Eiffel Tower to get anti-terrorist glass barrier round base

People walking past security gates at the Eiffel Tower. A 2,50 meter-high bullet-proof glass is to be set around the Eiffel tower to protect it and secure its access. (AFP)
Updated 09 February 2017
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Eiffel Tower to get anti-terrorist glass barrier round base

PARIS: The Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most famous landmarks, will get a glass wall built round its base under a plan to provide extra protection against terrorist attacks, a source in the Paris mayor’s office said on Thursday.
The 324-meter-high structure, which gets about seven million visitors a year, already has protective metal fencing around its base, erected temporarily for the Euro football championship of 2016.
France has been hit by Islamist militant attacks including bombings and shootings in Paris in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed.
Glass panels two-and-a-half meters high would be erected around the base of the tower as an anti-terrorist measure if the plans are approved, the source said. The project would go before a sites commission and then the environment ministry.
“We have three aims: improve the look, make access easier and strengthen the protection of visitors and staff,” Jean-Francois Martins, a city official, said in a statement.
The cost of the project will be around 20 million euros ($21.36 million), le Parisien newspaper said. 


Death toll from anti-Vedanta protests in south India rises to 13

Updated 11 min 9 sec ago
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Death toll from anti-Vedanta protests in south India rises to 13

TUTICORIN, India: A protester shot during demonstrations against a copper plant in southern India died of his injuries Thursday, officials said, the 13th victim killed by police fire.
A curfew remained in pockets of Tuticorin city in Tamil Nadu state where police used live ammunition to disperse protesters this week, provoking international outrage and demands for an immediate investigation.
Calls for the copper smelting plant owned by British mining giant Vedanta Resources to be closed had been building in recent months, with residents complaining it was polluting their city.
The resistance came to a head Tuesday when police stopped a crowd of thousands from protesting outside the factory.
Cars and buildings were set ablaze and rocks hurled at police, who responded with live fire. Eleven demonstrators were shot dead and many people injured in the melee, including 20 police.
Another protester died Wednesday when he was struck by rubber bullets in a second day of protests.
The latest victim died in hospital Thursday, two days after being injured, doctors said.
“He was brought in a critical condition with bullet injuries and died today,” a doctor at the local hospital said.
The chief minister of Tamil Nadu has ordered an inquiry but defended the actions of police, which the state’s opposition leader called “mass murder.”
“The police have a duty during protests to maintain law and order, but lethal force can only be used if there is an imminent threat to life,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said.
“Tamil Nadu authorities need to carry out a prompt and credible investigation to determine if police used excessive force.”
Internet services have been blocked across the city for five days. Police justified the blackout to stop the spread of information that could incite further violence as they search for those behind Tuesday’s arson attacks.
Environmentalists and locals say the factory contaminates water and air, claims its owners deny.
The company has sought to renew the license of the temporarily non-operational plant and hopes to double its production capacity.
But a state court Wednesday ordered that it cease any further construction at the new site.
The ruling came just hours after Tamil Nadu’s pollution board ordered the existing plant be shut and its power supply cut until a verdict is made on its licensing application.