World to Hit 1.4C of Warming in Record Hot 2023

(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
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World to Hit 1.4C of Warming in Record Hot 2023

(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)
(FILES) Burnt trees are seen after illegal fires were lit by farmers in Manaquiri, Amazonas state, Brazil, on September 6, 2023. (Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP)

With a month to run, 2023 will reach global warming of about 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, adding to "a deafening cacophony" of broken climate records, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday.
The WMO's provisional State of the Global Climate report confirms that 2023 will be the warmest year on record by a large margin, replacing the previous record-holder 2016, when the world was around 1.2C warmer than the preindustrial average, Reuters reported.

"Greenhouse gas levels are record high. Global temperatures are record high. Sea level rise is record high. Antarctic sea ice record low," WMO Secretary General Peterri Taalas said.
The report's finding, however, does not mean the world is about to cross the long-term warming threshold of 1.5C that scientists say is the ceiling for avoiding catastrophic climate change under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
For that, the level of warming would need to be sustained for longer.
Already, a year of 1.4C has provided a frightening preview of what permanently crossing 1.5C might mean.
This year, Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest winter maximum extent on record, some 1 million square kilometers (386,000 sq miles) less than the previous record. Swiss glaciers lost about 10% of their remaining volume over the last two years, the report said. And wildfires burned a record area in Canada, amounting to about 5% of the country's woodlands.
Climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, combined with the emergence of the natural El Nino climate pattern in the Eastern Pacific pushed the world into record territory this year.
Next year could be worse, the scientists said, as El Nino's impacts are likely to peak this winter and drive higher temperatures in 2024.



15 Suffer Minor Injuries in Tram Accident at Universal Studios in Los Angeles

FILE - The Universal Studios Hollywood. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
FILE - The Universal Studios Hollywood. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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15 Suffer Minor Injuries in Tram Accident at Universal Studios in Los Angeles

FILE - The Universal Studios Hollywood. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
FILE - The Universal Studios Hollywood. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

A tram accident at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles injured 15 people Saturday night, authorities and the company said.

Los Angeles County Fire Department units were dispatched to the theme park on Lankershim Boulevard shortly after 9 p.m., the department said in a social media post.

The victims taken to area hospitals had minor injuries, the department said.

A Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson emailed a statement to The Associated Press confirming there were “multiple minor injuries” from an accident involving a tram at the theme park.
The details of the accident were not immediately available.


Massive River Flooding Expected in China's Guangdong, Threatening Millions

FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China April 15, 2024. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China April 15, 2024. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo
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Massive River Flooding Expected in China's Guangdong, Threatening Millions

FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China April 15, 2024. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China April 15, 2024. REUTERS/David Kirton/File Photo

Major rivers, waterways and reservoirs in China's Guangdong province are threatening to unleash dangerous floods, forcing the government on Sunday to enact emergency response plans to protect more than 127 million people, Reuters reported.
Calling the situation "grim", local weather officials said sections of rivers and tributaries at the Xijiang and Beijiang river basins are hitting peak water levels that only happen once in 50 years, according to state broadcaster CCTV news on Sunday.
Massive flooding is expected at the Beijiang basin, CCTV said quoting China's water resource ministry, prompting it to raise an emergency advisory.
Guangdong officials urged departments in all localities and municipalities to begin emergency planning to avert natural disasters and promptly disperse disaster relief funds and materials to ensure affected people have food, clothing, water and a place to live.
The province has seen torrid downpours and strong winds since Saturday evening due to severe convective weather which has affected several parts of China over the past few weeks, Reuters reported.
A 12-hour stretch of heavy rain, starting from 8 p.m. (1200 GMT) Saturday, battered the central and northern parts of the province in Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan and Jiangmen.
Some power facilities in Zhaoqing were damaged, cutting power to some places.
"Please look at Zhaoqing's Huaiji county, which has become a water town. The elderly and children at the countryside don't know what to do with power outages and no signal," said one user on the popular social media site Weibo.
Raging muddy flood waters swept one vehicle down a narrow street in Zhaoqing, showed a video released by Hongxing News.
"It rained like a waterfall for an hour and a half on the highway driving home last night," said another netizen. "I couldn't see the road at all."
Many hydrological stations in the province are exceeding water levels, weather officials warned, and in the provincial capital Guangzhou, a city of 18 million, reservoirs have reached flood limits, city officials announced on Sunday.
Data showed 2,609 hydrological stations with daily rainfall greater than 50 mm (1.97 inches), accounting for about 59% of all observation stations. At 8 a.m. Sunday, 27 hydrological stations in Guangdong were on alert.
Officials have been reducing water levels at the reservoirs through spillways and culvert discharge to ensure downstream flood control.


