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Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

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Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

2024-06-22 17:01 Last Updated At:18:27

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday authorized federal aid to support recovery efforts in New Mexico, where devastating wildfires have ravaged tribal reservations and communities.

The declaration comes amidst ongoing challenges posed by dry, windy conditions despite recent rain providing some respite for firefighters.

In the mountainous terrain near Ruidoso, the aftermath of the fires reveals charred properties and a landscape scarred by the blaze. Overnight, heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in the area, complicating firefighting operations and exacerbating the already perilous conditions.

Approximately 120 kilometers to the east in Roswell, community effort has emerged to aid evacuees from the South Fork and Salt Fires.

"Here in the southwest we're all family. I said the other day, we have everybody's back and I meant that. These are city employees here and at night when people get off work, they're going to volunteer and they'll also be here," said Jim Burress, director of Roswell Special Services.

Gabriel Begay is a Ruidoso resident, and a member of the Dine Nation, also known as the Navajo Nation. He is concerned about reports of flash floods and the looming danger to animals on the mountain where the wildfires are still raging on.

"Yes, I think about like the animals, they're just running away from the fire and they're like us. They don't have help, they don't have water or they can't eat fresh stuff; they're just running away. I'm just worried about the animals because think about it, the animals were here before humans were," said Begay, a Ruidoso resident.

Residents of affected areas were given short notice on Monday to flee for their lives. The emergency situation forced them to leave their beloved pets behind. Christina Waldrop, a volunteer from Albuquerque, recounted a heartening reunion at the animal shelter.

"So he wasn't even sure where his dog went. He was transferred to the hospital here in Roswell. He came in yesterday morning into the fairgrounds just by chance looking for his dog, and we were able to reunite him with his dog," said Waldrop, a volunteer at the animal shelter.

Such heartwarming stories help relieve some of the sadness for the people who have lost everything, as they continue waiting for weary firefighters to bring the wildfires under control.

The fire broke out Monday morning on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, according to the New Mexico Forestry Division. About 1,400 homes and other structures were destroyed, the forestry division said in an update. The village of Ruidoso, a town of some 7,700 west of the reservation, was ordered to evacuate due to the advancing fire.

Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

Biden approves New Mexico disaster aid as wildfires wreak havoc

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Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

2024-07-22 22:24 Last Updated At:22:57

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has called for efforts to push forward high-standard opening-up and actively explore and innovate to motivate more momentum and vitality, so as to advance high-quality development in further deepening reform comprehensively.

Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a research trip to north China's Tianjin Municipality on Monday.

Li first visited the core area of the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park, where he learned about the park's construction and operation, and had talks with researchers and heads of sci-tech financial institutions as well as start-ups.

Saying that the key to fostering new growth drivers and developing new quality productivity lies in reform and innovation, Li underlined staying focused on integrated development of sci-tech innovation and industrial innovation, therefore building a more efficient and attractive sci-tech innovation platform.

He called for more support for small and medium-sized sci-tech firms and incentives for sci-tech personnel in terms of policies and funding, so as to promote the application of scientific and technological advances, and accelerate the development of new quality productivity.

The park, inaugurated in May, was established through the collaboration of Tianjin-based top-notched universities including Tianjin University and Nankai University.

Li then visited the branch of the world-leading elevator manufacturer Otis and CDHorizon, a world's top integrated equipment operation service provider, in the Binhai New Area.

Li urged efforts to make good use of policies for supporting the large renewal of equipment and to support enterprises in promoting the new application of artificial intelligence, so that more enterprises and products with core competitiveness can compete to emerge.

The premier also highlighted innovative use of financial leasing and other financial instruments, thus better serving the real economy.

Li called on the Binhai New Area to take the lead in better stimulating impetus and vitality in deepening reform, underlining the reform in institutions and mechanisms of the pilot free trade zone, financial innovation and development, and high-level opening up to the outside world.

Li also emphasized the need to accelerate the integrated development of ports, industries and cities by leveraging strengths and characteristics, in order to integrate resources and enhance their role in promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Fully acknowledging Tianjin's achievements in socio-economic development, Li expressed his hope that the municipality will forge ahead and constantly scale new heights in promoting high-quality development.

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

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