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Eline Gordts
Eline Gordts is a Senior World Editor at The Huffington Post.

Entries by Eline Gordts

Huge Explosions Hit City Of Tianjin In China

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 1:38 PM

Powerful explosions rocked a major port city in northeastern China on Wednesday, killing at least 50 and injuring over 700. Large enough to be seen from space, the blasts lit up the night sky and shook buildings miles away.

The explosions in Tianjin started at a container-port warehouse that stored hazardous materials in the city's Binhai New Area section, according to state news agency Xinhua.  

The first in a series of explosions occurred around 11:30 p.m., sending enormous fireballs and a mushroom cloud rising over the city. Debris and glass rained down on Tianjin, and the explosions were so powerful that they registered as small earthquakes, Reuters reports

Niu Aimin, a street cleaner nearby, felt the terror of the blasts.

"We were there at home and then suddenly, BOOM! It was just like an earthquake. I ran outside and then saw fire lighting up the sky," he told The WorldPost.

Photos and videos of the blasts and the devastating aftermath quickly circulated online. The images showed fierce fires, destroyed buildings, shattered windows and smoke billowing from the ruins of the container port. 

The city's police department said that the warehouse where the first blasts occurred was owned by Rui Hai International Logistics. A fire had been reported in the area earlier that night. The exact cause of the original blast is still under review, but Chinese Premier Li Keqiang "vowed a thorough investigation," Xinhua reports

The first explosion triggered several others. Twelve firefighters who had been sent to fight the initial blaze were among the dead. Six thousand people were forced to leave their homes. Local Communist Party official Zhang Yong said at a press conference that 10,000 medical staff were working to treat those affected, The Guardian reports.  

Fires in the area smoldered throughout the day on Thursday. Firefighting efforts at the site were suspended over the lack of clarity about what "dangerous goods" were in the warehouse, according to a statement posted on the local government's official Weibo account.

Fears mounted over the possible consequences of the explosions and whether it was safe for Tianjin's 15 million residents to remain in the the city. Chinese social media was awash with rumors of the potential for more explosions as well as worry over toxic chemicals.

Greenpeace Asia called on the Chinese government to release information on what chemicals had been released into the air, as well as the cause of the blast. 

Wang Yupeng was at home about 10 miles from the explosion when the blasts occurred and ran out of his house in fear of an earthquake. Sixteen hours later, he still wore a face mask when going outside.

"There's still smoke in the sky," Wang told The WorldPost. "You never know."

Volunteer groups banded together in Tianjin on Thursday to help those affected by the blast.

Zhang Jiexiao, a 20-year-old university student from a neighboring city, hopped on a free volunteer shuttle as soon as he heard the news and made his way to a volunteer headquarters at a nearby elementary school. He joined a group using a mobile chat app to alert members where and when cars, food or water were needed. 

Across the street from the school, residents, families and volunteers gathered for a vigil. They placed candles in a heart around the word "Teda," the name of the development zone in which the blasts occurred. 

Residents also took to social media to pay tribute to the firefighters who had lost their lives in the tragedy. One widely shared illustration on Weibo showed a firefighter heading toward the flames as other people walked away. 

Wednesday's explosions were so large that they were visible from space, according to Dan Lindsey, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist at Colorado State University's Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere.

Lindsey told The WorldPost that he had pinpointed the location of the blasts using data from the Japanese Meteorological Agency's Himawari-8 satellite.

Charlotte Alfred and Alexandra Ma contributed to this report. 

Earlier on...

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Islamic State Fighters Reportedly Behead Croatian Hostage

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 7:38 AM

Supporters of the Islamic State group circulated an image on social media on Wednesday appearing to show the beheaded body of a Croatian hostage who was kidnapped in Egypt last month. 

Tomislav Salopek, a 30-year-old petroleum engineer, was captured in the Egyptian capital of Cairo last July,

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Turmoil Breaks Out As Greece Struggles To Cope With Migrant Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 9:36 AM

Chaos erupted on Tuesday in a sports stadium on the Greek island of Kos, where hundreds of migrants had gathered to register for immigration documents.  

Scuffles broke out as hundreds of migrants camping out in parks and squares in Kos town formed long lines at the stadium to register...

