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Best and worst celebrity beach bodies (okay mostly best)

It is very hard to find stars with bad bodies who frequent beaches. But we still try. Kind of.

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Lais Ribeiro: Best

Victoria’s Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit stunner Lais Ribeiro shows off her beach body during an afternoon dip in the ocean in Miami.

 

(Splash)

lais-ribeiro:-best

Susan Lucci: Best

(MEGA)

susan-lucci:-best

Kelly Ripa: Best

(Splash)

kelly-ripa:-best

Brooke Burke-Charvet: Best

Former “Dancing with the Stars” co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet flashed her toned bikini body in Malibu to promote her new fitness app. For more photos of Burke-Charvet, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

brooke-burke-charvet:-best

Taylor Hill: Best

Victoria’s Secret model Taylor Hill has been getting plenty of sun while vacationing in the Eleuthera Island of the Bahamas.  The runway star made sure to pose in a teeny tiny white bikini for Instagram. For more photos of Hill, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

taylor-hill:-best

Charlotte McKinney: Best

GUESS Girl Charlotte McKinney was happily enjoying a sun-soaked vacation getaway during the wintry months. The model made sure to rock a white hot bikini that enhanced her famous figure. For more photos of McKinney, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

charlotte-mckinney:-best

Sofia Vergara: Best

Sofia Vergara has been enjoying a sun-soaked vacation getaway in Mexico with her husband, “Magic Mike” star Joe Manganiello. For more photos of the “Modern Family” actress, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

sofia-vergara:-best

LeAnn Rimes: Best

Country crooner LeAnn Rimes rocked a swimsuit that proudly showed off her curves while enjoying a romantic getaway in Mexico with her husband, actor Eddie Cibrian. For more photos of the 35-year-old singer, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

leann-rimes:-best

Tara Reid: Worst

Tara Reid (left) appeared dangerously skinny as she sported a bikini and tiny denim shorts while vacationing in Tulum, Mexico with a friend. The American actress, best known for appearing in “American Pie” and “Sharknado,” is 42. MORE: TARA REID HITS RED CARPET WITH WHOLE NEW LOOK

(Backgrid)

tara-reid:-worst

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga revealed her famous assets (and tattoos) while enjoying a beach getaway to kick off the New Year. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is 31. MORE: SEXIEST CELEBRITY BIKINI BODIES

(Twitter)

lady-gaga

Alessandra Ambrosio: Best

There’s a reason why Alessandra Ambrosio has developed such a successful, lasting career as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. The 36-year-old mother of two was spotted having a good time in her native Brazil.

(Splash)

alessandra-ambrosio:-best

Rebecca Gayheart: Best

Rebecca Gayheart kicked off 2018 with some winter sun in Oahu Hawaii. The 46 year-old “Ugly Betty” actress looked stunning in a bikini while chatting with friends on the beach.

(Splash)

rebecca-gayheart:-best

Kelsea Ballerini: Best

Kelsea Ballerini has been happily sharing photos from her honeymoon with new hubby, fellow country singer Morgan Evans, on Instagram. The swimsuit-clad 24-year-old is relaxing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. For more photos of Ballerini, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

kelsea-ballerini:-best

Katharine McPhee: Best

Katharine McPhee showed off her beach-ready bikini body while out vacationing in Mexico. The singer/actress, who first found fame as an “American Idol” contestant, is 33. MORE: SEXIEST CELEBRITY BIKINI BODS

(MOVI Inc.)

katharine-mcphee:-best

Charlize Theron: Best

Charlize Theron showcased her bikini body during Thanksgiving when she enjoyed a sunny getaway in Los Cabos, Mexico, with her kids. 

(Splash)

charlize-theron:-best

Tania Marie: Best

 Italian Playboy Model Tania Marie showed off her bikini body while doing a photoshoot in Venice Beach, California.

(Splash)

tania-marie:-best

Bella Thorne: Best

Bella Thorne is ready to hit the waves! The 20-year-old wore a skimpy bikini top in a behind-the-scenes snap from Liam Payne’s “Bedroom Floor” music video. For more photos of Thorne, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

bella-thorne:-best

Olivia Culpo: Best

Former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo was spotted participating in photoshoot where she rocked a Beach Bunny Swimwear bikini that showed off her camera-ready body.

(Splash)

olivia-culpo:-best

Hilary Duff: Best

(MEGA The Media Agency)

hilary-duff:-best

Natalie Pack: Best

GUESS Girl Natalie Pack isn’t shy about flaunting her bikini body on Instagram with a selfie. For more photos of the model, visit HollywoodLife.com.

(Instagram)

natalie-pack:-best

Christina El Moussa: Best

(Mr Plow/Backgrid)

christina-el-moussa:-best

Lindsay Lohan: Worst

(Pacific Coast News)

lindsay-lohan:-worst

Kate Compton: Best

Model Kate Compton sizzled on the beach in a sexy, strappy black one piece. But the model’s beach day was for work — she spent the day modeling for a photo shoot with fashion photographer Malachi Banales in Malibu, California.

