The lawsuit, filed in Columbus, follows a series of election-law changes that were passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich (R).
Archive for July 18, 2012
Biotech Riders in Proposed Farm Bill Stir Controversy
Genome Sequencing of 100,000 Foodborne Pathogens Underway
New database will speed up outbreak investigations
- 100,000 pathogen genomes will lead to new and better tests (genome-engineering.com)
- Genome Project for Food Pathogens Launched (fda.gov)
- 100K Genome Project takes aim at foodborne diseases (universityofcalifornia.edu)
- Genome Project for Food Pathogens Launched by FDA (bespacific.com)
- U.S To Build Database Of 100,000 Food Pathogen Genomes (undisputedlegal.wordpress.com)
- Genetic Database of Bacteria Aims to Track Food-Borne Illness (nytimes.com)
- FDA plans database for identifying foodborne germs (sfgate.com)
Publisher’s Platform: President Obama, Tell Your Kids Not To Eat Their Fruits and Veggies After August 1st!
Food safety program started by Bush to be killed by Obama at end of July
- Michele Simon: Produce Industry Funders of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools Are Putting Children at Risk: A Plea to Michelle Obama (huffingtonpost.com)
- How Produce Industry BigWigs Are Putting School Children at Risk: A Plea to Michelle Obama (treehugger.com)
- Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ School Lunch Program Inadvertently Puts Children at Risk (ecowatch.org)
The group bills itself as a “coalition of citizens, businesses, and community organizations who believe that consumers have the right to purchase beverages in whatever size they choose.”
But the “organizations” listed on the website simply run the gamut of businesses that sell soda, ranging from AMC Entertainment to the Chik-Fil-A.Goddard Gunster is not a group of concerned citizens in New York City. It is based in Washington, D.C.
Enter New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, set up by the beverage industry, grocers and the Teamsters, who work as drivers and in production. The organization’s Web site describes it as a humble coalition of “hard-working individuals, struggling families and already burdened small businesses,” like Benny’s Pizza and Kay’s Deli.But behind the scenes, much of the strategic work came from Goddard Claussen, the public affairs company whose “Harry and Louise” commercials helped defeat President Bill Clinton’s health care overhaul efforts. The company was retained by the American Beverage Association to lobby against the New York tax.
GC coordinated with the national effort (now known as Americans Against Food Taxes) and created a California coalition, Californians Against Food and Beverage Taxes (CAFBT).CAFBT initially recruited hundreds of supporters throughout the state including organizations whose leaders and members could serve effectively as spokespeople for the coalition in the press and as messengers to key legislators. The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Neighborhood Market Association and California Retailers Association took lead roles in that regard.
Americans Against Food Taxes (AAFT) is a front group funded by the beverage industry, which consists of major restaurant chains, food and soft drink manufacturers and their associated lobbying groups. It was organized by the American Beverage Association to fight a proposed three to ten cent tax on soda, sugary drinks and energy drinks to help fund health care reform in the United States….its extensive membership consists mainly of lobbying groups for packaged food and soda companies, chain restaurant corporations and the world’s large food and soft drink manufacturers and distributors, including the Coca-Cola Company, Dr. Pepper-Royal Crown Bottling Co., PepsiCo, Canada Dry Bottling Co. of New York, the Can Manufacturers Institute, 7-Eleven Convenience Stores, and Yum! Brands.Its domain name, http://www.nofoodtaxes.com, was formerly registered to Goddard Claussen public relations, based in Washington, D.C. The website’s domain registration has since changed to Domains By Proxy, Inc., which allows registrants to remain anonymous.
- Fight Over East Bay Soda Tax Gets Ugly (huffingtonpost.com)
- Soda tax debate pushes Richmond into national spotlight (mercurynews.com)
- Soda Ban Riles Industry, Bores NYers (abcnews.go.com)
- Coke, Pepsi and others launch assault against NYC soda ban (usatoday.com)
- Soda tax, other measures designed to fight obesity (sfgate.com)
- Coke And Pepsi Have Launched A PR Assault Against NYC’s Soda Ban (businessinsider.com)
- In Fight Against N.Y.C. Soda Ban, Industry Focuses on Personal Choice (nytimes.com)
- A fight against sugary drinks, far from the streets of New York (sacbee.com)
- Big Soda fights Richmond tax (where 50%/ non-white kids are overweight/obese) (californiaschildren.typepad.com)
By Associated Press, Wednesday
Before the changes to the law, local election boards had the discretion to set their own hours for such voting on the days before the election. And in-person voting on the weekend varied among the state’s 88 counties.
