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Friday, July 22, 2016

Climate change could curb malaria risk in West Africa by end of century - Carbon Brief

A new study suggests that climate change could make West Africa less hospitable for mosquitoes by the end of the century, reducing the risk of malaria outbreaks. 
West Africa has the highest rates of malaria infection and deaths in the world. Approximately 340m people are at risk from being infected (pdf), and the disease causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

Sub-Saharan Africa to see fall in income per head, IMF warns — FT.com

Income per head in sub-Saharan Africa, the world's poorest region, will fall this year for the first time since 1994, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The fund has downgraded its forecast for gross domestic product growth in sub-Saharan Africa from the 3 per cent it foresaw in April to just 1.6 per cent, well below expectations of population growth of 2.5 per cent.
The sharp slowdown will entrench poverty in a region where annual per capita GDP in purchasing power parity terms is just $3,869.
"This [fall in per capita GDP] is very bad news. It's something that people really haven't paid enough attention to in Africa," said John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics.

Duterte won't honour climate change pledge, calls it absurd The Straits Times

President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday that the Philippines will not honour its commitments under a historic agreement concluded last year in Paris that seeks to avoid catastrophic climate change.
"You are trying to stifle us… and tell us we are limited to this and that. That's stupid. I will not honour that," Mr Duterte said, recalling an encounter he had with an "ambassador" who pressed him about Manila's commitments to the climate change deal.

Middle Eastern rush to a nuclear powered future | Middle East Eye

A nuclear power bonanza is underway across the Middle East and North Africa.
Following the disasters at the Chernobyl and Fukushima power plants, many countries either cancelled or put on hold projects for nuclear power facilities but in the Middle East region at least 25 plants are planned and many more are being talked about.
Some studies indicate that up to a total of 90 nuclear facilities, – both big and small - are in the pipeline.
Supporters of nuclear power say the plants are vital in order to secure energy supplies in a region where electricity use over the next decade is forecast to grow by 7 percent – twice the global average.

China’s Economy Seen Powering Through Hit From Flooding Damage - Bloomberg

China's worst flooding since 1998 will weigh on third-quarter growth but the drag won't continue into the fourth quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The storms will shave as much as 0.2 percentage points from this quarter's expansion, according to almost half of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The floods won't have any impact on growth in the final quarter, according to more than half of analysts in the July 18-20 poll. Agriculture will take the worst hit and construction and infrastructure may gain, they said.

Forgotten stories: Humanitarian catastrophe looms in Lake Chad

A very serious situation

The situation is serious, very serious, and deteriorating, specifically in 15 camps in Nigeria's Borno State, which hold some 275,000 people. The Nigerian government has already declared a food and nutrition emergency and the UNO's Central Emergency Response Fund has already paid 13 million dollars to deliver life-saving assistance to a quarter of a million people in the Lake Chad Basin. But there are some 3.8 million people in the region, all of them facing food insecurity.
The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, has reported "alarming levels of severe acute malnutrition" in Borno State. The situation is the result of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and also the onset of the lean season, after the harvest.
- See more at: http://www.pravdareport.com/world/africa/22-07-2016/135088-lake_chad_catastrophe-0/#sthash.5Ad0QAkl.dpuf

Middle East Sets New Temperature Record, and It’s Blistering | TIME

Temperatures Thursday reached an incredible 54°C (129.2°F) in Mitribah, Kuwait, setting the record for the warmest temperature ever recorded outside of California's Death Valley, according to a Weather Underground report.
The report, which still awaits confirmation, came during a heat wave that raised already sweltering temperatures across the region even higher. An all-time temperature record was set in Iraq where temperatures reached 128°F (53.4°C) at Basrah. Temperatures Thursday are expected to reach 126°F in Gotvand, Iran.

Flooding, high seas expected as cold front hits Cape Town | News24

Cape Town - Flooding is expected as a cold front hits the Mother City, the City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management has warned.
Heavy rainfall was expected in places over the Cape Metropole, Overberg and southern parts of the Cape Winelands in the afternoon, Traveller24 reported on Wednesday.

