World’s longest electric vehicle trip ends in New Zealand
Robie de Guzman • July 21, 2019 • 1160
A Dutch sustainability advocate completed the longest ever journey in an electric vehicle in New Zealand on Friday (July 19) after a three-year drive that took him through more than 30 countries.
Wiebe Wakker set off from the Netherlands in March 2016 in his “Blue Bandit” to showcase the potential of sustainable transport, funded by donations from those following his trip on social media.
“So I wanted to do my bit to promote this technology and show that sustainability is a viable way of transport. So I wanted really to do something that really speaks to the imagination which is driving an electric car from Amsterdam to literally the other side of the world to show that it can be done,” he said.
The 101,000 kilometers (62,800 miles) trip took Wakker through Eastern Europe, Iran, India, Southeast Asia, before traveling around much of Australia and across to New Zealand.
Wakker gave regular updates on his blog and social media throughout the journey, detailing visiting Iran’s biggest car manufacturer in Tehran, a breakdown on the Indonesian island of Java and visits to Australia’s outback and world-famous Uluru.
The drive had relied on the support of strangers across the globe who offered the traveler food, a place to stay and the essential means to charge his car along the way. (REUTERS)
Three people were injured in a Palestinian attack near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to early reports by the Israeli military on Friday (August 23).
A military spokesman said the attack was carried out near Dolev, a settlement northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
“Three people appear to be injured at the scene,” the spokesman said, adding that troops were searching the area.
Israeli news reports said the wounded were Israelis, and that Palestinians had thrown an explosive charge near a water spring popular with hikers in the hilly central region of the West Bank. The first reports came shortly after 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating three people in “serious condition”, including a 46-year-old man, a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman. (Reuters)
Russia showcased to the media the world’s first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov on Thursday (August 22).
Crew on the Akademik Lomonosov are expected to leave Murmansk for a long journey along the Northern Sea Route to Chukotka in Russia’s far east.
Rosenergoatom deputy director Dmitry Alekseenko said at a news conference that the main advantage of the new type of nuclear plant is its mobility that allows it to reach any point with demand for energy. He also said that it would do no harm to the environment.
Critics, however, warily recall Soviet-era nuclear accidents and Russia’s naval disasters such as the loss of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea after explosions on board, killing all 118 crew.
In 2018 Greenpeace issued a statement calling Lomonosov a ‘nuclear Titanic’. (Reuters)
Bolivian firefighters continued battling on Wednesday (August 21) a series of wildfires ravaging swathes of the country from both land and air.
Using a helicopter to dump water on hot spots, firefighters also used dirt and sand to put out smaller flames in Santa Cruz. Television images showed flames dangerously close to the highway that leads to Brazil.
Bolivia’s government has reported that nearly 500,000 hectares of forest have been left charred from wildfires.
This week, authorities warned that 70% of Santa Cruz Department is under “extreme risk” from forest fires.
Environmental organisations have also warned of damage to more than 500 species of fauna, some endemic, after slash-and-burn tactics combined with dry conditions have caused dozens of forest fires in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday (August 21), President Evo Morales said measures are being stepped up to battle the fires.
Bolivia’s wildfires come as neighbouring Brazil also battles record-breaking fires in its Amazon. (Reuters)
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