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Hurricane Harvey to be costliest natural disaster in US: Report

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Hurricane Harvey

New York, Sep 6: Hurricane Harvey, which has wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana in southeast US, is likely to be the most expensive weather disaster in US history, according to a report.

The total losses from Harvey would reach $190 billion or one per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), countering the expected growth in the economy for the rest of this year, according to the report published Friday by AccuWeather, a US weather forecasting firm.

It said the losses will impact every American and counter GDP growth, while it will likely force the Federal Reserve to postpone any interest rate changes for the rest of the year, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The economic growth that had been predicted for the rest of this year will at least be cut in half as a result of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey,” it noted, adding that effects of the storm will ripple across the country, impacting everything from food and gas prices to shipping costs and jobs, etc.

Harvey blew ashore on August 25 as the most powerful hurricane hitting Texas in more than 50 years, displacing more than one million people and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of destruction that stretches for more than 500 km. The Houston area has been devastated by severe flooding, after receiving 1.4 m of rain.

Joel N. Myers, president of AccuWeather, said that as the disaster continues and the extent of human suffering will only increase as floodwaters and lack of electricity and basic services puts Houston into third world-like conditions for days or weeks to come.

Adding to the misery, temperatures will climb between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days, Myers explained. Standing water may lead to disease, hazardous mold and other concerns like outbreaks of mosquitoes.

“This will be the costliest and worst natural disaster in American history,” he said.

IANS

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Protests over Putin’s plans to hike retirement age

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Russia protest over pension age

Moscow, Sep 22 (IANS) Members and supporters of Russia’s Communist Party took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest unpopular pension reforms planned by President Vladimir Putin.

Putin took measures to soften his proposed hike in retirement age in August by limiting the increase for women to 60 — up from 55 — instead of the initial suggestion of 63, Efe news reported.

But the change of plan has so far failed to quell protests against it. He stood by plans to raise men’s retirement age from 60 to 65.

Protesters held signs emblazoned with slogans such as “Putin Lies”. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov also spoke at the rally.

The changes have been given a preliminary green-light by the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament, but have provoked widespread outrage. An opinion poll showed that about 90 per cent of Russians were against increasing the retirement age.

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Ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Iran: Putin

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Vladimir Putin

Moscow, Sep 23 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, over a deadly terrorist attack and reaffirmed readiness to intensify counter-terror cooperation, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

“We are outraged by this bloody crime. Hopefully, everyone involved will be held liable,” Putin said in his telegram to Rouhani, which was published by the Kremlin, Xinhua news agency.

At least 24 people were killed in a terror attack in a military parade in the southern Iranian Ahvaz city on Saturday, official IRNA news agency reported.

This incident is another proof of the need for “uncompromising war on any manifestations of terrorism,” Putin said.

“I would like to confirm our readiness to further enhance cooperation with our Iranian partners in the fight against this evil,” he said.

The President offered condolences to the relatives and friends of those killed in the attack and wished a speedy recovery to those injured, according to the Kremlin.

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Watch Prince Harry stealing samosa at Meghan Markle’s event

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Prince Harry was caught on camera sneaking samosas from her wife’s Meghan Markle’s cookbook event. 

The Duke of Sussex had hosted an event at Kensington Palace to mark the launch her book “Together: Our Community Cookbook” on
Thursday and in the quirkiest way her husband was seen stealing Indian Snack ‘Samosas’.

The British television network, ITV shared a video on the @itvnews Twitter account on September 20.

In the video, Harry can be seen trying to hide the samosa as he caught red-handed. Later, he smiled and casually walked away checking his surroundings.

Meghan’s book features recipes from a group of women whose community was affected by the Grenfell Tower fire that claimed more than 70 lives.

As the video went viral, Twitterati’s just can’t stop laughing at the Royal Prince’s cheeky act.

WeForNews 

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