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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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Italy wildfires: Hundreds of people forced from their homes in Sardinia’s ‘unprecedented disaster’ | World News

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Raging forest fires in central Sardinia have forced at least 900 people from their homes.

Four planes from France and Greece were sent to help put out the wildfires, which have consumed around 20,000 hectares in the Italian province of Oristano – the size of about 20,000 rugby fields.

The aircraft joined 10 Italian firefighting squads and five other planes deployed to tackle the fires which broke out over the weekend and have been spread by dry southerly winds.

Firefighters spent all night battling the blaze near the town of Montiferro, which destroyed farms and engulfed some residential areas in smoke.

“Currently, the situation for the people seems to be under control,” said Alessandro Paola, deputy chief for the Italian firefighters’ emergency department.

He said this is dependent on the weather forecast.

The wildfires hit the area of Montiferru, in the centre-west of the island, because of a heatwave, according to the European Commission.

No deaths or injuries have been reported.

Christian Salinas, president of Sardinia region, called it “one of the most serious natural disasters ever to happen in Sardinia”, according to Italian news outlet Corriere della Sera.

He said the “huge firestorms favoured by weather and climate conditions absolutely at the limit” were an “unprecedented disaster” in Sardinia’s history.

“Up to now, 20,000 hectares of forest that represent centuries of environmental history of our island have gone up in ashes.”

According to Italian news outlet La Stampa, it could take at least 15 years to rebuild the woods and the Mediterranean scrub destroyed by the flames that have reached pastures, olive trees, sheds, barns with stocks of fodder and agricultural vehicles but also killed animals.

The planes sent by France and Greece were used to pick up water to drop on the fires.

A Canadair plane drops water to put out a fire, near Oristano, on the island of Sardinia, Italy, Monday, July 26, 2021. Fires raged Sunday on Italy's Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where nearly 400 people were evacuated overnight. No deaths or injuries have been reported. Firefighters said several homes were damaged in the island's western interior region. (Alessandro Tocco/LaPresse via AP)
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France and Greece dispatched aircraft to help battle the flames

Claudio Atzori, president of Legacoop Sardegna, told La Stampa: “We ask for an immediate investigation to verify the reason for the damage to homes and businesses, in or close to the villages, which should have been protected, through greater attention in the maintenance phase of the territory and prevention.”

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Arab Spring: What is legacy of protests and uprisings as Tunisia’s president ousts PM in ‘coup’ | World News

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Long considered one of the few success stories that sprang from the Arab Spring, Tunisia has seen its president accused of staging a coup after he sacked his prime minister and suspended parliament with the help of the army.

President Kais Saied’s dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Sunday followed violent demonstrations across the country over the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has led to clashes between supporters and opponents of the president in the streets of the capital, Tunis.

President Kais Saied (pictured) fired the prime minister less than a year after Hichem Mechichi was appointed o the role. Pic AP
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President Kais Saied (pictured) fired the prime minister less than a year after Hichem Mechichi was appointed to the role. Pic AP

Mr Saied has said he will name a new prime minister, but his critics have accused him of a power grab that threatens Tunisia‘s young democracy.

Here is a look at the legacy of the Arab Spring and how protests and uprisings dramatically altered the political structure of much of the Arab world.

The Arab Spring

The Arab Spring spread across much of the Arab world from early 2010 as demonstrators rallied against the region’s dictatorial leaders in protests over corruption, poverty and oppression.

Escalating anti-government protests spilt over into uprisings and eventually civil wars in several countries as the Arab Spring spread from Tunisia to Egypt, Syria, Libya and Yemen, resulting in the ousting of the leaders in those countries, with the exception of Syria.

It has directly contributed to the refugee crisis and the rise of the Islamic State and has seen fresh authoritarian leaders seize power in many countries, leaving many with their hopes crushed as they struggle to live under increasingly authoritarian regimes in countries beset by greater levels of poverty and unemployment.

Tunisia

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People took to the streets in the capital, Tunis, to celebrate the PM’s dismissal – but others have called the move ‘a coup’

The roots of the Arab Spring can be traced back to Tunisia, where Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit seller, set himself on fire in protest after police confiscated his goods and a female officer slapped him on 17 December 2010.

Footage of his self-immolation spread across the country and led people in his home city of Sidi Bouzid to take to the streets in rage.

Within a month, protests had forced Tunisia’s authoritarian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the relative success of Tunisia’s revolution, the country has recently seen large protests over mass unemployment and many consider its parliament inefficient and stagnant.

These problems have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the economy hard as infection rates soared over the summer.

Egypt

Thousands of Egyptians protest in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo on 29 July, 2011. Pic: Associated Press
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Thousands of Egyptians protest in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo in July 2011. Pic: Associated Press

Demonstrations in Tunisia following the death of Bouazizi inspired massive protests across Egypt, leading President Hosni Mubarak to leave office within weeks.