The state’s elections chief, Secretary of State Jon Husted, has argued that all counties should have the same early-voting hours and be open on the same days. Husted and his fellow Republicans contend it is unfair that a voter in one county can cast an early ballot on a day when a voter in a neighboring county cannot.
Obama for America was joined in the lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party.
Ohio is one of 32 states that allow voters to cast early ballots by mail or in person without an excuse. About 30 percent of the total vote in swing states — or roughly 1.7 million ballots — came in ahead of Election Day in the last presidential election.
Obama won Ohio in 2008, but Republican challenger Mitt Romney is expected to make a strong play for it in November.
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio’s cutoff date for early voting (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Obama Campaign Calls Ohio Early Vote Law Unconstitutional (bloomberg.com)
- Obama campaign, DNC sue Ohio over early voting (politico.com)
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio early voting law (news.yahoo.com)
- Obama campaign: Screw military voters, sues over Ohio early voting law (riehlworldview.com)
- Obama campaign, DNC sue Ohio over early voting restrictions (dailykos.com)
- Obama campaign sues Ohio to restore state’s early-voting days (thehill.com)
- Obama campaign and DNC sue Ohio Secretary of State over voting restrictions (rawstory.com)
- Obama Campaign Sues Ohio Officials, Calls New Limits On Early Voting Unconstitutional (thinkprogress.org)
- Obama Campaign Sues Over Ohio Early Voting Law (kstp.com)
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio early voting law (cnsnews.com)
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio early voting law (thegrio.com)
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio early voting law (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Obama campaign sues over Ohio early voting law (sfgate.com)
Mount Merapi, located in Yogyakarta, emitted high-pressure gas on Sunday afternoon that caused its crater wall to collapse and volcanic ash to fall on its western slope, as smoke billowed up to 1 kilometer into the sky.
As the gas discharge was not followed by other dangerous volcanic activity, the phenomenon was regarded as a small-scale volcanic eruption and the volcano’s alert status remained normal.
“Mount Merapi’s status remains normal because there was no dangerous volcanic activity,” said Volcanic Technology Development and Research Center (BPPTK) head Subandriyo on Monday.
According to Subandriyo, the incident was due to the accumulation of gas produced by the volcano’s magma. As the gas’ exit fumarole was too narrow, the volcano eventually released all the buildup of very high pressure gas by erupting, which caused the crater wall to collapse and this emitted a massive rumble.
“The incident can be called a small-scale ‘volcanic eruption’,” said Subandriyo.
In Bandung, West Java, Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center head Surono said the collapse of the crater wall of Mount Merapi on Sunday was a natural process. The collapse was not due to an increase in volcanic activity of the most active volcano in Indonesia.
The lava dome collapsed because rocks and eruption material from the 2010 eruption were still not completely set and stable. “The force of gravity or the weight of the rocks has caused the crater wall to collapse,” Surono said in a text message on Monday.
The lava dome collapsed on Sunday at 6:02 p.m. local time. According to Surono, officers at the Babadan observation post, located more than 5 kilometers from the mountain park, heard a rumbling sound which was a result of the collapse.
They also observed smoke billowing at a height of 1,000 meters above the peak, slanting westward. Surono added that a slight ash cloud occurred, followed by the smell of sulfur. “Based on a report, a rain of ash took place in Jurang Jero and Srumbung. The smoke was not emitted from an eruption, but rather by the collapsed crater dome,” Surono said.
Surono urged residents living around the volcano to remain calm and not panic due to unclear rumors. “Information on volcanic activity can be obtained from the Yogyakarta BPPTK,” added Surono.
Subandriyo said the amount of gas pressure was unclear, as his office was unable to conduct the measurements. The crater emitted thick smoke mixed with gas and ash and rose up to 1 kilometer. Its shape resembled a pyroclastic flow.
According to Subandriyo, the phenomenon was the first after it erupted in 2010. “The volcanic magma is currently rich with gas. This did not occur before the 2010 eruption,” he said. He added that in the past month, the crater dome of the 2,800-meter tall volcano often collapsed because the structure of the dome was not yet stable and due to the drought.
He also called on residents living along the slope of the mountain to remain calm because the status remained remains normal. However, he has advised trekkers not to approach the peak as it was quite dangerous. “Climbers should only hike up to Pasar Bubrah,” said Subandriyo. Pasar Bubrah is located around 400 meters from the peak.
