Sudan’s health system is disintegrating under the weight of the fighting raging in the country since mid-April, doctors and health officials warn, with the damage expected to last for decades.
Health and relief institutions say the conflict threatens to become a humanitarian catastrophe as tens of thousands flee for safety to neighbouring South Sudan, Chad, Egypt and Ethiopia amid intense fighting between the army and militia.
Services have ceased in more than 70 per cent of hospitals in areas hit by the clashes in a number of Sudanese states, Sudan’s doctors’ syndicate said Tuesday (25 April). In total, 13 of the hospitals were bombed, while 19 others forcibly evacuated.
“We are in a state of total collapse,” said Atiya Abdullah Atiya, a key member of the syndicate, in a phone call to SciDev.Net.
“Our drug stocks are depleted, health institutions have been destroyed, and our medical teams have been killed in battle.”
The shortage of staff and medical supplies and constant power outages threaten to shut down the remaining functioning hospitals, while the number of victims of the ongoing clashes continues to rise, according to Atiya.
Fighting erupted on 15 April in the capital Khartoum between the army and a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces. A fragile US-brokered ceasefire which came into effect Tuesday was due to end later today (Thursday), with negotiations ongoing.
Nếu dự án ngăn triều chống ngập được hoàn thành, nỗi lo ngập nước vì triều cường và mưa lớn ở thành phố sẽ cơ bản được giải quyết. Việc tháo gỡ những vướng mắc về vốn đã tồn tại gần 7 năm qua là điều lãnh đạo thành phố cần quan tâm.
Trong bối cảnh TP.HCM mỗi ngày thêm ngập, dự án chống ngập do triều có xét đến yếu tố biến đổi khí hậu lên đến 10.000 tỷ đang dừng thi công là một lực cản rất lớn cho nỗ lực giải quyết bài toán ngập lụt của thành phố. Nếu công trình còn chậm ngày nào, người dân nhiều khu vực của thành phố còn tiếp tục trầm mình với nước ngập ngày đó; nhất là những hộ dân xung quanh công trình, cống đập đang được xây dựng.
Liên quan đến dự án này đã có nhiều cuộc làm việc, giải quyết của các bên nhưng đến nay dù công trình đã đạt hơn 95% khối lượng nhưng vẫn chưa thể đưa vào sử dụng. Lý do cơ bản vẫn là chưa được đầu tư vốn bổ sung để hoàn thành do các bên liên quan không thống nhất được cách thức triển khai cũng như bố trí nguồn lực. Đây chính là những vướng mắc khiến công trình trì trệ, chậm tiến độ kéo dài suốt từ năm này sang năm khác. Người dân thì khắc khoải đợi chờ và hy vọng.
Hiện nay, chủ đầu tư, đơn vị thi công đang tìm cách tháo gỡ các khắc mắc để công trình tái khởi động trở lại vào tháng 6 tới đây. Tuy nhiên điều đáng nói ở đây là với các công trình hàng ngàn tỷ, liên quan mật thiết đến đời sống dân sinh hàng ngày thế này, nếu các bên không tận tâm, tận lực; không” sốt ruột” để giải quyết sẽ khiến cả hàng triệu người bị ảnh hưởng. Gây bức xúc trong dư luận xã hội.
Điều này cũng cần được nhìn nhận, đánh giá khách quan, rút ra bài học kinh nghiệm sâu sắc để sau này không lặp lại trong việc triển khai đầu tư dự án.Từ khâu quy hoạch, thiết kế, tư vấn giám sát dự án đến việc lựa chọn nhà thầu thi công; cũng như cách thức hỗ trợ để nhà thầu hoàn thành dự án đúng tiến độ; kịp thời phục vụ đời sống. Tránh chưa làm thì hết vốn hoặc liên tục rơi vào “lùm xùm” các tranh cãi khác nhau; khiến dự án thì cứ nằm im, không sao chuyển động được. Chậm ngày nào dân thiệt ngày đó.
