Venkataramani,s team examined opioid-related deaths from 1999 to 2016 in 112 manufacturing counties near major automotive assembly plants. At the start of the study, 2.7% of adults aged 18 to 65 lived in these counties. During the study period, 3.4% of opioid deaths nationwide occurred in these counties, including 29 counties that experienced plant closures and 83 that did not. At the start of the study period, opioid overdose death rates were similar in all of these manufacturing counties at roughly 1 per 100,000 population. But where plants closed, there were 8.6 more deaths for every 100,000 people five years later compared with counties where factories remained open. White male young adults were hardest hit. Five years after plant closures, there were 20.1 more opioid-related deaths per 100,000 among white men ages 18 to 34 and 12.8 more opioid deaths per 100,000 among white men ages 35 to 65, compared to counties without plant closures. Younger white women were hard-hit too. There were 6.4 more opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 among white women ages 18 to 34 five years after plants closed; deaths also rose for older women but the difference was too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance. The authors note that although the study shows a large, robust association between plant closures and fatal opioid overdoses, the closures are not the only cause of the opioid crisis. The supply of drugs plays a major role, the study team notes, and many efforts to combat the opioid crisis during the study period focused on curbing opioid prescriptions. In the wake of plant closures, however, overdose death rates rose for both prescription and street drugs. At the same time, drug overdoses are increasingly seen as "deaths of despair" not unlike fatalities from smoking and drinking, which tend to rise during economic downturns, the study team points out. "When an automotive plant closes, thousands of people may lose jobs that provide economic opportunity, community and stability," said Dr. Michael Barnett, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "There could be many factors connecting this to opioid use and addiction: worsening mental health, loss of access to health care, fewer avenues to engage in community outside of substances," Barnett said by email. "It is very difficult to say which of the many possibilities is most important." The findings may not be unique to the auto industry, Barnett added, although more research is needed to assess how much factory closures in other sectors might impact drug use or fatalities. "This study definitely provides strong support for the idea that economic conditions and unemployment may have played a role in catalyzing the opioid crisis, particularly in the states with many closures, like Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee," Barnett said. "It reinforces that health is not just biology and genetics - the economy, poverty, and social factors are crucial as well." @Worldnews

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    @World News 21 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World

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    ,Worst on record,: Thousands flee as Australia,s bushfires spread

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    ,Worst on record,: Thousands flee as Australia,s bushfires spread:: Thousands of people, including many tourists, fled Australia,s wildfire-ravaged eastern coast on Thursday in the face of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south. Cooler weather since Tuesday has aided firefighting and allowed people to replenish supplies. Vehicles formed long lines at gas stations and supermarkets, and traffic was gridlocked as highways reopened. But fire conditions were expected to deteriorate on Saturday as high temperatures and strong winds return. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared a seven-day state of emergency that allows for forced evacuations beginning on Friday, for the third time in Australia,s most populated region this fire season. "We don,t take these decisions lightly but we also want to make sure we,re taking every single precaution to be prepared for what could be a horrible day on Saturday," she said. New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said there was "every potential that the conditions on Saturday will be as bad or worse than we saw (on Tuesday)". Authorities said at least 381 homes had been destroyed on the New South Wales southern coast this week. On Wednesday, it was also reported that the death toll in the bushfires had reached 12 since the fires broke out. Meanwhile, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said there are "significant fears" for 17 people who remain missing on Thursday. @Worldnews

    ,Worst on record,: Thousands flee as Australia,s bushfires spread:: Thousands of people, including many tourists, fled Australia,s wildfire-ravaged eastern coast on Thursday in the face of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south. Cooler weather since Tuesday has aided firefighting and allowed people to replenish supplies. Vehicles formed long lines at gas stations and supermarkets, and traffic was gridlocked as highways reopened. But fire conditions were expected to deteriorate on Saturday as high temperatures and strong winds return. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared a seven-day state of emergency that allows for forced evacuations beginning on Friday, for the third time in Australia,s most populated region this fire season. "We don,t take these decisions lightly but we also want to make sure we,re taking every single precaution to be prepared for what could be a horrible day on Saturday," she said. New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said there was "every potential that the conditions on Saturday will be as bad or worse than we saw (on Tuesday)". Authorities said at least 381 homes had been destroyed on the New South Wales southern coast this week. On Wednesday, it was also reported that the death toll in the bushfires had reached 12 since the fires broke out. Meanwhile, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said there are "significant fears" for 17 people who remain missing on Thursday. @Worldnews

