Sunday, June 07, 2015

JuniDrom ECO News (June 2015 - B)

South Korean health officials on Sunday reported 14 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, bringing the total in the country's outbreak to 64, and said a fifth person infected with the virus had died.

South Korea's outbreak of the often-deadly MERS virus, first reported May 20, is the largest outside the Middle East, prompting public fear and questions over the government's initial response.......South Korea Reports 14 More MERS Cases, Fifth Death



  1. Pope to urge swift action on global warming...

    Pope Francis will call for swift action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, according to a leaked draft of the pontiff's encyclical.

    The document - published by Italy's L'Espresso magazine - says global warming is directly linked to human activities and the intensive use of fossil fuels.

    The Vatican called the leaking of the draft a "heinous" act.

    It said the final version would be released on Thursday as planned.
    'Enormous consumption'

    The 192-page draft of the encyclical - which is the highest level of teaching document a pope can issue - is entitled "Laudato Si: On the care of the common home".

    In the paper, Pope Francis presents both scientific and moral reasons for protecting God's creation.

    He puts much of the blame for global warming on human activities, mentioning the continual loss of biodiversity in the Amazonian rainforest and the melting of Arctic glaciers among other examples.

    The draft also says that developing countries are bearing the brunt of the "enormous consumption" of some of the richest.

    The pontiff calls on all humans - not just Roman Catholics - to prevent the destruction of the ecosystem before the end of the century and to establish a new political authority to tackle pollution.

    The encyclical has been months in the writing, and the Pope is said to be keen for it to set the tone for the debate at a UN summit on climate change in November in Paris, the BBC's Caroline Wyatt says.

  2. South Korea’s health ministry reported four new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) today (June 16), bringing the total to 154 in an outbreak that is the largest outside Saudi Arabia...

    The ministry also said three patients infected with the MERS virus had died, taking the death toll to 19 in an outbreak that began in May.

  3. Chinese and American scientists have jointly developed a new antibody targeting the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, which has killed 16 people and landed 150 others in hospital...

    Fudan University, which worked with U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop the antibody, said on Monday that tests on animals had seen "very effective" results.

    Jiang Shibo, who led the research team at Fudan, said the m336 antibody could neutralize MERS virus more effectively than other antibodies.

    Zhong Nanshan, a renowned respiratory expert, called for an immediate clinical trial.

    The m336 antibody treatment has proved more effective when coupled with a specific type of polypeptide, according to Jiang.

  4. Sediment gathered from a lake in Romania has recorded the environmental changes linked to changes in the political landscape, a study shows...

    Analysis of the deposits revealed higher erosion rates of topsoil, linked to intensive farming, during the post-war Communist era.

    Changes to the cores' pollen signature also showed that woodlands were felled in order for more land to be farmed.

    The 1986 Chernobyl accident was also recorded in the samples, it added.....BBC

  5. Five Irish students and one other young woman have been killed after a fourth-floor balcony collapsed at a US apartment...

    Authorities in California confirmed that seven others remain in hospital.

    The collapse happened during a 21st birthday party shortly before 01:00 local time (08:00 GMT) on Tuesday in the city of Berkeley.

    The students are believed to have been living temporarily in the US as part of a work exchange programme.

    Around 700 Irish students are currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, said Philip Grant, the Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States.

    "We're still in an emergency response mode," he said. "It's a formative experience, and to have this happen ... has left us all frozen in shock and disbelief".

    Berkeley City Mayor Tom Bates described the incident as a "shocking set of events".

    "We're all sort of awestruck by the incredible tragedy," he said....BBC

  6. North Korea says it faces worst drought in a century...

    North Korea says it is facing its worst drought in a century, sparking fears of worsening food shortages.

    State news agency KCNA said main rice-growing provinces had been badly affected and more than 30% of rice paddies were "parching up".

    Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died during a widespread famine in the 1990s.

    This drought is unlikely to be as deadly because of recent agricultural reforms, correspondents say.

    The United Nations World Food Programme says North Korea regularly faces significant food shortages and currently about a third of children in the country are malnourished....BBC

  7. Ontario Power Generation has extended its consultation period for a proposed nuclear waste storage site near the Saugeen First Nation...

