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Friday, July 29, 2016

OK 911 Services Disrupted


July 27, Associated Press – (Oklahoma) AT&T: Oklahoma’s 911 emergency telephone service restored. AT&T Inc., reported that emergency 9-1-1 service was restored after call routing was impacted for approximately 2 hours July 27 in portions of Oklahoma. The company is investigating the source of the outage, which involved a power issue at a facility in the Oklahoma City area.
Source: http://newsok.com/article/5511348 

Paypal Abused by Trojan to Take Money


  1. July 27, SecurityWeek – (International) PayPal abused in banking trojan distribution campaign. Proofpoint security researchers discovered malicious actors were distributing the Chthonic banking trojan, a variant of the Zeus malware, via legitimate- looking PayPal emails to request money from users by sending money request messages claiming an illicit $100 transfer was made to the victim’s account which could be returned by clicking the malicious Goo.gl link that redirects the user to “katyaflash[.]com/pp.php,” where the malware is downloaded onto the device in the form of an obfuscated JavaScript file that connects to the command and control (C&C) server. Researchers discovered the malware was also downloading a previously undocumented second-stage payload dubbed AZORult.
    Source: http://www.securityweek.com/paypal-abused-banking-trojan-distribution- campaign 

E Coli Ranch Foods Direct Beef Products


July 27, U.S. Department of Agriculture – (Colorado) Good Food Concepts, LLC D.B.A. Ranch Foods Direct recalls non-intact beef products due to possible E.coli O157:H7 contamination. Good Food Concepts, LLC, doing business as Ranch Foods Direct, issued a recall July 26 for approximately 2,606 pounds of its non-intact beef products sold in 25 variations due to potential E.coli O157:H7 contamination after Federal health officials discovered a potential link between the beef products and an E.coli O157:H7 illness outbreak in Colorado. The products were distributed to wholesale and retail locations in Colorado. 

The Heat Dome: Why It’s Been So Hot on the East Coast - Curbed NY

Hot weather in July is common. But this week's record temperatures are thanks to something called a "heat dome." In the summer months, the jet stream moves north over the U.S.-Canada border and prevents cooler air from pushing southward. Often a "dome" of high pressure traps hot air over much of the country, resulting in temperatures at least 5-10 degrees above average. As the hot air sinks under the dome, it gets warmer and warmer and more difficult to dislodge, often preventing thunderstorms from producing rainfall. Whenever the U.S. experiences a summer heat wave (three or more days of at least 90-degree weather) across multiple regions, heat domes are usually the culprit.

Southern Africa Drought Appeal Gets $500 Million in Donor Funds - Bloomberg

The U.S. promised $300 million, the U.K. 72 million pounds ($94 million) and the European Union 60 million euros ($66 million), representatives said Tuesday at the launch of the appeal in Botswana's capital, Gaborone. More than $40 million has been released from the United Nations' emergency fund to help with responses to the crisis caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

How Irrigation in Asia Affects Rainfall in Africa - Eos

Agricultural irrigation is so widespread that it accounts for about 4% of the total evapotranspiration of water from Earth's surface. Scientists have known for some time that water vapor from irrigation affects regional and global climates. Now, for the first time, researchers have shown that irrigation in one region can directly affect the climate of another region thousands of kilometers away.

Amid epic drought, villagers bitter over Zimbabwean ethanol plant

Until recently, Chisumbanje had thriving cotton and maize farms that sustained many households. During harvesting time each year trucks carrying bales of cotton shuttled between Chisumbanje and ginneries in the city of Mutare 230 kilometers to the north. But the cotton trucks have been replaced by trucks ferrying sugarcane and ethanol, and some of the cotton fields have been turned into sugarcane plantations to feed a giant ethanol plant that became operational in 2011.

Zim Mugabe Begs Revolt Arrests Vet Leader

Police have arrested a senior official from Zimbabwe's war veterans' association after it accused President Robert Mugabe of "dictatorial" behaviour in a shock rupture with the 92-year-old leader, lawyers said Thursday.
Veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war, who had previously been loyal Mugabe supporters, last week issued a statement bitterly denouncing the president, who faces growing signs of opposition.
Douglas Mahiya, spokesman for the War Veterans' Association, was arrested late Wednesday in Harare, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) group.

International Expert Forum on Climate Change and Conflict

The International Expert Forum (IEF) is a series of seminars meant to facilitate dialogue between experts and policymakers on peace and security. Meeting in Stockholm this past May, the forum explored the connections between environmental issues, peacebuilding, and conflict while considering how environmental governance can aid in peacebuilding. The summary brief produced after the forum provides a useful snapshot of a fast-changing field of study.

Extreme Weather effects U.S. cereal production - Pasadena Dailynology News


An analysis of national production of 16 different cereal crops in 177 countries, and a comparison with the effects of about 2,800 weather disasters between 1964 and 2007, has for the first time provided a detailed snapshot of how extreme weather has affected overall cereal production globally, scientists said.
The study found that drought and heatwaves reduced cereal harvests by between 9 per cent and 10 per cent on average in the affected countries. However, the technically advanced arable farms of North America, Europe and Australia were even more strongly affected than the developing world, with average production cuts of about 20 per cent.

First global analysis of the societal impacts of glacier floods – GlacierHub

Two British researchers recently published the first global inventory and damage assessment of the societal consequences incurred by glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). They revealed that glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) have been declining in frequency since the mid-1990s, with the majority released by ice dam failures.

