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The lungs of the earth are choking from smoke. We're sure we aren't the only people who checked their Twitter or Instagram feeds and were deeply shocked by the visuals of flames licking the Amazon's greenery and blackness covering São Paolo. A feeling of general helplessness can't help but wash over us. After all, the Amazon is in Brazil (among other nations) and we're in Ireland. 

We can still offer our own assistance to the species of the rainforest, can fight Governmental idleness and capitalist greed and stop the extinction of Indigenous people. There is still time, if we act now.

The Amazon rainforest provides one-fifth of the entire world's oxygen supply, but what if it burns to cinders? Essentially climate breakdown will be irreversible.

The forest acts as a carbon sink, absorbing more CO2 than it emits while releasing oxygen, and stocking 90 to 140 billion tonnes of CO2, which regulate worldwide global warming, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Deforestation is reducing this capacity for absorbing CO2. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Illegal deforestation is taking place and forest fires are being started for cattle farming in Brazil, the world's biggest exporter of beef. What can you do to help? Well, stop eating and buying beef. 

The entire Amazon rainforest has been ablaze for three whole weeks, yet media coverage is only really kick-starting now.

Many are correctly pointing out the irony that the Notre Dame fire, which killed or injured no one and didn't even result in significant damage, resulted in billionaires throwing money at it within seconds. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The most important ecological landscape in the world, which houses one-quarter of the Earth's species; namely 30,000 types of plants; 2,500 fish; 1,500 birds; 500 mammals; 550 reptiles and 2.5 million insects, according to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO).

In the past 20 years alone, 2,200 new species of plants and vertebrates have been discovered there. As the largest tropical forest in the world, it covers 5.5 million square kilometres.

Reports are now saying that if we lose just one more fifth of the rainforest, it will trigger a feedback loop known as dieback. This essentially means that the forest will dry out and burn in a cascading system collapse that no amount of human intervention can save.

The amount of deforestation taking place in the Amazon has increased by around 68 percent since Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has entered office.

He has basically declared war on the environment, threatening to wipe out the whole department in the Government and even blames NGOs for the forest fires. 

The majority of the deforestation in the Amazon takes place to make room for cattle farmers to export beef and soy products, so a boycott of these products is an absolute must.

Bolsonaro accused non-governmental organisations of setting wildfires in the Amazon rainforest to damage his government's image, despite presenting no evidence to back up this ridiculous claim.

Bolsonaro has also threatened the exctinction of Brazil's Indigenous population, much of which reside as tribes in the Amazon. Corporations are allowed by the President to illegally confiscate their land, burn it to ash and farm on it.

The Amazon has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years and today counts 34 million people, of whom two-thirds live in cities. 

Nearly three million people are members of some 420 different tribes, of which about 60 are completely isolated in the Amazon forest, according to ACTO.

Alarmingly, according to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, there has been an 84 percent increase in wildfires this year and more than 9,500 last week alone

A blackout in São Paulo on Monday sparked worldwide concerns, with the city being submerged into darkness at 3pm. São Paulo is almost 3,000 km away from the rainforest, yet the sky became entirely black, showing the extent of the fires.

It's vitally important at this pivotal moment in our climate emergency that you donate to charities and organisations like Rainforest Action Network, the WWF and Amazon Watch. 

Indigenous people are among the most vulnerable in society, and history has not been kind to them when it comes to colonisation and economic capitalist gain. 

Sign as many Greenpeace petitions as you can, write to your Government asking them to demand action, and change your lifestyle to exclude Brazilian beef and soy products. Buy deforestation-free products. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Almost 20 percent of the Amazon forest has disappeared in the last half-century, according to the WWF, and this is accelerating at a massive and terrifying rate.

We can't simply see the images on our phones and become disconnected from the dangers, and assume the death of Earth's lungs won't affect us.

The Amazon rainforest is one of the reasons why Earth has managed to stay alive, and we need to save it and it's animal and wildlife inhabitants.

Feature image: Instagram/@ocean_armour

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The £3 million mansion of former JSL star Oritse Williams's home has been burnt to the ground only days after he was cleared of rape.

The fire is being treated as suspected arson, with police confirming the blaze in Croydon, South London, yesterday afternoon. 

The "suspicious" fire has ripped through the property, with 70 firefighters fighting back the flames at the X-Factor star's home.