    During this period, the public can comment on the proposed conditions for nuclear waste storage near Lake Huron.

    But that isn’t satisfying some citizen groups who have no filed a federal application against the project.

  8. Invasion de crabes rouges sur les côtes californiennes ...

    Voilà une scène qui ressemble à celle d’une mauvaise série B: des milliers de crabes rouges échoués sur les plages de Californie interpellent les habitants de San Diego qui n’avaient jamais observé ce phénomène.

    Ce crabe rouge, le galathée pélagique, souffrirait du réchauffement des eaux selon Linsey Sala, scientifique au musée océanographique de San Diego. Cet hiver, la diminution des calamars ou encore des sardines aux larges des côtés toujours en raison de ce réchauffement avait créé des perturbations dans le régime alimentaire des otaries au point que des centaines de ces mammifères s’étaient échoués sur les plages.

  9. Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study...

    The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.

    The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

    The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.

    One of the new study's authors said: "We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

    The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth.

    "If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on," said the lead author, Gerardo Ceballos...........

  10. Strong earthquake reported in Chile, no immediate reports of damage or injuries...

    A strong earthquake was registered off the northern coast of Chile late Friday, but the country's National Emergency Office said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

    The Chilean Navy's Hydrography and Oceanography Service said there were no signs of a possible tsunami in the temblor's wake.

    The U.S. Geological Service said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.4. It was reported at about 10:06 p.m. EDT and had a depth of about 6 miles (10 kilometres). The epicenter was about 55 miles (88 kilometres) northwest of Concepcion, and about 267 miles (430 kilometres) southwest of the capital of Santiago.
    Magnitude Mw 6.6
    Date time 2015-06-20 02:10:05.4 UTC
    Location 36.30 S ; 73.69 W
    Depth 2 km
    Distances 420 km SW of Santiago, Chile / pop: 4,837,295 / local time: 23:10:05.4 2015-06-19
    82 km NW of Concepción, Chile / pop: 215,413 / local time: 23:10:05.4 2015-06-19
    69 km NW of Talcahuano, Chile / pop: 252,968 / local time: 23:10:05.4 2015-06-19

  11. The International Whaling Commission on Friday demanded that Japan provide more information to prove that its revised Antarctic whaling program was for scientific research, saying it could not reach a consensus based on the documents submitted...

    The Britain-based IWC had been expected to judge whether Japan’s “NEWREP-A proposal,” which would target 3,996 minke whales over 12 years, had addressed the issues that led to its predecessor being ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice.

    But the commission’s 2015 Scientific Committee Report found the new proposal “contained insufficient information” for its expert panel to complete a full review and specified the extra work that Japan needed to undertake.

    Regardless of the ruling, Japan could still press ahead with plans, scheduled to begin this December, to target whales in the Southern Ocean for “lethal sampling,” as it is ultimately up to individual countries to issue permits for whaling on scientific

    1. Japan says it plans to resume whale hunts in the Antarctic later this year, even though the International Whaling Commission says Tokyo hasn't proven that the mammals need to be killed for research....

      The IWC's Scientific Committee said in a report Friday that it wasn't able to determine whether lethal sampling is necessary for whale stock management and conservation. In April, an IWC experts' panel made similar comments about a revised Japanese Antarctic whaling plan submitted after the International Court of Justice ruled last year that Japan's earlier hunts were not truly scientific.

      The IWC banned commercial whaling in 1986, but Japan continued killing whales under an exemption for research. After the ICJ's ruling, Japan sent a nonlethal expedition to the Antarctic for the 2014 season.

      Japanese officials said Friday they will submit additional data to support their argument. They said Japan still plans to resume whaling in the Antarctic this winter

  12. La sixième extinction animale de masse est en cours...

    Les espèces animales disparaissent environ 100 fois plus rapidement que par le passé, les estimations les plus optimistes montrant que la faune de la Terre est en train de subir sa sixième extinction de masse, selon une étude publiée vendredi 19 juin par des experts des universités américaines Stanford, Princeton et Berkeley, notamment.

