Six bodies have on Friday been recovered from the volcanic island that erupted days ago by a New Zealand military team in gas masks and hazmat suits.
In a recovery operation that was launched on Friday despite threats of another eruption after a volcano erupted on Monday killing 16 in which eight persons were confirmed dead, elite soldiers retrieved six of the other eight bodies from the volatile White Island volcano.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters in Whakatane, some 50 km (30 miles) west of the island “It’s not over yet.”
Police said dive teams deployed in the waters around the island, which is also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, had not found anything adding that the search for the two remaining bodies will continue on Saturday.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern told a media conference in Whakatane, the mainland coastal town where about 100 family and local community members prayed and sang together “today was all about returning them to their loved ones,” she said questions over why people were allowed to visit the active volcano “must be answered, and will be answered”.
But she said “we also need to respect the phase we’re in now, with families only just getting their loved ones back”.
More than two dozen more people are in hospitals across New Zealand and Australia, most with severe burn injuries.
However, volcanologists warned that if the volcano erupted while the rescue team are on the island, the team could face magma, superheated steam, ash and rocks thrown at high speed.
Namibia Receives More COVID-19 Medicals Supplies From China
Namibia has on Thursday received a batch of COVID-19 supplies worth 300,000 U.S. dollars donated by the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the occasion of China’s 71st anniversary.
Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah speaking at the handover event held in Windhoek conveyed warm congratulations to China as it celebrates its anniversary, stating that the donation comes at an opportune time as the two countries continue to strengthen diplomatic ties.
The donation included 30,000 N95 masks, 10 oxygenators, 20 ventilators, and 100 thermometers, making this the fourth batch of COVID-19 supply donations from the Chinese government so far.
The Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said the friendly protocol arrangement demonstrates the friendly relationship and common determination to jointly fight the COVID-19 between China and Namibia.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s executive director of the Ministry of Health, Ben Nangombe, said the items Namibia received from China have gone a long way in assisting the country’s health sector, be it through donated clinical materials or through telemedicine conferences.
Navalny Tells Magazine Putin Was Behind Poisoning
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has told a German magazine that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind his suspected poisoning.
In late August, 44-year-old Navalny who is a staunch critic of Putin was airlifted to Berlin for treatment after falling ill during a flight in Russia’s Siberia region. Having spent 16 days in a coma he was discharged from inpatient care.
According to an extract of an interview due to be published later on Thursday, Navalny told Der Spiegel, “I claim that Putin is behind the crime and I don’t have any other versions of what happened.”
The anti-corruption campaigner also confirmed to Der Spiegel that he plans to return to Russia after his recovery, saying “my job now is to remain the guy who is not afraid. And I’m not afraid!”
European countries including Germany and France have called for a Russian investigation into the suspected poisoning. The UK also called for a “full and transparent” investigation.
The Kremlin has consistently dismissed accusations that Russian president Putin was involved in the suspected poisoning of opposition critic Alexei Navalny after the German hospital treating Navalny said he appears to have been poisoned.
Disney Lays Off A Quarter Of U.S. Theme Park Workers
Disney’s California-based Theme Parks says the company will lay off twenty-eight thousand staff members as a result of prolonged closures of the parks.
In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, the company’s head of parks, Josh D’Amaro said the company’s shares fell less than 2% after the closing bell on Tuesday.
The statement further revealed around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers are part-time employees.
While Disney’s Theme Parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong have reopened with limited capacity, both California adventure and Disneyland have remained shuttered.
The company has promised to provide severance packages for the employees and also offer other services to help workers with job placement.
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