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    @World News 24 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World


    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Decided to File a New Trademark for Their Foundation

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    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Decided to File a New Trademark for Their Foundation:: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have spent much of 2019 finding ways to make space for their own new, little family. In April, they moved from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. About a month later, in early May, they welcomed their son, Archie. As a result of their move, what was originally the "Fab Four" (Meghan, Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton), is no longer as much of a unit. This year, Meghan and Harry made their distinction between Kate and William even more official by registering a trademark for their organization, Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The couple first filed to register this trademark with the Intellectual Property Office’s website on June 21, per People. The day before, they had officially separated from the Royal Foundation, the organization they shared with Kate and William. The filing was published last week. This split, the Palace said in June, happened to "best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households." This news came alongside rumors that the two couples were feuding. Despite these rumors, royal officials have denied any truth to them. In January, a royal source told ELLE.com that there were no negative feelings between Meghan and Kate, in particular. "The stories of the two duchesses having a major ongoing feud are just overblown," the source said. "They have enormous respect for each other and are both devoted to representing Her Majesty in the humanitarian and charitable work they do." This registered trademark will allow Meghan and Harry to "take legal action" against anyone who uses their brand without permission, according to the UK,s government website. @Worldnews

    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Decided to File a New Trademark for Their Foundation:: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have spent much of 2019 finding ways to make space for their own new, little family. In April, they moved from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. About a month later, in early May, they welcomed their son, Archie. As a result of their move, what was originally the "Fab Four" (Meghan, Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton), is no longer as much of a unit. This year, Meghan and Harry made their distinction between Kate and William even more official by registering a trademark for their organization, Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The couple first filed to register this trademark with the Intellectual Property Office’s website on June 21, per People. The day before, they had officially separated from the Royal Foundation, the organization they shared with Kate and William. The filing was published last week. This split, the Palace said in June, happened to "best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households." This news came alongside rumors that the two couples were feuding. Despite these rumors, royal officials have denied any truth to them. In January, a royal source told ELLE.com that there were no negative feelings between Meghan and Kate, in particular. "The stories of the two duchesses having a major ongoing feud are just overblown," the source said. "They have enormous respect for each other and are both devoted to representing Her Majesty in the humanitarian and charitable work they do." This registered trademark will allow Meghan and Harry to "take legal action" against anyone who uses their brand without permission, according to the UK,s government website. @Worldnews

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    @World News 24 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World


    Tesla delivers first China-made Model 3 cars from new plant

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    Tesla delivers first China-made Model 3 cars from new plant:: Tesla has started delivering Model 3 electric cars built at its Shanghai factory, just under a year since it began work on the $2bn plant, setting a record for global automakers in China, and said it would ramp up deliveries from next month. The US-based electric vehicle maker marked the start with an event on Monday where 15 Tesla employees received cars they had purchased, one of whom took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend after receiving his new set of wheels. The China-made Model 3 sedans are priced 355,800 yuan ($50,975) before subsidies. In comparison, its imported Model 3 vehicles start at 439,000 yuan ($62,870) for the longer-range version and the standard range plus model costs less than $40,000 in the US. The Shanghai plant, up and running in 357 days and the company,s first outside the US, is part of Tesla,s plans to bolster its presence in the world,s biggest car market and minimise the impact of the US-China trade war. The automaker, which previously imported all the cars it sold in China, had said it wanted to start deliveries from the Shanghai plant before the Lunar New Year beginning on January 25. "From now onwards, China-made Model 3 vehicles will start running on China,s large streets and small lanes," Tesla Vice President Tao Lin said at the delivery ceremony, which was attended by employees and Shanghai government officials. China general manager for the Silicon Valley carmaker, Wang Hao, said Tesla plans to ramp up Model 3 deliveries in January. The Chinese government has been supportive of the factory, the first wholly foreign-owned car plant and a reflection of Beijing,s broader shift to open up its auto market. The Model 3 will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG. While China-built cars are yet to be delivered to customers outside the company, Monday,s milestone caps several months of wins for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. The latest came on Friday, when the locally built car was included on a list of vehicles qualifying for an exemption from a 10-percent purchase tax in China. The Shanghai Gigafactory broke ground at the start of this year. Originally just a muddy plot about a 90-minute drive away from Shanghai,s city centre, it is now a crucial test of Musk,s bid to keep his carmaker profitable as he bets big on Chinese appetite for electric cars. With Tesla,s volatile stock price and strained finances, investors will be watching closely how the ramp-up unfolds. The multibillion-dollar investment will be a determining factor in whether Tesla will be able to take on local competitors and fend off challenges by the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. Although Musk has said he has never seen a factory built so quickly, the first delivery came only a day before the end of 2019. Back in April, the CEO predicted Tesla would make at least 1,000 cars a week in Shanghai by the end of the year - a volume the company,s original factory in California spent months trying to hit. He has also said a weekly rate of 3,000 is a target at some point. @Worldnews