Do vậy, ngay lúc này, các cơ quan quản lý cần tạo ra các cơ chế rõ ràng, hỗ trợ tối đa cho nhà thầu để dự án thi công trở lại, đảm bảo đúng hạn định. Nhà thầu cũng phải thấy được phần trách nhiệm của mình, đẩy nhanh tiến độ; làm dứt điểm các hạng mục đã triển khai; tránh tình trạng để dây dưa kéo dài, khiến người dân ở khu vực lân cận lâm cảnh nước tù đọng, bủa vây, gây xáo trộn cuộc sống.
Việc chống ngập của TP.HCM hay Hà Nội và nhiều địa phương khác không chỉ trông chờ vào một hoặc vài ba công trình mà phải là giải pháp tổng thể. Từ cơ sở hạ tầng với các dự án công trình hàng ngàn tỷ đến các biện pháp mềm, phi công trình. Bởi nếu các công trình chống ngập, hồ chứa nước được xây dựng liên tiếp nhưng cộng đồng vẫn tiếp tục xả rác vào cống rãnh; lấn chiếm sông ngòi, kênh rạch; làm cản trở dòng chảy. Hay độ bê tông hóa ngày càng nhiều sẽ khiến cho tình trạng ngập lụt của đô thị ngày càng trầm trọng.
Do vậy, ngay lúc này,các phong trào không xả rác; bảo vệ hàng lang kênh rạch; chủ động tiêu thoát nước tại khu đô thị, tổ dân phố, hộ dân cư tiếp tục được duy trì. Việc đô thị hóa đảm bảo tuân thủ các điều kiện quy hoạch về xây dựng; đấu nối tiêu thoát nước đầy đủ.
Đây chính là những cơ sở quan trọng để đảm bảo cho các đô thị không bị ngập lụt nghiêm trọng mỗi khi triều cường và mưa xuống. Để làm được điều này, cần sự thực thi đến nơi đến chốn có kiểm tra, giám sát của các các cấp chính quyền và mỗi người dân ở TP.HCM, Hà Nội nói riêng và từng đô thị khác trong cả nước nói chung.
Fighting in Sudan between forces loyal to two top generals has put that nation at risk of collapse and could have consequences far beyond its borders.
Both sides have tens of thousands of fighters, foreign backers, mineral riches and other resources that could insulate them from sanctions. It’s a recipe for the kind of prolonged conflict that has devastated other countries in the Middle East and Africa, from Lebanon and Syria to Libya and Ethiopia.
The fighting, which began as Sudan attempted to transition to democracy, already has killed hundreds of people and left millions trapped in urban areas, sheltering from gunfire, explosions and looters.
A look at what is happening and the impact it could have outside Sudan.
WHO IS FIGHTING?
Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of the armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces that grew out of Darfur’s notorious Janjaweed militias, are each seeking to seize control of Sudan. It comes two years after they jointly carried out a military coup and derailed a transition to democracy that had begun after protesters in 2019 helped force the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. In recent months, negotiations were underway for a return to the democratic transition.
Vietnam’s state utility EVN says it could run out of cash by May unless it raises electricity prices.
HANOI: Vietnam may be thousands of kilometres away from the Russia-Ukraine war, but it is feeling the effects of the conflict, particularly in energy prices and its defence industry.
The Southeast Asian country is seeking to hike electricity prices for the first time since 2019 amid the ongoing global energy crisis, following record losses by its state utility.
Vietnam produces around 40 million tonnes of coal each year and imports another 29 million tonnes or so, with most of the coal going towards fuelling the country’s power plants.
However, the cost of doing so has increased exponentially.
“Because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the price of coal in the global market in 2022 has increased by sixfold since 2020, and by 2.6-fold since 2021,” said chairman of Vietnam Valuation Association Nguyen Tien Thoa.
Vietnam’s state utility EVN has forecast it could run out of cash by May this year unless it raises electricity prices. This comes as the firm expects combined losses of nearly US$4 billion for 2022 and this year.
