International

Sri Lanka environmental disaster and other stories

There are fears of an oil spill emergency as a cargo ship that’s burnt for 13 days off the coast of Sri Lanka is now sinking.

The Singapore-registered X-Press Pearl and hundreds of tonnes of engine oil could leak into the sea, devastating nearby marine life.

Meanwhile, the State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera has suspended ships from entering from the Negombo Lagoon and fishing from Panadura to Negombo with immediate effect.

Sri Lankan authorities have launched criminal and civil probes into how the fire started.

Israeli opposition face deadline

Israeli opposition politicians have until today at midnight to hash out final negotiations to build a coalition government that would end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister.

The head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, reportedly hopes to be able to make an announcement soon.

He must do so before midnight (21:00 GMT) or his mandate will expire.

While Lapid faces a difficult task, he now has the chance to make history by ending the reign of Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu“P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu” by Government Press Office (GPO) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Suspension of Trump’s Arctic drilling leases

US President Joe Biden’s administration will suspend oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental review.

This decision reverses former President Donald Trump’s decision to sell oil leases in the refuge to expand fossil fuel and mineral development.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is often described as America’s last great wilderness and many important species live in this habitat, including polar bears, caribou and wolves.

The move comes after reviews analyzing environmental impacts of drilling in the remote region.

Malaysia accuses China of breaching airspace

Malaysia says it is to summon China’s ambassador after 16 Chinese military aircraft flew over disputed waters off its eastern state of Sarawak.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry described the manoeuvre as a “serious threat to national sovereignty”.

China, however, said its aircraft had abided by international law.

China has claimed territorial rights over nearly the entire South China Sea, ignoring overlapping claims by regional neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Cyber-attack: world’s largest meat supplier targeted

Computer networks at JBS , the world’s largest meat supplier with more than 150 plants in 15 countries, have been hacked.

Some operations in Australia, Canada and the US were temporarily shut down with thousands of workers affected.

The White House says the FBI is investigating the attack.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents JBS plant employees, has urged the company to ensure workers still receive their pay.

IT systems are essential in modern meat processing plants, with computers used at multiple stages including billing and shipping.

Computer Hack“Computer Hack” by theglobalpanorama is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Bird flu: First human case in China

A 41-year-old Chinese man has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare bird flu strain.

Officials did not give details on how the man got infected but the H10N3 strain is thought to not easily spread from humans to humans.

Contact tracing did not find any other cases of the virus.

Beijing’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that the resident of the city of Zhenjiang was hospitalized on the 28th of April and diagnosed with H10N3 one month later.

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