    Tesla delivers first China-made Model 3 cars from new plant:: Tesla has started delivering Model 3 electric cars built at its Shanghai factory, just under a year since it began work on the $2bn plant, setting a record for global automakers in China, and said it would ramp up deliveries from next month. The US-based electric vehicle maker marked the start with an event on Monday where 15 Tesla employees received cars they had purchased, one of whom took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend after receiving his new set of wheels. The China-made Model 3 sedans are priced 355,800 yuan ($50,975) before subsidies. In comparison, its imported Model 3 vehicles start at 439,000 yuan ($62,870) for the longer-range version and the standard range plus model costs less than $40,000 in the US. The Shanghai plant, up and running in 357 days and the company,s first outside the US, is part of Tesla,s plans to bolster its presence in the world,s biggest car market and minimise the impact of the US-China trade war. The automaker, which previously imported all the cars it sold in China, had said it wanted to start deliveries from the Shanghai plant before the Lunar New Year beginning on January 25. "From now onwards, China-made Model 3 vehicles will start running on China,s large streets and small lanes," Tesla Vice President Tao Lin said at the delivery ceremony, which was attended by employees and Shanghai government officials. China general manager for the Silicon Valley carmaker, Wang Hao, said Tesla plans to ramp up Model 3 deliveries in January. The Chinese government has been supportive of the factory, the first wholly foreign-owned car plant and a reflection of Beijing,s broader shift to open up its auto market. The Model 3 will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG. While China-built cars are yet to be delivered to customers outside the company, Monday,s milestone caps several months of wins for Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. The latest came on Friday, when the locally built car was included on a list of vehicles qualifying for an exemption from a 10-percent purchase tax in China. The Shanghai Gigafactory broke ground at the start of this year. Originally just a muddy plot about a 90-minute drive away from Shanghai,s city centre, it is now a crucial test of Musk,s bid to keep his carmaker profitable as he bets big on Chinese appetite for electric cars. With Tesla,s volatile stock price and strained finances, investors will be watching closely how the ramp-up unfolds. The multibillion-dollar investment will be a determining factor in whether Tesla will be able to take on local competitors and fend off challenges by the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. Although Musk has said he has never seen a factory built so quickly, the first delivery came only a day before the end of 2019. Back in April, the CEO predicted Tesla would make at least 1,000 cars a week in Shanghai by the end of the year - a volume the company,s original factory in California spent months trying to hit. He has also said a weekly rate of 3,000 is a target at some point. @Worldnews

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    @World News 24 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World