KAUST Releases New Study on Climate Change and Causes of Floods in Arabian Gulf Region

KAUST Releases New Study on Climate Change and Causes of Floods in Arabian Gulf Region
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KAUST Releases New Study on Climate Change and Causes of Floods in Arabian Gulf Region

KAUST Releases New Study on Climate Change and Causes of Floods in Arabian Gulf Region

A new study by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) exposed the serious dangers climate change poses to the Arabian Gulf region, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday.

Researchers warned about the potential of catastrophic flooding, which could overwhelm existing infrastructure and lead to significant loss of life and damage the economy, due to the rise in temperatures and more frequent rainfall, as observed in the recent extreme weather in the UAE and Oman.

Unless drastic action is taken to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the region’s maximum annual rainfall could rise by 33% by the end of this century, the study said, stressing that many areas in the Gulf lack the infrastructure needed to cope with the uncharacteristic weather brough about by climate change.

With its extensive satellite data on the oceans and atmosphere of the region, as well as its highly regarded supercomputer lab, KAUST has unmatched resources for gaining a deep understanding of climate risks. This gives the university a vital role in comprehending and getting ready for the forecast challenges.


The Skies Fill with Color at a Chinese Kite Festival

 A dragon-shaped kite flies in the air at the 41st International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong Province of China, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP)
A dragon-shaped kite flies in the air at the 41st International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong Province of China, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP)
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The Skies Fill with Color at a Chinese Kite Festival

 A dragon-shaped kite flies in the air at the 41st International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong Province of China, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP)
A dragon-shaped kite flies in the air at the 41st International Kite Festival in Weifang, Shandong Province of China, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP)

More than 1,000 kites filled the skies of Weifang, an eastern Chinese coastal city that touts itself as the “kite capital of the world,” on Saturday. Locals say there is nothing that can’t sail the skies of Weifang.

From dragons to pandas, modern cars to mythical characters from a canonical Chinese novel, kite craftsmen and aficionados showcased their latest art at the Weifang International Kite Festival.

Kite-makers say the craftsmanship has evolved over the years, with nylon fabrics becoming more common at the expense of traditional materials such as paper and silk.

Modern craftsmanship also means kite-makers are boasting more elaborate, complex and bigger designs, among them a centipede kite measuring 70 meters (230 feet) in length.


12 Students and Teacher Killed in Columbine School Shooting Remembered at 25th Anniversary Vigil

Roses and candles sit on chairs for each of the shooting victims during a 25th Year Remembrance ceremony on April 19, 2024 at First Baptist Church of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images/AFP)
Roses and candles sit on chairs for each of the shooting victims during a 25th Year Remembrance ceremony on April 19, 2024 at First Baptist Church of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images/AFP)
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12 Students and Teacher Killed in Columbine School Shooting Remembered at 25th Anniversary Vigil

Roses and candles sit on chairs for each of the shooting victims during a 25th Year Remembrance ceremony on April 19, 2024 at First Baptist Church of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images/AFP)
Roses and candles sit on chairs for each of the shooting victims during a 25th Year Remembrance ceremony on April 19, 2024 at First Baptist Church of Denver in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images/AFP)

A girl who wrote in her diaries, a boy with learning disabilities who was just learning to like who he was and a teen who would spend every free minute fishing were among the 13 victims of the Columbine High School shooting remembered during a vigil Friday on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the shooting that was the worst the nation had seen at the time.

As small candles flickered on 13 empty chairs, short biographies of Columbine students Rachel Scott, Kyle Velasquez and Corey DePooter and the other victims were read one by one. After each, the crowd of about 150 people replied together “never forgotten” and a bell tolled.

The youngest killed in the attack that has inspired dozens of copycat shootings was Steven Curnow, 14. The oldest was teacher Dave Sanders, 47, who shepherded students out of the cafeteria to safety and was shot as he tried to get students upstairs into classrooms.

The others killed were Cassie Bernall, Kelly Fleming, Matt Kechter, Daniel Mauser, Dan Rohrbaugh, Isaiah Shoels, John Tomlin and Lauren Townsend.

Sanders' daughter, Coni Sanders, said her father changed the world forever by saving hundreds of students.