(Splash)

kate-compton:-best

Danica Patrick: Best

(Instagram)

danica-patrick:-best

Natalia Borges and some guy: Best

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Natalia Borges was seen teaching her puppy how to swim at Miami beach. She showered her boyfriend and dog with kisses as they frolicked in the sea together.

(Splash)

natalia-borges-and-some-guy:-best

Olivia Munn: Best

Newly-single Olivia Munn headed to the Beach Enclave North Shore Villa in Turks & Caicos to celebrate her birthday. She thanked Booking.com on her Instagram account for sending her on the vacay. During the trip, she showed off her fit figure in a low-cut one-piece. Does Aaron Rodgers know what he’s missing? 

(Courtesy of Booking.com)

olivia-munn:-best

Kristin Cavallari: Best

(Instagram)

kristin-cavallari:-best

Nicole Scherzinger: Best

(Instagram)

nicole-scherzinger:-best

CJ Franco: Best

All work, all play? Model CJ Franco looked like she was having fun while donning a white bathing suit for a Sports Illustrated shoot in Malibu.

(Splash)

cj-franco:-best

“Top Chef” Padma Lakshmi: Best

(Instagram.com/padmalakshmi)

“top-chef”-padma-lakshmi:-best

Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner: Best

Sister, sister. Kourtney Kardashian (left) and her younger sister Kendall Jenner soaked up the sun on a boat while in Cannes. “Romy and Michele Takes Cannes,” Kardashian captured the pic. The mom-of-three reportedly brought along her much younger beau on the trip. Click here for more pics of Kardashian on Hollywoodlife.com.

(Instagram)

kourtney-kardashian-and-kendall-jenner:-best

Ashley Graham: Best

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham channeled Pamela Anderson with her “Baywatch”-inspired swimsuit. The piece is from the 29-year-old’s newest Swimsuits For All campaign.

(Swimsuits For All)

ashley-graham:-best

Joy Corrigan: Best

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model flaunted her bikini-ready figure during a sizzling photoshoot in Miami.

(Splash)

joy-corrigan:-best

Mama June: Best

(Splash)

mama-june:-best

Jessie James Decker: Best

Jessie James Decker showed off her newly-toned bikini bod thanks to the South Beach Diet. The busy mom-of-two said a balance of diet and exercise helped her get into the best shape of her life. “When I was younger, it was easier to stay in shape. But once I had children, everything changed,” she said in a press release.

(South Beach Diet)

jessie-james-decker:-best

Lisa Rinna: ‘I am 53’

(Instagram)

lisa-rinna:-‘i-am-53’

Kate Hudson: Best

Kate Hudson showed off her insane bikini body while on a vacation in with her kids in in Hawaii. 

(Splash News)

kate-hudson:-best

Porsha Williams: Best

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams recently vacationed AAA Four Diamond Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Porsha stripped down to a revealing swimsuit while at the resort to show off her fit beach bod. 

(Dreamart/Palace Resorts)

porsha-williams:-best

Maria Menounos: Best

(Instagram)

maria-menounos:-best

Kendra Wilkinson: Best

(Instagram)

kendra-wilkinson:-best

Nina Agdal: Best

(Ruven Afanador/Sports Illustrated)

nina-agdal:-best

Bella Hadid: Best

(Instagram)

bella-hadid:-best

Adam Sandler: Worst

The ‘Happy Gilmore’ star may be helping his kids eat too many of their Happy Meals.

(X17online.com)

adam-sandler:-worst

Melissa Joan Hart: Best

Melissa Joan Hart is proud of maintaining her 40 pound weight loss using Nutrisystem and is looking forward to swimsuit season. “It’s been awesome trying on different swimsuits and feeling confident. This red suit is one of my favorites – it’s sexy and playful, but still a little reserved. Perfect for an almost 40 year old!” Hart said.

(Nutrisystem)

melissa-joan-hart:-best

Selena Gomez: Best

Selena shared a super sexy selfie of herself wearing a bikini and teased, “comin soon.” Perhaps the singer has a new photoshoot coming out or a music video. Click here for more pictures of Gomez.

(Instagram)

selena-gomez:-best

Candice Swanepoel: Best

(Splash)

candice-swanepoel:-best

Lindsey Vonn: Best

(Instagram)

lindsey-vonn:-best

Sylvie van der Vaart: Best

(Spread/X17online.com)

sylvie-van-der-vaart:-best

Kellie Pickler: Best

Pickler went from country girl to cabana girl. The singer posted a picture of herself getting some R&R on a girl’s trip with fellow country singer Jana Kramer. Click here for more pictures of Kellie.