    Kids on pause: Why young people in Taiwan prefer pets

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    Kids on pause: Why young people in Taiwan prefer pets:: Demands of traditional culture mean young people in Taiwan find it easier to keep pets than marry and have children. Six years ago, Vulcan Ke took an unexpected trip to a pet shop in Taipei. Ke,s friend had proposed visiting the store, but it was Ke who became smitten by a tan and white corgi puppy. Ke had never pictured himself as a dog owner but three months later, he found himself sneaking a chubby bundle - now named Butter - into his apartment after making a return trip to the pet shop. Butter has become an important part of the 33-year-old,s life. He recently moved to a larger apartment, in part for his dog, in a more pet-friendly part of Taiwan,s capital. But while Butter remains a firm part of Ke,s future plans, his dreams for marriage and children are hazier. "I dream of having my own house and living with someone," Ke said over tea at one of Taipei,s many pet cafes. "I love having my own dog, but I don, t want a traditional family. I just don ,t like it. I just don,t like traditional Chinese culture." Pet ownership, meanwhile, continues to climb. By the second half of 2020, the territory,s 2.9 million pets will outnumber children under 15 for the first time, according to a forecast from Trendsight Research based on government figures, as the birthrate continues to decline. A boon for the pet industry, the trend towards "fur babies" as they are sometimes called in Taiwan, comes from more than just a desire for a cuddly companion. Their growing ranks reflect deep social changes and conflicts in Taiwanese society, where traditional Chinese culture has customarily pivoted around family and marriage. This remains deeply rooted despite Taiwan,s reputation for being progressive. In May this year, its parliament became the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. "Let,s imagine you are slightly higher educated and you basically have quite a decent income, you are somewhat hesitant to enter a marriage that will somehow put a lot of responsibility on you, " said Shirley Yam, vice president at Trendsight. "Younger people might not see really the reward psychologically for being a parent. They see it more as a burden or as a deterrent to realising their own dreams. I don,t think that is an issue that happened only in Taiwan, but also in many Asian developed countries like Japan and Korea." Meanwhile, pet-friendly services and products continue to make pet ownership easier and easier. Animals are allowed on high-speed trains as well as on Taipei,s metro system provided they are kept in pet carriers. There is also an expanding network of pet-friendly bus routes and special "pet buses". Insurance companies, meanwhile, have added pet policies as an option for Taiwanese customers while their creatures are also welcome in a number of cafes and restaurants and in a growing number of apartment buildings. Pet ownership is an increasingly easy sell for young and educated Taiwanese. "I used to want to have kids but after I got my dog I kind of don,t really want a kid in the short term any more," said Candace Chen, a 26-year-old Taiwanese-American who recently moved to Taipei with her small mixed-breed dog. "I used to want one before I turned 30, but now I don,t mind having a kid later on. A lot of my friends have cats or dogs, they don,t want to get married and they don,t want to have kids right now. They would rather have a pet." @Worldnews

    Kids on pause: Why young people in Taiwan prefer pets:: Demands of traditional culture mean young people in Taiwan find it easier to keep pets than marry and have children. Six years ago, Vulcan Ke took an unexpected trip to a pet shop in Taipei. Ke,s friend had proposed visiting the store, but it was Ke who became smitten by a tan and white corgi puppy. Ke had never pictured himself as a dog owner but three months later, he found himself sneaking a chubby bundle - now named Butter - into his apartment after making a return trip to the pet shop. Butter has become an important part of the 33-year-old,s life. He recently moved to a larger apartment, in part for his dog, in a more pet-friendly part of Taiwan,s capital. But while Butter remains a firm part of Ke,s future plans, his dreams for marriage and children are hazier. "I dream of having my own house and living with someone," Ke said over tea at one of Taipei,s many pet cafes. "I love having my own dog, but I don, t want a traditional family. I just don ,t like it. I just don,t like traditional Chinese culture." Pet ownership, meanwhile, continues to climb. By the second half of 2020, the territory,s 2.9 million pets will outnumber children under 15 for the first time, according to a forecast from Trendsight Research based on government figures, as the birthrate continues to decline. A boon for the pet industry, the trend towards "fur babies" as they are sometimes called in Taiwan, comes from more than just a desire for a cuddly companion. Their growing ranks reflect deep social changes and conflicts in Taiwanese society, where traditional Chinese culture has customarily pivoted around family and marriage. This remains deeply rooted despite Taiwan,s reputation for being progressive. In May this year, its parliament became the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. "Let,s imagine you are slightly higher educated and you basically have quite a decent income, you are somewhat hesitant to enter a marriage that will somehow put a lot of responsibility on you, " said Shirley Yam, vice president at Trendsight. "Younger people might not see really the reward psychologically for being a parent. They see it more as a burden or as a deterrent to realising their own dreams. I don,t think that is an issue that happened only in Taiwan, but also in many Asian developed countries like Japan and Korea." Meanwhile, pet-friendly services and products continue to make pet ownership easier and easier. Animals are allowed on high-speed trains as well as on Taipei,s metro system provided they are kept in pet carriers. There is also an expanding network of pet-friendly bus routes and special "pet buses". Insurance companies, meanwhile, have added pet policies as an option for Taiwanese customers while their creatures are also welcome in a number of cafes and restaurants and in a growing number of apartment buildings. Pet ownership is an increasingly easy sell for young and educated Taiwanese. "I used to want to have kids but after I got my dog I kind of don,t really want a kid in the short term any more," said Candace Chen, a 26-year-old Taiwanese-American who recently moved to Taipei with her small mixed-breed dog. "I used to want one before I turned 30, but now I don,t mind having a kid later on. A lot of my friends have cats or dogs, they don,t want to get married and they don,t want to have kids right now. They would rather have a pet." @Worldnews

