A French journalist held hostage by Islamic State for 10 months, has made an impassioned plea against bombing Syria, saying it was a trap that would only benefit Isis.
Nicolas Hénin, previously held hostage by Mohammed Emwazi, implored the international community to seek a political solution. Engaging with Syrians, not bombing them, was the surest way to bring about the collapse of Isis, he said.
In a five-minute video said to have been recorded in the past few days in Paris and posted on YouTube by the Syria Campaign, Hénin said: “Strikes on Isis are a trap. The winner of this war will not be the parties that have the newest, most expensive, most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to have the people on its side.”
In his message, apparently timed to coincide with Wednesday’s UK parliament debate on joining Syria airstrikes, he said: “At the moment, with the bombings, we are more likely pushing the people into the hands of Isis. What we have to do, and this is really key, we have to engage the local people.
“As soon as the people have hope in the political solution, then Islamic State will just collapse. It will have no ground any more. It will collapse.”
Olympic sailor Erik Heil floated a novel idea to protect himself from the sewage-infested waters he and other athletes will compete in during next year’s games: he’d wear plastic overalls and peel them off when he was safely past the contaminated waters nearest shore.
Heil, 26, was treated at a Berlin hospital for MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria, shortly after sailing in an Olympic test event in Rio in August. But his strategy to avoid a repeat infection won’t limit his risk.
A new round of testing by the Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains. That means there is no dilution factor in the bay or lagoon where events will take place and no less risk to the health of athletes like sailors competing farther from the shore.
“Those virus levels are widespread. It’s not just along the shoreline but it’s elsewhere in the water, therefore it’s going to increase the exposure of the people who come into contact with those waters,” said Kristina Mena, an expert in waterborne viruses and an associate professor of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “We’re talking about an extreme environment, where the pollution is so high that exposure is imminent and the chance of infection very likely.”
The Corrections Department has been told it is putting the lives of teenage prisoners at risk by keeping them locked up for 23 hours a day in their cells at Mt Eden prison.
Prison inspections carried out by the Ombudsman have revealed about 70 teenagers are being held among adult prisoners and are allowed out of their cells for only about an hour a day.
We’re broadcasting live from the 21st United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, France, where police have extended a ban on public demonstrations. The ban, established in the wake of the November 13 attacks, was scheduled to end Tuesday. But police extended it specifically for central Paris and for Le Bourget, where COP21 is being held, until December 13, two days after the end of the climate conference. Meanwhile, a protester arrested at Sunday’s protest at Place de la République has been sentenced to three months in jail for throwing a glass bottle which hit a police officer. A second protester has been fined more than $1,000 for refusing to have her fingerprints taken at Sunday’s protest.
Local US authorities have said they are responding to an incident involving an “active” shooter in southern California – with 20 victims reported at the scene.
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department told Al Jazeera that authorities are responding to the scene at the Inland Regional Centre, a local business centre in the city – located about 100km east of Los Angeles.
The fire department said in a tweet that it was responding to reports of a “20 victim shooting incident.”