Deadly tropical storm Nate kills 22 in Central America, heads for US

A man walks near houses damaged by a mudslide during heavy rains of Tropical Storm Nate that affects the country in San Jose, Costa Rica on Friday, October 5, 2017. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Deadly tropical storm Nate kills 22 in Central America, heads for US

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica: Tropical Storm Nate has killed at least 22 people in Central America with torrential rains that forced thousands from their homes, uprooted trees, knocked out bridges and turned roads into rivers, officials said Thursday.
Forecasters predicted it will strengthen into a hurricane headed for Mexico and the United States.
The country hardest hit by the storm that began Wednesday was Nicaragua, with 11 dead and seven missing, Vice President Rosario Murillo told state media.
Officials in Costa Rica said eight people died including a three-year-old girl after they were hit by falling trees and mudslides, and two young Nicaraguan farm workers. At least 17 people were missing.
Costa Rica declared a national emergency as it struggled with mudslides, washed out roads and overflowing rivers.
Schools, universities, government offices and banks across the Central American nation were closed.
Three other people were killed in Honduras.
Nicaragua’s Murillo added that 800 people had been evacuated, nearly 600 homes were flooded and 14 communities were isolated because of rains that had been falling for days.
More than 5,000 people were being put up in shelters in Costa Rica after having to abandon their homes because of flooding and the risk of unstable ground giving way, the director of the National Emergency Commission, Ivan Brenes, said.
At least 18 main roads were closed and another dozen were only partially open. In Costa Rica’s northwest Guanacaste region popular with tourists many roads were so flooded as to be impassable to all but four-wheel-drive vehicles and horses.
As of Thursday night Nate was moving northwest along the east coast of Honduras and was expected to reach hurricane strength when it reaches the central Gulf of Mexico some time late Friday or early Saturday.
 


Storm or hurricane watches have been issued from Louisiana east through Mississippi and Alabama, the US National Hurricane Center said in a bulletin at 0300 GMT.
Some offshore oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were being evacuated ahead of the storm, the US government Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement.
The United States is recovering from two major hurricanes: Hurricane Harvey that tore through Texas in August, and Hurricane Irma in September.
Another powerful storm, Hurricane Maria, ripped through the Caribbean in late September, wreaking destruction on several islands, including Dominica and Puerto Rico.

World Cup match postponed
In Costa Rica, an alert was issued for people to be wary of crocodiles that might be roaming after rivers and estuaries flooded.
Concerned football officials were monitoring the situation and postponed a World Cup qualifying match between Costa Rica and Honduras from Friday to Saturday.
Costa Rica’s main international airport was open, but with multiple flight cancelations and delays.

The annual rainy season is currently underway in Central America, a five-month period typically ending in November in which the risk of flooding and mudslides rise.
This year’s has been intense, with some areas in the region getting up to 50 percent more rain than average for September and October.


80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

Updated 26 min 25 sec ago
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80 nations attend terror financing conference in Paris

  • Terror attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001
  • While the Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, experts warn that its ideology will live on

PARIS: Ministers from 80 countries and nearly 500 experts gather in Paris from Wednesday for a conference on combating the financing of terror groups such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda, French officials said.
Attacks have become increasingly low-cost since the 9/11 atrocities in the United States in 2001, particularly in recent years when followers of Daesh have used vehicles and guns as their main weapon of choice.
But French authorities remain concerned about a huge war-chest amassed by Daesh between 2014 and 2016 when it ruled over large swathes of oil-rich territory in Iraq and Syria.
A French presidential official briefing journalists on Tuesday said that Daesh income was estimated at about $1 billion (820 million euros) a year.
“It has been moved since, at least in part. It’s probably somewhere,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “These groups are very skilful in using sophisticated techniques to move financial resources around.”
The idea of the two-day conference, which will close with a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday afternoon, is to share expertise and good practice that can be implemented internationally.
The Daesh group faces imminent defeat on the battlefield in Syria where the last pockets of its fighters are holding out, but experts warn that its ideology will live on.
Some terror experts, including Peter Neumann from King’s College in London, have argued recently that the fight against the financing of terror groups has been ineffective since 2001.
In a report last year entitled “Don’t follow the money,” he argued that low-cost terror attacks were easy to mount and jihadist groups could transfer money easily without using the international banking system.
He will make a speech at the start of the second day of the conference on Thursday which will take place at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.