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The Work is Difficult and Dangerous in Nepal, but Who Would We Be If We Did Not Try?

submitted by Santosh Dahal


Photo credit: Canadian Red Cross - by Maude Froberg - May 15, 2015

Night falls in Kathmandu. We sleep in the streets, in the tents, in the parks. The last strong tremor still present in the body. Local or foreigner, it doesn’t matter. In the darkness, we are equally together and alone. All the senses are amplified, each sound is recorded, every movement in the ground.

(Read complete article in the link below)

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Drowned Migrants and ‘a Failure of Compassion’


As many as 950 migrants are feared dead after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. Children are carried by rescue workers as migrants arrive via boat at the Sicilian harbour of Pozzallo - by Mike Corones - April 21, 2015

Already, this week’s migrant deaths in the Mediterranean are hard to tally.

As many as 900 refugees died in a shipwreck off of Libya on Sunday, the day before two other boats carrying 400 people faced distress off of Libya and three migrants died when yet another boat ran aground in Greece. As this Reuters graphic shows, the vast majority of illegal border crossings over the Mediterranean happen via central and eastern sea routes, a fact reflected in this week’s disasters.


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UN Warns World Could Have 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030

CLICK HERE - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015


CLICK HERE - REPORT - The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015 (139 page .PDF report) - by Hillel Italie - March 20, 2015

The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a U.N. report warned Friday.

The report predicts global water demand will increase 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don't change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030, it said.


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Story Behind the Story: How Times Reporters Unraveled the Ebola Epidemic

NEW YORK TIMES                                               Jan. 2, 2015

Celia W. Dugger, deputy science editor for health, has helped to coordinate the Times’s coverage of Ebola. She edited a feature published Tuesday on the origin of this year’s Ebola outbreak, and shares how the story came together after months of reporting.

As the Ebola epidemic gained velocity this fall, spreading fear and death across one of the world’s poorest regions, I kept coming back to the same questions: How did this one get away? How did the experts — and the media, including editors like me, for that matter — miss the signs in the spring that this time would be catastrophically different from the nearly two dozen prior outbreaks? Why did the most seasoned Ebola hands — men and women who had repeatedly risked their lives battling this lethal foe — let their guard down and scale back in May just when the virus might have been throttled?

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‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat

NEW YORK TIMES --by Gardiner Harris                                                                                 Dec. 4, 2014

AMRAVATI, India — A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.

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Structural Adaptivity, Before and After Thoughts


As a means of concluding these writings on Structural Adaptivity and Resilience, following are some of the background thoughts, with recent revision, that led me to my proposals. Originally, my writings were directed at city and regional planning. However now I realize they are also about resilience.  I hope my submittals will be helpful.  I will try to write more soon.


Time.  Planners, resilience makers, and all other leaders and professionals dealing with the built environment must focus on long time spans.  In order to have significant impact on the future of our world, we must recognize that only by looking at big chunks of history and big chunks of future time can we really see the reality of what is going on.  Likewise, we need to do so in order to see the reality of what needs to be done.


Typical urban or regional plans target a future some 20 years ahead.  Moreover, they typically are based on past trends of 20 years or so.  However, our world does not change in 20-year cycles.  Twenty years is a very short time period in the flow of transformation.


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U.S. lacks a single standard for Ebola response

USA TODAY                                   Oct. 12, 2014

by Larry Copeland

ATLANTA — As Thomas Eric Duncan's family mourns the USA's first Ebola death in Dallas, one question reverberates over a series of apparent missteps in the case: Who is in charge of the response to Ebola?

The answer seems to be — there really isn't one person or agency. There is not a single national response.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emerged as the standard-bearer — and sometimes the scapegoat — on Ebola.

Public health is the purview of the states, and as the nation anticipates more Ebola cases, some experts say the way the United States handles public health is not up to the challenge.

Read Full Story

CDC workers analyze Ebola details in the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta.(Photo: David Tulis for USA TODAY)

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Structural Adaptivity Facilitation Examples - Part III

Here are my last three Facilitation Examples, proposed activities by planners and others to influence the development of the built environment toward structural adaptivity and resilience as we progress into an ever more uncertain and unpredictable future. 


Rethinking Homeownership.  Conventional owner-occupied land and buildings in the US many times tie the owners into long-term tenures.  It makes moves, to other locations, overly cumbersome even when such moves are in the occupants’ best interests.  Adaptivity requires the ability to make quicker changes than in the past, including the self-initiated movement of people and businesses to other locations when beneficial.  Alternative types of ownership or tenure must be facilitated, types which are more adaptable to quick change.


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The Daily Beast September 20, 2014
By Abby Haglage     

They were sent in to help educate villagers about how to ward off the lethal virus. Then fear took over and the machetes came out.

At the time of Wednesday’s announc

ement out of Guinea that seven of nine missing Ebola workers had been found dead, we knew little. Men with knives had abducted members of a group sent there to spread awareness about the disease. Two relief workers were missing; the rest, dead. Six suspects were in custody.

By Friday morning, we knew more. These details, the stuff of horror films. A local government group of relief workers—a mix of doctors, religious leaders, and journalists—had arrived Monday to educate the remote southeastern village of Womey about Ebola. Just 24 hours after their arrival, violence broke out, allegedly sparked by the false belief that a disinfectant being sprayed was actually the disease itself. An angry mob brandishing machetes, stones, and knives lashed out.

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