The Nazis prepared for war from the moment Hitler came into power in 1933. In the feverish building up of German striking power, they had the support of the professional military men. The Nazis not only produced the weapons of war; they geared their economy for the strain of a future conflict. They carried on political intrigues to promote their purposes. Their propaganda machine had long been a going concern when Hitler felt ready to strike at Poland, the first step in an ambitious plan to lay the world at his feet.
Military, economic, political, and propaganda weapons were forged for the fray. Britain and France and, soon after, other peaceful nations were compelled to forge them to resist the Nazi onrush.
Today’s war is four-dimensional. It is a combination of military, economic, political, and propaganda pressure against the enemy. An appeal to force alone is not regarded as enough, in the twentieth century, to win final and lasting victory. War is fought on all four fronts at once—the military front, the economic front, the political front, and the propaganda front.
To understand how this four-dimensional warfare has come about, we have to look at history. We have to go back to the rise of nationalism in the eighteenth century.
Before the American and French revolutions took place at the end of the eighteenth century, many armies fought in the pay of monarchies, such as the Bourbons, Hapsburgs, and Hohenzollerns, or of individual leaders. They were mercenary armies. They did not fight for patriotic motives. They did not fight for causes. They fought because fighting was their business. No fight, no pay!
FILE – Destroyed Russian armored vehicles sit on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. In the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, disinformation and propaganda have emerged as key weapons in the Kremlin’s arsenal. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II, and the first to see algorithms and TikTok videos deployed alongside fighter planes and tanks.
The online fight has played out on computer screens and smartphones around the globe as Russia used disinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories to justify its invasion, silence domestic opposition and sow discord among its adversaries.
Now in its second year, the war is likely to spawn even more disinformation as Russia looks to break the will of Ukraine and its allies.
When we rise in the morning and listen to the radio or read the newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, and disasters. I cannot recall a single day without a report of something terrible happening somewhere. Even in these modern times it is clear that one’s precious life is not safe. No former generation has had to experience so much bad news as we face today; this constant awareness of fear and tension should make any sensitive and compassionate person question seriously the progress of our modern world.
It is ironic that the more serious problems emanate from the more industrially advanced societies. Science and technology have worked wonders in many fields, but the basic human problems remain. There is unprecedented literacy, yet this universal education does not seem to have fostered goodness, but only mental restlessness and discontent instead. There is no doubt about the increase in our material progress and technology, but somehow this is not sufficient as we have not yet succeeded in bringing about peace and happiness or in overcoming suffering.
We can only conclude that there must be something seriously wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check it in time there could be disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. I am not at all against science and technology – they have contributed immensely to the overall experience of humankind; to our material comfort and well-being and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But if we give too much emphasis to science and technology we are in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism.
Science and technology, though capable of creating immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped world civilization, in all its national forms, as we know it today. No one can deny the unprecedented material benefit of science and technology, but our basic human problems remain; we are still faced with the same, if not more, suffering, fear, and tension. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values.
I am sure that many people share my concern about the present worldwide moral crisis and will join in my appeal to all humanitarians and religious practitioners who also share this concern to help make our societies more compassionate, just, and equitable. I do not speak as a Buddhist or even as a Tibetan. Nor do I speak as an expert on international politics (though I unavoidably comment on these matters). Rather, I speak simply as a human being, as an upholder of the humanitarian values that are the bedrock not only of Mahayana Buddhism but of all the great world religions. From this perspective I share with you my personal outlook – that:
The security of supply of gas has been the hottest topic of the last 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. James Kneebone at theFlorence School of Regulation (FSR) has written an explainer that lays out the EU’s history of dealing with energy security, going back to the 1990s. Because the EU has a single market for natural gas and widely shared value chains (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage, etc.), impacts are felt across the bloc. But that interconnectedness is also a strength and the basis for ensuring security across the region. Kneebone also details the updated regulations that are behind the drive to build in new capacity and obligations for solidarity between Member States. It means that today, the coordination and cooperation for allocating resources and delivering better energy security are stronger than ever.