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Beijing Issues Strict Restrictions To Limit Smog During WWII Commemorations

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 8:57 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will limit the number of vehicles on the streets and shut factories to ensure clean air during a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the government and media said on Monday.

The heavily polluted capital, often cloaked...

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Debris Belongs To Missing Malaysia Flight MH370, Malaysian Prime Minister Says

(3) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 9:34 AM

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Wednesday that plane debris found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean belongs to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Reuters reports

“Today, 513 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion is indeed from MH370," the prime minister said in a televised statement that aired early Thursday morning in Malaysia. "We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

Although Najib said the debris had been "conclusively confirmed" to be part of the missing flight, authorities in France stopped short of issuing final confirmation. French prosecutor Serge Mackowiak said in a press conference shortly after the release of Najib's statement that while experts had a "very strong supposition" that the debris belongs to MH370, they will continue to do further analysis Thursday.

Mackowiak explained that the investigators were able to compare technical specifications of the MH370 flight to the object found in Reunion. He said he couldn't specify when the final analysis would be ready. 

The search for MH370 has been ongoing since the flight abruptly lost contact with ground crew and shifted course in the early hours of March 8, 2014. The mysterious disappearance of the plane and the 239 people on board prompted an international search that yielded few results.

"The burden and uncertainty faced by the families during this time has been unspeakable," Najib said Wednesday. "It is my hope that this confirmation, however tragic and painful, will at least bring certainty to the families and loved ones of the 239 people onboard MH370."

Malaysia Airlines said in a separate statement that it had informed family members of the passengers and crew. 

"It is indeed a major breakthrough for us in resolving the disappearance of MH370," the airline's statement read. "We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery."

The large piece of debris was found on July 29 on Reunion, a small French island east of Madagascar.

Authorities and aviation experts quickly determined that the piece appeared to be from a Boeing 777, the  same type of aircraft as MH370. On Aug. 3, the Malaysian government confirmed that the object, a wing piece known as a flaperon, belonged to a plane of that type.

Experts from multiple nations gathered Wednesday in Toulouse, France, and began examining the debris. They are studying details like the unique use of paint on the flaperon to determine whether it matches the planes used by Malaysia Airlines.  

Analysts also hope the piece can provide clues to the location of MH370, but experts warn that finding the rest of the wreckage will remain extremely difficult. 

Malaysian and Australian authorities have said it is possible ocean currents could have carried the debris found on Reunion Island from the current search area in the Indian Ocean. 


The search area for the wreckage shifted several times throughout the investigation, finally settling on a patch of sea off the west coast of Australia that was tens of thousands of square miles large. Several promising leads turned out to be unfruitful. Various objects found in the southern Indian Ocean and believed to have been tied to the plane ended up not being part of MH370.

In May of last year, Australian authorities ruled out a search area where 'pings' thought to have been sent out by the plane's black box were heard.   

Related on HuffPost:  


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核合意はイラン国民にとって勝利 Vサインと笑顔で祝う人々(画像)

(4) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 4:01 AM


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Iran's Khamenei: Nuclear Deal Should Be Scrutinized Carefully

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 3:27 PM

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Nouri

DUBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - The text of a nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers should be carefully scrutinized and legal procedures taken so the other side does not breach it, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in his first public statements on the...

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Iranians Welcomes Nuclear Deal With V-Signs, Dancing (PHOTOS)

(48) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 4:18 PM

Iranians celebrated at home and in the streets on Tuesday, hours after negotiators for Iran and six world powers announced in Vienna they had brokered a historic deal years in the making.

Tuesday's deal will curb Iran's controversial nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. Many in Iran hope...

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What's Behind Greece's Spectacular U-Turn On Austerity

(52) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 1:43 PM

Every week, The WorldPost asks an expert to shed light on a topic driving world headlines. This time, we discuss the Greek debt crisis with Paul De Grauwe, a professor at the London School of Economics.

The Greek government surprised everybody on Thursday by submitting a proposal to Greece's international...

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Live Updates On Greece's Debt Crisis

(13) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Greece's banks and stock market were closed on Monday, a new dramatic development in the country's ongoing debt crisis.

