Tuesday, October 02, 2018


Oct. 1, 2018
Polling data from 25 countries released Monday showed a widespread global belief that China is a growing power, perhaps one that now rivaled the United States in economic might, but that most people wanted the United States to retain its leading role in global affairs.
However, the poll also found very little confidence in the countries surveyed that the current U.S. leader would do the right thing in global affairs. Indeed, confidence in Trump was lower than for world leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Russia’s Vladimir Putin — and even China’s Xi Jinping.
Views of the United States in general were more positive — 50 percent were favorable, compared with 43 percent unfavorable — but this was also a drop from the Obama era, when favorable views were at 64 percent. Seventy percent said that the United States did not take into account the interests of other countries, and 37 percent said that the country was doing less to address major global problems (compared with 14 percent who said the country was doing more, and 34 percent who said it was doing the same as before).
Since the last years of the Obama administration, Pew has found a decline in the number of those who say that the U.S. government respects the personal freedoms of its citizens.
The trend was especially pronounced this year in Europe: In France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United States, a combined median showed a majority (57 percent) didn’t think the United States respected personal freedom. Forty percent said the United States did respect these freedoms.

Oct. 1, 2018
Death rates for female pigs in the US are rising fast, sending alarm bells ringing throughout the farming industry.
The mortality rate rose from 5.8% to 10.2% on farms owning more than 125 sows between 2013-2016, according to one organisation that collects data across 800 companies.
The numbers have been linked to a troubling rise in prolapse – the collapse of the animal’s rectum, vagina, or uterus. In some cases the prolapse itself is fatal. In others the pig is euthanised as a result.
A number of possible causes have been suggested, including vitamin deficiency, mycotoxins in the feed, high density diets or abdominal issues. Some experts blame confinement systems in intensive farming – sows will spend a large percentage of their lives in gestation and farrowing crates that don’t allow them to move around. Modern breeding practices have also been suggested as a causal factor.

Oct. 2, 2018
The search continues for thousands of people who are believed to be trapped under rubble after an earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi on Friday morning, causing a tsunami and around 170 aftershocks.
The death toll is still at 844 but is expected to rise sharply as rescue efforts continue.
Roughly 50,000 people have been displaced by the earthquake.
There have been reports of looting as aid and supplies struggle to reach the affected areas and Palu faces its fifth day with limited power and clean water supplies.
Part of the reason for the slow delivery of supplies to Palu is due to the damage to the airport, where only one runway is operational. On Monday, the airport was forced to close temporarily as hundreds of people flocked to the airport to beg the military to evacuate them or give them food.
The bodies of 34 students were found in a church on Tuesday. The group were killed when a mudslide engulfed the church in which they were meeting.
The bodies of some of the victims have been buried in a mass grave near Palu. The grave has space for more than 1,000 people.
There is a major shortage of fuel in the region. Queues at petrol stations around Palu reportedly stretch for kilometres.
The International Committee of Red Cross says 178 of its aid workers are on the ground in the area.
More than 1,400 prisoners are missing from a local jails in the area.

Sept. 25, 2018
Hurricane Florence was the nation’s second rainiest storm in 70 years, a top rainfall meteorologist calculated.
Only last year’s Hurricane Harvey rained more over a 14,000 square mile (36,260 square kilometers) area during a four-day time period, said Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and North Carolina State University.
Scientists said climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for both storms.

Sept. 26, 2018
It's not just the atmosphere and the oceans that are heating up. An ever-denser blanket of greenhouse gases is also sending warmer air and water deeper into the planet's rocky bones.
In the mountains of Switzerland, scientists have measured startling temperature increases, with jumps of as much as half a degree Celsius in just a decade 20 feet deep into the rocks. On Svalbard, an Arctic island north of Norway, similar warming has been measured more than 100 feet deep in the permafrost.
Continued warming and the thawing of permafrost also increases the chances for big mudslides and debris flows. As more and more of the previously frozen soil thaws, it can easily be set into motion by rain, said climate scientist Ketil Isaksen of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
Along with the melting permafrost, another force is at work. Steep rock walls that were once buttressed by glacial ice several hundred feet thick have been laid bare as the glaciers receded. With nothing to hold them back, gravity pulls the rock toward the valley floors.
Basically, global warming is dissolving the glue that holds mountains together, and that could result in unexpected hazards for mountain communities, said Perry Barthelt, an avalanche expert with the WSL.

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