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Milwaukee photojournalist narrowly misses flash flood that kills 14 in earthquake-battered Türkiye

Floods caused by torrential rains hit two Turkish provinces that were devastated by last month’s catastrophic earthquake, killing at least 14 people and increasing the misery for thousands who were left homeless, officials said on March 15. Milwaukee Indpenent’s senior photojournalist was in Adiyaman on the same day, documenting the condition of survivors with the assistance of Türk Kizilay, the Turkish Red Crescent. Heavy rains hampered some of the team’s outdoor work, but they relocated later on March 15 to Antakya and narrowly missed the impact of the flooding. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said rescue teams had searched for...

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Survivors struggle with shelter and sanitation a month after powerful earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

A little more than a month after a powerful quake devastated parts of Türkiye and Syria, hundreds of thousands of people still need adequate shelter and sanitation, and an appeal for $1 billion to assist survivors is only 10% funded, hampering efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis, a United Nations official said on March 13. The February 6 earthquake and strong aftershocks have killed more than 52,000 people in Türkiye, destroyed or damaged around 230,000 buildings, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless — making it the worst disaster in Türkiye’s modern history. The U.N. estimates that the...

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Cost of damage from earthquake in Türkiye reaches $100 billion as donors pledge funds to assist recovery

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 20 that the cost of the damage from last month’s devastating earthquake had risen to $104 billion, as donors at a conference in Brussels vowed funds to help Türkiye and Syria. The European Union and international donors pledged 7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to help the two nations in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated parts of the neighboring countries last month. The European Commission said after the fundraising conference in Brussels that 6.05 billion euros of the total pledge will be going to Türkiye, in grants and loans. “The...

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Holy month of Ramadan begins for Muslims across the world amid high costs and hopes for peace

Hundreds of millions of Muslims began the first daily fast of Ramadan on March 23, as parts of the Middle East approached crucial junctures in high-stakes peace negotiations during the holy month, traditionally a time of reconciliation. During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from food and water from dawn to dusk, before gathering with family and friends for indulgent nighttime meals. According to Islam, fasting draws the faithful closer to God and reminds them of the suffering of the poor. For the next 30 days, many will strictly observe prayers, read the Quran, and donate to charity as they seek...

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World Bank report puts cost of rebuilding Ukraine from Russia’s invasion at $411 billion over next decade

A World Bank report released on March 22 puts the cost of Ukraine’s recovery and rebuilding from Russia’s invasion at $411 billion over the next decade, with the cost of cleaning up the war rubble alone at $5 billion. The report detailed some of the toll of Russia’s war in Ukraine: at least 9,655 civilians confirmed dead, including 461 children; nearly 2 million homes damaged; more than one out of five public health institutions damaged; and 650 ambulances damaged or looted. In all, the World Bank calculated $135 billion in direct damage to buildings and infrastructure so far, not...

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War-weary Ukrainians who fled Russia’s full-scale invasion face end of temporary sanctuary in America

When U.S. officials at the U.S.-Mexico border stamped the Ukrainian passports of Mariia and her daughter last April and gave them permission to stay for a year, she figured she would return home within months. Now with that year almost up and the war that caused them to flee still raging, their permission to stay in the United States — known as humanitarian parole — is set to expire April 23. “The word `worry’ doesn’t capture what I’m feeling,” said Mariia, who spoke through an interpreter and asked that only her first name be used over concerns that speaking...

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