White Helmet rescue workers evacuated from Syria by United Nations

Since 2013, the Syria Civil Defense, better known to the world as the White Helmets, have been putting themselves at risk in one of the most dangerous regions in the world. During the Syrian Civil War and throughout the campaign against ISIL in the war-torn country, the White Helmets could always be found working to save whoever they could in the wake of aerial bombardments, artillery barrages and secondary explosions. Their rescues, often made during pitched battles, were completed under great personal risk.

Of late, however, the White Helmets have been facing a new threat: The Syrian government. The Syrian government has taken back control of the majority of the areas that the White Helmets operated in – areas once held by anti-government factions. While the White Helmets recused anyone who needed their help, the government sees them as being associated with the rebels. That’s bad news for for the volunteers – bad enough that the United Nations and a number of member states worked together to get them and their families the hell out of the country.

From The BBC:

Some 422 volunteers and family members were taken to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight. The UK, one of the nations requesting Israel's help, hailed the operation and will assist with resettlement. The White Helmets describe themselves as a volunteer workforce that acts to save people in Syria's war zones.

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his Russian allies, say the White Helmets support the rebels and also have links to jihadist groups.

Read the rest

Not one single human left on the island of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma

The island of Barbuda has lost its civilization – not one human is left on the island after Hurricane Irma devastated it. With 95% of the islands structures completely destroyed, all 1,800 residents have evacuated to nearby Antigua, and now live in shelters or with relatives. The only living creatures left on Barbuda are pets and livestock, which the non-profit group World Animal Protection are trying to feed and rescue.

According to Mashable:

Ambassador Ronald Sanders, the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the United States, delivered a chilling report on the status of his country in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

"The damage is complete," Sanders told PRI's The Takeaway. "For the first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda — a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished."

Sanders told PRI he estimates that reconstruction could cost $300 million, and will take time. That's because rebuilding Barbuda won't be a simple matter of replacing what was once there. Instead, Barbuda must be reconstituted for a world in which another Irma might be possible.

Click here to find out how you can help.

Read the rest