Yoto, a resident in Jengglik hamlet, Ngablak district, Magelang, Central Java, who was at the western slope of Mount Merapi, said he heard a loud rumble coming from the peak of the mountain on Sunday afternoon. “I heard the rumble at around 6 p.m.” he said.
According to him, the gas emission led to ash rain which lightly covered Purwosari hamlet, Ngablak village.
Jamin, head of Kali Tengah Kidul hamlet, Cangkringan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, located around 4 kilometers from the peak, said he also heard the rumble on Sunday afternoon.
However, the incident did not cause residents to evacuate due to the ash rain. “I heard the rumble, but residents remained calm. We are used to hearing these rumbles,” said Jamin.
|17.07.2012||Volcano Activity||Indonesia||Central Java, [Mount Merapi Volcano]|
|Mount Merapi, located in Yogyakarta, emitted high-pressure gas on Sunday afternoon that caused its crater wall to collapse and volcanic ash to fall on its western slope, as smoke billowed up to 1 kilometer into the sky. As the gas discharge was not followed by other dangerous volcanic activity, the phenomenon was regarded as a small-scale volcanic eruption and the volcano’s alert status remained normal. “Mount Merapi’s status remains normal because there was no dangerous volcanic activity,” said Volcanic Technology Development and Research Center (BPPTK) head Subandriyo on Monday. According to Subandriyo, the incident was due to the accumulation of gas produced by the volcano’s magma. As the gas’ exit fumarole was too narrow, the volcano eventually released all the buildup of very high pressure gas by erupting, which caused the crater wall to collapse and this emitted a massive rumble. “The incident can be called a small-scale ‘volcanic eruption’,” said Subandriyo. In Bandung, West Java, Geological Disaster Mitigation and Volcanology Center head Surono said the collapse of the crater wall of Mount Merapi on Sunday was a natural process. The collapse was not due to an increase in volcanic activity of the most active volcano in Indonesia.
The lava dome collapsed because rocks and eruption material from the 2010 eruption were still not completely set and stable. “The force of gravity or the weight of the rocks has caused the crater wall to collapse,” Surono said in a text message on Monday. The lava dome collapsed on Sunday at 6:02 p.m. local time. According to Surono, officers at the Babadan observation post, located more than 5 kilometers from the mountain park, heard a rumbling sound which was a result of the collapse. They also observed smoke billowing at a height of 1,000 meters above the peak, slanting westward. Surono added that a slight ash cloud occurred, followed by the smell of sulfur. “Based on a report, a rain of ash took place in Jurang Jero and Srumbung. The smoke was not emitted from an eruption, but rather by the collapsed crater dome,” Surono said. Surono urged residents living around the volcano to remain calm and not panic due to unclear rumors. “Information on volcanic activity can be obtained from the Yogyakarta BPPTK,” added Surono. Subandriyo said the amount of gas pressure was unclear, as his office was unable to conduct the measurements. The crater emitted thick smoke mixed with gas and ash and rose up to 1 kilometer. Its shape resembled a pyroclastic flow. According to Subandriyo, the phenomenon was the first after it erupted in 2010. “The volcanic magma is currently rich with gas. This did not occur before the 2010 eruption,” he said. He added that in the past month, the crater dome of the 2,800-meter tall volcano often collapsed because the structure of the dome was not yet stable and due to the drought.
He also called on residents living along the slope of the mountain to remain calm because the status remained remains normal. However, he has advised trekkers not to approach the peak as it was quite dangerous. “Climbers should only hike up to Pasar Bubrah,” said Subandriyo. Pasar Bubrah is located around 400 meters from the peak. Yoto, a resident in Jengglik hamlet, Ngablak district, Magelang, Central Java, who was at the western slope of Mount Merapi, said he heard a loud rumble coming from the peak of the mountain on Sunday afternoon. “I heard the rumble at around 6 p.m.” he said. According to him, the gas emission led to ash rain which lightly covered Purwosari hamlet, Ngablak village. Jamin, head of Kali Tengah Kidul hamlet, Cangkringan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, located around 4 kilometers from the peak, said he also heard the rumble on Sunday afternoon. However, the incident did not cause residents to evacuate due to the ash rain. “I heard the rumble, but residents remained calm. We are used to hearing these rumbles,” said Jamin.
