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Mysterious abandoned Boeing 737 is turning into a tourist destination

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An abandoned plane is sitting in the middle of a field in Bali, and the mystery on everyone’s minds is how it got there.

The Boeing 737, which sits off the Raya Nusa Dua Selatan highway, five minutes from the beach, is something of a tourist attraction these days, News.com.au reported.

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The plane itself has no branding, so it is unclear whether or not it belonged to an airline. Some people speculate that the surrounding shipping containers concealed it from view for a while, according to The Sun. Others have theorized that the plane was meant to be converted into a restaurant, but the owner ran out of money and abandoned it.

Now, it sits behind private gates and is protected by a security guard. Tourists who want to see it must buy tickets and very few actually get to see what’s on board. Some visitors and travel bloggers have tried to get up close to the plane, to no avail.

With no leads on its origin or the fates of the crew members and passengers, the plane remains just another mysterious attraction by the side of the road.

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New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern takes COVID-19 test after picking up ‘seasonal sniffle’ from daughter | World News

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New Zealand’s prime minister has taken a COVID-19 test after picking up a “seasonal sniffle” from her three-year-old daughter.

Jacinda Ardern took Tuesday off work due to the sickness, leaving deputy prime minister Grant Robertson to take on the responsibilities.

The 41-year-old is expected to reveal more details next week about her plans to reopen New Zealand’s borders, following 16 months with some of the toughest travel restrictions in the world.

New Zealand has reported no community cases of COVID-19 since February, although a handful of cases is picked up most days in the country’s hotel isolation system, which is compulsory for all arrivals.

The country has reported about 2,800 coronavirus cases and 26 related deaths but its vaccination programme has been one of the slowest in the developed world.

Around 14% of people in New Zealand are fully vaccinated.

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Caribbean nations find that anti-plastic policies are not enough to prevent damage to coastline | Climate News

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The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.

Analysis of samples taken from island coastlines and microplastics in the Caribbean Sea show they originate from the maritime and tourism industries.

The all-female crew of scientists on board eXXpedition’s Round the World voyage found flakes of paint from fishing boats, cigarette lighters and fragments of plastic food packaging in their samples.

Emily Penn. The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.
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Emily Penn says the study is the first holistic assessment of marine and land-based plastic pollution
The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.
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There are 5 trillion micro plastics floating on the ocean’s surface

They said the study highlights the need for more knowledge about plastic pollution across all sectors within nations.

The study’s lead author, Dr Winnie Courtene-Jones from the University of Plymouth, said: “It makes it very challenging when tackling the issue.

“What we were also finding is that policies in one country do not necessarily translate to less pollution within their waters.

“For example in Antigua, they have a Styrofoam polystyrene ban and also a plastic bag ban in place and we found very little of those items within the street litter, but we were still finding those polymers broken down into small fragments in the marine environment.

“The modelling that we undertook indicates that these have come from elsewhere, other Caribbean nations, or even across the Atlantic.”

Dr Winnie Courtene-Jones from the University of Plymouth.  The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.
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Dr Winnie Courtene-Jones said she hopes the study’s findings will influence international solutions

Antigua and Barbuda are among the countries that have banned plastic bags, unlike neighbouring Saint Kitts.

This impacts every coastline, and Dr Courtene-Jones said: “This trans-boundary movement undermines the local policies, and really highlights the need for a much larger national, international policy and treaty to combat plastic pollution.”

Dr Courtene-Jones said she hopes the study’s findings will influence international solutions and result in more joined-up policies between nations.

Emily Penn, eXXpedition’s founder, has been analysing the samples used in the study, which she described as the first holistic assessment of marine and land-based plastic pollution.

The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.
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The plastics problem is not the responsibility of just one nation to solve

The idea is to drill down into how the micro plastics end up filtering into the oceans, onto the seabed and onto the coastline, she told Sky News.

“A lot of what we were doing this year was really trying to understand the chemistry of the plastics, that can then help inform where those plastics come from.

The idyllic Caribbean islands are becoming increasingly strewn with plastic pollution caused by the industries that fund their economies, a study has found.
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The study highlights the need for more knowledge about plastic pollution

“Because this soup of microplastic fragments can be very anonymous, it doesn’t sort of have a brand label necessarily on it.”

There are 5 trillion micro plastics floating on the ocean’s surface.

Ms Penn said a greater sense of community comes from a shared understanding of the plastic pollution issue.

She said the problem is not down to one nation to solve.