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    @World News 24 day(s) ago ::Visibility>> World


    Thousands urged to evacuate in Australia as fire risk rises

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    Thousands urged to evacuate in Australia as fire risk rises :: Thousands of people were urged to evacuate parts of Australia,s southeast on Monday, as a new heatwave left firefighters across the country bracing for another round of potentially catastrophic bushfire. Hundreds of blazes are burning across Australia, as a bushfire season that started earlier than usual in the southern hemisphere spring continues to wreak havoc .More than 30,000 people were told to evacuate Victoria state,s popular East Gippsland region on Sunday amid fears soaring temperatures and gusting winds would increase three large blazes and cut off the last large road still open. Victoria Emergency Management agency warned it was "not possible" to provide assistance to all visitors in the area. "Although the area is quite remote, it is very popular at this time of year with families and holidaymakers going down the coast to spend Christmas and New Year, @Worldnews

    Thousands urged to evacuate in Australia as fire risk rises :: Thousands of people were urged to evacuate parts of Australia,s southeast on Monday, as a new heatwave left firefighters across the country bracing for another round of potentially catastrophic bushfire. Hundreds of blazes are burning across Australia, as a bushfire season that started earlier than usual in the southern hemisphere spring continues to wreak havoc .More than 30,000 people were told to evacuate Victoria state,s popular East Gippsland region on Sunday amid fears soaring temperatures and gusting winds would increase three large blazes and cut off the last large road still open. Victoria Emergency Management agency warned it was "not possible" to provide assistance to all visitors in the area. "Although the area is quite remote, it is very popular at this time of year with families and holidaymakers going down the coast to spend Christmas and New Year, @Worldnews

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    US targets pro-Iran militia bases in Iraq, Syria raids

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    US targets pro-Iran militia bases in Iraq, Syria raids:: The United States military said on Sunday it carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah armed group, two days after a US civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base. Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded following the air attacks in Iraq. At least four Kataib Hezbollah commanders were among the dead, the sources said, adding that one of the raids had hit the Iran-backed group,s headquarters near the western al-Qaim district on the border with Syria. "In response to repeated Kataib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, US forces have conducted precision defensive attacks against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH,s ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. The targets - three in Iraq and two in Syria - included weapons-storage facilities and command locations used to plan and execute attacks, the statement added. @Worldnews

    US targets pro-Iran militia bases in Iraq, Syria raids:: The United States military said on Sunday it carried out "defensive strikes" in Iraq and Syria against the Kataib Hezbollah armed group, two days after a US civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base. Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded following the air attacks in Iraq. At least four Kataib Hezbollah commanders were among the dead, the sources said, adding that one of the raids had hit the Iran-backed group,s headquarters near the western al-Qaim district on the border with Syria. "In response to repeated Kataib Hizbollah (KH) attacks on Iraqi bases that host Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) coalition forces, US forces have conducted precision defensive attacks against five KH facilities in Iraq and Syria that will degrade KH,s ability to conduct future attacks against OIR coalition forces," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. The targets - three in Iraq and two in Syria - included weapons-storage facilities and command locations used to plan and execute attacks, the statement added. @Worldnews

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    @World News 1 month(s) ago ::Visibility>> World

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    Who would become president if Trump was removed?

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    Who would become president if Trump was removed? :: In the unlikely event that the Senate convicts and removes Trump from office, Vice President Mike Pence would become president and complete Trump,s term, which ends on January 20, 2021. @Worldnews

    Who would become president if Trump was removed? :: In the unlikely event that the Senate convicts and removes Trump from office, Vice President Mike Pence would become president and complete Trump,s term, which ends on January 20, 2021. @Worldnews

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    @World News 1 month(s) ago ::Visibility>> World

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    Trump impeachment: What happens next? When will the Senate hold trial? What will it look like? Your guide to Trump,s impeachment.