Extreme Temperatures/ Weather / Drought
KANSAS CITY/PLEASANT HILL MO MOUNT HOLLY NJ
LOUISVILLE KY WILMINGTON OH CHARLESTON WV MOUNT HOLLY NJ STATE COLLEGE PA LINCOLN IL PADUCAH KY KANSAS CITY/PLEASANT HILL MO BLACKSBURG VA WAKEFIELD VA OMAHA/VALLEY NE QUAD CITIES IA IL HASTINGS NE SIOUX FALLS SD DES MOINES IA CHICAGO IL BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC INDIANAPOLIS IN NEW YORK NY ST LOUIS MO TOPEKA KS SPRINGFIELD MO
by Staff Writers
Greece’s hottest day this year is forcing authorities to shut down the Athens Acropolis six hours before schedule in the interests of visitor health, the site’s guards said on Monday.
The country’s top monument was to shut down at 1100 GMT instead of its normal 1700 GMT closing time, a guard told AFP.
The ancient citadel is perched on a rocky plateau rising amid a sea of concrete in the Greek capital of over four million, offering precious little shade to thousands of tourists who visit it daily.
Temperatures in Athens were set to exceed 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit) at the close of this year’s hottest week that earlier forced authorities to make air-conditioned halls available to the public.
The environment ministry said air pollution was also above warning levels in various parts of the capital as it warned people with respiratory problems and heart trouble to stay indoors.
Weather News at TerraDaily.com
By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
Looking for relief from the heat over much of the Lower 48 states? Head to coastal Alaska where they are experiencing the coldest first half of July on record!
Through the first 14 days of July, the average temperature in Anchorage was 53.1 degrees factoring in daily highs and lows, which makes it the coldest first half of the month on record according to the National Weather Service in Anchorage.
Should this temperature trend continue, it could threaten the record for the coldest July ever, which occurred in 1920 and had an average temperature of 54.4 degrees.
Typically this stretch of time is the warmest of the year. Instead, temperatures in the city of Anchorage are running 5.3 degrees below average.
Somedays have even turned out colder than cities on the Arctic Coast such as Barrow. On July 12th, the high temperature topped out at 54 degrees in Anchorage, while temperatures soared to 62 in Barrow (a whooping 15 degrees above average.)
Not only has it been cool, but residents of the Alaska city haven’t seen much sunlight due to overcast skies and a persistent flow off the ocean. Rainfall through the first 14 days is running slightly above normal at 120 percent. But the clouds and cool temperatures have been the bigger story.
The reason for the cool weather along the coast has been due to jet stream position. Normally it will fluctuate northward sending storms into western Alaska and allowing ridging to build over the southern and central part of the state at times.
Well this summer it’s been consistently farther south sending storm after storm into the Gulf of Alaska, keeping a cool southeast flow of air aimed on the southern coast.
While heavy rain isn’t common with this kind of a storm track, the flow will keep clouds and cool temperatures in the offing as long as it persists.
Anchorage hasn’t been the only southern city feeling the chill. Homer, Alaska is running 5 degrees below normal for the month thus far while Palmer is running 3.8 degrees below average.
Residents of Anchorage and the southern coast shouldn’t expect any big warm ups anytime soon as this pattern of storms moving into the Gulf of Alaska looks to persist at least through next weekend.
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
Since early June, the Midwest and parts of the northern and central Plains have faced a devastating drought. The lack of substantial rainfall has had severe effects on corn production and has resulted in desertlike conditions for some areas. Paired with the recent heat wave, the situation has become a disaster for corn growers and has significantly driven down yields in the United States for 2012.
Some parts of the nation are better off than others when compared to a week ago, in terms of dryness and drought. However, some areas, including part of the corn belt, have gotten worse.
Waves of downpours have greatly eased the drought in portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia in recent weeks, while dry conditions have gotten worse in parts of the corn belt.
Building drought and waves of heat continue to raise concerns about the corn crop and other agriculture in the Midwest to the central Plains.
Even though the recent heat wave has ended, weeks of drought and days of 100-degree temperatures have already taken a toll on this year’s corn crop in a large part of the Midwestern United States.
Heat and drought threaten to take their toll on the northern part of the corn belt in the coming weeks.
While many areas in the eastern half of the nation are getting relief from heat, the landscape around the Midwest is behaving like a desert.
The heat and accompanying drought continue to seriously impact the Midwest as the “corn crop disaster” continues to unfold.
The ongoing drought and Corn Belt disaster is likely to drive down yields further in the United States for 2012.