“The kids that he saved now have children and those children will have children so generations from now people will know they exist because of his bravery,” she said before the ceremony began.

The gathering, set up by advocates including gun safety organizations, was the main public event marking Saturday's anniversary, which is more subdued than previous milestone years. In addition to remembering those killed, the vigil at a church near the state Capitol also drew attention to those who were wounded and those who survived the shooting but suffered trauma.

Daniel Mauser's father, Tom Mauser, decided to set up the vigil after learning school officials did not plan to organize a large community event as they did on the 20th anniversary.

Mauser, who became a gun safety advocate after the shooting, urged the crowd of about 150 people gathered at a church across from the state Capitol never to forget the victims of Columbine and to take some kind of action to reduce gun violence.

“And most importantly we ask you to never forget, never forget the victims of Columbine. The slain, the injured, the traumatized and their families. And especially never forget those who lost their lives,” said Mauser, wearing his son's sneakers, a tradition he reserves for special occasions.

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who began campaigning for gun safety after she was nearly killed in a mass shooting, attended and spoke about her long recovery, drawing a comparison to the small steps needed to make change in the world.

“Change doesn't happen overnight and we can't do it alone. Join me. Let's move ahead together,” she said, drawing a standing ovation.

Nathan Hochhalter, whose sister Anne Marie was paralyzed after she was shot at Columbine, spoke about being trapped in a classroom at the school with about 30 students as they heard gunfire nearby. They were rescued about four hours later by SWAT officers who he said frisked them five times. Six months later, his mother, who had bipolar disorder, took her own life after asking to look at a gun in a pawnshop and shooting herself there.

“I just want to use this moment to let everyone know that it’s OK to ask for help, whatever your situation is whether, either as a survivor 25 years later or someone struggling with any part of their life. These things come in waves and they can hit you when you least expect it. You should all know that we’re all here for you and that you're not alone,” Hochhalter said.


Nigerian Chess Champion Plays Royal Game for 58 Hours, Sets New Global Record

 Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate, plays a chess game in Times Square, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. (AP)
Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate, plays a chess game in Times Square, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. (AP)
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Nigerian Chess Champion Plays Royal Game for 58 Hours, Sets New Global Record

 Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate, plays a chess game in Times Square, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. (AP)
Tunde Onakoya, a Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate, plays a chess game in Times Square, Friday, April 19, 2024, in New York. (AP)

A Nigerian chess champion and child education advocate has played chess nonstop for 58 hours in New York City’s Times Square to break the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon.

Tunde Onakoya, 29, hopes to raise $1 million for children's education across Africa through the record attempt that began on Wednesday.

He crossed the 58-hour mark at about 02:30 a.m. GMT Saturday, surpassing the current chess marathon record of 56 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds, achieved in 2018 by Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, both from Norway.

The Guinness World Record organization has yet to publicly comment about Onakoya’s attempt. It sometimes takes weeks for the organization to confirm any new record.

Onakoya played against Shawn Martinez, an American chess champion, in line with Guinness World Record guidelines that any attempt to break the record must be made by two players who would play continuously for the entire duration.

Support had been growing online and at the scene, where a blend of African music kept onlookers and supporters entertained amid cheers and applause.

The record attempt is “for the dreams of millions of children across Africa without access to education,” said Onakoya, who founded Chess in Slums Africa in 2018. The organization wants to support the education of at least 1 million children in slums across the continent.

“My energy is at 100% right now because my people are here supporting me with music,” Onakoya said Thursday evening after the players crossed the 24-hour mark.

On Onakoya's menu: Lots of water and jollof rice, one of West Africa’s best-known dishes.

For every hour of game played, Onakoya and his opponent got only five minutes' break. The breaks were sometimes grouped together, and Onakoya used them to catch up with Nigerians and New Yorkers cheering him on. He even joined in with their dancing sometimes.

A total of $22,000 was raised within the first 20 hours of the attempt, said Taiwo Adeyemi, Onakoya's manager.

“The support has been overwhelming from Nigerians in the US, global leaders, celebrities and hundreds of passersby," he said.

Onakoya’s attempt was closely followed in Nigeria, where he regularly organizes chess competitions for young people living on the streets.

More than 10 million children are out of school in the West African country — one of the world’s highest rates.

Among those who have publicly supported him are celebrities and public office holders, including Nigeria’s former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who wrote to Onakoya on the social media platform X, “Remember your own powerful words: 'It is possible to do great things from a small place.’"


