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La Palma’s airport forced to close as second volcanic vent opens, spewing more ash across the Spanish Island | World News

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Authorities have closed La Palma’s airport as a new vent opened in an erupting volcano, spreading more ash across the island.

Flights to and from the Spanish island have been cancelled as a result of the volcanic eruption that has lasted nearly a week.

Rivers of lava poured down the slopes of the volcano and flew high into the air as the eruption entered its most explosive stage after a new vent opened on Saturday.

Lava and smoke rise from an erupting volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park at Los Llanos de Aridane, on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Trujillo
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Lava and smoke rise from an erupting volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park

La Palma Airport operator Aena said on Twitter that plane traffic was suspended “due to the accumulation of ash” in the air.

Other airports in the Canary Islands are still operational, the company added.

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Lava and smoke rise following the eruption of a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma, in Tajuya, Spain, September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
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Almost 7,000 people have had to leave their homes.

Workers wearing PPE cleared up the ash as travellers attempted to change their tickets to get on the next available flights.

Other passengers opted to travel by ferry to another island in the Canaries where they could catch flights.

The intensity of the eruptions has increased in recent days, prompting the evacuation of three additional villages on the island. Almost 7,000 people have had to leave their homes.

Staff at La Palma airport have been clearing the ash. Pic: AENA
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Staff at La Palma airport have been clearing the ash. Pic: AENA

“Volcanic surveillance measurements carried out since the beginning of the eruption recorded the highest-energy activity
so far during Friday afternoon,” emergency services said.

Emergency crews pulled back from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Friday as explosions sent molten rock and ash over a wide area.

Lava flows have destroyed hundreds of buildings on the island’s western side.

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La Palma volcano: residents stranded

Residents there were initially told to stay indoors but emergency services said they decided to take more serious precautions due to increased volcanic activity.

On a visit to La Palma on Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a package of measures to help get the island back on its feet and “rebuild lives”.

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What’s next for La Palma?

The Spanish government will provide aid for rebuilding homes and public infrastructure, such as roads, irrigation networks and schools, as well as relaunching the island’s tourism industry, Mr Sanchez said.

He did not say how much money would be made available but said a cabinet meeting next week would provide more details.

No serious injuries or fatalities have been reported amid the volcano’s eruption, but about 15% of the island’s economically crucial banana crop could be at risk of destruction.

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Brexit: Latest Northern Ireland Protocol talks ‘constructive’, says UK – as EU negotiators head for London | Politics News

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UK officials have described the latest talks with the EU over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol as “constructive”, as a Brussels delegation prepares to travel to London on Tuesday.

Measures recently proposed by the EU would cut checks on retail agri-food products arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain by 80%.

A 50% reduction in customs paperwork is also on the cards.

It is understood, however, that the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and the EU remains a key sticking point.

A UK government source said the arrangement “must end”, while the European Commission has insisted it will not budge on the issue.

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EU’s Sefcovic pushed on UK’s red lines around ECJ

The UK source said: “The talks this week were constructive and we’ve heard some things from the EU that we can work with – but the reality is that we are still far apart on the big issues, especially governance.

“There’s been plenty of speculation about governance this week but our position remains unchanged: the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and EU must end.”

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The source added that “real progress” must happen “soon” to avoid a “process of endless negotiation”.

At the end of the week, once several days of negotiations have been completed, Brexit minister Lord Frost and EU Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic are due to meet in Westminster.

The protocol is designed to avoid the introduction of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, following Brexit.

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Newcastle United takeover: Crystal Palace fans’ banner protesting Saudi-led consortium’s Tyneside takeover investigated by police | UK News

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A banner unfurled by Crystal Palace fans ahead of Saturday’s draw with Newcastle, protesting the recent Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside club is being investigated by police.

The graphic sign, held up at Selhurst Park, showed a man wearing Arab-style clothing wielding a bloodied sword about to behead a magpie, as faceless supporters in the background sing: “We’ve got our club back.”

Crystal Palace fans with a banner about Newcastle United's takeover before the match
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The Premier League has been accused of ‘total hypocrisy’ over the deal

It listed offences the regime is accused of by human rights groups – terrorism, beheading, civil rights abuses, murder, censorship and persecution – which were all ticked off on a clipboard under the heading “Premier League Owners Test”.

The top-flight league’s chief executive Richard Masters is also depicted giving a thumbs-up to a bag of cash, standing in a pool of blood.

It comes after the controversial go-ahead was given for a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s state sovereign wealth fund – known as the Public Investment Fund or PIF – to take control of Newcastle United in a £300 m deal, earlier this month.

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This was despite the closeness of the fund to the Saudi state, which has faced criticism over its human rights record.

PIF is chaired by Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was linked to the gruesome 2018 murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, although he has denied any involvement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the investment fund

A post on the official Croydon Metropolitan Police Twitter account said: “On Saturday 23 October police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans.

“Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously.”

Palace supporters’ group Holmesdale Fanatics released a statement after the banner was unveiled.

It said: “The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger.

“To give the thumbs up to this deal at a time when the Premier League is promoting the women’s game and inclusive initiatives such as rainbow armbands, shows the total hypocrisy at play and demonstrates the league’s soulless agenda where profits trump all.”

Proud and Palace, the club’s official LGBT+ supporters group, also posted a video on its Twitter account which highlighted the case of Suhail al Jameel, a gay man reportedly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We don’t believe these owners have a place in the Premier League and we want to keep raising awareness.”

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Taiwan: Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 strikes island | World News

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 has struck Taiwan, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

It had a depth of 25 miles (40km), the EMSC added.

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