International Roundup 9/12/19

A New Zealand volcano erupted, leaving five people dead and several unaccounted for

The eruption of White Island began at about 14:11 local time (01:11 GMT).

Twenty-three people have been rescued, but it is unclear how many people remained on the island.

Aerial reconnaissance flights have not identified any sign of life at the location, according to the local police.

Tourists were seen walking inside the crater of White Island volcano moments before Monday’s eruption.

White Island, also called Whakaari, is the country’s most active volcano.

Michael Schade, a visitor, filmed the eruption of the White Island volcano.

France’s biggest strike in decades, day 4: planned extensions

France currently has a nationwide strike that has disrupted schools and transport.

Many union workers, including teachers, transport workers, hospital staff and some police are unsatisfied with the planned reforms that would see them retiring later or facing reduced payouts.

The president, Emmanuel Macron, wants to introduce a universal points-based pension system. This has made some union leaders vow to strike until he abandons his campaign.

The country is currently paralysed as the strikes are still ongoing as the end is more and more uncertain.

Public transport is mostly at a standstill and supermarkets are getting emptier as they can’t get supplied.

Azbileg Incerto, 44, from Paris said: “Since the strikes have started, I have to run 50 minutes every day to go to work or I won’t get paid. All the metros and buses have stopped running and the traffic jam is enormous so I run.”

Here’s a preview of the atmosphere in Paris.

Finland’s new Minister becomes the world’s youngest PM

Jukka-Pekka Flander/SDP

Sanna Marin, 34, will become the youngest Prime Minister in the world and the third female one in Finland.

Marin will be sworn in this week after she was picked by her Social Democratic party, following the resignation of its leader, and previous PM, Antti Rinne.

She will lead a centre-left coalition with four other parties, all headed by women, three of whom are under 35.

Rinne stepped down after losing the confidence of a coalition member over his handling of a postal strike.

New Delhi factory fire: 43 dead in India blaze

According to officials, a large fire has swept through a bag factory in the Indian capital of Delhi, killing 43 workers.

The blaze broke out in the four-storey building in the city’s congested old quarter early on Sunday morning.

At least 100 people were sleeping inside the factory when the fire started, 60 of whom have been rescued.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the fire “horrific” and sent his condolences.

A local fire chief said the building did not have a proper fire licence and was operating illegally as a factory.

Local media reported that the owner of the factory, named as Rehan, had been arrested.

The Seychelles tackles climate change in an innovative way

Ile Coco, a small island near La Digue, Seychelles by Jean-Marie Hullot

In the first deal of its kind, the East African island nation swapped 5% of its national debt for a cash injection to fight the effects of climate change on the ocean.

In return, it promised to protect 30% of its national waters, which is an area twice the size of the UK, by the end of next year.

Small island nations are among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels. Conservationists say dying coral reefs, extreme weather and land erosion threaten the very existence of the Seychelles archipelago.

The Seychelles government agreed to the debt swap with the Nature Conservancy, a US charity, and a number of investors in 2016.

Under the terms of the $21m (£16m) deal, the charity and the investors bought a portion of the Seychelles’ national debt from European nations, such as the UK and France.

The debt is now held by a trust, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), which offers the country lower interest rates on its repayments.

This deal will protect marine life and handle the effects of climate change.