Talks between the Greek government and its international creditors over a bailout extension appeared to have completely broken down over the weekend, making it increasingly likely the country...

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다른 국가들은 총기 난사 사건 후 총기 단속법을 개정하는데, 미국은 왜?

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 3:25 PM

허핑턴포스트 국제판 월드포스트는 매주 세계의 헤드라인을 장식하는 주제에 대해 전문가의 의견을 묻는다. 이번에는 하버드대학 데이비드 헤멘웨이 교수와 이야기를 나누었다.

딜란 루프는 6월 17일에 역사적인 흑인 교회에서 한 시간 이상 성경 공부를 하다가 총기 난사를 시작했다. 엠마뉴엘 감리 주교 교회에서 9명이 사망했다. 목사, 최근 대학교를 졸업한 졸업생, 사서 등이었다.

다음 날...

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Other Countries Change Their Gun Laws After Mass Shootings. Why Not America?

(710) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 11:41 AM

Every week The WorldPost asks an expert to shed light on a topic driving world headlines. This time, we speak with Harvard professor Dr. David Hemenway.

Dylann Roof spent more than an hour at a Bible study session in a historic black church on Wednesday before opening fire. Nine people...

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The Netherlands In A Hundred Birthdays

(3) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 2:38 PM

When award-winning artist Ilvy Njiokiktjien was appointed as the Netherlands' "Photographer of the Nation" in 2013, she turned to the one event that excites each and every one of us: birthday celebrations.

Njiokiktjien photographed 100 people in the Netherlands, ranging from age 1 to 100, as they...

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Stunning Photos Document Life In North Korea's Secluded Capital Pyongyang

(41) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 10:40 AM

With an eccentric leader, a radical propaganda machine, highly-choreographed military marches and colorful mass rallies, North Korea fascinates like no other nation does. But with strict limits on tourism and foreign reporting, little information about daily life inside the Hermit Kingdom crosses its borders.

Photographer Wong Maye-E regularly travels...

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China's Cruise Ship Disaster Is World News, So Why Is Beijing Censoring Information About It?

(48) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 10:37 AM

Every week, The WorldPost asks an expert to shed light on a topic that's making headlines around the world. Today, we speak with Jeremy Goldkorn, the founder and director of Danwei.

China suffered one of the worst maritime disasters in its recent history this week when a cruise...

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Photos Of China's Cruise Ship Tragedy Capture The Desperate Effort To Rescue Survivors

(1) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 10:40 AM

A cruise ship carrying 458 people capsized during a storm on China's Yangtze river on Monday night, leaving more than 400 missing.

The four-level ship was on its way from the city of Nanjing to the city of Chongqing, the Associated Press reports. Many of the passengers...

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IS는 14세 소년을 천장에 매달아 고문했다(동영상)

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 7:29 AM

6월 1일, 영국 BBC는 아흐메드란 이름의 14살 소년이 IS(이슬람 국가)에 의해 고문을 당하는 동영상을 공개했다. 영상 속에서 소년은 검은 옷을 입은 무장군인에게 폭행을 당하며 비명을 질렀다.

“그때 엄마를 생각했어요. (비명을 지르며) 엄마를 불렀는데, 그들은 전기를 더 높여 고문을 했어요.” 아흐메드는 BBC의 기자 쿠엔틴 서머 빌에게 이렇게 말했다....

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IS(イスラム国)が14歳少年を拷問している動画 両手を縛って天井から吊る

(1) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 3:15 AM


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Video Appears To Show ISIS Torturing Young Boy

(87) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 3:28 PM

Ahmed was 14 when militants of the Islamic State group captured him in his hometown of Raqqa, Syria, hung him from the ceiling by his arms and started hitting him across his body.

Video of Ahmed's torture and interrogation by the extremist fighters, which was published by...

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Why Rohingyas Are Willing To Risk Everything To Flee Myanmar

(51) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 1:43 PM

Every week, we bring you one overlooked aspect of the stories that made news in recent days. You noticed the media forgot all about another story's basic facts? Tweet @TheWorldPost or let us know on our Facebook page.

Over the last three weeks, more than 3,000 refugees from...

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