SEU Participates in the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions

The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is participating in 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG). (SPA)
The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is participating in 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG). (SPA)
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SEU Participates in the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions

The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is participating in 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG). (SPA)
The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is participating in 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG). (SPA)

The Saudi Electronic University (SEU) is participating in 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva (IEIG), held from April 17 to 21, 2024, the Saudi Press Agency said on Friday.
The SEU's participation includes three inventions that demonstrate its interaction with the international community and open new horizons of cooperation and expertise exchange with other institutions in scientific research and innovation.
As many as 26 Saudi universities are participating in the event.

The exhibition is acknowledged as the most important exhibition of inventions anywhere today. It is also the most international, with the participation of more than 45 countries.

 


More than 2,100 People Are Evacuated as an Indonesian Volcano Spews Clouds of Ash

Mount Ruang volcano erupts in Sitaro, North Sulawesi, on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Mount Ruang volcano erupts in Sitaro, North Sulawesi, on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
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More than 2,100 People Are Evacuated as an Indonesian Volcano Spews Clouds of Ash

Mount Ruang volcano erupts in Sitaro, North Sulawesi, on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Mount Ruang volcano erupts in Sitaro, North Sulawesi, on April 19, 2024. (AFP)

More than 2,100 people living near an erupting volcano on Indonesia's Sulawesi Island were evacuated Friday due to the dangers of spreading ash, falling rocks, hot volcanic clouds and the possibility of a tsunami.

Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation recorded at least three eruptions since Friday afternoon, with the maximum height of the eruption column reaching 1,200 meters (3,900 feet).

An international airport in Manado city, less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the erupting Mount Ruang, is still temporarily closed as volcanic ash was spewed into the air.

Satellite imagery from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency shows the ash has spread to the west, northwest, northeast and southeast, covering Manado and North Minahasa, according to a statement from Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry.

“We are still monitoring developments in the eruption of Mount Ruang and coordinating with relevant stakeholders ... to anticipate the necessary actions to ensure flight safety, security and comfort,” said Ambar Suryoko, head of the regional airport authority.

More than 11,000 people were told to leave their homes that were located in the affected area. A joint team from the local authorities combed the villages surrounding the volcano and evacuated residents to safer areas by boat.

Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami, as happened in an eruption there in 1871.

Houses, roads and other buildings were covered by gray volcanic ash, and many roofs were broken by debris spewed from the eruption.

Mount Ruang saw at least five large eruptions Wednesday, causing the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation to issue its highest level of alert. People were ordered to stay at least 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the 725-meter (2,378-foot) mountain.

The observation from the agency on Friday said white smoke was rising from the main crater with medium to thick intensity.

East of the volcano, Tagulandang Island could be at risk if a collapse occurred. Its residents were among those being told to evacuate. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents would be relocated to Manado, a journey of 6 hours by boat.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes. It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.


More People Are Evacuated After the Dramatic Eruption of an Indonesian Volcano 

Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
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More People Are Evacuated After the Dramatic Eruption of an Indonesian Volcano 

Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)
Search and rescue boat is docked on the port of Tagulandang as Mount Ruang volcano spews volcanic ash in Sitaro Islands Regency, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia, April 19, 2024. (Reuters)

More people living near an erupting volcano on Indonesia's Sulawesi Island were evacuated on Friday due to the dangers of spreading ash, falling rocks, hot volcanic clouds and the possibility of a tsunami.

An international airport in Manado city, which is located less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the erupting Mount Ruang, is still temporarily closed as volcanic ash was spewed into the air.

Satellite imagery from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency showed that the ash has spread to the west, northwest, northeast and southeast, covering Manado and North Minahasa, according to a statement from Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry.

“We are still monitoring developments in the eruption of Mount Ruang and coordinating with relevant stakeholders ... to anticipate the necessary actions to ensure flight safety, security and comfort,” said Ambar Suryoko, head of the regional airport authority.

More than 11,000 people were told to leave their homes and at least 1,000 have done so. A joint team from the local authorities is still combing the villages surrounding the volcano and evacuating the residents to safer areas by boat.

Officials worry that part of the volcano could collapse into the sea and cause a tsunami, as happened in an eruption there in 1871 eruption.

Houses, roads and other buildings in the affected areas were covered by gray volcanic ash. Many house roofs were also broken by the materials spewed from the eruption.

