Shark attack kills surfer off France’s Reunion

People gather after a man died while surfing off Saint-Leu, Reunion Island, following after a shark attack. (AFP)
Updated 09 May 2019

Shark attack kills surfer off France’s Reunion

  • The surfer, a man aged 28, lost a leg in the attack and was pronounced dead on being brought back to the port of Saint-Leu
  • It is the 24th shark attack recorded since 2011 on the island, which is French territory, and the 11th one to result in a fatality

SAINT-DENIS DE LA REUNION: An attack by a shark has killed a surfer off France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion, the latest fatality in increasingly dangerous waters, emergency services said on Thursday.
The surfer, a man aged 28, lost a leg in the attack and was pronounced dead on being brought back to the port of Saint-Leu in the west of the island, emergency services told AFP.
The “surfer was accompanied by three friends who tried to take him back to land but did not manage,” said Olivier Tainturier, a senior local official in the nearby town of Saint-Paul.
A sharp increase in shark attacks on Reunion since 2011 has been dubbed locally the “shark crisis” and prompted authorities to step up alert systems.
It is the 24th shark attack recorded since 2011 on the island, which is French territory, and the 11th one to result in a fatality. As after previous attacks, operations have started to catch sharks in the waters of the incident.
Before the latest attack, the local authorities had urged the “greatest vigilance” among beach users as more people flock to the coast at a season when there are high numbers of the highly aggressive bull shark.


UK pledges £20m aid for Beirut blast recovery

The blast in Beirut hit a grain silo in the port, exasperating Lebanon's already rising food insecurity. (File/Reuters)
Updated 09 August 2020

UK pledges £20m aid for Beirut blast recovery

  • World leaders have joined a virtual summit to coordinate an effective humanitarian response to the Beirut blast.
  • French President promises aid will not go to "corrupt hands"

LONDON: The UK has pledged an additional £20 million ($26.09 million) in humanitarian aid to Lebanon in response to last week’s massive explosion in Beirut.

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the money would go to the UN’s World Food Programme to help Lebanon’s most vulnerable.

The figure was promised at a virtual summit held Sunday that was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron. World leaders met virtually to formulate a global response to the devastating explosion and ensuing humanitarian and economic crisis.

Trevelyan said: “The devastation we have seen in Lebanon this week has left people without homes, medical care and wondering how long it will be until the country’s food supplies run out. Today the world is coming together to stand by the Lebanese people, and as one of the biggest donors to this crisis so far, the UK is pledging more urgent support to help all those affected by this terrible disaster.”

The UK has already provided £5 million in assistance and paid for specialist medics to respond to health needs on the ground. It will also send a Royal Navy vessel to assist the recovery.

Other European countries have also promised to send humanitarian aid. Germany has pledged 10 million euros ($11.78 million) and the European Union has promised 30 million euros.

Despite the sizable donations, the price tag for rebuilding Beirut is likely to cost billions of dollars.

There is also widespread distrust among the Lebanese population about the government’s ability to effectively coordinate the blast response and to manage the huge influx of cash.

Macron, addressing this concern on his recent trip to Beirut, said: “I guarantee you, this (reconstruction) aid will not go to corrupt hands.”