Image credit: London Fire Brigade

Firefighters came to the property in 10 engines to try and tackle the fire, which damaged part of the first and second floor of the three-story building according to The Sun.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Metropolitan Police told The Sun:

"Police were called at 16:39hrs on Tuesday, 4 June following reports of a fire at a residential address in Spout Hill, Croydon. Officers attended with London Fire Brigade.

"There were no reported injuries. There have been no arrests. At this stage, the incident is being treated as suspicious. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Enquiries continue, led by the South Area Command Unit CID."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Images on London Fire Brigade's Twitter show a dramatic rescue of the rest of Williams' home.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown, with investigations ongoing. Most of the roof has been entirely burnt away, so the star most likely will be moving out.

The incident comes just days after the 32-year-old singer was found not guilty of raping a 20-year-old woman after an incident in a hotel in December of 2016.

Jurors also cleared Williams' tour manager Jamien Nagadhana of charges of sexual assault and assault by penetration.

Prosecutors accused Williams of raping the “zombified” fan after she attended his performance in a Wolverhampton nightclub.

After the verdict, Oritse's former tour manager Nagadhana stated: "I'm just happy to get the f*ck out of Wolverhampton." The jury deliberated for only slightly over two hours.

Feature image: Instagram/@ljthevibe

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Miley Cyrus stopped by Howard Stern's Siriux XM show yesterday to chat about her new song, Saturday Night live and her guest slot on the upcoming fifth series of dystopian Netflix thriller Black Mirror.

She dropped Nothing Breaks Like A Heart with Mark Ronson only a few weeks ago, and we are LOVIN' it. 

She's set to perform Happy Xmas (War is Over) with Ono Lennon on SNL, and will more than likely appear in a sketch or two. The buzz surrounding Black Mirror began when Cyrus was spotted filming in South Africa.

She commented about her involvement with the smash hit show (which honestly shakes us to our core) in a coy manner, but we all know it's damn truth and we cannot wait to see her act.

When Stern quizzed the singer on her guest role, she said; “If you guess it, then I will shake my head ‘yes.'” She nodded, confirming that our TV drama dreams have come true.

“The minute I say I never want to do something again, all of a sudden, there I am,” she added.

“I hate everything, but it was the first time I’ve left somewhere feeling really proud of my work…but you know if I like it that might mean it’s horrible.”

Speaking about her character on the show, she described her as having “a lot of dynamic”, and also mentioned the horrific wildfires which raged in California and destroyed her home. 

“There’s a lot of dimension to it, and actually it was while the devastation of Malibu was happening, and it was a really weird learning experience for me, because I was so far from home and the show is already really dark, and it’s already kind of eerie when you’re there the whole time," she said.

The Malibu songstress was also questioned on her friendship with fellow pop goddess Ariana Grande, and Miley claims that she texted the Thank U, Next icon following her much-publicised break-up with Pete Davidson a… cat emoji?

“I thought it was slightly even making her feel good, like maybe I was hitting on her a little bit.” I mean, Ari is a queen, so we support this.

We can't wait to see Miley hit our Netflix screens when the anticipated next season of Black Mirror is released, the countdown begins.

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Halloween night is usually one of the busiest nights of the year for pretty much every fire brigade nationwide, and this year was no different.

Dublin Fire Brigade received a shocking 900 calls last night, with fireworks and illegal bonfires causing the vast majority of incidents.

Greg O'Dwyer, Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer with Dublin's brigade said the service's full crew was on duty last night, with the entire fleet in operation.

According to O'Dwyer, regional control centre mostly dealt with Halloween-related occurances, and injuries sustained were prominently of the hands and eyes.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he commented on the massive amount of ambulance calls:

"We received 904 '999' calls into our control centre, 368 of these were Dublin fire calls (230 Halloween related) and 365 were Dublin ambulance calls," the service said this morning.

While speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr O'Dwyer said that this was at least six times busier than the normal Wednesday night, but relatively on the same wavelength as past Halloweens.

He also said that anti-social behaviour was actually decreasing and the number of injuries are being reduced as a result of organised events by local authorities in the run-up to this year's Halloween.

This past month, Gardaí have been clamping down on the gathering of incendiary items such as fireworks or bonfire materials, which appears to have had positive effects.

"I can’t stress how positive it is to have the organised events. It keeps people in a safe environment," said Mr O'Dwyer.

The assistant fire chief described the situations where cars were actually being driven onto dwindling bonfires in the early hours of the morning, as they die down. 