Spotty downpours will grace northern and eastern areas of the corn belt into August, but not enough rain will fall on a large part of the corn belt, leading to a disaster.
|17.07.2012||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of California, [San Luis Obispo County]|
|A 640-acre wildfire on California’s Central Coast has forced evacuations of about 50 homes in rural San Luis Obispo County. State fire spokeswoman Tina Rose says the fire covering about one square mile was burning Monday in grass, brush and oak woodlands, forcing the evacuation of homes on Parkhill Road near Highway 58 about five miles east of the town of Santa Margarita, where an elementary school has been opened as a shelter. The evacuation order will remain in effect overnight. More than 200 firefighters are battling the blaze with help from six aircraft. It was 20 percent contained. Firefighters are being challenged by the fire’s location in very rough terrain. Wind gusts up to 21 mph are being reported in the area and temperatures were in the mid-70s.|
Storms / Flooding / Landslides
|Active tropical storm system(s)|
|Name of storm system||Location||Formed||Last update||Last category||Course||Wind Speed||Gust||Wave||Source||Details|
|Fabio (06E)||Pacific Ocean – East||12.07.2012||17.07.2012||Tropical Storm||360 °||74 km/h||93 km/h||3.05 m||NHC|
|Khanun (08W)||Pacific Ocean||15.07.2012||17.07.2012||Tropical Storm||310 °||93 km/h||120 km/h||4.57 m||JTWC|
By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
While Fabio should weaken as it heads northward in the eastern Pacific, Southern California will feel some impacts.
Fabio will encounter cooler Pacific water and stronger wind shear, causing the system to weaken into a remnant area of low pressure by Wednesday.
However, rough surf, increased clouds and spotty showers are in store for Southern California Wednesday night and Thursday as the remnants of Fabio move into Southern California or the northern part of Baja California.
Large swells up to 4-6 feet will be stirred by the remnants of Fabio.
Showers will be more likely in Southern California on Wednesday night, especially in the higher elevations. Flash flooding could be a concern in the Southern California mountains if any heavier downpours develop.
Clouds will increase with some spotty showers farther north across central California on Thursday.
|17.07.2012||Tornado||Poland||Greater Poland Voivodeship, [Region of Pomerania (Tuchola Forest area)]|
|A freak wave of tornadoes ripped through northern Poland on Sunday, wrecking houses and swathes of forest and leaving one person dead and another 10 injured. Tornadoes are not unknown in the European Union’s largest eastern country but the scope and power of Sunday’s twisters was unusual and comes in a summer already marked by flash floods, hailstorms and gales. Some 1,200 rescuers were working to remove fallen trees, unblock roads and restore utilities in the hardest hit Baltic region of Pomerania. Trees were uprooted, buildings damaged and power lines downed, while some 550 hectares of woodlands in the Tuchola Forest area were flattened. “I saw a black column coming our way,” an injured inhabitant of the Wycinki village, whose farm was destroyed by the tornado told state television. “It carried everything away with it … birds, debris, sucked up water from the lake.” A caravan with a family of three inside was seen flying through the air in the village of Stara Rzeka and breaking into pieces upon landing, but its occupants suffered no serious injuries. “The sole fatality was a 60-year-old man in the Pomeranian village of Wycinki who was crushed to death by his collapsing summer cottage,” fire brigade spokesman Pawel Fratczak told Reuters by telephone. The tornadoes were the latest outburst of violent weather that has battered Poland since the start of the month with hailstorms, gales, cloudbursts and flash floods. Meteorologists categorising the twister as a class two tornado with wind velocity of up to 200 km/h.|
HOUSTON/GALVESTON, TX LAKE CHARLES LA TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL DULUTH MN
|17.07.2012||Flash Flood||Japan||MultiProvinces, [Provinces of Kumamoto and Oita]|
|Flooding and landslides caused by record torrential rain on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu have killed six people and left 20 missing. Rescue workers had been unable to reach some of the areas where people were believed to be buried under landslides, television reports said on Thursday. Authorities in the prefectural capital of Kumamoto ordered about 48,000 residents to flee the city. Blackouts hit about 10,000 households in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, the Kyushu Electric Power Company reported. Railway services and motor traffic were suspended, Kyodo said, while some bullet train services were temporarily halted in the island’s north and centre. The Japan Meteorological Agency said rainfall in some parts of the island had reached levels that have “never been experienced”. It said hourly rainfall in the morning topped 120mm in Aso and reached 120mm in Ubuyama. The agency warned of more heavy rain and landslides in northern parts of Kyushu before the downpours move north to the main island of Honshu later on Thursday.|
|17.07.2012||Flash Flood||India||State of North Bengal, [Area of Teesta, Jaldhaka and Torsa river basins]|
|Flash floods hit North Bengal with three main rivers – Teesta, Jaldhaka and Torsha – flowing over the danger levels at several places and displacing nearly 2,000 people from their homes. State Irrigation Minister Manas Bhunia on Monday visited North Bengal to take stock of the situation. “Heavy rainfall in parts of North Bengal pose a serious threat to river embankments. The rivers with its origin in Bhutan have not been maintained properly in the past resulting in a rise in their river bed. The work to repair breached embankments has started,” Bhunia said. He will visit Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri on Tuesday where uninterrupted rainfall has played havoc. Bhunia said he has informed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the situation over the phone. “Cooked food and tarpaulins have been distributed among those displaced,” he added. In the last three days, Jalpaiguri district has received 40mm, 102 mm and 81 mm rainfall, respectively, said disaster management department. During the same period, Darjeeling recorded 248 mm rainfall. Cooch Behar, too, has recorded heavy downpour in the last three days. The areas severely affected by rainfall include Nagrakata, Domohani, Fulbari, Hasimara. The administration is suspecting landslides.|
Flood-battered Japan warily eyes typhoon
Fears it could heap further misery
Ukiha: Flood-battered southwestern Japan on Tuesday braced for a typhoon amid fears it could heap further misery on an area where at least 32 are dead or missing after record rainfall.
