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Papua New Guinea deploys army to help volcano emergency

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Troops have been sent to help thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption on a remote archipelago in Papua New Guinea, the prime minister said Friday, as a second volcano erupted.

Lava and ash flows from Mount Ulawun — one of the world’s most hazardous volcanoes — have subsided, but between 7,000 and 13,000 people are believed to have been displaced and a state of emergency has been declared.

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“We will mobilise the military to go in and assess the situation, and we will despatch the military to assist on the ground,” said Prime Minister James Marape.

“The governor is already on the ground assessing the situation, and once I receive the report, we will see how we can best assist.”

Local MP Joseph Lelang said as many as 13,000 people may have been displaced, and 1,000 have lost their homes, while Leo Porikura, an official with the West New Britain Disaster Office, put the number of displaced at around 7,000.

“Our focus now is providing relief supplies to the people affected by the volcanic eruption,” he said.

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AFP / John SAEKI Papua New Guinea volcanoes

Steven Saunders, a surveyor at Rabaul Volcano Observatory, confirmed there was a small one-off explosion from Ulawun in the early hours but it was not sustained, and activity has eased.

The emergency response was hampered by the closure of the region’s main airport, which Saunders said was covered by around three centimetres of ash and remained closed.

As the authorities were struggling to get to grips with disruption caused by Mount Ulawun, volcanologists reported that the nearby island volcano of Manam had begun to erupt.

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Australia’s Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre reported satellite imagery indicated an ongoing eruption.

Manam is one of Papua New Guinea’s most active volcanos and last erupted in January.

It is a volcanic cone that towers out of the sea north of Papua New Guinea’s mainland and has a history of eruptions, with significant activity in November 2004 forcing the evacuation of some 9,000 people.

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Millions of Americans’ medical images and data are available on the Internet — and anyone can take a peek

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Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise.

The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world. In some cases, a snoop could use free software programs — or just a typical web browser — to view the images and private data, an investigation by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found.

We identified 187 servers — computers that are used to store and retrieve medical data — in the U.S. that were unprotected by passwords or basic security precautions. The computer systems, from Florida to California, are used in doctors’ offices, medical-imaging centers and mobile X-ray services.

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Iran supreme leader rules out negotiations with US

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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out negotiations with the US, as tensions mount between the arch-foes after Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi oil installations.

"The policy of 'maximum pressure' against the Iranian nation is worthless and all Islamic Republic of Iran officials unanimously believe there will be no negotiations with the US at any level," he said, quoted on his official website.

The White House said on Sunday that US President Donald Trump could meet Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

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Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?

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There has been a gymnastic drama going on in the Capitol, where fans of impeaching Donald Trump and those who think that process is not the best way to confront the president are writhing in definitional arm-wrestling.

Weirdly, any value you might assign to the actual words used, you can expect a lot more confrontational congressional committees towards Trump’s White House in the next weeks. Those hearings may or may not add up to impeachment efforts, which has been true until now, of course.

The House Judiciary Committee, newly driven by the extraordinary efforts to land government meetings at Trump properties and to promise pardons for illegal acts to promote his agenda, has wanted to broaden the basis for impeachment, essentially to argue that profiting from the presidency is unconstitutional.

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