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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Turkmenistan Closes Border With Kazakhstan

Turkmen officials have closed the border with Kazakhstan for five days in line with increased security measures. 
"Turkmenistan has bolstered border security, which is why access of foreign citizens arriving in the republic...has been suspended for five days," said a statement by officials from Kazakhstan's western Mangistau region.

Tajik Official Says Migration To Russia Down

Tajik officials say the number of Tajik migrant workers who left to Russia and other countries in the first half of 2016 has dropped by nearly 7 percent compared to the same period last year. 
Tajik Labor and Migration Minister Sumangul Taghoizoda said on July 22 that the majority had gone to Russia, where there are estimated to be at least 870,000 Tajiks working.

Signs That Turkmenistan's Gas Sector Is In Crisis

Turkmenistan is apparently having enormous economic problems. The country's system is so opaque that it is always difficult to know much about what is going on there. But the recent decision to scrap the two entities that were overseeing the oil and gas sector and to restructure the management of that industry give the impression that the authorities in Ashgabat are getting desperate.

Underground water could transform Africa’s agricultural production | New Era Newspaper Namibia

In an arid and semi-desert country such as Namibia it is often said water is more valuable than gold.
While the country is battling the worst water shortage in some 30 years in the central areas, Namibia recently made headlines with the discovery of a massive underground water source in the Ohangwena Region in northern Namibia.
This discovery is the result of a joint project that started in 2007 between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, NamWater and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.

‘Mugabe will be out by August 31’ | IOL

Harare - Opposition MDC-T youths on Monday declared they will make sure President Robert Mugabe leaves office by August 31 this year, saying he has failed the country.
Addressing a press conference at the party's headquarters in Harare after a special executive meeting, MDC-T Youth League national chairperson, Happymore Chidziva, said they had launched #MyZimbabwe campaign to send a message to President Mugabe that he was no longer wanted.

Zim activists march through Durban | IOL

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Zimbabwe Solidarity movement marched through the streets of Durban on monday to hand a petition to city officials calling for an end to police brutality, arrests and the disappearance of peaceful activists in Zimbabwe.
The group of activists, based in Durban is hoping that its protest, called "Enough is Enough", will gain sympathy among South Africa authorities and show support and solidarity with their compatriots in Zimbabwe, who they claim are victims of violence from police and state security when protesting.

White House Names Russia, China, Iran, North Korea In Cyberattack Guidelines

The White House on July 26 issued new guidelines on how government agencies should respond to major cyberattacks. 
The announcement comes amid suspicion in the U.S. government that hackers working for Russia may have engineered the leak of e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election on November 

The Indian Ocean is the cause of south Australia's wet winter

If you live in southern Australia, you may have noticed it's been a rather wet couple of months. What you might not realise is the role that the tropical Indian Ocean has played in helping to create this weather.
Since late May, the ocean has been in what we call a "negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phase" – and it seems set to be one of the strongest such events in at least 15 years.

The Daily Vertical: Kremlin Hack -- Should We Be Surprised? (Transcript)

So the circumstantial and forensic evidence increasingly suggests that Russia was indeed behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's e-mail servers. 
Should this come as a surprise? Clearly not to anybody who is paying attention.

Drought hits Northeastern US, could last months - The China Post

The dry blast in New Hampshire is being felt throughout the Northeast, from Maine to Pennsylvania, driven by a second year of below-average rainfall. Though not as dire as the West Coast drought of five-years running, the dry, hot weather has stressed farms and gardens, prompted water restrictions and bans in many towns and threatened to bring more wildfires than usual.

Three-and-a-Half Centuries of Drought in Southwest China | Cato @ Liberty

Drought is a natural hazard that climate models have predicted will increase in the future in consequence of CO2-induced global warming. One way to gauge the validity of such predictions is by examining long-term historic trends in drought to see if there is anything unusual about their occurrence over the past few decades, during which time climate alarmists claim the Earth has experienced unprecedented global warming due to rising atmospheric CO2 emissions. And that is exactly what the seven member research team of Bi et al. (2015) did in assessing drought variability for southwest China over the past three-and-a-half centuries. 

Winter cold brings floods and snow to South Africa - News from Al Jazeera

Wintry weather with a vengeance has swept across most parts of South Africa this week. All except the central parts of the Northern Cape have been affected, as has the highland Kingdom of Lesotho.
Until now, the Western Cape had seen most of the rain this winter.

Emergency services inundated | IOL

Durban - Disaster Management teams remained on high alert on Wednesday after heavy rains caused flash flooding, structural damage, mudslides and vehicle collisions in Durban and surrounds.
The search was expected to continue on Wednesday for a Sunningdale woman who went missing during the heavy rains on Monday, while driving in Glen Anil.

Ivory Coast banana growers on the comeback trail - Times of India

Two years after devastating floods, banana planters in Ivory Coast have staged a comeback, eyeing an increase in production and new markets for the popular fruit.
The west African country, which has grown bananas for more than 50 years, was annually exporting almost 300,000 tonnes of fruit before disaster struck.
In Nieky, a vital banana-growing region, many have scarred memories of the events of June 2014.

Kuwait Experiences The Highest Temperature With World Under Heat Waves – Countercurrents

The World Meteorological  Organization(WMO), a specialized UN agency  has decided to constitute a committee to know whether  Kuwait's Mitrabah had experienced the hottest day with the temperature 54.0°C; the temperature is the highest for the eastern hemisphere. The WMD is itself worried and to know whether the data was accurate, a high level scientific committee with Kuwait and  WMO official investigations, is appointed which  'will consist of meteorologists and climatologists. They will examine the instrumentation used, the quality of observations, the microclimate of the location, the representativeness of the station to its surroundings and to its own record. The station is in a remote, sparsely populated area in the north-west of Kuwait.'

After Moscow Floods, Mayor Hit By Wave Of Mockery

MOSCOW -- Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has been mocked online after extraordinary flooding wreaked havoc in the Russian capital and briefly submerged a street next to the Kremlin in knee-deep water. 

City authorities said the flooding on July 22 was the result of a freak rainfall, but some local media outlets and government critics, such as opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, laid the blame on city hall and its ambitious My Street program to widen sidewalks and lay new paving stones.