Typhoon Khanun was lashing the Amami island chain south of Kyushu where four days of torrential rain have sparked landslides and flooding, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Khanun – “jack fruit” in Thai – packing winds of up to 126 kilometres (78 miles) per hour, was moving west-northwest at 30 kilometres per hour and was expected to graze the west of Kyushu island through Wednesday afternoon, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Tuesday brought a lull in the rainfall for most of the region as the weather agency said there was up to 9.2 centimetres (3.6 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to 4.20pm (0720 GMT) in the north of Kyushu.
In hard-hit Minamiaso in Kumamoto prefecture, more than 670 people remained unable to return to their homes on Tuesday afternoon because of landslide fears.
“We started reconstruction work on damaged roads yesterday, but workers have been forced to step aside repeatedly by occasional rains,” said local official Hideki Kuraoka.
“Even a small amount of rain could trigger mudslides and more downpours are expected this afternoon. We remain on high alert,” he said.
Kuraoka said even though forecasters did not expect a direct hit from the typhoon, it was still a worry.
“We cannot know what damage will be caused by the typhoon,” he said. “We are being extremely vigilant about it.”
Most of the 400,000 people who were ordered or advised to leave their homes were allowed to return after authorities began lifting evacuation orders on Sunday.
Roads in Aso city remained flooded and inaccessible.
Troops who were called in to help over the weekend on Tuesday continued their search for three people officially recorded as missing.
They recovered a man’s body from a ditch in Aso on Tuesday, raising the total death toll from landslides and floods across the affected area to 29.
“The body belongs to a man, 55, who was one of the missing people,” said a Kumamoto official.
Aso, which sits at the foot of a volcano, has seen more than 80 centimetres of rain over the last few days, triggering huge mudslides that swamped whole communities and killed at least 21 people in the city alone.
An AFP photographer who visited the city said some people who had been evacuated from their homes were seeking shelter in municipal buildings.
In scenes reminiscent of last year’s devastating tsunami, families sat on mats on wooden floors, or gathered around televisions to watch the latest forecasts.
Other parts of Japan were dealing with soaring temperatures as the first really hot days of the sometimes punishing Japanese summer took hold.
The weather agency said temperatures of 39.2 degrees Celsius (102.6 Fahrenheit) were recorded in Tatebayashi, north of Tokyo, and 37.5 degrees Celsius in Hachioji, a city in western Tokyo.
On Monday, a man in his 80s died in central Niigata prefecture apparently from heat stroke, while nearly 700 people were taken to hospital due to heat exhaustion, local media said.
With the vast bulk of Japan’s nuclear power stations offline in the aftermath of the tsunami-sparked Fukushima disaster, the country is being urged to cut down on electricity usage and the excessive use of air conditioners is being discouraged.
Dorset landslide: Two bodies found in car hit by tunnel entrance collapse near Dorchester
Published on Jul 17, 2012 by itnnews
Two bodies have been found in a car trapped under a landslide in a tunnel in Beaminster, Dorset. Report by Sam Datta-Paulin.