(Instagram)

kellie-pickler:-best

Paris Hilton: Best

Paris celebrated July 4 soaking up some sun in a black, stringy one-piece. Click here to see more pictures of the hotel heiress from X17online.com.

(X17online)

paris-hilton:-best

Kate Walsh: Best

(Splash)

kate-walsh:-best

Ireland Baldwin: Best

Alec’s daughter told Galore magazine that forgoing Cup of Noodles was key to her bangin’ bikini bod. Having half Kim Basinger’s genes doesn’t hurt either.

(Jacog Dekat/Galore)

ireland-baldwin:-best

Heidi Klum: Best

Klum’s a cut above the rest. The model and mom of four showed off her bikini-ready body in a black cut-out one-piece on the cover of Us Weekly. How does she stay in shape? “I don’t eat bagels—no way!” she told the magazine. “A bagel is basically a cardboard box…Usually I’ll have a smoothie in the morning.”

(Us Weekly)

heidi-klum:-best

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens: Best

Former Disney costars Tisdale (R) and Hudgens celebrated Tisdale’s upcoming wedding in style. The pair showed off their toned tummies in teeny bikinis on a huge yacht in Miami. Click here for more photos from Tisdale’s bachelorette party.

(Splash)

ashley-tisdale-and-vanessa-hudgens:-best

Shemar Moore: Best

(MrPixx/X17online.com)

shemar-moore:-best

Shauna Sand: Best

Sand wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie teal bikini for a day of fun in the sun. For more pictures of the Playboy Playmate, visit X17online.com.

(X17online)

shauna-sand:-best

Lisa Hochstein: Best

(Splash)

lisa-hochstein:-best

Ashley Benson: Best

Summer can’t come soon enough for this “Spring Breakers” star. Benson, left, shared a sultry poolside seflie of her and a friend trying to get a tan. “Trying to look tan haha,” she wrote on InstagramClick here for more sexy “Spring Breakers” photos.

(Instagram)

ashley-benson:-best

Kim Kardashian: Best

(Instagram)

kim-kardashian:-best

Nina Agdal and Josh Henderson: Best

Op‘s Spring/Summer 2014 marketing campaign features Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model Nina Agdal, actor Josh Henderson, and model/actress Cailin Russo. This is Nina and Josh. They are quite fit.

(Op.com)

nina-agdal-and-josh-henderson:-best

Celina Jade: Best

“Arrow” star Celina Jade stripped down to a bikini for a Maxim shoot. The Hong Kong native revealed that she’s also a singer, songwriter and trained martial artist.

(Maxim)

celina-jade:-best

Kris Jenner: Best

(Instagram)

kris-jenner:-best

Marg Helgenberger: Best

(X17)

marg-helgenberger:-best

Rihanna: Best

(X17)

rihanna:-best

Kate Upton: Best

Supermodel Kate Upton showed off her clearly awesome beach body in the pages of Sports Illustrated as their swimsuit issue covergirl… twice. 

(Derek Kettela/Sports Illustrated )

kate-upton:-best

Amanda Cerny: Best

(RumoerFix/FlameFlyNet)

amanda-cerny:-best

Jaclyn Swedberg: Best

(RumorFIx)

jaclyn-swedberg:-best

Bar Refaeli: Best

(Instagram)

bar-refaeli:-best

Gabrielle Union: Best

(Instagram)

gabrielle-union:-best

Courtney Stodden: Best

(X17online.com)

courtney-stodden:-best

Karrueche Tran: Best

(X17online.com)

karrueche-tran:-best

Emmanuelle Chriqui: Best

(X17online.com)

emmanuelle-chriqui:-best

Bethenny Frankel: Best

(X17)

bethenny-frankel:-best

Holly Madison: Best

(MOVI Inc.)

holly-madison:-best

Lauren Stoner: Best

Okay, so we’re not even sure who this is, but with a body like that, does it even matter? For the record, she was on a reality show in 2010 called “The Spin Crowd.” For more pics of Lauren, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

lauren-stoner:-best

Melody Thornton: X17

The former Pussycat Dolls singer looks very hot in Miami Beach. For more pics of Melody, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

melody-thornton:-x17

Kendall Jenner: Best

The reality-star-turned-model shows off her patriotism the only way she knows how. For more pics of Kendall, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

kendall-jenner:-best

Farrah Abraham: Best

(RumorFix)

farrah-abraham:-best

Reese Witherspoon: Best

While celebrating the Fourth of July with her son and husband, Reese opted to cover up at the beach. The new mom still looks fabulous. Click here for more from X17.