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    Trump impeachment: What happens next? When will the Senate hold trial? What will it look like? Your guide to Trump,s impeachment.:: The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to impeach US President Donald Trump for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Trump is only the third United States president to be impeached. No president has ever been removed from office via the impeachment process. The landmark votes on Wednesday set up a likely January trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted. Trump has been impeached on charges that he abused his power in office and obstructed Congress during the impeachment investigation. Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into the president,s political rival and former vice president, Joe Biden, who is also a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. They also charge that the president obstructed their investigation by refusing to comply with subpoenas and directing members of his administration to do the same. The impeachment inquiry, launched in September following a whistle-blower complaint, was centred on a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to open an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. Trump also wanted Zelenskyy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. At the time of the call, the Trump administration was withholding nearly $400m in Congress-approved military assistance from Ukraine. Citing testimony by current and former US officials, Democrats also accuse Trump of leveraging a White House meeting that Zelenskyy wanted in exchange for the investigations. But following Wednesday,s impeachment votes, Pelosi said she would wait, for now, to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. US media have reported that some House Democrats are urging Pelosi to withhold the transmittal of the articles until the "appropriate time". Pelosi on Wednesday evaded questions about when she plans to send the articles to the Senate. "It would have been our intention" to send the articles to the Senate, but "we,ll see what happens over there," Pelosi told reporters. "We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side," Pelosi said, referring to members who will serve as House prosecutors in a Senate trial. "So far we have not seen anything that looks fair to us". Withholding the articles of impeachment may give the Democrats leverage when it comes to setting the procedures for the trial. Pelosi said Democrats will make a decision on next steps as "a group". Once the Senate receives the articles of impeachment, a trial can begin. No firm date for a Senate trial has been set, but McConnell has said it will be the chamber,s "first order of business" upon returning to Washington, DC, in the new year. Senate Democrats have proposed a trial plan that would see proceedings begin on January 6. Presentations by House managers, who would effectively work as prosecutors, would begin on January 9 under this plan. It is unlikely that Senate Republicans would agree to the Democrats, exact proposal. McConnell is scheduled to address impeachment on the Senate floor on Thursday @Worldnews

    Trump impeachment: What happens next? When will the Senate hold trial? What will it look like? Your guide to Trump,s impeachment.:: The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted largely along party lines to impeach US President Donald Trump for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Trump is only the third United States president to be impeached. No president has ever been removed from office via the impeachment process. The landmark votes on Wednesday set up a likely January trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted. Trump has been impeached on charges that he abused his power in office and obstructed Congress during the impeachment investigation. Democrats accuse Trump of pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into the president,s political rival and former vice president, Joe Biden, who is also a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. They also charge that the president obstructed their investigation by refusing to comply with subpoenas and directing members of his administration to do the same. The impeachment inquiry, launched in September following a whistle-blower complaint, was centred on a July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to open an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. Trump also wanted Zelenskyy to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. At the time of the call, the Trump administration was withholding nearly $400m in Congress-approved military assistance from Ukraine. Citing testimony by current and former US officials, Democrats also accuse Trump of leveraging a White House meeting that Zelenskyy wanted in exchange for the investigations. But following Wednesday,s impeachment votes, Pelosi said she would wait, for now, to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. US media have reported that some House Democrats are urging Pelosi to withhold the transmittal of the articles until the "appropriate time". Pelosi on Wednesday evaded questions about when she plans to send the articles to the Senate. "It would have been our intention" to send the articles to the Senate, but "we,ll see what happens over there," Pelosi told reporters. "We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side," Pelosi said, referring to members who will serve as House prosecutors in a Senate trial. "So far we have not seen anything that looks fair to us". Withholding the articles of impeachment may give the Democrats leverage when it comes to setting the procedures for the trial. Pelosi said Democrats will make a decision on next steps as "a group". Once the Senate receives the articles of impeachment, a trial can begin. No firm date for a Senate trial has been set, but McConnell has said it will be the chamber,s "first order of business" upon returning to Washington, DC, in the new year. Senate Democrats have proposed a trial plan that would see proceedings begin on January 6. Presentations by House managers, who would effectively work as prosecutors, would begin on January 9 under this plan. It is unlikely that Senate Republicans would agree to the Democrats, exact proposal. McConnell is scheduled to address impeachment on the Senate floor on Thursday @Worldnews

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    @World News 1 month(s) ago ::Visibility>> World

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    Kuala Lumpur Summit: Five major issues facing Muslim world