What is security of supply?
The European Environment Agency (EEA) define security of energy supply as “…the availability of energy at all times in various forms, in sufficient quantities, and at reasonable and/or affordable prices.” In the context of gas security of supply specifically, the concept refers to the provision of gaseous energy, namely ‘natural gas’.
There is currently no technique that could have helped Nepal predict when the recent earthquake would strike. AP/PA/Niranjan Shrestha
theconversation – Can earthquakes ever be predicted? This question is timely after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal recently. If authorities had more warning that the earthquake was coming, they may have been able to save more lives.
While Nepal is a documented area of previous seismic activity, at the moment there is no technique that provides predictions of sufficient clarity to allow for evacuations at short notice. So if we cannot predict these events now, are there avenues of research to provide useful predictions in the future?
The key word here is “useful”. It is possible to make long-term forecasts about future earthquake activity, partly by using the past record of earthquakes as a guide. There is no reason to believe that a region of the Earth is going to behave differently in the next few thousands of years from its pattern over the same range back in time. In the short term, seismologists can draw on data from recording stations, with records going back roughly 40 years on a global scale. Tiếp tục đọc “Why it is so hard to predict where and when earthquakes will strike”→
The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria is likely to “more than double”, according to a United Nations emergency relief coordinator.
Martin Griffiths, speaking to Sky News on Saturday, said he expected tens of thousands more deaths.
At least 24,596 people have been confirmed dead after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and north-western Syria on Monday, with multiple aftershocks.
Griffiths said: “I think it is difficult to estimate precisely as we need to get under the rubble, but I’m sure it will double or more,” said Griffiths.
“That’s terrifying. This is nature striking back in a really harsh way.
“It’s deeply shocking … the idea that these mountains of rubble still hold people, some of them still alive.
“We haven’t really begun to count the number of dead.”
He said that a 72-hour period after a disaster was usually the “golden period” for rescues, which had now expired, but that survivors were still being pulled out of the rubble.
“It must be incredibly difficult to decide when to stop this rescue phase,” he said.
Griffiths said he was launching a three-month operation for Turkey and Syria to help pay for the costs of operations there.
Griffiths also told Reuters he hoped in Syria aid would go to both government and opposition-held areas, but that things with this regard were “not clear yet”.
Earlier on Saturday, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that negotiations were continuing to gain access to more areas in Syria and called for “solidarity” in the relief effort.
He said: “Our message is clear, it’s time to put all politics aside. Just focus on the men, women and children who desperately need help in Syria and in southern Turkey.
“Wherever we work, we have to work with the authorities in charge. That’s just the way that UN humanitarian aid is structured. So in the rebel-held territories, we work with the authorities there; in the government-held areas, we work with the government.”
Responding to criticism of the UN’s response to the urgent need in Syria after the earthquake, he added:
“I think if I was standing in the middle of devastation and my community had been hit, I would be unhappy and I would be critical because aid never comes quickly enough. But I can tell you that the UN stands with the people of Syria, whether they live in rebel territories, whether they live in government-held territories.”
1. Syria longs for international aid amid earthquake devastation
Al Jazeera English – 8 thg 2, 2023
The scale of the destruction in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit swaths of Turkey and Syria on Monday has been unprecedented, even for residents of the war-torn country.
On the Syrian side, the area affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake and its aftershocks is divided between government-controlled territory and the country’s last opposition-held pocket of land, encircled by Russian-backed government forces.
The UN says damaged roads, a lack of equipment and tough winter conditions are hampering efforts to find survivors in Syria.