(X17)

reese-witherspoon:-best

Maria Shriver: Worst

We have to say, at 57, Maria Shriver looks pretty good… from the front. But we wish she would have paired her figure-flattering one piece swimsuit with a sarong or a cover-up. Maria Shriver: WorstClick here for more photos from X17

(X17)

maria-shriver:-worst

Victoria Silvstedt: Best

(X17)

victoria-silvstedt:-best

Alison Brie: Best

(Esquire)

alison-brie:-best

Katrina Bowden: Best

Of her bikini style the “30 Rock” star says, “I love mixing and matching the brightly colored bikinis, tank tops and shorts. I like to create my own individual beach style.” You can check out more behind the scenes footage here.

(Invision/AP)

katrina-bowden:-best

Kellan Lutz: Best

“One of my favorite styles is the hybrid short,” says the ripped star. “They dry quickly so you can wear them in the water, then out around town.” You can check out more behind the scenes footage here.

(Omar Vega/Invision for Iconix/AP)

kellan-lutz:-best

Nicole Richie: Best

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Nicole Richie look this good – and healthy. For more pics of Nicole, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

nicole-richie:-best

Jessica Alba: Best

Alba stripped down to her string bikini to enjoy the water in St. Barth’s with her husband Cash Warren, a former stage hand on one of her movie sets, also known as the luckiest man in the world. HOT SHOTS: Tons more pics of Alba on the beach.

(X17)

jessica-alba:-best

Jennie Garth: Best

(X17Online)

jennie-garth:-best

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Best

The actress has gone up and down in size over the years, but on the March 2013 issue of Shape, she looks quite good a bikini.

(AMI)

jennifer-love-hewitt:-best

Beyonce: Best

The singer had a baby not long before shooting this cover. Bow down.

(GQ)

beyonce:-best

Naomi Watts: Best

With a body like that, it’s hard to believe that Naomi has two kids! For more pics of Naomi, go to x17online.com.

(AlphaX/X17online.com)

naomi-watts:-best

Magdalena Frackowiak: Best

(X17)

magdalena-frackowiak:-best

Stephanie Seymour: Best

(X17)

stephanie-seymour:-best

Claudia Galanti: Best

(X17)

claudia-galanti:-best

Jennifer Aniston: Best

(RumorFix)

jennifer-aniston:-best

Jada Pinkett Smith: Best

(RumorFix.com)

jada-pinkett-smith:-best

Cindy Crawford: Best

The supermodel, born in 1966, is still super-modeling. Cindy Crawford: BestNow that’s impressive.

(Shape)

cindy-crawford:-best

Courtney Cox: Best

The “Cougar Town” star showed off her bikini body while enjoying a Corona in Miami. How does our favorite “Friend” stay in great shape? She told New Beauty magazine that she follows a light diet plan. She skips breakfast and has a coffee instead, chicken salad for lunch and meat and vegetables for dinner. Yep, that’ll do it. HOT SHOTS: Cox’s hot bikini bod.

(RumorFix.com)

courtney-cox:-best

Jennifer Lawrence: Best

(RumorFix.com)

jennifer-lawrence:-best

Katy Perry: Best

The singer often shows off her figure in form-fitting dresses, so it’s no surprise that she looks this good in a two-piece while on vacation in Miami. For more pics of Katy, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

katy-perry:-best

Demi and Rumer: Best

(X17Online.com)

demi-and-rumer:-best

Jon Favreau: Worst

(RumorFix.com )

jon-favreau:-worst

Best: Olivia Wilde

(FameFlynet)

best:-olivia-wilde

Best: Whitney Port

Her body is beach ready, but her taste in bikinis is lacking, troubling as she is a “fashion designer.” At least on TV. For more pics of Whitney, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

best:-whitney-port

Best: Maria Menounous

(X17 Online)

best:-maria-menounous

Worst: Val Kilmer

(X17 Online)

worst:-val-kilmer

Ashley Tisdale: Best

The young actress celebrated her birthday with boyfriend Scott Speer, sharing a kiss and playing in the ocean at her Malibu Birthday party. For more pics of Ashley, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

ashley-tisdale:-best

Ramona Singer: Worst

The “Real Housewives of New York” star should have done a few extra crunches before donning her itsy bitsy bikini. (They do make something called a “one piece.”) Ramona Singer: WorstFor more pics of Ramona, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

ramona-singer:-worst

Kelly Brook: Best

Kelly Brook and Cannes: a good combination. Fore more pics of Kelly, go to x17online.com.

(X17online.com)

kelly-brook:-best

Michelle Rodriguez: Best

(X17)

michelle-rodriguez:-best

Russell Simmons: Worst

(X17)

russell-simmons:-worst

David Hasselhoff: Worst

Eek. Those late night cheeseburgers are beginning to show. For more on David go to X17Online.

