Uber, the US ride-hailing giant, has the reputation of being “a dumpster fire” owing to their tendency of hurdling from one crisis to another. They are now facing an actual fire disaster with one of the recalled Honda Vezels, they purchased and rented out, bursting into flames, according to The Verge.
Wall Street Journal reported Uber purchasing over thousand Honda Vezels which they leased to Singapore drivers, despite Honda recalling this model due to defective electrical components. Unfortunately, for Uber, one of these cars caught fire, melting the dashboard and windshield. Luckily, neither the passengers nor the driver, Koh Seng Tian, was hurt in this distressing incident.
Uber, in a statement to CNET, said, “As soon as we learned of a Honda Vezel from the Lion City Rental fleet catching fire, we took swift action to fix the problem, in close coordination with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority as well as technical experts. But we acknowledge we could have done more – and we have done so.” They have now established strict protocols and appointed three experts to guarantee a responsive system for safety recalls.
Co-Founder and ex-CEO, Travis Kalanick was pressured into stepping down in June with regard to the tumultuous year 2017 has been for Uber. His resignation was a result of US Attorney General, Eric Holder investigating sexual harassment claims against him. The inspection resulted in a recommendation of changing senior leadership in the company.
In the early hours of August 4, a massive fire broke out in the 84-story Torch tower of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. No casualties were reported, and the Dubai Civil Defense brought the blaze under control by 3.30 a.m. According to Reuters, a resident said “It was very bad. The fire was very strong at that time, about 1 am. Then it started calming down over the next two hours.”
The actual cause of the fire is not is not known yet, but the external padding, which can be flammable in specific circumstances is being considered as the source of it. As per reports, a majority of Dubai’s 250 high-rise buildings use cladding panels with combustible thermoplastic cores.
A similar incident occurred in February 2015, where the same 79-storey building, which accommodates expatriate residents of the city, was devastated by a fire.
Owing to a series of fire mishaps in the Emirates, Dubai announced stringent rules to minimize fire risks, in January 2017. UAE has revised its building safety stating that cladding required on all new buildings over 15 meters tall should be fire-resistant, but older buildings were exempt from it.
The Western film industry has lost another fine actor today. Robert Hardy, famous for his role as Siegfried Farnon in the long-running TV series, All Creatures Great and Small, passed away on August 3, 2017.
Hardy’s versatile career lasted over 70 years, where he performed notable roles of Henry V, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robin Hood, Prince Albert, along with multiple portrayals of the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the role this generation will popularly remember him for, Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, in the film adaptations of fantasy book series Harry Potter.
His three children, Paul, Justine and Emma, released a statement to the press stating, “It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Hardy CBE today announced his death, following a tremendous life: a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years”. He is fondly remembered by his children as a gruff, yet twinkly and dignified man, loved and celebrated by all.
The former actor spent his last days at Denville Hall, a retirement home for actors in London.
The U.S. State Department has imposed a ban on the United States’ passport holder to travel to North Korea. According to the statement issued on August 2, the ban will be in effect from September 1.
The officials have asked all the U.S. passport holders currently living in North Korea to return before the restriction begins. The ban will be in effect for next one year. According to a report by CBS, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, can further extend the ban or revoke it sooner.
According to the statement, “The Secretary has authorized the restriction due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens under North Korea’s system of law enforcement.”
According to a Reuters report, North Korea currently holds one Korean-American missionary and two academics, three South Korean nationals and a Canadian pastor. According to Japan, several dozens of their nationals are also detained by North Korea.
In a public notice, journalists and humanitarian workers are exempted from the ban. The ban has come in amid increasing tensions between the two nations. The upcoming ban will also make North Korea the only country Americans can not fly to.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives laden truck into a NATO convoy killing two U.S soldiers in the southern province of Kandahar. While Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, maintaining the death toll of 15 soldiers and two destroyed vehicles; the claim was not verified by Pentagon. It was taken as an exaggeration by Taliban. Kandahar province was a Taliban stronghold for five years until US invasion in 2001. So far, this is the longest war fought over 16 years by U.S. against Taliban. The Kandahar airport is also home to a major military base of 13,000 troops from 39 countries who are part of the coalition to train, advise and assist Afghan troops against the insurgency. According to the Time, currently, soldiers from U.S., Australia, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania are deployed in Afghanistan, said U.S. military spokesperson Lt. Damien E. Horvath.
The Trump administration in Washington is still deciding on whether to send 4,000 troops to fight Taliban, as requested by the U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan. The attack on the coalition happened on the next day to the twin suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in Herat that killed 32 people and injured 66 others, where Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility.