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U.N. Needs $2.1 Billion to Avert Famine in Yemen

           

Girls stand at the entrance to their tent at a camp for internally displaced people in the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Naif Rahma

reuters.com - by Stephanie Nebehay - February 8, 2017

The United Nations said on Wednesday that 12 million people in Yemen faced the threat of famine brought on by two years of civil war and the situation was rapidly deteriorating.

It appealed for $2.1 billion to provide food and other life-saving aid, saying that Yemen's economy and institutions are collapsing and its infrastructure has been devastated.

"If there is no immediate action, and despite the ongoing humanitarian efforts, famine is now a real possibility for 2017. Malnutrition is rife and rising at an alarming rate," U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien told a news briefing.

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‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax

James A. Baker, seen here at former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral in March 2016, is a member of the Climate Leadership Council. Despite its impeccable Republican credentials, the group faces long odds with its carbon-tax idea. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

nytimes.com by John Schwartz - February 7, 2017

A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change.

The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.

Mr. Baker is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

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Yellow Fever Deaths Climb to 60 in Brazil Outbreak

           

Aedes Aegypti mosquito. SHUTTERSTOCK KOMUNIKA ONLINE

CLICK HERE - CDC - Yellow Fever in Brazil

en.tempo.co - February 5, 2017

TEMPO.CO, Rio de Janeiro - The Brazilian government announced Friday that the number of confirmed deaths caused by a yellow fever outbreak has reached 60, while 87 more suspicious deaths are being investigated.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that 53 of the deaths had come in the state of Minas Gerais, where the outbreak started before spreading to other states. Four people have died in Espirito Santo and three more in the state of Sao Paulo.

Since the start of the outbreak, 150 deaths were potentially attributed of yellow fever, 60 of which have been confirmed, 87 are still under investigation and three have been eliminated.

In total, 921 people have been suspected of being infected, 804 of which happened in Minas Gerais. 702 are being investigated, 161 have been confirmed and 58 have been ruled out.

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Why Venezuela's Currency Crisis Is A Case Study For Bitcoin

           

People stand in line to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a bank in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Wil Riera/Bloomberg)

forbes.com - by Kevin Rands - February 3, 2017

As the value of hard currency changes drastically—and often—developing or recession-hit countries are finding Bitcoin as an innovative solution.

Just look at Venezuela, the country with the highest inflation rate in the world. The socialist nation has experienced a swift fall in oil prices, throwing the entire economy into turmoil. Experts say that Venezuelan inflation could go as high as 1,600%, leaving many people without basic necessities. . . .

. . . With the Venezuelan bolivar essentially worthless and supplies rapidly running out, Bitcoin is rising as an answer.

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Climate Change - Tipping Points

Under the Trump administration, the EPA may be shifting away from its focus on preventing climate change and toward a posture where it deals much more with helping the country adapt to its impacts.  President Trump needs a better understanding of the Climate Change Tipping Points, and the effects of its aftermath.  The necessary actions needed to prevent the catastrophic effects after Climate Change Tipping Points have been reached requires both climate mitigation, which refers to actions that prevent further global warming, as well as adaptation.  The general scientific consensus is as follows . . . “Without immediate meaningful action, our governments will be stressed and most if not all will likely fail within this century. All indications are that working together increases survivability. But we must avoid passing deeply towards, or beyond the tipping points in order to mitigate the impacts” . . .

References:

OSS Foundation - Tipping Points ( Climate Change )
http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/tipping-points

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We Are Grossly Unprepared for Major Outbreaks

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

           

CLICK HERE - The BMJ - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action

CLICK HERE - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action (8 page .PDF report)

globalbiodefense.com - January 26, 2017

The world remains “grossly underprepared” for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades, warn a team of international experts in The BMJ.

They reviewed reports on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and say better preparedness and a faster, more coordinated response could have prevented most of the 11,000 deaths directly attributed to Ebola and also the broader economic, social, and health crises that ensued.

. . . a research team, led by Suerie Moon at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, synthesized seven major post-Ebola reports and laid out the key problems and recommendations they highlighted.

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Highest Radiation Reading Since 3/11 Detected at Fukushima No. 1 Reactor

           

Based on image analysis, a two-meter hole has been found in the metal grate under a pressure vessel in reactor No. 2's containment vessels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. | TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS INC. / VIA KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - KYODO, STAFF REPORT

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster.

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U.S. Government Scientists Go 'Rogue' in Defiance of Trump

           

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is pictured in this July 16, 2014 handout photo.
Badlands National Park/Handout via REUTERS

reuters.com - by Steve Gorman - January 26, 2017

Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science.

Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts - borrowing names and logos of their agencies - to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed.

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A Message to President Donald J. Trump - EPA - Climate Change

An important message to President Donald J. Trump regarding his pending decision to remove the “Climate Change” page from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website, as reported by Reuters on January 25, 2017  . . .

CLICK HERE - Reuters - Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources - (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Dear Mr. President,

If you order the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the “Climate Change” page from its website in an effort to sideline scientific research on climate change, you will not succeed.  Thankfully, most of the important climate change research has already been archived within websites not under your control where scientists and interested citizens can easily access this important information (links to two such websites will be provided below).

As President, you should do your homework before making such crucial decisions, as the future of our children and grandchildren will depend on the decisions you make.  Please do not prioritize money and economic gain ahead of health and human security.

Respectfully yours,

Kathy Gilbeaux

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Suspected Yellow Fever Outbreak in Brazil

According to the World Health Organization, relatively low vaccination coverage in the state of Minas Gerais “could favor the rapid spread of the disease.”

           

WIKIMEDIA, CDC

CLICK HERE - WHO - Yellow Fever - Brazil

the-scientist.com - by Tracy Vence - January 19, 2017

More than 120 people may have been infected with the Yellow Fever virus in Brazil since December, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Thirty of them have died. In a January 13 report, the WHO noted that relatively low vaccination coverage in one region where the virus is suspected to be spreading, in the state of Minas Gerais, “could favor the rapid spread of the disease.”

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