A presidential election in 2012 gave power to President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, but Mr Morsi himself was later deposed when Egypt’s military generals seized power in 2013.

Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi then became president and imposed a police state, which has seen tens of thousands of Egyptians imprisoned and hundreds executed.

The country remains under military rule.

Syria

President Bashar al Assad with his wife Asma as she casts her vote
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President Bashar al Assad with his wife Asma as she casts her vote in Syria’s president election in May 2021

As unrest spread across Syria, Bashar al Assad’s government began using live ammunition against protesters, leading tensions to boil over and igniting a civil war in 2011 between the regime and rebel groups.

IS emerged from among the myriad rebel groups and expanded across the border into Iraq, where it declared a new Islamic caliphate in 2014.

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Sky’s Mark Stone visits refugee camps in northern Syria and hears of the growing influence of Islamic State inside

Syria’s brutal decade-long civil war has seen hundreds of thousands of people killed and over 6.8 million Syrians become asylum seekers and 6.7 million displaced within the country’s borders.

Despite this, Mr Assad has managed to cling on to power with the support of Russia, Iran and Lebanon-based Shia-militant group Hezbollah, although fighting in the war-ravaged country continues and several areas remain under the control of rebels.

Libya

Members of the Libyan pro-government forces gesture as they stand on a tank in Benghazi, Libya, 21 May, 2015
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Members of the Libyan pro-government forces gesture as they stand on a tank in Benghazi, Libya, in May 2015

Similarly, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi decided to crack down on the largest protests in the country’s history with force.

The move sparked a civil war and a NATO-led coalition began conducting airstrikes in support of the country’s rebels.

Rebel forces deposed and later killed Gaddafi in October 2011. However, efforts to transition away from Gaddafi’s rule broke down and the country descended into a renewed civil war.

The internationally recognised Government of National Accord remains in control of Tripoli and the city of Misrata, while the Libyan National Army, commanded by General Khalifa Haftar, runs Benghazi and much of the oil-rich east. General Haftar’s forces are supported by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Yemen

A malnourished girl at a hospital in Sanaa in October 2020
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Yemen’s civil war has led to one of the worst famines the world has ever seen

As protests spread throughout much of the Arab world, pressure on Yemen’s authoritarian president Ali Abdullah Saleh led him to hand power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, in 2011.

However, Mr Hadi’s presidency was beset by continuing problems of corruption, unemployment and an insurgency from the Houthi militia.

The Houthis took control of the capital, Sana’a, in 2014 and declared themselves in charge of the government. Yemen’s President, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, fled to Aden, where he continues to lead Yemen’s internationally-recognised government.

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David Miliband criticises Yemen aid cut

Fierce fighting between the Iran-backed Houthi group and the western-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia has led to one of the worst famines the world has ever seen, with half of the population lacking food and almost 16 million on the brink of starvation in 2016.

Other countries affected

While the Arab Spring saw rulers deposed in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen, it also led to street protests in Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Sudan. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, were able to use military force to effectively end revolts before they could seriously threaten the status quo.

Legacy of the Arab Spring

While the reverberations of the Arab Spring continue to affect life in the Arab World, continuing issues including corruption, authoritarianism and poverty are likely to be exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.

Only Tunisia’s uprising resulted in a transition to a constitutional democracy, but with the country’s president ousting his prime minister, the shift away from authoritarian rule is looking increasingly fragile.

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Pink offers to pay ‘sexist’ £1,300 bikini bottoms fine given to Norway’s beach handball team | Ents & Arts News

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Pop star Pink has offered to pay the fines given to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team after they refused to wear bikini bottoms at a European championship match.

The women were each fined the equivalent of £130 (150 euros) for “improper clothing” for choosing to wear shorts in their bronze final against Spain.

Writing on Twitter, the Cover Me In Sunshine singer said: “I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”.

The Norwegian team wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Pic: Norway Beach Handball Women
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The Norwegian team wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Pic: Norway Beach Handball Women

“The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies.

“I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.”

The European Handball Federation said their outfit was “not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations found in the IHF beach handball rules of the game”.

The decision to fine the women has been widely criticised and was branded “completely ridiculous” by Norwegian sports minister Abid Raja.

Former tennis champion Billie Jean King added: “The sexualisation of women athletes must stop.”

The team wrote on Instagram: “Thank you so much for all the support. We really appreciate all the love we have received.”

Global beach handball rules state female players must wear bikinis while their male counterparts can play in vest tops and shorts.

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The uniform guidance reads: “Athletes’ uniforms and accessories contribute to helping athletes increase their performance as well as remain coherent with the sportive and attractive image of the sport.

“Female athletes must wear bikini bottoms…with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg.”



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