He claimed that people will do "anything to keep them going", and that the major danger with illegal bonfires is the combustible materials which people throw onto them, for example aerosol cans and gas cylinders.

"There is no safe distance" for those types of fuels.

Cork reported an unusually small number of bonfire-related calls, with Cork City Fire Service claiming that last night was no busier than average.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) described their Halloween as a "relatively quiet" evening.

Firefighters in N. Ireland responded to 6% fewer calls on Halloween night compared with last year.

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Catastrophic wildfires have been blazing across Northern California, forcing people from their homes.

Thousands of civilians have been devastated by the fires’ rapid advancement and many have barely escaped its reaches in time.

According to the Irish Examiner, two fires bordering Mendocino and Lake counties have already destroyed seven homes and 107 square miles of rural land.

Further north, the Carr fire has tragically claimed six lives: two firefighters and four civilians (two of which were children).

Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and we hope that the hard-working firefighters can gain some control over the giant wildfires.

It has also been reported that the Carr fire has also burned down 800 homes, leaving hundreds of families homeless and running from the quick moving fire.

Fire officials said that they have ordered 10,000 people to flee the area of Lake County and Mendocino National Forest.

12,000 fireman have been fighting the fires day and night, teaming up with aircrafts dropping water and flame retardant from above, and were able to get the flames 35% contained.

Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the fire was the ninth most destructive wildfire in Californian history.

Along with the six lives it has claimed, the fire has burned down 818 homes and 311 outbuildings and damaged 165 homes, said the spokesperson.

“Anything could happen anywhere. That’s the nature of the beast for all of these fires,” Scott said, attributing the fast moving blaze to dry vegetation from the recent drought.

The Irish Examiner has reported that although 10,000 people were allowed to return to their homes, more than 27,000 people remained evacuated.

The northwest part of the Carr fire remains in full blaze, but other states have quickly stepped in to help California.

16 states across the US are sending resources to help local firefighters harness the wildfires.

We urge people in the area to stay up to date with news of the fires and take any advice given by firemen they talk to.

Hopefully, these extra supplies with help squelch the wildfires’ blaze soon

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Greek wildfires have reportedly claimed the lives of 60 people in the Attica region around Athens.

The country is experiencing the worst fire crisis in more than a decade, as summer temperatures have been high. 

The Press Association reports that Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras has declared a national three-day mourning period. 

A local official reportedly issued the sad news of the death toll to the media after the blaze has destroyed the seaside village of Mati. 

The town is located 40 km (25 miles) north-east of Athens.

The fire swept through Mati on Monday and places were still burning into Tuesday morning.

Mayor of the town of Rafina, Evangelos Bournous told Skai TV, that at least 60 people had lost their lives due to the fires.

Rescuers uncovered the remains of 26 victims, both adults and children in an open space.

Heartbreakingly, they were hugging as they passed away, just metres from the safety of the sea. 

Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece's Red Cross, said:

"They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn't make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced."

Rescue services have been called upon to look for missing people.

Emergency workers are using boats and helicopters to get people off the beaches and to safety in a huge rescue effort.  

The wildfires are a recurring issue during the hot, dry summer months in Attica.

The flames were fanned by high winds this week.

However, the weather mightn't be the only cause of the current blazes.

Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested it may have begun via arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes. 

"Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens," said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.

The official said in order to "observe and detect any suspicious activity", they had requested drones from the US. 

Desperate families attempting to flee to the safety of the sea were met by walls of smoke and flame. 

Those who did make it were picked up by Coastal patrol boats and private vessels.

"Thankfully the sea was there and we went into the sea, because the flames were chasing us all the way to the water," said recounted one survivor, Kostas Laganos.

"It burnt our backs and we dived into the water… I said, 'My God, we must run to save ourselves.'"

The death toll is expected to rise.

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Across London and around the world, the 72 people who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire are being honoured.

The fire began in the wee hours of the morning on June 14, 2017. The tower, currently covered in white sheeting with a heart at the top of each side, was lit up in green at 12:54am this morning, marking the time that the blaze was reported last year.

The victims' names were read aloud at 1:30am at a vigil at a nearby church, the BBC reports.

According to Kensington and Chelsea Council, a number of the households who survived are still displaced.

68 households are in emergency accommodation, with 42 staying in hotels, 22 in serviced apartments, and the remaining four with family or friends.

Another 52 households are situated in temporary accommodation and 83 are in permanent homes.

