California fires: number of missing people increases

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Over the past few days, the number of people missing due to the fires ravaging California has come up to 631.

58 more are declared dead and this trend is expected to continue, according to the authorities.

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 A firefighter battles a fire in Simi Valley, California, Nov. 12, 2018 (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu). Source: Fox News 

This number can be justified by the speed of the fire itself, driven by the wind and fueled by the abundance of trees in the area, authorities explained. Meteorologists added the wind condition is expected to worsen. According to the scientists, two seasons of devastating wildfires are linked to the drought induced by the climate change.

Sheriff Kory Honea added that the remains of seven victims have been located and that nearly 300 people reported missing have been found, which implies that the list of missing is likely to fluctuate. He also asked relatives of the missing to give DNA samples to help in the identification of the dead, even though many of them are likely to never be identified.

California is going through one of the worst fire crisis it ever encountered: more than 10 fires are still active across the state and battled by more than  9,400 fire fighters. More than 12,000 buildings have been destroyed.

The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is present in the area to manage the evacuation of more than 52,000 people. Los Angeles sheriff allowed some residents to return to certain parts of Malibu considered free from danger.

President Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stated: “It’s going to take working together from the community all the way up to federal government and making sure that we do active forest management, we prioritize infrastructure, public safety, the roads, evacuation, and work together as a team.”

A few days ago, President Donald Trump announced via White House statement he would visit the state next Saturday and meet with the victims of these fires. Earlier this week, he also tweeted the “poor management of the forest” to be the cause of the fire to spread so widely.

Margaux Naudin, IEJ 3EG2

 

 

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North Korea: Alarming rocket launches

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North Korea: Kim Jong Un visited a test site of a modern ‘tactical weapon’ this morning, causing another issue for the US according to American satellites. Diplomatic relationships between the are writhing again.

 

Kim Jong Un is watching a rocket launch. Source: KCNA on 09/16/17

 

Last time North Korea’s leader publicly tested a new weapon was a year ago. Indeed, since November 2017, US media didn’t notice an official weapon’s presentation of Kim Jong Un.

According to North Korean media, he witnessed this new test with several ministers. Mr Kim defines these missile launches as a ‘justification of the party’s policy focused on defense science and technology’. Not sure Donald Trump will agree.

According to KCNA (Korean Central News Agency) the military test was a great succes. These weapons will certainly protect the country like a ‘steel wall’. KNCA also noticed Kim was proud of the power of his tactical rockets. Kim also wanted to show to his soldiers that they have to be proud of being part of a modern high-tech army.

Seoul under pressure

South Korean side is alerting. Their neighbors’ newspapers noticed several mutiple-rocket launchers last month. Seoul considers those nuclear weapon tests as ‘one of the greatest military threats’ against their own capital.

This event will certainly complicate the tense relationships between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul, even if the U.S remain confident that the promises between the two states will be respected. Patience..

 

Yoann BEAUVOIS, IEJ 3E

Morocco inaugure the first high speed train in Africa

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It’s a big day for Africa, the continent inaugurated this Thursday November 15th, its first high speed train. Africa was the last continent who didn’t have access to this service.

The first high speed train in Africa according to AFP

 

The inauguration was with Mohammed VI Morocco’s King and the French president Emmanuel Macron. The train will travel between Tanger and Casablanca in only 2 hours 10 minutes. Before the project was completed, the duration of the trip was about 5 hours.

France has invested about 51% in the project. The global cost is about 2.1 billion euros. The price includes four new train stations and two hundred kilometers of lines. The project is the pride of the Office National des chemins de fer (national Office of railway), and the president of SNCF (national Society of French railway). This high speed train project is the result of strategic partnership between the two countries. SNCF, as an example, brings to the project their expertise of high speed trains and the maintenance of lines. This inauguration is a success for the Morocco Authority; for them it is the sign of “modernity, development and technical progress.”

This satisfaction is not general and particularly for the left political party of Morocco., who announced that the project was a useless investment for the country. For them, the financing campaign could be used to build schools, besides the project took time to be launched. First of all it was planned for 2011, then 2015. The delay of the project was especially due to some internal problems in the country. It had for consequences an increase of the cost, while originally it was planned to be the cheapest high speed train in the world.