Epidemic Hazards / Diseases
|17.07.2012||Epidemic Hazard||Cuba||Multiple areas, [Manzanillo (Departmento de Granma), Capital City, Havanna]|
Tuesday, 17 July, 2012 at 03:16 UTC
|The numbers on Cuba’s cholera outbreak continued to grow over the weekend, with officials reporting 12 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 170, and eight new suspected cases in the southeastern province of Granma. Cuba’s Public Health Ministry, in a statement published in the official news media on Saturday morning, declared that the outbreak was “decreasing” with 158 confirmed cases and three deaths confirmed. But the numbers provided by lead Granma province epidemiologist Ana Maria Batista during her appearance Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings on provincial television showed increases in all the categories. “The numbers show it is growing,” said Santiago Marquez, a physician in the Granma city of Manzanillo who has watched Batista’s nightly reports for more than a week and provided the details to independent journalists in Cuba and El Nuevo Herald. Batista reported 158 confirmed cholera cases in the province on Friday, 163 on Saturday – though her town-by-town breakdown added up to 164 — and six additional cases on Sunday for a total of 170, Marquez said.
She noted on Sunday that eight new cases of suspected cholera had been reported, and that 27 people were hospitalized on Saturday alone with diarrhea and vomiting, the key symptoms of the disease, according to the physician. More general cases of diarrhea and vomiting, which spike every summer with the rains and heat, rose from 5,680 in her Saturday report to 6,002 in her Sunday appearance, Marquez reported. About 97 percent of those already have recovered, she added. The number of Granma’s 13 municipalities where cholera has been reported rose from seven to nine, Batista noted. Appearing with Batista on provincial television Sunday, Deputy Director of Provincial Transportation José Mendoza González again advised residents to put off unnecessary travel in order to avoid spreading the disease. Cuban officials have repeatedly assured since early July that the cholera outbreak was under control and that the rising number of confirmed cases was because laboratories need a week or more to confirm a diagnosis of cholera. Dissidents and independent journalists have alleged that the cholera death toll stands at five to 15 but that the government has confirmed only three to avoid scaring tourists, one of the country’s main sources of hard currency. They have also reported cholera cases in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and other parts of the island.
The Health Ministry announcement published Saturday confirmed a few cases had been reported outside of Granma, but noted that all were people who had been in the province. It was not clear if the 158 cases it reported referred to all the island, or Granma province alone. Batista has made it clear her numbers are for the province only. The ministry announcement was only the national government’s second comment on the epidemic since July 3, when it confirmed three deaths and 53 cases caused by the bacteria Vibrio Cholerae but did not use the word cholera. Saturday’s statement did use the word.
NASA via AP
A massive iceberg larger than Manhattan has broken away from the floating end of a Greenland glacier this week, an event scientists predicted last autumn.
The giant ice island is 46 square miles, and separated from the terminus of the Petermann Glacier, one of Greenland’s largest.
The Petermann Glacier last birthed — or “calved” — a massive iceberg two years ago, in August 2010. The iceberg that broke off and floated away was nearly four times the size of Manhattan, and one of the largest ever recorded in Greenland.
Although the new iceberg isn’t as colossal as its 2010 predecessor, its birth has moved the front end of the massive glacier farther inland than it has been in 150 years, Andreas Muenchow, an associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware, said in a statement.
Jason Box, a scientist with Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center, has also been monitoring the Petermann Glacier and in September 2011 he told OurAmazingPlanet that a growing crack likely would sever the glacier once warmer weather took hold during the summer months.
“We can see the crack widening in the past year through satellite pictures, so it seems imminent,” Box said at the time.
Muenchow said that the newest ice island broke away on Monday morning (July 16).
Although iceberg birth is a natural, cyclical process, when the process speeds up, there are consequences.
The floating ends of glaciers, known as ice shelves, act as doorstops. When these ice shelves suddenly splinter and weaken or even collapse entirely, as has been observed in Antarctica, the glaciers that feed them speed up, dumping more ice into the ocean and raising global sea levels.
“The Greenland ice sheet as a whole is shrinking, melting and reducing in size as the result of globally changing air and ocean temperatures and associated changes in circulation patterns in both the ocean and atmosphere,” Muenchow said.
