Experts inspect eruptions
Local authorities and France’s Areva group have sent experts to investigate eruptions, smoke and fumes spouting from a mountain in the northern uranium mining district of Arlit, state media said on Thursday. Earlier this week, residents reported two days of activity. Geologists and chemists dispatched on Tuesday to take samples found cracks in the mountainside and rocks 400m away. There were no reports of injuries or damage to mines. “According to the witnesses who alerted the authorities, when they heard explosions, they initially thought it was an earthquake or a volcanic eruption,” state radio said in a report. “The mountain rumbled, giving the impression that it was collapsing. Black smoke rose and there was a smell of gas, as it was coming from fuel,” the report added. There were no further details immediately available.
Alleged bomber charged
Prosecutors said a Nigerian suspect would be tried at the High Court in January for terrorism and attempting to harm Nigeria’s president in deadly car bombings last year. Henry Okah was arrested after the deadly Oct. 1 bombings in the Nigerian capital that killed 12 people during independence celebrations. Prosecution spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said Okah was presented on Wednesday with a five-count indictment charging he orchestrated the attacks from exile in South Africa. The 46-year-old Okah has denied involvement in the attacks. The explosions were claimed by a militant group in Nigeria’s oil-rich delta region that Okah said he sympathizes with but does not lead.
Firefighting aid sought
Firefighters were battling at least seven large wildfires early yesterday from the Turkish border to the outskirts of Athens. The government had asked its European partners for water-dropping planes, and Spain and France responded by offering two planes each that are expected to arrive later yesterday. Portugal and Italy were also expected to contribute. The civilian protection authority said it was forced to seek help due to the large number of forest blazes across the country — about 90 broke out over the previous 24 hours — and the high risk of fire over the next few days when high winds will be scouring a countryside desiccated by months of summer heat. A state of emergency was declared in two areas in the northeast and west.
Police brace for carnival
Police will be on high alert at the Notting Hill Carnival in London this weekend amid fears that Europe’s biggest street festival could be marred by a repeat of this month’s devastating riots. The annual extravaganza attracts a million spectators to see floats with powerful sound systems packed with outlandishly dressed dancers make their way through west London. The festivities tomorrow and Monday’s highpoint almost did not take place at all this year in the wake of riots that erupted in the capital and spread across England, leaving five people dead. However, the organizers were not ready to admit defeat in the face of an outbreak of civil disobedience, especially because the carnival itself originated as an act of defiant celebration in response to race riots in the 1950s. The carnival was founded in 1964 following the disturbances in Notting Hill six years earlier, which saw clashes between whites and newly arrived immigrants from the West Indies.