One of the survivors, Natasha Elcock, appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and commended her community for their response to the tragedy:

"We could have been the most angry community out there because of what happened, but we've chosen to be dignified, be calm. Ultimately, that's earned us respect."

Natasha, who is a member of survivor group Grenfell United, continued:

"We really want to ensure that we change so much that Grenfell is not remembered because it killed 72 people but because it has a legacy of change – that behaviours change within social housing, the way people are treated, how they are listened to."

A minute of silence will be observed at midday in the UK to pay tribute to the victims of the fire.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton noted, "One year ago today London changed forever. The tragic and unprecedented fire at Grenfell Tower will never be forgotten.

“At midday today, London Fire Brigade will fall silent in memory of all those who died or lost loved ones, their homes and possessions.

“As well as honouring the memory of the lives lost, we pay tribute to the resilience and spirit of the local community."

She added, "I know I speak on behalf of everyone at London Fire Brigade when I say that you are never far from our minds."

"We want the nation to keep Grenfell in their consciousness," Justice 4 Grenfell campaign group member Yvette Williams told the BBC.

"The anniversary is about love and support – the fight can start again on Friday and Saturday – and keeping that humanity going on that day."

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According to emerging reports, Dublin Fire Brigade are currently battling a blaze in the vicinity of Dublin Airport.

It has been established that eight units of the brigade are currently tending to a fire at a recycling plant off the Ballymun Road in St Margarets in the north of the city.

Taking to Twitter with images from the scene, Dublin Fire Brigade wrote: "We now have 8 units attending the St Margarets / Sandyhill fire near the airport including aerial ladder & foam unit."

"We're getting increased water supply assistance from @Fingalcoco at the recycling plant fire in St Margarets / Sandyhill," they added moments later,

While plumes of smoke can be seen emerging from the premises, the fire isn't said to have effected any flights.

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A fire which broke out in a house in Co Meath claimed the life of one man earlier today.

Emergency services rushed to the scene of blaze which broke out in a house in Archdeaconry Glebe in Kells at approximately 08.15.

According to The Irish Times, two men and a woman were rushed to Our Lady's Hospital in Navan, where one of the men was later pronounced dead.

The other individuals received medical attention, but aren't believed to have sustained serious injuries.

It is understood that children were also in the house at the time, but were uninjured.

The scene of the fire has been sealed off for examination, but initial inspection points to an accidental cause.
 

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A pregnant woman in her 20s has died in a house fire in Co Antrim yesterday.

An investigation is underway into the cause of the blaze which broke out at a house in the Whitepark Road area of Ballycastle.

Emergency services and PSNI personnel arrived at the scene at around 5.30pm yesterday evening.

It is believed the woman, who was recently married and pregnant with her second child, may have suffered an asthma attack as a result of the fire.

Last night a police spokeswoman said: “Police attended the scene of a sudden death of a woman in her 20s in the Whitepark Road area of Ballycastle this evening. The death is not being treated as suspicious.”

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In September 1987, a community in Co Kildare went into mourning following the tragic death of two children and their babysitter in Kilcock.

Kerrie Ann Byrne was just three-years-old when she and her eight-year-old sister, Mary Ellen, died in a house fire on Church Lane in the small Kildare town.

The children were in the care of their 20-year-old babysitter, Barbara Doyle, when the fire broke out.

Despite initially believing that the death of the three individuals was the result of an accidental blaze, authorities revealed last week that they are now treating it as a murder case.

Following a fresh appeal into the case, Gardai have today confirmed that they have made an arrest relating to the case.

"Gardaí investigating the murders of Barbara Doyle, aged 20 years, Mary Ellen Byrne aged 8 years and Kerrie Byrne aged 3 years at a house fire in Kilcock, Co. Kildare that occured on 20th September, 1987 at Church Lane, Kilcock, Co. Kildare have made an arrest. "

"The man, (in his 50s) was arrested this afternoon in North County Dublin and is currently detained at Leixlip Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984."

The Gardaí have thanked the public for their assistance following the appeal's renewal.

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Emergency services have reportedly rushed to the scene of a fire on the top floor of the former tax offices in Cork City.

Onlookers have taken to Twitter to share videos and photos of the blaze which broke out at approximately 12pm this afternoon.

Smoke can be seen coming from the windows of the Sullivan's Quay building and several units of the Cork fire brigade are at the scene.

This is a developing story.

More to follow…

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