People from the collective ‘Kyivska Kolyada’ ride in the train after singing Christmas carols and collect money for the Ukrainian army at a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, 25 December 2022. 2022 is the first year Orthodox churches were allowed to hold a Christmas prayer service on 24 December. Traditionally, the Orthodox church celebrates Christmas on 6 January. [EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK]
Russian forces bombarded scores of towns in Ukraine on Christmas Day as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was open to negotiations, a stance Washington has dismissed as posturing because of continued Russian attacks.
Russia on Sunday launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region, shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, and in Zaporizhzhia hit nearly 20 towns, said Ukraine’s top military command.
Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that it had killed about 60 Ukrainian servicemen the previous day along the Kupiansk-Lyman line of contact and destroyed numerous pieces of Ukrainian military equipment.
Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.
Putin’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – has triggered the biggest European conflict since World War Two and confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Despite Putin’s latest offer to negotiate, there is no end in sight to the 10-month conflict.
“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Putin needed to return to reality and acknowledge it was Russia that did not want talks.
“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”
Russian attacks on power stations have left millions without electricity, and Zelenskyy said Moscow would aim to make the last few days of 2022 dark and difficult.
“Russia has lost everything it could this year. … I know darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to new defeats. But we have to be ready for any scenario,” he said in an evening video address on Christmas Day.
Ukraine has traditionally not celebrated Christmas on 25 December, but 7 January, the same as Russia. However, this year some Orthodox Ukrainians decided to celebrate the holiday on 25 December and Ukrainian officials, starting with Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s prime minister, issued Christmas wishes on Sunday.
The Kremlin says it will fight until all its territorial aims are achieved, while Kyiv says it will not rest until every Russian soldier is ejected from the country.
Asked if the geopolitical conflict with the West was approaching a dangerous level, Putin on Sunday said: “I don’t think it’s so dangerous.”
Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what they cast as an imperial-style war of occupation.
Blasts at Engels airbase
Blasts were heard at Russia’s Engels air base, hundreds of kilometres (miles) from the Ukraine frontlines, Ukrainian and Russian media reported on Monday.
Russia’s governor of Saratov region, home to the Engels air-base, said law enforcement agencies were checking information about “an incident at a military facility”.
“There were no emergencies in residential areas of the (Engels) city,” Roman Busargin, the governor of the region, said on the Telegram messaging app. “Civil infrastructure facilities were not damaged.”
The air base, near the city of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, was hit on 5 December in what Russia said were Ukrainian drone attacks on two Russian air bases that day. The strikes dealt Moscow a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defences failed, analysts said.
Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks inside Russia, but has said, however, that such incidents are “karma” for Russia’s invasion.
epa10363106 Pro-government supporters, including families of killed Iranian soldiers, protest against the UN and western countries in front of the United Nation office in Tehran, Iran, 13 December 2022. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH
2022 has been a year where high-profile international cases of violence against women, such as in Iran, Ukraine, and Afghanistan, have made headlines, but this is just part of a trend that permeates every aspect of society, according to United Nations (UN) officials interviewed by EURACTIV.
UN Women Brussels Director Dagmar Schumacher and the UN’s Director in Brussels Camilla Bruckner sat down with EURACTIV to discuss progress in Europe and the situation for women outside of the Union following the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
A map shows the location of an earthquake epicenter in Kon Tum Province (red star), April 18, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Institute of GeophysicsRecent earthquakes in the Central Highlands are a cause for concern, says the Institute of Geophysics, calling for extensive studies and research to ascertain causes and draw up response plans.
In a report released Wednesday, it said that the earthquakes that occurred from March 2021 to April 2022, with magnitudes of 1.6 to 4.5 on the Richter scale in Kon Plong District, Kon Tum Province and other nearby areas were not “severe” but there was a need to evaluate risks and dangers.
“To ascertain the causes of the earthquakes and to have a foundation for predicting seismic trends and earthquakes’ intensity in the future so that the risk of damage to residential structures and hydropower plants can be evaluated, there needs to be surveys and research on Kon Tum and neighboring areas’ geological characteristics,” the Voice of Vietnam cited the report as saying.