‘French Spiderman’ foiled in Seoul skyscraper attempt

Freeclimber Alain Robert of France, left, is hoisted to a deck of the Lotte World Tower after being forced to abandon his climb. Robert has scaled more than 100 structures without ropes or other safety equipment, setting a record for “most buildings climbed unassisted” according to Guinness World Records. (AFP)
Updated 06 June 2018
0

‘French Spiderman’ foiled in Seoul skyscraper attempt

SEOUL: French urban freeclimber Alain Robert attempted to scale the world’s fifth-tallest building Wednesday, getting more than half way up the 123-story Lotte World Tower in Seoul before security forced him to abandon the ascent.
The 55-year-old, dubbed the ‘French Spiderman’, made his way up the building bare-handed and without ropes as staff pursued him from inside.
“I climbed about 75 stories and then after that, it was a bit like cat and mouse,” Robert said. “Finally, I decided to surrender.”
He was taken to the rooftop on a maintenance cradle and arrested.
As he awaited processing by police he said his climb was to celebrate the recent peace-making efforts between the two Koreas and he hoped the authorities would take that into account.
“I may get a hefty fine ... but I did it because of what is happening now between South Korea and North Korea,” Robert said.
“That is my way of saying thank you to Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in.”
In the last two months the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea has twice met the South’s president, the two men exchanging smiles and hugs after years of heightened tensions.
Robert has scaled more than 100 structures without ropes or other safety equipment, setting a record for “most buildings climbed unassisted” according to Guinness World Records.
His successes include many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and iconic buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — where he used suction devices and a safety rope as it has no hand or footholds.
Several fire trucks and police were sent to the Seoul building after a security guard spotted the French climber.
“It’s regrettable,” said You In-sik, a spokesman for the Lotte World Tower. “He climbed without permission. It’s dangerous.”
Robert has suffered several severe falls while climbing and estimates his accidents have left him 66 percent disabled. He has been arrested numerous times for his exploits.


Rare footage of Brazil tribe threatened by loggers: activists

Grab of a video shot by Midia India on August 2018 and released by Survival International activits of a purportedly uncontacted member of a Brazilian indigenous tribe hunting in the Amazon rainforest near Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil. (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019
0

Rare footage of Brazil tribe threatened by loggers: activists

  • Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped get him elected

RIO DE JANEIRO: Rare footage of purportedly uncontacted members of a Brazilian indigenous tribe hunting in the Amazon rainforest was released Monday by activists who warn the group could be wiped out by logging.
The 58-second clip filmed in the northern state of Maranhao shows members of the Awa tribe, which Survival International says has been frequently attacked by loggers who have been emboldened by pro-business President Jair Bolsonaro.
“Only a global outcry stands between them and genocide,” said Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, which published the video that had been shot by a member of neighboring indigenous tribe Guajajara. The footage was shot in August, the NGO said.
“Loggers have already killed many of their relatives and forced others out of the forest.
“President Bolsonaro and his friends in the logging industry would like nothing more than for those who still survive to be eliminated.”
In the footage, a young man holding a machete in the rainforest appears to sniff the blade before he looks toward the person filming him. Seconds later he and other members of the tribe carrying spears run away.
“We didn’t have the Awa’s permission to film, but we know that it’s important to use these images because if we don’t show them around the world, the Awa will be killed by loggers,” said Erisvan Guajajara of Midia India, an indigenous film-making association.
Members of the Guajajara tribe belong to the Guardians of the Amazon group, which aims to protect isolated indigenous people.
While most Awa have been contacted, some are known to still live uncontacted in an area of rainforest that is being “rapidly destroyed,” Survival International said.
Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon rainforest and indigenous peoples in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped get him elected.
Bolsonaro, whose anti-environment rhetoric has included a pledge to end “Shiite ecologist activism,” has questioned the latest official figures showing deforestation increased 88 percent in June compared with the same period last year.
He uses the word “Shiite” as a synonym for radicalism rather than denoting a branch of Islam.
“We are experiencing a real environmental psychosis,” Bolsonaro said Sunday.
Bolsonaro also accused foreign journalists Friday of wanting Brazil’s estimated 800,000 indigenous people to remain in a “prehistoric state, without access to technology, science and the thousand wonders of modernity.”