El Niño driving child marriage, labour across southern Africa - timesofmalta.com

Tens of thousands of children across southern Africa are being pushed out of school and into early marriage or child labour because of drought and hunger caused by the El Niño weather pattern, charities said.
Southern Africa has been hard hit over the past year by an El Niño-inspired drought that has wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.
Increased numbers of children are trading sex and doing domestic work to survive across nine countries, a report by World Vision, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and Plan International said.
"El Niño's impacts are worsening the lives of children in a number of areas with many facing sexual exploitation, violence, child labour and psychosocial distress," World Vision UK's child rights expert Tracy Shields said in a statement.

Rain brings chaos to NE Chinese province with 42 dead, 74 missing | CCTV America

Torrential rain in north China's Hebei Province has left 30 people dead and 68 missing, according to the provincial civil affairs department on Thursday. About 163,900 people have been forced to leave their homes.
The department has received reports of floods and landslides damaging more than 47,713 houses and about 1370 square miles of crops, causing traffic chaos, power outages and wreaking havoc with communications.
By noon on June 21, direct economic losses from the rain-triggered disaster reached 4.75 billion yuan(about $711 million).

Party Platforms Reveal Deep Divide on Climate Change

In March, the Guardian issued an election-related call-out to online readers in the United States, asking them to identify the "one issue that affects your life you wish the presidential candidates were discussing more." The results are in. Of the 1,385 respondents from all 50 states, one in five expressed discontent about lack of discussion of climate change, an issue described in vivid terms, such as "cataclysmic" and "slow-motion apocalypse." Respondents expressed greatest concern about sea-level rise and decreasing food and water security.

In Venezuela, Opposition Gets More Assertive Against Maduro - Forbes

Over the last week, Venezuela's opposition parties in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) have become more assertive against Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. It is unclear at this time if their voices will be able to convince the courts, or even those in Maduro's own party, to move forward with a political transition sooner rather than later. Venezuela's life depends on it.
The MUD have recently taken the Maduro stacked Supreme Court to task for revoking the new justices that were appointed last December

Rescuers recover 17 bodies, pick up 1,128 boat migrants | Reuters

An Irish navy ship recovered 17 dead bodies on Thursday when it went to the aid of migrants packed onto a wooden boat off the coast of Libya, Italy's coastguard said, marking another deadly day of attempted sea crossings.

The LE James Joyce, which is in the Mediterranean specifically to perform search-and-rescue operations, brought on board the bodies of 16 men and one boy, a coastguard spokesman said. He could provide no further details about the cause of death or the nationalities of the dead.

New initiative to give Africa cheap electricity - SciDev.Net

[NAIROBI] A new initiative, Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development, will invest US$36 million to empower entrepreneurs and investors to connect 20 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa with off-grid energy by 2030.

The initiative was announced at the US Global Entrepreneurship Summit last month (23 June) by USAID administrator Gayle Smith.

Climate Change cost the world economy £1.5 trillion by 2030 The Independent

Global warming will cost the world economy more than £1.5 trillion a year in lost productivity by 2030 as it becomes too hot to work in many jobs, according to a major new report.

India's monsoon cheer forecast to continue as La Nina kicks in | Reuters

The El Nino weather pattern is likely to dissipate by early August, giving way to La Nina, two top officials of the Indian weather office said on Tuesday, swelling already bountiful monsoon rains that are crucial for India's farm sector.

India is almost halfway through its four-month monsoon season and plentiful rains so far have lifted farmers' hopes of a revival in output and incomes after the El Nino weather phenomenon led to two straight years of drought.

Water Contamination active marijuana ingredient found in U.S. town well | Reuters

Residents of a small farming community in eastern Colorado have been warned to avoid drinking the town's water after THC, the psychoactive agent in marijuana, was found in one of its feeder wells, authorities said on Thursday.