(X17online.com)

david-hasselhoff:-worst

Janice Dickinson: Worst

(celebbuzz.com)

janice-dickinson:-worst

Jordana Brewster: Best

(X17online.com)

jordana-brewster:-best

Cameron Diaz: Best

(x17online.com)

cameron-diaz:-best

Keira Knightly: Best

(X17)

keira-knightly:-best

Mario Lopez: Best

(X17online.com)

mario-lopez:-best

Kristen Bell: Best

(x17online.com)

kristen-bell:-best

Kathy Griffin: Worst

(celebbuzz.com)

kathy-griffin:-worst

Deena Cortese: Worst

The “Jersey Shore” gal should consider trading in all those fruity cocktails for some Muscle Milk. For more pics of Deena go to Celebuzz.

(celebbuzz.com)

deena-cortese:-worst

Serena Williams: Best

The tennis star looks hot in a bikini that looks like lingerie. For more pics of Serena go to Celebuzz.

(celebbuzz.com)

serena-williams:-best



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Latest News

Venice floods: Race to save art as 70% of Lagoon city submerged by floods | World News

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People in Venice are racing against time to stop precious artwork being lost to the rising flood waters.

The high tide in Venice has peaked at 154cm (5ft), with around 70% of the city centre under water.

The saltwater floods have meant that work needs to be done to protect the famous wall art from erosion.

The culture minister, Dario Franceschini, has said more than 50 churches have reported damage so far, with security forces and art experts being deployed to assess the state of art treasures around the city – a job expected to take some time.



To many Venetians, mass tourism poses a serious risk to the city's building and ecosystem







Special Report: Venice under threat

The famous St Mark’s Square was blocked off and closed to tourists as it was covered in knee-high water, while shops and hotels were once more submerged.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said he had been forced to ask police to block off the square, calling Venice the “pride of all of Italy”.

Earlier, authorities predicted the high tide would peak at 160cm (5.2ft) – far beyond the emergency levels that set off sirens in the streets.

In normal conditions, levels of 80-90cm are generally seen as high but manageable.

The waters also reached 149cm (4.8ft) in Burano and 146cm (4.7ft) in Chioggia.

The city saw the second-worst flooding on record on Tuesday when the water level reached 187cm (6.14ft) – just short of the 194cm seen in 1966.

Sky's Europe correspondent Michelle Clifford wades through  floodwater by St Mark's Basilica
Image:
Sky’s Europe correspondent Michelle Clifford wades through floodwater by St Mark’s Basilica
People take photos from a flooded arcade
Image:
People take photos from a flooded arcade
A flooded St Mark's square (Piazza San Marco) during a new exceptional high tide
Image:
A flooded St Mark’s Square during an exceptional high tide

“Another day of alert for Venice. The sirocco wind keeps blowing. I invite all … to keep yourselves updated on the level of the water,” Mr Brugnaro tweeted.

A man stands by a closed shop in a flooded arcade by St Mark's square
Image:
A man stands by a closed shop in a flooded arcade
Head of Italy's far-right League (Lega) party, Matteo Salvini (C) walks across the flooded St. Mark's Square
Image:
Head of Italy’s far-right League party Matteo Salvini (C) walks across the flooded St Mark’s Square
A man stands outside a souvenir shop as a woman walks across a flooded alleyway
Image:
A man stands outside a souvenir shop as a woman walks across a flooded alleyway

The mayor has blamed climate change for the severe flooding, which has swamped the city’s historic basilica, squares and centuries-old buildings, and said the damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros.

Levels are due to ease to 110cm-120cm over the weekend, according to tide forecast centre CPSM Venezia.



preview image







Venice floods: Italy declares state of emergency

Many shopkeepers on St Mark’s Square said they were forced to close their businesses 10 days ago when levels broke through the 110cm (3.6ft) threshold.

Saint Mark’s Basilica, parts of which date back to the 11th century, was flooded, with an official even pointing to a risk of collapse during the worst of the flooding.

Tourists use a temporary platform to cross St Mark's Square
Image:
Tourists use a temporary platform to cross St Mark’s Square
Venice flooded by highest tide in more than 50 years
Image:
Venice flooded by highest tide in more than 50 years

Visitors were forced to make their way along temporary platforms above the water, while others donned wet weather gear and sloshed through the floods.

Two people have reportedly died as a result of the flooding.

A man in his 70s died on the barrier island of Pellestrina after being electrocuted, and another person died on the same island, though the cause was unknown, Italian news agency ANSA said.

Meanwhile, much of Banksy’s famous artwork in the Italian city is now under water, including a drawing showing a migrant child wearing a life jacket and holding a neon pink flare, which first appeared on a wall in the Campo San Pantalon earlier this year.

The artwork by street artist Banksy, that portrays a migrant child wearing a lifejacket and holding a neon pink flare, is pictured after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on November 13, 2019 in Venice.
Image:
The artwork by street artist Banksy after an exceptional overnight ‘Alta Acqua’ high tide water level
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Venice
Image:
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Venice

Snow was expected in the city of Belluno in the northern part of the Veneto region, at the foot of Dolomites, potentially aggravating the situation in Venice.

