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    Energy problems in Ukraine and Europe take center stage


    September 6, 2022 - Brattleboro Reformer

     

      WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF

      KYIV, UKRAINE

      Energy problems plagued Ukraine and Europe as much of the Russian-occupied region that's home to a largely crippled nuclear power plant was reported temporarily in blackout Sunday.

      Only one of six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia facility was connected to the electricity grid, and Russia's main pipeline carrying natural gas to Germany remained shut down.

      The fighting in Ukraine and related disputes over pipelines lie behind the electricity and natural gas shortfalls that have worsened as Russia's war in Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, grinds on for a seventh month.

      Both issues will take center stage this week. U.N. nuclear agency inspectors are scheduled to brief the Security Council on Tuesday about their inspection and safeguard visit to the Zaporizhzhia power plant. European Union energy ministers were slated to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to discuss the bloc's electricity market, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said "is no longer operating."

      Much of the Zaporizhzhia region, including the key city of Melitopol, lost power Sunday.

      But electricity was gradually being restored, said Vladimir Rogov, the head of the Russia-installed local administration in Enerhodar, the city where the nuclear power plant is located. To the southwest, power was also out in several parts of the port city of Kherson, according to Russia's Tass news agency. Rogov blamed the outages in both locations on damage to high-voltage power lines.

      Ukrainian firefighters rescue kitten from burning building

      Ukrainian firefighters known for rescuing people from buildings hit by shelling in more than six months of war turned their attention over the weekend to a furry victim - a gray-and-white kitten.

      The rescuers, wearing full firefighting gear, battled raging flames and smoke to pull the kitten out from under a metal chair in the rubble of a large wooden hotel-restaurant complex hit by a rocket in Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, the country's emergency services said Sunday on Face-book.

      Video showed the firefighters petting and cuddling the feline as they carried it to safety.

      "We found a beauty," one of the firefighters said as the kitten wiggled around in a colleague's arms.

      Ukraine's emergency services said the kitten's paw needed medical attention.

      "Heroes of our time," the emergency services proclaimed of the firefighters. "They protect, work, save, treat ... And we wish the cat a speedy recovery."

      MEMPHIS, TENN.

      Memphis police: Man charged with kidnapping missing jogger

      A man has been charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of a Tennessee woman who was out jogging last week when she was accosted and forced into an SUV, police said Sunday.

      While Eliza Fletcher has not been found, Memphis police said in an arrest affidavit they have evidence that leads them to believe she was seriously injured in the abduction near the University of Memphis campus. Authorities have said they have surveillance video of the abduction.

      U.S. Marshals arrested 38-year-old Cleotha Abston on Saturday after police found his DNA on a pair of sandals found near where Fletcher was last seen, according to the affidavit. Police also linked the vehicle they believe Fletcher was forced into to a person living at a residence where Abston was staying.

      Abston attempted to flee when U.S. Marshals arrived at that residence but was captured, according to the affidavit. Memphis police said early Sunday morning he was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. They said that the investigation continues.

      Online court records do not show if Abston has a lawyer who can comment on his behalf. An arraignment has been set for Tuesday.

      A second person was also arrested but apparently on an unrelated offense since police said they didn't believe that person was connected to the abduction.

      Authorities have said Fletcher, 34, was jogging around 4 a.m. on Friday when a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle. Fletcher was reported missing when she did not return home.

      Police said a witness reported seeing Abston cleaning the inside of the SUV in question a few hours after the abduction and that he was "behaving oddly."

      ISLAMABAD

      Pakistan's hope as lake fills: Flood villages to save a city

      Pakistani engineers cut into an embankment for one of the country's largest lakes on Sunday to release rising waters in the hopes of saving a nearby city and town from flooding as officials predicted more monsoon rain was on the way for the country's already devastated south.

      While officials hope the cut in the sides of Lake Manchar will protect about half a million people who live in the city of Sehwan and the town of Bhan Saeedabad, villages that are home to 150,000 people are in the path of the diverted waters. The hometown of Sindh province's chief minister was among the affected villages, whose residents were warned to evacuate ahead of time, according to the provincial information minister.

      More than 1,300 people have died and millions have lost their homes in flooding caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan this year that many experts have blamed on climate change. In response to the unfolding disaster, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week called on the world to stop "sleepwalking" through the crisis. He plans to visit flood-hit areas on Sept. 9.

      Several countries have flown in supplies, but the Pakistani government has pleaded for even more help, faced with the enormous task of feeding and housing those affected, as well as protecting them from waterborne diseases.

      While floods have touched much of the country, Sindh province has been the most affected.

      SANTIAGO, CHILE

      Chile votes on proposed constitution with big changes

      Chileans voted in a plebiscite Sunday on whether to adopt a far-reaching new constitution that would fundamentally change the South American country.

      The proposed charter is intended to replace a constitution imposed by the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet 41 years ago.

      For months, opinion polls have shown a clear advantage for the rejection camp, but the difference has been narrowing, giving hope to the charter's supporters that they can pull out a victory.

      "We are clearly in a situation in which the result will be close," said Marta Lagos, head of MORI, a local pollster. "The Chilean is a political animal who decides at the last minute."

      Turnout appeared to be high and long lines formed at voting stations.

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