Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2016 Contents A27
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FORT MCMURRAY---A raging wild-
fire emptied Canada s main oil sands
city, destroying entire neighbour-
hoods of Fort McMurray, Alberta,
where officials warned yesterday
that all efforts to suppress the fire
About 88,000 residents success-
fully evacuated as flames moved into
the city surrounded by wilderness in
the heart of Canada's oil sands. No
injuries have been reported.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said
all 105 patients at the local hospital
had been safely airlifted to other care
centers. She said, so far, the fire had
destroyed or damaged an estimated
Unseasonably hot temperatures
combined with dry conditions have
transformed the boreal forest in much
of Alberta into a tinder box.
Fort McMurray Fire Chief Darby
Allen said there are currently no
buildings on fire, but he expects that
"This is a nasty, dirty fire. There
are certainly areas of the city that
have not been burned, but this fire
will look for them and it will find
them and it will want to take them,"
Officials estimated the fire at 7,500
hectares (18,500 acres) and said they
expect it to be worse yesterday as
strong winds and high temperatures
"will again create explosive condi-
Firefighters were working to protect
critical infrastructure, including the
only bridge across the Athabasca River
and Highway 63, the only major route
to the city in or out. All commercial
flights in and out of Fort McMurray
have been suspended. The downtown
core remains largely intact.
"It's a possibility that we may lose
a large portion of the town," said Scott
Long of the Alberta Emergency Man-
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley
called it the biggest evacuation in the
history of the province. Federal Public
Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called
it one of the largest fire evacuations
in Canadian history, if not the largest.
"It's a community of 88,000 people
that's been totally evacuated," Goodale
said. "This is going to take a while
Canadian Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau said while the full extent of
the damage isn't yet know" and said
there's a loss on a scale that's hard
to imagine. Trudeau said he's offered
the province his government's full
support. He encouraged Canadians
to support friends and donate to the
"We will be there for them,"
Trudeau said, adding that the military
aircraft are being mobilised to help
fight the blaze.
Trudeau noted climate change is
contributing to an increase in extreme
weather and fires but said it's difficult
to establish a direct link.
The Alberta oil sands are the third
largest reserves of oil in the world
behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
The blaze had burned since Sunday
and seemed on its way to being neu-
tralised on Tuesday morning, but it
overwhelmed firefighters when winds
shifted quickly and drastically mid-
afternoon Tuesday. Pictures and video
on social media depicted a hellish
scene of fire jumping roads and burn-
ing debris pitched into the paths of
cars as frantic residents, lined up
bumper to bumper, scrambled and
fumbled to find their way through
the thick gray haze.
LONDON---Advocates of leaving
the European Union have not
thought through its economic
impact, British Prime Minister
David Cameron said yesterday,
warning that an exit would spark
"a decade of uncertainty."
Cameron said it could take years
for Britain to negotiate new trade
deals with the other 27 EU members.
Collectively, they account for more
than 40 per cent of UK trade.
Britain will vote June 23 on
whether to remain in the bloc it
joined more than 40 years ago. Lead-
ers of the "leave" campaign say the
UK would soon forge new trade
agreements, and some point to a
Canada-EU trade deal as a model.
Speaking to a committee of law-
makers at a regular question-and-
answer session, Cameron said the
Canada deal was seven years in the
making and is still not in place. It
also does not apply to services, which
account for a large chunk of Britain's
business with the EU.
He said it was "a good deal for
Canada, thousands of miles away
from the continent of Europe. It's
not a good deal for Britain."
Cameron and other leaders of the
"remain" campaign have repeatedly
warned that a British EU exit, or
Brexit, would hurt the economy.
They're backed by major economic
organisations including the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund, and by Pres-
ident Barack Obama, who said last
month that Britain outside the EU
would go to the "back of the queue"
for a US trade deal.
Some economists disagree---saying
the British economy could benefit
if freed from EU red tape---and
"leave" campaigners accuse their
opponents of scaremongering.
But Cameron said he didn't want
voters to wake up on June 24 and
say they hadn't been warned.
"We would be potentially looking
at a decade of uncertainty," Cameron
said. "The leave' campaign have not
thought this through sufficiently."
NAIROBI---A lawyer said yes-
terday she has submitted the
arguments during the first day
of a hearing where two men are
seeking a Kenyan court ruling
to stop enforced anal examina-
tions of men accused of being
Sande Ligunya, said she argued
the anal exams infringe on the
right to privacy and the right to
a fair trial. She said her clients
were arrested in a bar near Ukun-
da along Kenya's Indian Ocean
coast in February 2015 on sus-
picion of engaging in gay sex
which is a criminal offense in
The men were forced to under-
go anal examinations after a mag-
istrate ordered a medical exam-
ination, she said. The attorney
general is expected to respond to
their petition on May 12, Ligunya
said. Human rights groups have
condemned the examinations.
"Such examinations without
consent or medical cause are an
absolute violation of the privacy
not to mention bodily integrity,"
said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty
International's regional head.
Kenya: 2 men challenge constitutionality of anal probe
British PM warns:
EU exit would lead to 'decade of uncertainty'
Wildfire threatens town...
88,000 evacuated in Canada
This photo taken through a car windshield shows smoke rising from a raging wildfire outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Tuesday. The entire population
of the Canadian oil sands city of Fort McMurray, has been ordered to evacuate as a wildfire whipped by winds engulfed homes and sent ash raining down
on residents. THE CANADIAN PRESS VIA AP
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