How the tragedy unfolded at Grenfell Tower

What happened?

More than 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines responded to the fire at the 24-storey block in North Kensington, after it was reported at 00:54 BST (23:54 GMT).

It took until 01:14 BST the following day to get it under control, with the fire destroying 151 homes, both in the tower and surrounding areas.

View of Grenfell Tower in May (left) and during the fire on 14 June

 

 

Seventy-two people died in the fire, including baby Logan Gomes, who was stillborn in hospital on 14 June after his parents escaped the tower block, and Maria Del Pilar Burton, 74, who died in January 2018.

She had been in hospital since being rescued from the 19th floor.

The Metropolitan Police say 350 people should have been in the tower block on the night of the blaze. Fourteen residents were not in the building at the time.

 

Sixty-five people were rescued by the fire brigade. But a BBC investigation found a series of failings hampered the efforts of firefighters to tackle the fire and rescue the building’s residents.

  • Grenfell Tower fire: Who were the victims?

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said fire crews only managed to reach the 12th floor at the height of the fire.

There were claims from within the local community – and by celebrities such as Lily Allen and rapper Akala – that the true death toll was being suppressed by the media.


What caused the fire?

The fire started in a Hotpoint fridge freezer on the fourth floor. Police say it was not started deliberately.

Footage has shown the fire spreading up one side of the building externally, before engulfing the entire block.

A subsequent investigation said the Hotpoint FF175B model posed a “low risk” and did not need modifications.

Grenfell Tower Fire

Man Buries 42 Buses to Build Nuclear Shelter in Canada

 

A man in Canada has gone to great lengths to protect himself and up to 500 others from catastrophe.

Bruce Beach, 83, an American transplant to the Ontario hamlet of Horning’s Mills, has buried 42 buses to create a nuclear fallout shelter.

On a 12.5-acre lot about 90 miles northwest of Toronto, not far from the home he shares with wife Jean, a former teacher from Winfield, Kansas, Beach constructed the bunker he calls Ark Two.

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It was during the height of the Kennedy-era Cold War that Beach decided to heed the president’s warnings to begin collecting canned goods and create bunkers to protect people from a possible nuclear attack.

After moving to Ontario in 1970, Beach began construction on his bunker in 1980.

Ark Two is constructed from the 42 buses he purchased for $300 each. The buried buses are covered in concrete and topped with several feet of soil, according to Beach’s website.

The bunker features a medical facility, decontamination room, mortuary, chapel, exercise area, library, laundry room, daycare, pharmacy and even a dental clinic.

Beach notes that once the structure was completed in 1985, he became known as the local “doomsayer.”

“I am not a doomsayer because I am very optimistic about the future,” Beach counters on his website.

Beach concedes that the majority of people, including local and provincial government, consider his actions a little on the crazy side.

“People think, ‘What a nut,’ and I know that, but I don’t mind,” he told the National Post. “I understand the world looks upon me that way.”

He encountered quite a bit of pushback from the local government while trying to get his project launched. After years of trying to acquire the proper building permits, Beach became frustrated and went ahead and built the structure anyway. That led to numerous court appearances and thousands of dollars in legal fees, Beach notes.

Local authorities have threatened repeatedly since 2000 to seal off the underground passageways over safety concerns. Twice they did seal the entrance to the bunker but Beach continues to reopen the entrance.

“Their basis for sealing it is they say it was found to be a hazard. It is a threat to life, etc., etc.” Beach told the Orangeville Banner. “But as I say, it is the very opposite. The idea is not to create risk, but reduce risk.”

The nearby Shelburne Fire Department says it will not rescue anyone inside should the need arise.

“It is a life safety situation,” Tom Egan, chair of the Shelburne Fire Board, told the Banner. “We aren’t going to risk the life of one of our firefighters. … It is just not safe.”

Beach continues his work despite pushback and condescension, believing his project is a mission for the greater good.

“I have often been asked, ‘why not get a life, enjoy life and quit worrying about doomsday?’ The answer is that I don’t see the purpose of life, nor happiness in life measured in how many rounds of golf I might play, but rather, in service to my fellow man,” Beach says.

Hong Kong orders mandatory mask wearing to combat new virus wave

Everyone in Hong Kong will have to wear masks in public from this week, authorities said Monday, as they unveiled the city’s toughest social distancing measures yet to combat a new wave of coronavirus infections.

The ramped-up rules came as authorities revealed China would help officials build an emergency field hospital to help deal with a surge in patients.

Sudan’s ex-President Bashir on trial for 1989 coup

He is accused of overthrowing a democratically-elected government to assume power.

The former president, who was ousted from power by the military in April 2019 after mass protests across the country against his rule, faces the death
Tuesday’s hearing was adjourned until Aug. 11 before witnesses were called, in order to accommodate suspects, their lawyers, and family members of defendants in a larger courtroom during COVID-19 social distancing requirements, according to Zain Al Abideen Mohammed, one of Bashir’s defense lawyers.

KHARTOUM – Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir went on trial in Khartoum Wednesday for staging the coup that brought him to power in 1989.

Cricket teams to compete in one-day Super League for World Cup spots

ICC’s 12 full members and the Netherlands will take part with each side playing 4 home, 4 away three-match series
AFP

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NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council announced on Monday that teams would participate in a new one-day international Super League to determine qualification for the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

Thursday’s one-day international between world champions England and Ireland in Southampton will be the inaugural match of the 13-nation league, with World Cup hosts India and the next seven highest-placed teams automatically qualifying for the 2023 edition.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc with the cricket calendar with the 50-over and T20 World Cups pushed back. The start of the Super League was also delayed due to COVID-19.

Iranian passenger plane approached by US fighter jets lands back in Tehran: Reports

The Iranian plane, belonging to Mahan Air, was heading from Tehran to Beirut when the pilot staged a safety maneuver, in an incident that Iran’s Foreign Ministry said would be investigated.

, On 8 January, at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT), UIA flight PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport.,,
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 – one of the international airline industry’s most widely used aircraft models.
Before it had left the airport’s air space, the plane appeared to turn around to return to the runway. Shortly afterwards, it crashed.

Eat Less To Reduce Coronavirus Death Risk, Says UK Minister

British people should eat less to lose weight as being obese increases the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus, junior health minister Helen Whately said on Monday
• Being obese increases the risk of dying from the novel coronavirus, junior health minister Helen Whately said
• The minister said that British people should eat less to lose weight.
• Whately said that those with a body mass index of over 40 had double the risk of dying from COVID-19.

Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relations

CHENGDU, China (AP) — In the more than 40 years since China and the U.S. established formal diplomatic relations, accusations have been traded, tensions have risen and fallen and sides have come.

Mistrust and rancor surrounding disputes over alleged technology theft, national security, human rights, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea are now the main drivers in a relationship that had long sought to compartmentalize such issues to prevent them from impeding trade ties and cooperation in managing issues such as North Korea’s nuclear program and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

Whitening’ creams undergo a makeover but colorism persist

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The world’s biggest cosmetics companies have been selling a fairy tale that often goes something like this: If your husband’s lost interest in you, if your colleagues dismiss you at work, if your talents are ignored, whiten your skin to turn your love life around, boost your career and command center stage.
For years, cosmetics giants Unilever and L’Oreal have marketed skin whitening creams to women across the globe with less-than-subtle ads promoting “fair skin” as more desirable than naturally darker shades. In the wake of mass protests against racial injustice in the U.S., these corporations are re-branding their skin lightening products in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, but for generations of women raised on their messaging,