Monthly Archives: November 2014

New report highlights “significant and increasing” risks from extreme weather

Resilience to Extreme WeatherNew report highlights “significant and increasing” risks from extreme weather

Published 1 December 2014

A comprehensive new report, published by the Royal Society, indicates that exposure of human populations to extreme weather is set to increase as global climate and population size, location, and age continue to change. The report focuses on the risks to people from floods, droughts, and heatwaves. These are some of the most frequent and damaging extreme events that currently occur and their impacts will change with the changing climate. The report also calls for changes to global financial accounting and regulation to ensure that extreme weather risk is made explicit. At present, these risks are not systematically factored into investors’ valuations or assessed by creditors.

Thundersorm spawns a lightnig strike in the distance // Source: sc.gov

University of Exeter researchers have played an important role in creating a comprehensive new report indicating that the global risk from extreme weather is set to intensify.

The critical report, published by the Royal Society, indicates that exposure of human populations to extreme weather is set to increase as global climate and population size, location, and age continue to change. A University of Exeter release reports that a Working Group consisting of fifteen world-leading academics, including Exeter professors Peter Cox and Katrina Brown, were brought together to produce the influential report, published last Thursday, 27 November.

It presents new maps showing the combined impact of climate and demographic changes across the world on the exposure of people to extreme weather. The maps highlight those areas where there is the greatest increased risk of populations being vulnerable towards to end of the century.

The report focuses on the risks to people from floods, droughts, and heatwaves. These are some of the most frequent and damaging extreme events that currently occur and their impacts will change with the changing climate. It shows:

  • Increasing numbers of people will live in areas that are exposed to extreme weather events exacerbate the risks from floods and droughts in many regions, but especially East, West, and Central Africa, India, and South-East Asia.
  • The number of over-65 year olds is increasing; this is one of the groups most vulnerable to heatwaves. With current numbers, the number of heatwave exposure events this group experiences each year could increase from 0.1 billion today to almost one billion in 2100. If we do nothing to mitigate climate change, and population growth and distribution proceeds as expected, this number could rise to four billion.
  • Changes in temperature and humidity could result in significant reductions in ability to work outdoors across much of Africa, Asia, and parts of North, South, and Central America. This could impact on rural communities and food production.

The report calls for action at all levels of government — international, national and local — to make society more resilient to extreme weather events. In 2015 important international agreements will be reached on disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change. These agreements will be much more effective in addressing extreme weather and its impacts if they are linked with, and reinforce, each other.

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Bassil during a luncheon with Lebanese businessmen in Senegal: Lebanon thrives through its expatriates in all regions of the world

Bassil during a luncheon with Lebanese businessmen in Senegal: Lebanon thrives through its expatriates in all regions of the world

Sun 30 Nov 2014 at 21:08

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NNA – Dakar – “Lebanon prospers through its expatriates spread out in all countries and regions of the world,” said Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Gebran Bassil, during a luncheon banquet Sunday with Lebanese businessmen residing in Senegal, held in his honor by Lebanon’s Ambassador Khalil Habre.

“Africa and the Lebanese Diaspora are not only an essential part of Lebanon, but actually complete it,” added Bassil, stressing that “our responsibility at the Foreign Affairs Ministry is to know the expatriate, without whom there is no meaning for government policies.”

“More work is still required,” said Bassil, noting that “this is linked to available capabilities and open to notions and ideas that can lead us to the aspired goals.”

“We are in need of ample time, strong will, an executable State plan, and more importantly, your interaction,” Bassil went on, highlighting the “need for a comprehensive and permanent government policy that addresses Lebanese expatriates through an electoral law designed to cater to them.”

Bassil also encouraged Lebanese businessmen to invest in their mother nation.

“The passionate and deep ties that bind the Lebanese together are the real wealth of Lebanon, and shall remain the strongest regardless of differences in religion, culture and political affiliation,” stressed Bassil.

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Maliki tours Mlita upon an invitation by Hezbollah: Our encounter holds the symbol of coming together in face of our enemies

Maliki tours Mlita upon an invitation by Hezbollah: Our encounter holds the symbol of coming together in face of our enemies

Sun 30 Nov 2014 at 20:40

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NNA – Nabatieh – Iraqi Vice President, Nouri al-Maliki, toured Sunday the jihad tourism site of Mlita in the region of Iqlim al-Tuffah, in his first visit to southern Lebanon upon an invitation by Hezbollah.

“Our encounter holds the symbolic meaning of coming together in confrontation of our enemies,” said Maliki describing his visit. He was accompanied by Hezbollah Secretary-General’s representative, Sheikh Mohammed Kawtharani, alongside his senior official delegation including Iraqi parliamentarians and Iraqi Ambassador to Beirut, Raad al-Allusi, and diplomats.

“I am very optimistic about the future; however, it is going to be difficult and the road shall be tough,” said Maliki, adding that “God willing, we shall succeed in our endeavors and may the Lord bless the Resistance fighters and rest the souls of all fallen martyrs in peace.”

Welcoming the Iraqi Vice President and accompanying delegation’s visit to the South was “Loyalty to the Resistance” Bloc Head, MP Mohammad Raad, as well as Deputy Ali Fayyad and other prominent dignitaries in the region.

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Africa: U.S. Congratulates Namibia on Presidential Elections

U.S. Congratulates Namibia on Presidential Elections

Press Statement

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Washington, DC
November 30, 2014


The United States congratulates the people of Namibia for exercising their democratic right to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on November 28.

Namibia has once again demonstrated its commitment to an open electoral process and respect for presidential term limits. We applaud the active participation of Namibia’s political parties, civil society, and citizens in shaping an inclusive discussion throughout the campaign. The extraordinary participation among first-time voters and women candidates reflects the progress that Namibia has made and the commitment of the Namibian people to a democratic future.

The United States and Namibia share a strong partnership. We work together to strengthen health care systems, counter threats to Namibia’s unique ecosystems, promote peace and security in the region, and protect human rights for all of Namibia’s citizens, particularly the most vulnerable in society.

The United States looks forward to continuing our partnership with the new Namibian Government and the people of Namibia in support of Namibia’s development and the welfare of its people.


Kabul police chief resigns after s

Kabul police chief resigns after spate of attacks

Sun 30 Nov 2014 at 11:02

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NNA – Kabul’s police chief resigned on Sunday, a spokesman said, after the Afghan capital was hit by at least nine militant attacks in the last two weeks with foreign compounds, embassy vehicles and U.S. troops among those targeted.

General Zahir Zahir resigned shortly after he confirmed that three South Africans and an Afghan citizen were killed in a Taliban attack on Saturday evening.

Zahir said the head of a foreign organisation, his son and his daughter were all killed, but the identity of the organisation was still not confirmed.

“The attackers first shot dead the director as they entered the building,” Zahir said at a press conference, giving no further details.

After the event, Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai told Agence France Presse that Zahir had resigned.

“General Zahir Zahir told the interior ministry he no longer wanted to continue his job. The minister has accepted his resignation,” Stanakzai told AFP.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed on Twitter that the compound hit on Saturday was that of a secret Christian missionary group and that a meeting of Australian visitors had been hit.

The U.S.-led NATO combat mission in Afghanistan will end on December 31 and be replaced by a follow-on mission supporting the Afghan army and police, who have taken over responsibility for thwarting the Taliban. –AFP

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