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Archive for April 26, 2011

Rain Colombia’s ‘worst’ natural disaster: Santos

April 26, 2011 Comments off

france24

A Colombian police officer helps evacuate a shop after a landslide in Sabaneta, near Medellin in Colombia. Some 160,000 police officers in the country and 52 aircraft are participating in emergency operations following deadly floods that killed 67 people and caused widespread damage, officials have said.

AFP – Colombia faces its worst natural disaster on record due to the effects of relentless heavy rain that has been pounding most of Colombia this year, President Juan Manuel Santos has said.

The heavy rain, triggered by the La Nina weather phenomenon, has killed at least 69 people in April alone, bringing the total death toll to at least 90, officials said.

“It’s as if our territory had been struck by a hurricane that arrived last year and does not want to leave,” Santos said in an address to the nation.

“This is without doubt the worst natural tragedy of our history,” he said, as he called for “national unity” to face the Read more…

Categories: Colombia, Flood, Weather Tags: , , ,

Mississippi River nears highest level since ’37

April 26, 2011 Comments off

chicagobreakingnews

VICKSURG, Miss. — The National Weather Service has forecast that the Mississippi River will crest at 52.5 feet in Vicksburg on May 13, the highest level since 1937.”We’ve got water coming down on top of heavy rain,” Marty Pope, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, told the Vicksburg Post.”It’s looking pretty bad right now. We have lots of rain to come, too.”

The Mississippi River at Cairo, Ill., at the confluence with the Ohio River, stood at 53.5 feet overnight Sunday, 13.5 feet above flood stage, and it was predicted to crest there May 3 at 60 feet.

The stage at Vicksburg stood at 39.2 feet Monday. It reached 43.3 feet on March 31.

In 1937, the Mississippi River topped out at 53.2 feet. In 2008, the river reached 50.9 feet, the highest since 1973 when it reached 51.6 feet.

The benchmark 1927 flood reached 56.2 feet on today’s gauges.

Pope said that 5 to 8 inches of rain were predicted over the next three days from Read more…

NASA issues warning of solar superstorm 2012: One billion could die

April 26, 2011 16 comments

helium

Could a superstorm generated by the sun destroy civilization as we know it in 2012?

No less than NASA thinks it’s a distinct possibility. In a remarkable move the normally conservative US space agency has taken the extraordinary step of warning the world.

The headlines reverberating around the world speak volumes: ‘Leaks discovered in Earth’s magnetic field,’ Solar storms to wreak havoc,’ ‘The end of life as we know it,’ ‘Magnetic shift to cause global superstorms.’

 Can such things really happen?

NASA and the European Space Agency say yes.

2012 and the rising specter of doom

Among all the countries with exposure to the solar devastation, the United States is the most susceptible. Read more…

Can’t seal Fukushima like Chernobyl – it all goes into sea

April 26, 2011 Comments off

US, China to hold economy meeting in May

April 26, 2011 Comments off

AFP

WASHINGTON — Top officials from the United States and China will meet in Washington early next month, the Treasury Department said Monday, as tensions between the two economic superpowers simmer.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, amid continued tensions over debt, exports and the value of China’s currency.

The Treasury Department has delayed the publication of a report that could lead to sanctions against Beijing until after the meeting, despite US lawmakers complaining that China is still manipulating its currency for trade advantage.

The semi-annual report, which was due on April 15, has become a focal point for critics who accuse Beijing of unfairly keeping the yuan weak against the dollar to boost Chinese exports.

The US government said it would wait until a meeting of the Group of 20 finance chiefs, the IMF’s annual spring Read more…

State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport

April 26, 2011 Comments off

consumertraveler

If you don’t want it to get even harder for a U.S. citizen to get a passport — now required for travel even to Canada or Mexico — you only have until Monday to let the State Department know.

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new  Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information.  According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial Read more…

Monsanto wants to start testing GM wheat

April 26, 2011 Comments off

naturalnews

(NaturalNews) Biotechnology giant Monsanto has announced plans to start testing genetically modified (GM) wheat, in spite of prior failures to gain acceptance for the technology.

GM food crops already on the market include corn, soy and sugar beets. Monsanto attempted to introduce GM wheat in the early part of the decade, but abandoned the effort in 2004 when international buyers threatened to boycott U.S. wheat, prompting U.S. wheat growers to reject the technology.

In the face of record high wheat prices sparked by climate-related crop failures, Monsanto has launched plans to develop GM wheat strains that are more drought- and stress-resistant and produce higher yields, according to company executive Claire CaJacob. Rival companies Syngenta and BASF have also announced plans to engineer GM wheat varieties.

“I wouldn’t say we’re jumping in with two feet,” CaJacob said. “But I wouldn’t say we’re tentative. We have traits that Read more…