The government declared a state of emergency for Venice on Thursday and allocated an initial 20 million euros (£17m) to address the immediate damage.

VENICE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 15: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Jodie Kidd visits the flooded zones in Venice on November 15, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images )
Image:
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York is visiting Venice

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday the government will hold an extraordinary meeting on 26 November to discuss the “governance and the structural problems of the city”.

The severe flooding has also reignited a long debated on Moses – the multibillion-euro flood defence project that has been under construction since 2003 – with the mayor calling for its speedy completion.

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Russian warplanes were behind airstrikes that killed 44 in Syrian school district, first-hand testimony suggests | World News

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First-hand testimony gathered by Sky News suggests Russian warplanes were behind airstrikes which killed 44 in a Syrian district filled with schools.

The findings challenge Russian accounts of the four blasts in Ma’arat Al-Numan on 22 July, with military chiefs insisting their fighter jets were not in the area at the time.

However, spotters say they logged plane departures from a Russian base in Syrian president Bashar Al Assad’s stronghold of Latakia which match the timings of the bombings.

Maps produced by Russian generals to denounce the claims focus on an area 300 metres away from a market hit twice in the strikes.



A Sky News investigation has gathered evidence of systematic bombing of civilian targets in Idlib, Syria







Full report: Russian jets ‘bombed civilian areas in Syria’

Experts believe the Russian air force is the only power in this area with the capability to carry out these strikes.

Sky News has presented its findings to the Russian Ministry of Defence, but has not received a response yet.

The four-month Sky News investigation involved making several trips inside the warzone to gather evidence from eyewitnesses and survivors, as well as documenting video evidence, audio testimony and scrutinising the scene of the strikes first-hand.

Sky News also spoke to underground observers who use radio transmitters to intercept fighter pilot communications, allowing spotters to warn residents of impending airstrikes.

Others spot drones in the area used by the Syrian regime and Russian allies to track the movements of residents and rebel fighters.

The blasts set shrapnel into the air and scattered debris across the district
Image:
The blasts set shrapnel into the air and scattered debris across the district

The four bombings on Ma’arat Al-Numan in one day were the worst in recent times in Idlib province, the last rebel area in Syria. Eight of the 44 people who died were children, and more than 70 were injured.

The airstrikes started early in the morning while many of the victims were still asleep. The initial strike was at 8.35am in an area known as the school district because of the high concentration of schools and training centres in the area.

Although it was summer break, a number of them were running holiday courses with children about to arrive for the day’s lessons. According to witnesses, the bomb was so devastating it shattered windows and homes in many of the surrounding streets.

The four airstrikes hit Ma'arat Al-Numan on the same morning
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The four airstrikes hit Ma’arat Al-Numan on the same morning

Camera and mobile phone footage shows first-aiders hurrying to the scene with the atmosphere clouded with dust and strewn with debris.

Residents stumbled out of their homes and into the roads covered in dust, having just woken but already struggling to take out their injured. Eight minutes later another bomb hit almost the same spot.

The moment of impact is captured on a mobile phone by one of the residents.

Successive airstrikes on a single location are known in Syria as a “double tap”. This had the most devastating effect on life and limb in Ma’arat Al-Numan that day.

Underground observers use radio transmitters to intercept fighter pilot communications
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Underground observers use radio transmitters to intercept fighter pilot communications

Within minutes of the first blast, the market area was crowded with first responders from the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets.

There was also a large number of residents in the streets – all trying to help the wounded from the initial attack. Many of them were among the worst hurt or killed when the second bomb landed.

Young workers in a falafel shop where many residents ate breakfast had been scrambling to leave when the second strike happened.

Those who had been catching an early morning tea at a bakery, only to drop everything to help the wounded, now found themselves terribly injured and many others killed.

A motorbike repair shop which had been in full operation was obliterated, and all the workers were killed.

The bulk of the dead and injured were in the 'double tap' bombings near the market
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The bulk of the dead and injured were in the ‘double tap’ bombings near the market

A medic with the White Helmets who had just arrived at the scene had run into a shop to take cover. The ceiling collapsed on him, killing him outright, and injuring two other volunteers.

All six families living in the three-storey apartment block above the market stalls were wiped out.

The entire building pancaked in the blast. There was so much devastation that most rescue workers believed at first that no-one inside the apartments could have survived.

Rania Kisar, a Syrian-American teacher who was in Ma’arat al Numan running a charity school, told us of the horrific scene as she rushed to check her institute. The students were due to arrive when the successive strikes hit, causing a shrapnel rainstorm.

Maps produced by Russian generals focused on an area 300 metres away from the district
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Maps produced by Russian generals focused on an area 300 metres away from the district

“I went along the street and the first thing I saw was a leg,” she told us. “There were body parts everywhere.”