Sebag Julien, IEJ 3E

Fox News joins CNN in the lawsuit against the White House

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After the press pass’ revocation of CNN’s journalist Jim Acosta by the White House on November 7th due to an altercation with Donald Trump, CNN decided to go to trial against The White House last Tuesday. 

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CNN and Fox News Logos Source : médiate.com

After the altercation between Jim Acosta and Donald Trump, CNN’s journalist saw his press pass revoked, an act considered as a violation of the First Amendment by CNN, which explains the complaint submission.

CNN is no longer alone in the dispute against the White House: other media joined the fight against Donald Trump, such as Associated Press, USA Today, The Washington Post and amongst a list of a dozen, a big surprise: Fox News.

Through a statement of Jay Wallace, chairman of Fox News, the pro-Trump TV channel, gave support to their rival.

“Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. (…) Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential,” Jay Wallace said.

This support proves that even pro-Trump media are able to fight against their main viewer, and support, a situation that Donald Trump did not think about when he, and his  press service, decided to “fire” a journalist from the press conference room.

Antoine Ducarre, IEJ 3E G2

 

 

Bitcoin is lower than ever

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The crypto currency is once again famous, but not because of its expensive value. It’s actually the opposite. The bitcoin is facing its lowest rating this year, with less than €5,000 per Bitcoin. This is due to the bitcoin splitting into two sides : Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.

FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration
A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed. Picture from Ouest-France

How did it happen?

In crypto currency, splitting a currency into two is common when reforming its infrastructure. For the reform to be approved, you need the approval of “miners”, workers on the network to create and gain bitcoins. The market is living mostly thanks to them. If miners are looking at different solutions and can’t find a deal, the currency is split. It is called a “Hard Fork”.

Only in the Bitcoin market, the debate turned into an ego war. Two rival personalities proposed a new way of dealing with Bitcoin : “Faketoshi” for Bitcoin SV and “SharkPool” for Bitcoin ABC. Miners that joined the respective sides, also joined the rivalry.

Craig Wright alias Faketoshi (named after claiming without proof he is Satoshi, the mysterious creator of the bitcoin) is facing the SharkPool team, created to shut down Faketoshi‘s plans. Their strategy is to reduce Faketoshi‘s financial power by allowing more people into bitcoin. The main way to do it, is to reduce its value.

Faketoshi‘s crypto currency is currently the slowest

The SharkPool team’s strategy is working. Last Friday, Bitcoin SV was producing two times slower than Bitcoin ABC. If the situation continues, Bitcoin ABC will even overcome the original Bitcoin, becoming the new famous crypto currency.

Robin PACHOT-GIROUX, 3EG2

France: A wind turbine project in Dunkirk

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On Thursday November 15th, French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the creation of wind turbine project in Dunkirk. The challenge is to implement 500 megawatt in the North Sea. Several big companies are employed in a contest to lead the project : EDF, Engie, Iberdrola, Vattenfall… Among these different possibilities, the French government will select the best option to carry out the construction.

 

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe visits the port of Dunkirk, northern France, during the 2nd Interministerial Committee of the Sea on November 15, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

 

For the project, there were no official figures but according to some sources the electricity price bill is estimated at around 80 euros. French state hopes to give a new dynamic to marine energies in the long run. Therefore, it has to run policies that encourage companies to bid regularly.

But this project is part of a global approach by the government. Indeed, a total of 6 similar projects are planned by 2024 everywhere in the country in order to promote green energy.

 

Julien Banoun, IEJ 3E

 

 

France: New reforms in sight, retirement in the viewfinder

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EOR consultants

The government has started working on a new reform of the retirement in the country.

If you’re less than 56 years old you may be concerned by this reform. This week, a new concertation took place in the National Assembly. French deputies must establish a new program for spring 2019. High commissioners of retirement who is in charge of the folder has two main subjects to work on: build a universal system with “points” and abolish “specific regime”. They also have to determine the first year generation who will be concerned by the reform.

Since May 2018, 6 month after the beginning of the concertation with the employers organization and union organization, the government received all the parties to determine the main way of working. The government emphasizes that it’s not to do economies!

The new structure will probably start in 2025. In fact, the government affirms that the age of retirement will not change ! The aim is to respect the promis of Emmanuel Macron, president of France, “nothing to change for citizens who are less than 5 years from retirement”. The next six months must allow the high commissioners of retirement to precise the scale of solidarity schemes.

In the meantime, deputies are still working on the reform.

Johana Wehbe, IEJ 3E