I was in Venice when the acqua alta struck on 28 October 2018. I noted in my diary: “It happened today. The first big acqua alta of the year, with a siren at 09.17, followed by two steady tones. One tone is for 1.1 metres, two 1.2 metres, three 1.3 metres and four 1.4 metres or more. The tidal chart says the level should peak just after noon. At 12.30 I put on my green rubber boots. Stepping out along the canals, I found the water above my ankles and immediately had to re-learn how to walk. Walking at normal speed causes the water to splash over your boots and on to your legs. I slowed down, finding I also needed to watch out for little waves from the boats on the canal, which rode up right over the submerged pavement. “Tourists used bin bags or fluorescent pink plastic booties over their shoes, walked barefoot or just got their shoes wet. Judging by the laughs and picture taking, high water looked fun, but not for the tourists who held heavy suitcases to their chests to … [Read more...] about Deep trouble: can Venice hold back the tide?
Rescued fighting dogs
Boris Johnson is continuing his unofficial general election campaign with talks with military chiefs and meeting troops on a visit to an army training ground.The prime minister aims to highlight a £2.2 billion funding boost for the Armed Forces announced by Chancellor Sajid Javid in his spending round earlier this month.Mr Johnson will be hoping his visit to troops in southwest England on Thursday goes more smoothly than campaign visits to an NHS hospital 24 hours earlier and to a police training college a fortnight ago.Visiting Whipps Cross Hospital, in northeast London, the prime minister was confronted by an angry Labour-supporting parent of a sick child and told Tory cuts were destroying the NHS.And his Donald Trump-style appearance in front of police recruits in Wakefield - when a young standing cadet behind him almost fainted - was criticised by West Yorkshire's chief constable. Advertisement The PM claims the extra money for defence will boost its budget to … [Read more...] about PM to meet military chiefs on unofficial campaign trail
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Monday that he and his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, held "frank and serious" talks on his country's nuclear deal with world powers, adding that "Tehran will cooperate with EU signatories of the deal to save it." Read more: Germany fights to salvage Iran nuclear deal as deadline looms Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), labeling it a "terrible deal" that does not do enough to curtail Iranian nuclear development. After the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, the government in Tehran threatened to pull out of the nuclear deal unless other signatories could offer help to stem the effect of US sanctions. In May, Tehran said it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels if Europe didn't come up with new terms for the deal by July 7. Against this backdrop, the German foreign minister is trying to … [Read more...] about Heiko Maas in Tehran: Why Germany can’t concede too much to Iran
Sydney residents need to brace themselves for 'unprecedented losses' as the bushfires on the city's doorstep breach its suburbs later this summer, an ex-fire chief warns. Greg Mullins, who was Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner from 2003 to 2017, says Sydney will likely experience devastation greater than 1994, when hundreds of suburban homes were lost. 'The worst is to come because it's going to get hotter and drier and there's no significant rain in the outlooks,' Mr Mullins told AAP. 'We've got massive fires that are too big to put out without rain. They are going to get bigger and they are going to come into Sydney suburbs, the South Coast, the Central Coast.' Six lives have been lost in NSW so far this bushfire season while more than 680 homes have been destroyed. Six lives have been lost in NSW so far this bushfire season while more than 680 homes have been destroyed Mr Mullins said that was three times the previous record number of homes lost, with destruction this year so far … [Read more...] about ‘Like nothing we’ve ever seen before’: Expert issues chilling bushfire warning and fire boss tells Sydney to brace for huge losses as blazes hit the city’s suburbs