“There were little metallic pieces like screwdrivers just coming out of the sky,” she added. “I can’t even describe what they were like, all metallic pieces, sharp and edgy, like tiny screwdrivers and it was falling on us like rain.”

The footage she filmed on her phone documents much of what happened that morning in horrific detail. She can be heard sobbing throughout much of it as she repeatedly comes across dismembered limbs.

At one point, another resident, also clearly in shock, is waving a dismembered leg at her while screaming.

She rushes into a building with a crowd of others as they hear another aircraft, which they fear is preparing to drop another bomb.

“We were all praying,” she said. “We thought we were going to be killed.”

Rescuers worked for six hours before discovering Batul, 7, beneath the rubble
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Rescuers worked for six hours before discovering seven-year-old Batul beneath the rubble

Barely 11 minutes later, at 8.54am, there was a third strike which hit northeast of the market area where the twin bombings struck.

It is little over a kilometre away, near a mosque and a hospital where the White Helmets tried to take casualties for treatment.

At 9am, a fourth airstrike landed near a cultural centre.

The bulk of the dead and injured were in the “double tap” bombings near the market. It was six hours before they pulled out a survivor there.

Batul's head was covered in blood when she was pulled from the wreckage
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Batul’s head was covered in blood when she was pulled from the wreckage

She was seven-year-old Batul, her hair caked in blood but pigtails still intact.

Obada Zikra, the White Helmets volunteer who worked to pull her free, told Sky News he heard her crying.

He said: “We spoke to her, tried to reassure her we are coming. ‘We are very close,’ we kept saying but she was crying a lot, calling for water.”

Batul told the White Helmets her baby brother, three-year-old Ahmed, was near to her under the rubble and it seemed like a miracle when the volunteers managed to pull him out alive too.

Both their parents and all their siblings were killed in the blasts.

Rescuers lift Batul from the debris
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Rescuers lift Batul from the debris

“If this isn’t a war crime, I don’t know what is,” one survivor of the airstrikes told Sky News.

We have monitored the progress of the two children since that day. Both were taken out of the warzone and across the border to Turkey through a complicated series of arrangements because of the lack of legal documentation and the deaths of all their immediate relatives.

They had to spend weeks in hospital because of the severity of their wounds.

Batul, seven, had several operations and needs further surgery after suffering severe internal injuries.

Ahmed had operations on his eye but both of them are recovering well and now being cared for by elderly relatives.

Their futures are still far from certain with no guarantees about how long they will be allowed to remain in Turkey.

White Helmet rescuers thought Ahmed had died in the building collapse
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White Helmet rescuers thought Ahmed had died in the building collapse

Weeks later when we went back to Ma’arat Al-Numan with the man who pulled both of them free, the White Helmets volunteer showed us the huge crater where the children’s home used to be.

They had been sleeping with their family on the second floor but because their bedroom was near the corner of the apartment, they somehow survived.

It was exhilarating for the White Helmets who worked for more than 12 hours straight that day trying to save lives.

Realising the children were alive made their dangerous work worthwhile, Obada Zikra told us.

Batul and Ahmed were taken to a hospital in Turkey
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Batul and Ahmed were taken to a hospital in Turkey
Ahmed is being treated in a Turkish hospital, and is now well enough able to play with toys
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Ahmed is now well enough able to play with toys

But their efforts come at a high price and he spoke of the lasting trauma many of the volunteers are still enduring.

Mr Zikra said: “At the beginning it was very difficult, at night we all have nightmares. I sometimes see myself trapped in the rubble or I dream about aircraft targeting us.”

Hadi Abdullah, a freelance filmmaker who had been living in Ma’arat Al-Numan for months before the bombings, told us the area was a fully residential one.

He insists there were no military camps in the city; no fighters; no armed personnel at all. It is a view backed up by other residents.

Hadi Abdullah insists there were no military camps in the city
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Hadi Abdullah insists there were no military camps in the city

The city is considered critical of both the Syrian authorities led by Bashar al Assad and the different militia groups operating in Idlib province, including the dominant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

For this reason, they’ve resisted any fighting group setting up bases in the city. And now they want justice.

Hadi Abdullah told us: ‘Although the Russians denied responsibility for this massacre, we’re positive they did this and it is a war crime.”

He is not alone in that view. Doctors and residents also insist the repeated bombings of homes, civilian places and health facilities is a systematic tactic by the Russians and the Syrian regime to force the population to move out of the area.

A hospital we went to in Idlib at the end of August had been struck by multiple bombs just a few days earlier.

Hospitals in Idlib are repeatedly targeted and attacked
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Hospitals in Idlib are repeatedly targeted and attacked

The wards were still full of medical equipment, medicines, oxygen bottles and other hospital paraphernalia. This is the hospital the children might have expected to have been treated in, had it not been situated in a warzone filled with groups flouting international laws.

