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United Nations - World Urbanization Prospects - 2014 Revision

esa.un.org - Press Release (excerpt)

UN finds world's population is increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas today and another 2.5 billion expected by 2050

With nearly 38 million people, Tokyo tops UN’s ranking of most populous cities followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, São Paulo and Mumbai

New York, 10 July—Today, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report launched today.

Urban population boom poses massive challenges for Africa and Asia

Two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities by 2050, posing unique infrastructural challenges for African and Asian countries, where 90% of the growth is predicted to take place.

Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD

phys.org - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest

 

World Refugee Day: Global Forced Displacement Tops 50 Million for First Time in Post-World War II Era

      

Photo: UNHCR

unhcr.org - June 20, 2014

GENEVA, June 20 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency reported today on World Refugee Day that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people.

UNHCR's annual Global Trends report, which is based on data compiled by governments and non-governmental partner organizations, and from the organization's own records, shows 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, fully 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

(ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE)

Shameful Attitude to Vulnerable Displaced Shown by Leadership of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

      

Displaced people live in appalling conditions in a flood-prone part of a UN compound.  Photo: Aurelie Baumel/MSF

msf.org - April 9, 2014

In a shocking display of indifference, senior United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) officials have refused to improve living conditions for 21,000 displaced people living in a flood-prone part of a UN compound, exposed to waterborne diseases and potential epidemics. Despite repeated requests from humanitarian organisations, UNMISS is taking no actions in the camp to improve their chances of survival. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today questions the UN’s commitment to meeting the needs of the war-torn country’s most vulnerable groups and calls for immediate action to save lives in Tomping camp.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

China Turns Up Smog Alert

      

A man walks along the moat of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, Feb 21, 2014. A large area of north China including Beijing and Tianjin are experiencing another round of heavy smog and air pollution that is expected to last for a week. [Photo/Xinhua]

chinadaily.com.cn - February 25, 2014

BEIJING - China's top observatory has raised the severity of its smog alert for northern and central China, with heavy smog expected to continue for another two days.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) late Monday turned up the smog alert from yellow to orange, the second-highest level in severity, and at 8 am Tuesday continued the alert for another 24 hours, according to a statement.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Disease: The Next Big One

BOZEMAN, Montana — Grim prognostications of pestilence are as old as the Book of Revelation, but they have not gone out of style or been rendered moot. Plague is a tribulation that science, technology and social engineering haven’t fixed. In the mid-1960s, some public health officials imagined that antibiotics and other modern therapies would enable us to “close the book” on infectious diseases and so make it possible to focus on noncommunicable afflictions, like heart attack, diabetes and stroke. But that optimism was mistaken...

FULL ARTICLE HERE 

Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau - Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

earth-policy.org

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

by Lester R. Brown

From the beginning of agriculture until the mid-twentieth century, growth in the world grain harvest came almost entirely from expanding the cultivated area. Rises in land productivity were too slow to be visible within a single generation. It is only within the last 60 years or so that rising yields have replaced area expansion as the principal source of growth in world grain production.

Chapter 7. Grain Yields Starting to Plateau
http://www.earth-policy.org/books/fpep/fpepch7

Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity
http://www.earth-policy.org/books/fpep

( ALSO SEE - http://resiliencesystem.org/chapter-4-food-or-fuel-full-planet-empty-plates-new-geopolitics-food-scarcity )

Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Leader Mohamed Badie Arrest Ordered

      

The arrest warrant for Mohamed Badie has provoked anger among his supporters according to the BBC's Jim Muir

bbc.co.uk - July 10, 2013

Egypt's state prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and at least nine other senior figures.

Mr Badie is accused of inciting the violence in Cairo on Monday in which more than 50 people were killed.

Many Brotherhood members are already in detention and warrants are said to have been been issued for hundreds more.

Meanwhile, a foreign ministry spokesman has said ousted President Mohammed Morsi is being held in a "safe place".

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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