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Gas explosion kills 2 firefighters, a tourist in Paris!

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PARIS: Two firefighters died and twelve got seriously injured when a powerful explosion caused by a gas leak tore through a bakery here today.
Earlier the Commander of Paris fire service while talking to Media here today said: “Twelve people are seriously injured, including three firefighters, and 24 others have more minor injuries.”
“Among the 12, two firefighters and three civilians are in life-threatening condition,” he said

Relevant: A powerful gas explosion tore through a building in central Paris on Saturday, killing two firefighters and a Spanish woman, injuring dozens of people and badly damaging nearby apartments, officials said. Around 200 firefighters were mobilized to battle the fire that broke out after the blast and evacuate victims and residents in the area, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters at the scene. The explosion came with the city on edge during the latest “yellow vest” anti-government demonstrations, which have often degenerated into violence and vandalism in Paris and other cities in recent weeks. Cars were overturned by the blast and glass and rubble was strewn across large swathes of the street after the explosion gutted the lower part of the building. Dozens of residents were treated by rescue workers on the street. “I was sleeping and was woken up by the blast wave,” Claire Sallavuard, who lives on the Rue de Trevise where the explosion occurred, told AFP. “All the windows in the apartment exploded, doors were blown off their hinges, I had to walk on the door to leave the room, all the kids were panicking, they couldn’t get out of their room.” “Firefighters advised us to leave but the elevator shaft had been blown out, there was no railing, nothing, and there was too much smoke,” she said.

 

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Economy

Franco-Pak Agreement not to affect the cost of BRT

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PESHAWAR: Peshawar Development Authority has clarified that the agreement reached between KP Govt. & France would not affect the cost of Bus Rapid Transit Project.
A spokesman for PDA said that according to reviewed PC I of BRT total estimate of the project was 66 billion rupees and Asian Development Bank (ADB), France Development Agency (FDA) and KP government is providing the amount.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

France provides Rs.19.5b soft loan for Peshawar Rapid Transit Project

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Europe

Incarcerated Catalan leader to run for Barcelona Mayor!

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BARCELONA: A former Catalan separatist leader who is in jail for alleged rebellion pending a trial over the 2017 secession bid said today he will run for mayor of Barcelona.

In a tweet, Joaquim Forn said he had “taken the decision” to head up “a unifying, reliable and transversal” electoral list in Barcelona for municipal polls on May 26. The announcement comes as a trial against him and 11 other pro-independence leaders begins shortly over a failed attempt to separate the northeastern region of Catalonia from the rest of Spain in October 2017.

At the time, Forn was in charge of interior matters in the pro-independence executive of former regional president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain for Belgium. Prosecutors want Forn to be jailed for 16 years for rebellion and misuse of public funds. A councilor in Barcelona’s city hall for 18 years, Forn will head up the list of Puigdemont’s separatist party PDeCAT in the municipal elections.

His main rivals will be Ada Colau, the current left-wing mayor of Spain’s second biggest city, former French prime minister Manuel Valls who was born in Barcelona and Ernest Maragall for the separatist ERC party. Maragall is the brother of Barcelona’s ex-Socialist mayor Pasqual Maragall, still popular for his role in the city’s successful bid for the 1992 Olympics. In his statement, Forn said being in jail would not be a problem. 

“I can’t accept that just because I am locked up I cannot set in motion the transformation project I have for Barcelona,” he said. This is not a first in Catalonia. In snap regional elections in December 2017, Catalonia’s former vice president Oriol Junqueras was an ERC candidate and campaigned from jail via various writings and speeches read by colleagues. He won a seat in the regional parliament as did other jailed separatists. Junqueras will also stand for European elections due on May 26, the same day as the municipal polls

 

 

 

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Economy

France provides Rs.19.5b soft loan for Peshawar Rapid Transit Project

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ISLAMABAD: H. E. the Ambassador of France Monsieur Marc Baréty, Country Director French Agency for Development (AFD) Monsieur Jacky Amprou and Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Mr. Noor Ahmed today signed a Credit Facility Agreement worth 130 million Euros (Rs. 19.5 billion) for financing Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor project. 

According to details, the project will provide safe, efficient and well-integrated mass transit system improving energy efficiency and air quality through reduction of Green House Gas emissions. It will contribute to the Government of Pakistan’s strategy in urban services and economic development.

France through the FAD is working in Pakistan providing technical and financial support to develop low-carbon infrastructures. Up to date, AFD has committed Euros 880m financial support while this project is opening a new avenue of collaboration in the Urban development sector.

Relevant: France has provided a soft loan of 130 million euros (19.5 billion PKR) for Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project (SBRTCP). Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed, Ambassador of France Marc Barety and Country Director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) Jacky AMPROU signed a credit facility agreement here Tuesday, according to an EAD press statement. The revised PC-1 of the project was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC)on November 14, 2018, while the Federal Cabinet accorded its approval to the signing of the loan financing agreement with AFD on 2nd January.  The project is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank and AFD. The revised cost of the project is Rs 66.437 billion (US$ 593 million), including Foreign Exchange Component (FEC) of Rs 53.32 billion (ADB and AFD share). The project will contribute to the Government of Pakistan’s strategy to resolve the issues of urban transportation.  It will provide a safe, efficient and comfortable user-friendly mass transit system which will be well integrated with the existing transport facilities.  It will also help in improving energy efficiency and air quality through reduction of Green House Gas emissions. France through the French Agency for Development is working in Pakistan, providing technical and financial support to develop low-carbon infrastructures.  Till date, AFD has committed euros 880 million financial support while this project is opening a new avenue of collaboration in the urban development sector.

 

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