Hospitals in Idlib are now seriously dangerous places to be because they are repeatedly targeted and attacked. We collected and examined a lot of the hospital paperwork and documents which were still strewn around.

Among the evidence we collected was a folder listing the patients due for blood analysis that day.

It showed a number of patients listed as receiving treatment on the day of the bombing. We found no reason to doubt this was a fully functioning hospital.

Russian and Syrian regime supporters often claim the hospitals are used to harbour weapons and fighters, therefore making them viable targets.

Targeting health facilities is listed as a war crime, as well as a crime against humanity by the United Nations.

Russian and Syrian regime supporters claim hospitals are used to harbour weapons and fighters
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Russian and Syrian regime supporters claim hospitals are used to harbour weapons and fighters

The GPS co-ordinates of all health facilities still operating in Idlib have been supplied to the UN (of which Russia is a member) to be disseminated to the fighting groups in Syria to ensure protection.

But doctors working in Idlib insist this is being constantly disregarded.

Dr Samir Qaddour told us: “We share our hospitals and public centres (locations) with the UN so they know where there are hospitals here.”

He went on: “But this is continuously ignored and no one follows up these war crimes. No-one cares about what is happening here.”

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Hong Kong: Meet the people behind the barricades keeping the protesters fed | World News

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The “frontliners” – the most violent and daring protectors – have been at the barricades all summer.

In a siege, though, it is supply lines that count.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been turned into a fortress, occupied by protesters.

Sky News went behind the scenes at the protesters' support network
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Sky News went behind the scenes at the protesters’ support network

Inside, that fortress is staffed by a volunteer logistics brigade.

All summer and into autumn, the Hong Kong protests have relied on a network of supporters – taxi drivers, medics, graphic designers. Unwilling to hurl a petrol bomb but all of them willing to lend a hand.

Here, though, they are running a campus, one designed for 20,000 people. And they’re running it well.

There is no hierarchy nor assigned role.

People show up and find themselves a job. And out of that chaotic approach, an efficient, busy operation has emerged.

The food court is the hub of the university – this is Hong Kong after all. Tired protesters clad in black queue to pile their plates high with food.

3,000 meals are cooked every day
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3,000 meals are cooked every day

The kitchen is all go at lunchtime. There are different stations – one for separating eggs, another for chopping vegetables.

One protester wearing a mask instructs another on the best technique for peeling a courgette.

The dish-washing section declines an interview because they don’t want to be identified.

Industrial-size woks hiss with oil. Most of these people are not protesters but fellow citizens who have come to lend a hand.

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One man (everyone I spoke to asked not to be named) is cooking chilli chicken. “I wanted to do something to help the protesters, to support them,” he says. He adds they are cooking 3,000 meals a day.

Behind him are rows of freshly chopped ingredients and next to him is another, older man, who is retired, a former primary school teacher. “The Hong Kong government is doing something really wrong.

“So I saw the students, I come and help them.”

He’s been frying pork all morning but is done: “They don’t want any more pork chop!”



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If an army marches on its stomach, this one will do just fine.

In another part of the university, there is a field hospital. It is stacked with medical supplies and strewn with beds to treat their wounded. Most of the injuries so far have been sustained in building roadblocks.

About 40 people work here, giving first aid. One of them, a young student from a different university, explains why.



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Why are people protesting in Hong Kong?

“A lot of people still refuse to be in the frontline so they try to find a role. People drive their car to transport people back home. They try to support the students and youth in any sort of way they want. Because I think everyone in Hong Kong is enraged.

“People in the frontline can do their work. People in the back can support them. Just like us.”

He shows me a home-made stretcher. “This one actually has wheels. It kind of moves,” he says, rocking it.

In this picture taken on November 14, 2019, protesters walk between aisles of goods donated by members of the public at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hung Hom, Hong Kong. - Protests which began against a now-shelved extradition bill to China have spiralled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability as violence and demonstrations roil the city, challenging Beijing's authority. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
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These people keep the protesters warm and fed

“A few months ago, we never thought we’d need to bring stretchers. We thought that the only wound we’d need to deal with are bruises or being affected by tear gas. But a few months later we see gun wounds, we see all sorts of stuff. And it’s kind of crazy when we think about it.”

More menial jobs are just as important.

I saw one middle-aged man scrubbing the toilets, then pushing a cleaning machine in the corridor. He studied at this university 19 years ago and has come to support the younger generation.

“This is the only thing I can do,” he says. “Those who stand in frontline – it’s not for me. I’m too old. So what I can do here, only do some cleaning, give them a good environment to stay, that’s the only thing I can do.”

He says he will stay as long as the protesters do.

But it works the other way too. The longer people like him lend a hand, the longer the protests will endure.

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