Dubai Torch Tower hit by fire again

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Flames shoot up the sides of the Torch tower residential building in the Marina district, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in the early hours of August 4, 2017. (Mitch Williams/Social Media Website/via Reuters)
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People on a street view a fire at the 1,105 foot tall Torch tower skyscraper in the early hours of August 4, 2017 in Dubai. (AFP / KARIM SAHIB)
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This combination image from photos shared on social media shows the Dubai Torch Tower in flames and firefighters on the ground responding.
Updated 04 August 2017
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Dubai Torch Tower hit by fire again

JEDDAH: More than two years after it was hit by fire, the Dubai Torch Tower in Dubai was in flames again late Thursday, forcing occupants to evacuate.
Photos and videos shared on social media showed the 79-story residential skyscraper burning and firefighters struggling to douse the flames.
Located at the Dubai Marina, the tower was damaged by fire on February 21, 2015, causing substantial damage.
The fire comes despite tougher new rules undertaken by the modern emirate early this year following a spate of fires hitting its skyscrapers.
Probers have noted that most of the big fires that have hit Dubai high-rises in recent years have spread rapidly, mostly due to flammable material used in cladding, a covering or coating used on the side of the buildings.
Under Dubai’s new fire and safety code, builders are required “to ensure that the flammability of the cladding is as close to zero as possible.”
Builders are required to regularly carry out maintenance on the cladding panels and replace them after a certain date.
One of Dubai’s major blazes occurred on New Year’s Eve 2015 when fire struck the luxury Address Downtown Hotel, injuring 16 people just a few hours before a  fireworks display nearby.
The blaze was broadcast live worldwide, but authorities went ahead with the festivities just the same, with residents and tourists gathered nearby to watch a dazzling fireworks display even as smoke billowed out of the tower.

 


US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

Updated 23 April 2019
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US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

  • The money is for anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the finances of Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.
The State Department said it would give the money to anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways.
The areas include information on Hezbollah’s donors, on financial institutions that assist its transactions and on businesses controlled by the movement.
President Donald Trump’s administration has put a top priority on reducing the influence of Iran, the primary backer of Hezbollah.
The State Department listed three alleged Hezbollah financiers as examples of activities it was seeking to stop, with one, Ali Youssef Charara, allegedly funding the group by investing millions of dollars from Hezbollah in the telecommunications industry in West Africa.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pointed to a recent appeal by Hezbollah for donations as a sign of US success in curbing Iran.
On a visit last month to Beirut, Pompeo urged Lebanon to counter the “dark ambitions” of Iran and Hezbollah but was rebuffed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who said Hezbollah was not a terrorist group and enjoyed a wide base.
The United States has vowed for decades to fight Shiite militants in Lebanon, with memories still bitter over the 1983 attack on a military barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans.
Hezbollah, however, also functions as a political party, with posts in the current cabinet, and enjoys support among some Lebanese who recall its guerrilla campaign that led Israel to withdraw from the country in 2000.