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WHO launches $100 million plan as Ebola death toll tops 700

The World Health Organization is launching a $100 million response plan to combat an "unprecedented" outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that has killed 729 people out of 1,323 infected since February.

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.

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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.

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