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    Kuala Lumpur Summit: Five major issues facing Muslim world:: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Leaders from some of the world,s most populous Muslim-majority countries are set to meet in Malaysia,s capital on Thursday to address issues such as Islamophobia and poverty, with the organisers insisting the event is not meant to rival the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will preside over the meeting with fellow heads of state, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Qatar,s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is also expected to attend. According to the organisers, at least 250 foreign representatives from 52 countries and 150 Malaysian delegates will also join the KL Summit. They include government officials, scholars and leaders from various non-government sectors. But there are also notable absences, including the leaders of Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. According to the Karachi-based Business Recorder, Pakistan,s Prime Minister Imran Khan cancelled his trip after a visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend. On Tuesday, Kuala Lumpur-based news website Malaysiakini reported that Khan had called Mahathir to apologise for his absence. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will attend instead. For his part, Iran,s Rouhani said his presence in Kuala Lumpur is part of a "pivot to the East" policy and an effort to pursue "closer ties with major Asian countries". Iran faces US economic sanctions, which Malaysia,s Mahathir described on Saturday as a violation of international law. Rouhani arrived in the Malaysian capital on Tuesday. Samsudin Osman, the summit secretary-general, said that the event, an initiative of Mahathir, seeks to produce "results" on addressing "the plight of the Muslims" around the world. "We need something concrete ... that governments who are committed to the idea can implement," he said, adding that the event also seeks to correct "many misconceptions" about Islam as a religion. He laughed off suggestions that the event is meant to create a new bloc that could compete with the OIC, an intergovernmental grouping of 57 countries that was established in 1969. He said political observers are "reading too much" into the summit. Rais Hussin, president and chief executive of the independent Malaysian think-tank Emir Research, said that the summit should be "genuine and not staged for the sake of staging it" while warning that it should not be "wrongly hijacked by nationalist-religious groups". In an opinion piece published in Malaysiakini on Tuesday, Hussin also urged the summit participants to offer concrete solutions to improve trade between and within Muslim countries. He pointed out that the entire Muslim world contributes only 5 percent to global gross domestic product (GDP). In terms of demographics, Muslims represent about a quarter of the world,s population. As various world leaders and representatives of the Muslim world - from the North African state of Algeria to Uzbekistan in Central Asia and Brunei in the Asia Pacific region - gather in Kuala Lumpur, here are five major issues they face @Worldnews

    Kuala Lumpur Summit: Five major issues facing Muslim world:: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Leaders from some of the world,s most populous Muslim-majority countries are set to meet in Malaysia,s capital on Thursday to address issues such as Islamophobia and poverty, with the organisers insisting the event is not meant to rival the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will preside over the meeting with fellow heads of state, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Qatar,s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is also expected to attend. According to the organisers, at least 250 foreign representatives from 52 countries and 150 Malaysian delegates will also join the KL Summit. They include government officials, scholars and leaders from various non-government sectors. But there are also notable absences, including the leaders of Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. According to the Karachi-based Business Recorder, Pakistan,s Prime Minister Imran Khan cancelled his trip after a visit to Saudi Arabia over the weekend. On Tuesday, Kuala Lumpur-based news website Malaysiakini reported that Khan had called Mahathir to apologise for his absence. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will attend instead. For his part, Iran,s Rouhani said his presence in Kuala Lumpur is part of a "pivot to the East" policy and an effort to pursue "closer ties with major Asian countries". Iran faces US economic sanctions, which Malaysia,s Mahathir described on Saturday as a violation of international law. Rouhani arrived in the Malaysian capital on Tuesday. Samsudin Osman, the summit secretary-general, said that the event, an initiative of Mahathir, seeks to produce "results" on addressing "the plight of the Muslims" around the world. "We need something concrete ... that governments who are committed to the idea can implement," he said, adding that the event also seeks to correct "many misconceptions" about Islam as a religion. He laughed off suggestions that the event is meant to create a new bloc that could compete with the OIC, an intergovernmental grouping of 57 countries that was established in 1969. He said political observers are "reading too much" into the summit. Rais Hussin, president and chief executive of the independent Malaysian think-tank Emir Research, said that the summit should be "genuine and not staged for the sake of staging it" while warning that it should not be "wrongly hijacked by nationalist-religious groups". In an opinion piece published in Malaysiakini on Tuesday, Hussin also urged the summit participants to offer concrete solutions to improve trade between and within Muslim countries. He pointed out that the entire Muslim world contributes only 5 percent to global gross domestic product (GDP). In terms of demographics, Muslims represent about a quarter of the world,s population. As various world leaders and representatives of the Muslim world - from the North African state of Algeria to Uzbekistan in Central Asia and Brunei in the Asia Pacific region - gather in Kuala Lumpur, here are five major issues they face @Worldnews

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