Mount Ruang saw at least five large eruptions Wednesday, causing the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation to issue its highest level of alert. People were ordered to stay at least 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the 725-meter (2,378-foot) mountain.

The observation from the agency on Friday said that white smoke is rising from the main crater with medium to thick intensity.

Tagulandang Island, east of the volcano, could be at risk if a collapse occurred. Its residents were among those being told to evacuate. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents will be relocated to Manado, a journey of six hours by boat.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes. It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.


Eiffel Tower Loses Sparkle for Parisians ahead of Olympics

Parisian landmark The Eiffel Tower has lost its lustre for many who live near it due to crime and grime © Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP
Parisian landmark The Eiffel Tower has lost its lustre for many who live near it due to crime and grime © Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP
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Eiffel Tower Loses Sparkle for Parisians ahead of Olympics

Parisian landmark The Eiffel Tower has lost its lustre for many who live near it due to crime and grime © Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP
Parisian landmark The Eiffel Tower has lost its lustre for many who live near it due to crime and grime © Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP

The Eiffel Tower is set for a starring role during the Paris Olympics this year, but the landmark and its park have become symbols of the capital's struggles with cleanliness and crime.
In the shadow of the 330-meter (1,082-foot) monument, workers are already building the temporary stadium that will host the beach volleyball during the Games, which start on July 26, AFP said.
The opening ceremony along the river Seine will also finish in front of the attraction, while judo and wrestling will take place in a semi-permanent exhibition space at the far end of its park.
Although the sport will look spectacular in the TV coverage, behind the scenes the area has become a lightning rod for complaints about the management of public space in the capital and the pressures of mass tourism.
"It's very dirty and it's getting worse and worse," local resident Frederic Mabilon, 78, told AFP as she walked her dog in the Champ-de-Mars park beneath the iron monument known as the "Iron Lady".
Mabilon remembers visiting the area as a child, enjoying the merry-go-rounds and play areas that have been closed ahead of the Olympics -- much to the anger of their operators.
"Look there," she said, pointing to a man urinating on the fence of one of the homes that line the park. "It happens all the time. There aren't enough toilets."
Mikael Dalle, a 53-year-old local out with his son, said he was bothered by the illegal hawkers who shout out to passers-by, offering unlicensed food and drinks, trinkets and berets.
"It's definitely got worse and we've lived around here for the last eight years," he said.
- Street crime -
Around seven million people ascend the Eiffel Tower each year and many more pose for photos, eat picnics, or play ball games in the Champ-de-Mars.
With so many visitors, the park's lawns are often rubbed bare, while at night they are left strewn with rubbish by revelers.
"You should see it at 6 o'clock in the morning. It's catastrophic," complained another local dog walker, Louis, 53, who preferred not to give his surname.
Left-over food and overflowing bins are a delight for the flourishing local rat population.
And while low-level street crime such as pick-pocketing and scams have long been a feature of Paris's tourist hotspots, two alleged rapes took place on the Champ-de-Mars at night last year, shocking locals.
"I've told my eldest daughter not to walk through here in the dark," Louis explained.
The right-wing opponents of Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo blame her for the problems, with local senator Agnes Evren claiming the area has turned into "the far-west".
Even the tower's workers are unhappy, launching a five-day strike in February to protest against its state of disrepair and demanding the city spend more on painting and anti-rust protection.
- 'Paris will shine' -
Hidalgo, an eco-minded left-winger re-elected for a second term in 2020, is admired by many for her policies to restrict cars and promote cycling.
But she has also been dogged by complaints about cleanliness, with a survey in 2021 suggesting eight out of ten Parisians found their city "dirty".
An online campaign in 2021 called #saccageParis (#TrashedParis), in which residents shared pictures of filth or ugliness, struck a chord in a city that prides itself on its elegance.
To tackle the security problems, police announced a major operation for the Eiffel Tower area last June, leading to several dozen police officers on the ground per day.
"We've had excellent results in this area as well as other tourist zones in Paris," Paris police chief Laurent Nunez told AFP last week.
"But we need to continue. The Olympics are coming," he added.
The number of reported physical assaults fell by 58 percent to 21 incidents in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period of 2023, while property crimes were down 18 percent, he said.
Much of the Champ-de-Mars now stands behind steel fencing, its protected lawns growing back, its gardeners busy preparing it for hundreds of thousands of foreign sports fans.
"Paris will shine, Paris will be beautiful, Paris will be ready to welcome the world," deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire promised last week.