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.


Philippines’ Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States

Updated 23 January 2020

Philippines’ Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States

  • Duterte vented his anger over the US decision to deny entry to Ronaldo dela Rosa
  • US embassy in the Philippines did not explain why his visa had been canceled

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States on Thursday he would repeal an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises if Washington did not reinstate the visa of a political ally.
Visibly upset, Duterte vented his anger over the US decision to deny entry to Ronaldo dela Rosa, a former police chief who is now a senator.
Dela Rosa said the US embassy in the Philippines did not explain why his visa had been canceled but that he believed it was most likely because of allegations of extrajudicial killings during his more than two-year term as police chief.
Dela Rosa was the chief enforcer of Duterte’s anti-narcotics crackdown, which has resulted in deaths of more than 5,000 people, mostly small-time drug dealers. Police say victims were shot by officers in self-defense.
“If you do not do the correction, one, I will terminate the bases, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” Duterte said in a wide-ranging speech before former Communist rebels. “I am giving the government and the American government one month from now.”
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), signed in 1998, accorded legal status to thousands of US troops who were rotated in the country for military exercises and humanitarian assistance operations.
Delfin Lorezana, Duterte’s defense minister, declined to comment when asked if he agreed with the president’s plan.
Duterte makes no secret of his disdain for the United States and what he considers its hypocrisy and interference, though he acknowledges that most Filipinos and his military have high regard for their country’s former colonial ruler.
The United States is the Philippines’ biggest defense ally and millions of Filipinos have relatives who are US citizens.
Last month, Duterte banned US senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy from visiting the Philippines after they introduced a provision in the US Congress.
The provision calls the ban on US entry to anyone involved in locking up Philippine senator Leila de Lima, a former justice minister and Duterte’s top critic who was jailed in 2017 on drug charges after leading an investigation into thousands of deaths during the anti-narcotics campaign.
She has won numerous awards from human rights groups, which consider her a prisoner of conscience.
The US Embassy in Manila could not immediately be reached for comment outside office hours.