Singapore Rushes to Clean-up Oil Slick

Workers clean oil spill along Sentosa's Tanjong Beach area in Singapore, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Suhaimi Abdullah)
Workers clean oil spill along Sentosa's Tanjong Beach area in Singapore, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Suhaimi Abdullah)
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Singapore Rushes to Clean-up Oil Slick

Workers clean oil spill along Sentosa's Tanjong Beach area in Singapore, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Suhaimi Abdullah)
Workers clean oil spill along Sentosa's Tanjong Beach area in Singapore, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Suhaimi Abdullah)

An oil spill caused by a dredger boat hitting a stationary cargo tanker has blackened part of Singapore’s southern coastline, including the popular resort island of Sentosa, and sparked concerns it may threaten marine wildlife as a clean-up operation was underway Sunday.
The Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima struck the Singaporean fuel supply ship Marine Honor on Friday. It damaged the cargo tank on Marine Honor, which leaked oil into the sea.
Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority said in a statement late Saturday the oil leak from the vessel had been contained, and that the oil that escaped from the damaged tanker had been treated with dispersants.
But due to the tidal current, it said the treated oil had landed along shorelines including at Sentosa and other southern islands, a nature reserve and a public beach park. Sentosa, which attracts millions of visitors annually, houses one of Singapore’s two casinos, golf courses and Southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park.
Part of the beachfront at the public park and at the nature reserve have been closed to facilitate clean-up efforts, it said. The Sentosa beach will remain open to the public but sea activities and swimming are prohibited.
On Sunday, workers in orange suit were seen scooping up sand in a clean-up operation at an empty beach in Sentosa. Black water washed up on the oil-stained shore.
Authorities have deployed 18 crafts for the clean-up efforts and laid close to 1,500 meters of container booms, temporary floating barriers to trap the oil spill.
“More will be laid over the next few days to prevent further spread of oil onto the shore, and facilitate the recovery of the trapped oil off the affected shorelines and lagoons to prevent them from going back to sea,” the statement said.
Conservationists and biologists are monitoring the full extent of the damage on marine and wildlife.
Local conservation group Marine Stewards reportedly said there were photos of dead fish, otters and kingfishers covered in oil slick.



Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
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Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris joined Democratic and Republican leaders in condemning protesters who burned American flags and sprayed pro-Hamas graffiti outside Washington's Union Station on Wednesday, describing the acts as unpatriotic and abhorrent.

The protests coincided with a speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before he spoke, protesters marched near the US Capitol building, condemning US military aid to Israel during its war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Following Netanyahu's speech, some of the demonstrators gathered in front of Union Station. They hoisted American flags outside the iconic train station, burned American ones and spray painted the words "Hamas is coming" and "Free Gaza" on a large monument.

Harris, the Democrats' presidential candidate, said in a statement on Thursday that she condemns any individuals associating with Hamas.

"I condemn the burning of the American flag. That flag is a symbol of our highest ideals as a nation and represents the promise of America. It should never be desecrated in that way," Harris said.

Harris and Biden were due to hold separate meetings with Netanyahu later on Thursday. More protests were planned for outside the White House.

During the protest on Wednesday, before some of the protesters converged near Union Station, police used pepper spray on some of the thousands of demonstrators present and made some arrests.

The flag burning and graffiti outside Union Station drew strong criticism from Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries, the chamber's Democratic leader.