Tourists flock to Australia’s Uluru for last ever climb

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Tourists are seen climbing Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory on October 25, 2019. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch/via REUTERS)
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A man wearing a T-shirt saying "I chose not to climb" stands next to tourists lining up to climb Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia, October 25, 2019. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch/via REUTERS)
Updated 25 October 2019

Tourists flock to Australia’s Uluru for last ever climb

  • A permanent ban on scaling Uluru — also known as Ayers Rock — comes into place on Oct. 26
  • This is in line with the long-held wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, the Anangu

ULURU, Australia: Hundreds of tourists flocked to Uluru on Friday for one last chance to climb the sacred site ahead of a ban, despite heavy winds preventing early attempts to scale the giant red monolith.
A permanent ban on scaling Uluru — also known as Ayers Rock — comes into place Saturday in line with the long-held wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, the Anangu.
This has led to a surge of climbers in recent months.
Hundreds were left waiting for hours early Friday due to safety concerns over heavy winds, before rangers allowed climbers to head up the rock at 10 a.m. local time.
Parks Australia said they would reassess the weather conditions throughout the day to determine if climbers could continue to mount the rock.
More than 395,000 people visited the Uluru-Kata National Park in the 12 months to June 2019, according to Parks Australia, about 20 percent more than the previous year.
Around 13 percent of those who visited during that period made the climb, park authorities said.

Uluru has great spiritual and cultural significance to indigenous Australians, with their connection to the site dating back tens of thousands of years.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt likened the surge of people rushing to climb Uluru with “a rush of people wanting to climb over the Australian War Memorial.”
“Our sacred objects, community by community, are absolutely important in the story and the history of that nation of people,” he told national broadcaster ABC.
Saturday marks 34 years since that the park’s title was handed back to the traditional owners.


France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

Updated 17 November 2019

France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

  • Fresh protests were held across France to mark the birth last year for the movement
  • Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris

PARIS: Yellow vest activists are staging fresh protests across France to mark the birth last year of their movement for economic justice, a day after scuffles between Paris police and activists marred the anniversary.
Interior minister Christophe Castaner deplored Saturday’s violence on CNews television. He said Paris police had detained 173 people.
Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris. Yellow vest activists said there were 44,000.
On Sunday, dozens of protesters briefly gathered under the dome of Paris’ Galeries Lafayette store to denounce consumer culture.
On Nov. 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people blocked traffic around the country to protest a fuel tax hike. The sometimes-violent protests have increasingly vented anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s policies, who is seen as favoring the rich.