    Jamais, selon eux, la planète n'a perdu ses espèces animales à un rythme aussi effréné que depuis la dernière extinction de masse il y a 66 millions d'années - celle des dinosaures - . Leur étude, publiée dans le journal Science Advances, « montre sans aucun doute notable que nous entrons dans la sixième grande extinction de masse », a affirmé Paul Ehrlich, professeur de biologie à Stanford.
    Les humains en feront partie

    Et les humains feront probablement partie des espèces qui disparaîtront, ont-ils prévenu. « Si on permet que cela continue, la vie pourrait mettre plusieurs millions d'années à s'en remettre, et nos espèces elles-mêmes disparaîtraient probablement assez tôt », a précisé Gerardo Ceballos, de l'université autonome de Mexico.

    Cette analyse s'appuie sur les observations documentées d'extinctions de vertébrés - à savoir des animaux avec squelettes internes comme des grenouilles, des reptiles et des tigres - à partir de fossiles et d'autres bases de données. Le rythme actuel de disparition des espèces a été comparé aux « rythmes naturels de disparition des espèces avant que l'activité humaine ne domine »...........En savoir plus sur

  13. Ghana destroys hundreds of homes in capital in bid to prevent floods...

    Bulldozers razed hundreds of homes and businesses in the poor Sodom and Gomorrah neighbourhood of Ghana’s capital yesterday (June 20) so the authorities can start widening a lagoon to prevent a repeat of this month’s deadly floods.

    Some residents said security forces sprayed them with tear gas after they threw stones to protect their livelihoods from the bulldozers. By evening, thousands were stranded in the rain amid rubble and household goods strewn for more than a mile.

    “What they have done is not good for us because this is where some of us work and take care of our families,” said scrap metal merchant Muhammed Abdul Karim as he surveyed the wreckage of his shack and the motorised tricycle he uses to haul iron.

    Flood control has become an urgent problem for President John Mahama’s government since more than 50 people drowned in torrents caused by blocked drains on June 3-4, a tragedy that exposed the country’s creaking

  14. Chile declares environmental emergency over polluted Santiago air...

    Chilean authorities declared an environmental emergency for the Santiago metropolitan region for today (June 22), forcing more than 900 industries to temporarily shut down and about 40 per cent of the capital's 1.7 million cars off the roads.

    "We're currently facing unusual conditions, with one of the driest Junes in over 40 years as well as really bad air circulation conditions in the Santiago valley in recent days, which boosts the concentration of contamination," the Environment Ministry said in a statement.

    The emergency, the first since 1999, will be in place for 24 hours and can be extended further if authorities deem conditions have not improved.

    The Environment Ministry could not immediately provide Reuters with a list of what industries will be forced to suspend operations today.

    People in the Santiago area also were advised to avoid outdoor exercise, though such activity was not prohibited. Chile is in the midst of hosting the Copa America soccer tournament. The next game is scheduled for

  15. Traumhafte Wetterprognose: Nächste Woche angeblich bis zu 40 Grad...

    Es klingt zu schön, um wahr zu sein. Angeblich wird es in der kommenden Woche endlich sonnig und heiß. Sauheiß! Bis zu 40 Grad sind laut der Prognose von Diplom-Meteorologe Dominik Jung vom Internetportal „“ drin. Doch selbst der Fachmann sagt, dass derartige Vorhersagen momentan mit Vorsicht zu genießen sind.

    Ab Mitte der Woche wird der Regen wärmer, und zum Wochenende kündigen sich sogar Werte von knapp 30 Grad an. Dauerhafter Sonnenschein oder gar stabiles Sommerwetter ist aber auch dann nicht in Sicht, so Jung.
    Der Sommerstart am Sonntag war ein Reinfall. Auf der Zugspitze fielen 40 Zentimeter Neuschnee.

  16. WHO says insecticide lindane causes cancer...

    The insecticide lindane causes cancer in humans, says the World Health Organization after conducting a review.

    A specialist panel found sufficient evidence to link the chemical, already banned in the EU and the US, to a cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Lindane is still used in some developing countries.

    And it is an ingredient in some head lice and scabies treatments used in some countries, including China, India, the US and Canada.........BBC

  17. A strong earthquake has struck off an island chain south of Tokyo, but officials say there is no danger of a tsunami...