“We all share one ocean, and it connects us all, wherever we live on the planet, we’re connected literally from the Thames to that little uninhabited island in the middle of the Caribbean, and it makes us realise how much of a multinational issue this is.”

The eXXpedition voyage was cut short in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but research continued back on UK soil.

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Turkey fires: ‘My house is burning, oh my God’ – Villagers tell of devastation as nation hit by worst infernos in a decade | World News

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The ferocity of the fires in Turkey is quite something to behold.

We watched, along with the residents of the pretty seaside town of Cokertme on the Aegean coast, as the crackling dry forests around the community were devoured within minutes.

The village appeared to be surrounded. We watched as fire engines reversed and screeched away – as firefighters used loudspeakers to bellow at the residents to run. Behind them was a huge sheet of flames heading their way.

Tackling the fires which have broken out across nearly 40 (of the 81) provinces has proved to be a much harder task than anticipated.

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Sky reporter at edge of Turkey wildfires

The firefighters and authorities have had to contend with searingly high temperatures – peaking at more than 40C (104F) for most of the week.

On 20 July, the temperature reached a staggering 49.1C (120.38F) in Gizre in the southeast of the country. And the high temperatures are forecast to continue for at least another week.

The fires are thought to be the worst in at least a decade – with some forestry managers we spoke to describing them as the most devastating since the 1940s.

There has been particularly low humidity which has contributed to the dryness as well as strong sea winds which have exacerbated the fire hazards.

Turkey fire
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Locals have faced devastating losses as the fires rip through southern Turkey

A number of scientists blame these extremes on climate change but on top of these environmental factors, there’s been heavy criticism of the Turkish leader, President Erdogan, for not having sufficient firefighting aircraft to cope.

And exactly what started them is not yet clear although arsonists are being blamed for some.

But once the fires started, it’s been a monumental battle to try to bring them under control with even Mr Erdogan admitting the country did not have an adequate firefighting air fleet.

A local woman fighting to save her house in Çökertme.
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It has been a monumental battle to try to bring the blazes under control
Local and volunteers fighting to save Çökertme.
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Local and volunteers fighting to save Cokertme

These contributing factors are no comfort at all to the terrified citizens battling to save their homes, livestock, pets, businesses and farmland.

“My house is burning, my house, my house…oh my God,” was all one woman could say to us when we came across her in Cokertme. Minutes earlier she’d been screaming at the firefighters, cursing them for not arriving soon enough.

Villagers have been fighting the fires themselves, any way they can…. sometimes resorting to pouring bottles of water around the perimeter of their homes – or drawing buckets of water from private wells to try to keep the ground cool.

Smoke rising above Çökertme.
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Smoke rising above Cokertme
'"My house is burning', cried one woman.
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A woman despairs at what has happened in her area

One woman, Tugce Ulualan told us: “The state isn’t helping us. If the villagers weren’t here, it would be even worse. There aren’t enough firefighters. There are no planes. There are no helicopters.”

In fact, the forestry ministry has outlined on its website that it has 13 planes, 45 helicopters, 9 drones and 828 firefighting vehicles. International help has arrived in the form of air support from first Russia as well as Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Iran.

Only later as the fires continued unabated has help been accepted from European countries such as Spain and Croatia.

We saw a Russian helicopter repeatedly drop buckets of water over fires in the village as the fires gained in strength and momentum.

Alex doing a live in front of a wall of flames.
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Alex Crawford reporting from in front of a wall of flames

Residents ran in columns carrying fire hoses under their arms and up the hill near the village’s graveyard to try to beat back the flames lapping at the edge of their back gardens.

“Hadi! Hadi!” (Hurry! Hurry!) one man shouted at his neighbours. A woman near him sobbed audibly as she heaved a curled-up fire hose over a barbed fence.

“We were not prepared (as a country)….we were not prepared at all,” a young man who gave his name as Cem Akin told us. “I feel very tired and helpless. We can’t do anything. Our houses are burning. Our forests are burning – and there’s nothing we can do.”

A firefighter in Çökertme.
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A firefighter in Cokertme

There’s a collective anger and despair running through the country as fast as the fires which seem to be eating up the nation’s forest.

Around a staggering 95,000 hectares of forest have been devastated so far this year. And as soon as they seem to get the fires under control, more break out.

Turkey has already been badly hit economically because of coronavirus and a slump in its tourism industry. Its citizens are going to suffer even more now.

Other credits: Cameraman Kevin Sheppard, and producers Chris Cunningham and Guldenay Sonumut.

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