Swiss Re profit hit by disasters, lower returns - MarketWatch

Swiss Re AG SREN one of the two biggest reinsurers worldwide, on Friday reported a 22% decline in net profit for the second quarter, reflecting higher costs for earthquakes, wild fires, floods and other major losses between April and June, and a lower return on investments.
"It is the first time in several years that we have seen multiple larger losses from a number of natural catastrophes in one quarter," said Chief Executive Christian Mumenthaler who took the helm on July 1, after previously heading the reinsurance business.

Early UK grain harvest results fan yield, quality worries

"The combination of heavy rains prior to harvest, and thick lush crops, has led to crop lodging, with an estimated 8% of winter barley area in the south and east predicted to have lodged," Adas said.

Climate Change Fingerprints Are All Over California Wildfires - Scientific American

Reports this week from the front lines of the Sand Fire in Southern California painted the scene as apocalyptic. The drought-fueled blaze was explosive, fast-moving and devastating, burning through 38,000 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley and forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 homes.

Drought Influencing L. America Migration


WESLACO – An analysis by Stratfor, a global intelligence and advisory firm, said drought could be a factor to why Central Americans are leaving and heading to the U.S.
People from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are making their way through the Rio Grande Valley. They said violence and a poor economy are making it hard to live by.
Lead Science and Technology Analyst at Stratfor, Rebecca Keller, said drought is affecting Central America too.
"This certainly could have an impact on the increase in migration," said Keller.

U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder | Reuters


In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China's claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose "terrible" costs to Beijing's international reputation if flouted the court's decision.

But just two weeks after the July 12 announcement by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague - which at least on paper, appeared to be a humiliating defeat for China - the U.S. strategy appears to be unraveling and the court's ruling is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Tropical Storm Mirinae barrels across southwest China - News from Al Jazeera


Tropical Storm Mirinae has hit China's Hainan province with damaging winds and flooding rains. It is the third tropical storm to hit China this year and is set to become the first, so far, to hit Vietnam.
Mirinae is currently located 180km to the southeast of Hanoi out in the open waters of the Gulf of Tonking. It is moving westwards at around 25km per hour (kph), with sustained winds of 65kph and gusts approaching 80kph.

Refugees Displaced forgotten Central African Republic - Al Jazeera English


Ouham-Pendé, Central African Republic - As the humanitarian workers drive in to each village, people assemble around their vehicles or drag plastic chairs and benches to the shade to discuss the latest events: Which places have been attacked, burned or looted by armed groups, the number killed in this place or that, where people have fled to and how many have arrived from surrounding areas in search of safety.
The emergency response team of NGO Action Against Hunger is on a mission in the Central African Republic's northern Ouham-Pendé province - near the border with Cameroon - to reach out to those who have fled from a sectarian conflict that has left nearly one million people displaced, according to the UN. More than half have left the country, while the rest are living in camps inside Central African Republic (CAR) or sheltering with relatives and host families.

Floods ravage northeast India kill 58 Nepal | Reuters


Severe floods in India have affected more than 1.6 million people, buried hundreds of villages and almost submerged a national park, forcing wildlife to seek refuge on roads, authorities said on Wednesday.

With the weather office forecasting heavy rain for at least another 48 hours, the outlook is grim for the northeastern tea-growing state of Assam, which suffered its worst floods four years ago that killed 124 people and displaced six million.

In neighboring Nepal, flash floods and landslides swept through villages, killing at least 58 people over two days, home ministry official Yadav Koirala told Reuters on Wednesday.

United Nations News Centre - Root causes of Boko Haram threat in Lake Chad Basin must be tackled – UN political chief


27 July 2016 – To bring an end to the Boko Haram threat in the Lake Chad Basin region, affected countries must address the root causes that contributed to the emergence of the group, including the social, economic and political grievances of marginalized communities, the top United Nations political affairs official said today.
"A military approach, while essential, will not bring end to the Boko Haram threat," Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, told the Security Council in his briefing on peace and security in Africa.


UN urges cooperation W. Africa/Sahel tackle Boko Haram


28 July 2016 – While welcoming recent political developments recently observed in West Africa, the United Nations Security Council today stressed the need to increase military cooperation between the States in the region and Sahel to fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram.
In a Presidential Statement approved by the body, the Council's 15 members welcomed political developments including, the holding of elections "free and peaceful" in Niger, Benin and Cabo Verde. At the same time, they stressed the importance of ensuring the forthcoming elections in Ghana and Gambia are also "free, fair, peaceful, inclusive and credible."
The Council, however, expressed specific concern over recent political events in Guinea-Bissau and called on national actors "to respect the Constitution and the rule of law, while trying to find a political solution to the crisis."

United Nations News Centre - With planting season weeks away, millions in drought-hit southern Africa need support – UN


28 July 2016 – Some 23 million people in southern Africa are in need of urgent support to be able to produce enough food to feed themselves and avoid being dependent on humanitarian assistance until mid-2018, the United Nations agricultural agency has warned.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), if farmers are not able to plant by October, the result will be another reduced harvest early next year, severely affecting food and nutrition security as well as livelihoods in the region.
"The main way people are able to access food is through what they themselves produce. Assisting them to do this will provide lifesaving support in a region where at least 70 percent of people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods," David Phiri, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa, said in a news release issued by the agency.