    Japan's Meteorological Agency said the earthquake hit Tuesday evening and measured a preliminary magnitude of 6.9. It said it was located very deep, about 480 kilometers (300 miles) below the ocean's surface. Deep earthquakes generally cause less damage.

    The agency said it was centered west of the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo.

    Some islands in the chain were shaken strongly by the quake, but it was hardly felt in Tokyo.

    Japan sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.

  18. A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii because of worse than expected weather conditions...

    Swiss pilot and project co-founder Bertrand Piccard said the weather window for the flight early Wednesday had closed. After analyzing conditions, the decision was made to take the plane back to its mobile hangar.

    "It's a bad moment. It's really a bad moment. It was on the edge. We took the decision to go, but not everybody was enthusiastic. We had a conclusion that it's not worth trying anymore,'' said Piccard, who is taking turns flying the plane with his co-pilot, Andre Borschberg.

    Borschberg, who is flying the Japan-Hawaii leg of the around-the-world journey, sat for hours in the cockpit waiting and then got back

  19. Netherlands ordered to cut greenhouse gas emissions...

    A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020, in a case environmentalists hope will set a precedent for other countries.

    Climate change campaigners brought the case on behalf of almost 900 Dutch citizens.

    They argued the government had a duty to protect its citizens from the looming dangers of climate change.

    Greenpeace has called it a "landmark case".

  20. Nepal hosts int'l conference on post-quake reconstruction ...

    Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala appealed for more aid from the international community on Thursday at an international conference on Nepal's reconstruction in the capital. Koirala inaugurated the one-day meeting by lighting a traditional oil lamp before observing a moment of silence for the deceased in the 7.9-magnitude earthquake, which jolted the Himalayan country on April 25.

    Representatives from more than 60 nations and international agencies attended the conference aimed at raising financial support for the quake-ravaged country's reconstruction and recovery process.

    Prime Minister Koirala extended his gratitude to all the helping hands, especially China and India, for their immediate support following the massive quake..............

  21. Authorities in India's Gujarat state say incessant monsoon rains have caused widespread damage to public and private properties....

    Air force helicopters have been dropping food in affected areas after more than 70 people were reported to have died in flood-related incidents.

    More than 10,000 people have been moved to higher ground, including 1,000 who were airlifted to safety.

    India regularly witnesses severe floods during the monsoon season.

    Heavy rains have triggered house collapses in the worst-affected Saurashtra region with some reports saying these are the worst floods in 90 years.....BBC

  22. Fire crews and health officials in Western Canada are on high alert as soaring temperatures and tinder dry conditions hit parts of British Columbia and Alberta....

    The heat wave is expected to peak this weekend.

    Calgary faces daytime highs of 38 degrees Celsius. Similar temperatures are in the forecast for

  23. More than 500 people have been injured in a fire and explosion at an amusement park outside Taiwan's capital Taipei...

    Saturday's incident happened on the main stage of the Formosa Water Park. A flammable powder is believed to have exploded as it spread into the crowd.

    Footage showed people panicking and screaming, and rescuers carrying the wounded on stretchers.

    More than 180 people have serious injuries. Some of them breathed in the powder, causing respiratory problems.

    The cause of the incident is still being investigated. The BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei says officials believe the fire caused the coloured powder spray used to create a party atmosphere to explode.

    The incident occurred about 20:30 (12:30 GMT). More than 1,000 people were near the stage at the time.

    The fire department said: "Our initial understanding is this explosion and fire... was caused by the powder spray. It could have been due to the heat of the lights on the stage"........BBC

  24. Japan bullet train 'self-immolation' fire kills two...

    Two people are dead after one of them set himself on fire on board a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train, public broadcaster NHK reports.

    The man had poured fuel over himself in the first carriage of the train, a Japan Rail spokesman told the BBC.

    The train was going from Tokyo to Osaka with about 1,000 people on board.

    It was near Odawara city when the emergency stop button was pressed - local TV media showed pictures of the train halted with white smoke inside.

    At least six others are injured, fire officials said. All trains on the Tokyo-Osaka high speed line have been stopped.

    Officials have given no indication of the man's motives but are treating the incident as a suicide......BBC


Only News

EL News

Blog Widget by LinkWithin