2MIN News July 17, 2012: Weather Modification MEETS Hurricane
Published on Jul 17, 2012 by Suspicious0bservers
Spaceweather: http://spaceweather.com/ [Look on the left at the X-ray Flux and Solar Wind Speed/Density]
HAARP: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/data.html [Click online data, and have a little fun]
SDO: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/ [Place to find Solar Images and Videos - as seen from earth]
SOHO: http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/soho_movie_theater [SOHO; Lasco and EIT - as seen from earth]
Stereo: http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/images [Stereo; Cor, EUVI, HI - as seen from the side]
SunAEON:http://www.sunaeon.com/#/solarsystem/ [Just click it... trust me]
SOLARIMG: http://solarimg.org/artis/ [All purpose data viewing site]
iSWA: http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov/iswa/iSWA.html [Free Application; for advanced sun watchers]
NOAA ENLIL SPIRAL: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/cme-based/ [CME Evolution]
NOAA Bouys: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/
RSOE: http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php [That cool alert map I use]
JAPAN Radiation Map: http://jciv.iidj.net/map/
Gamma Ray Bursts: http://grb.sonoma.edu/ [Really? You can't figure out what this one is for?]
BARTOL Cosmic Rays: http://neutronm.bartol.udel.edu//spaceweather/welcome.html [Top left box, look for BIG blue circles]
TORCON: http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index [Tornado Forecast for the day]
GOES Weather: http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes/ [Clouds over America]
INTELLICAST: http://www.intellicast.com/ [Weather site used by many youtubers]
PHYSORG: http://phys.org/ [GREAT News Site!]
|Object Name||Apporach Date||Left||AU Distance||LD Distance||Estimated Diameter*||Relative Velocity|
|(2012 BV26)||18th July 2012||0 day(s)||0.1759||68.4||94 m – 210 m||10.88 km/s||39168 km/h|
|(2010 OB101)||19th July 2012||1 day(s)||0.1196||46.6||200 m – 450 m||13.34 km/s||48024 km/h|
|(2008 OX1)||20th July 2012||2 day(s)||0.1873||72.9||130 m – 300 m||15.35 km/s||55260 km/h|
|(2010 GK65)||21st July 2012||3 day(s)||0.1696||66.0||34 m – 75 m||17.80 km/s||64080 km/h|
|(2011 OJ45)||21st July 2012||3 day(s)||0.1367||53.2||18 m – 39 m||3.79 km/s||13644 km/h|
|153958 (2002 AM31)||22nd July 2012||4 day(s)||0.0351||13.7||630 m – 1.4 km||9.55 km/s||34380 km/h|
|(2011 CA7)||23rd July 2012||5 day(s)||0.1492||58.1||2.3 m – 5.1 m||5.43 km/s||19548 km/h|
|(2012 BB124)||24th July 2012||6 day(s)||0.1610||62.7||170 m – 380 m||8.78 km/s||31608 km/h|
|(2009 PC)||28th July 2012||10 day(s)||0.1772||68.9||61 m – 140 m||7.34 km/s||26424 km/h|
|217013 (2001 AA50)||31st July 2012||13 day(s)||0.1355||52.7||580 m – 1.3 km||22.15 km/s||79740 km/h|
|(2012 DS30)||02nd August 2012||15 day(s)||0.1224||47.6||18 m – 39 m||5.39 km/s||19404 km/h|
|(2000 RN77)||03rd August 2012||16 day(s)||0.1955||76.1||410 m – 920 m||9.87 km/s||35532 km/h|
|(2004 SB56)||04th August 2012||17 day(s)||0.1393||54.2||380 m – 840 m||13.72 km/s||49392 km/h|
|(2000 SD8)||04th August 2012||17 day(s)||0.1675||65.2||180 m – 400 m||5.82 km/s||20952 km/h|
|(2006 EC)||06th August 2012||19 day(s)||0.0932||36.3||13 m – 28 m||6.13 km/s||22068 km/h|
|(2006 MV1)||07th August 2012||20 day(s)||0.0612||23.8||12 m – 28 m||4.79 km/s||17244 km/h|
|(2005 RK3)||08th August 2012||21 day(s)||0.1843||71.7||52 m – 120 m||8.27 km/s||29772 km/h|
|(2009 BW2)||09th August 2012||22 day(s)||0.0337||13.1||25 m – 56 m||5.27 km/s||18972 km/h|
|277475 (2005 WK4)||09th August 2012||22 day(s)||0.1283||49.9||260 m – 580 m||6.18 km/s||22248 km/h|
|(2004 SC56)||09th August 2012||22 day(s)||0.0811||31.6||74 m – 170 m||10.57 km/s||38052 km/h|
|(2008 AF4)||10th August 2012||23 day(s)||0.1936||75.3||310 m – 690 m||16.05 km/s||57780 km/h|
|37655 Illapa||12th August 2012||25 day(s)||0.0951||37.0||770 m – 1.7 km||28.73 km/s||103428 km/h|
|(2012 HS15)||14th August 2012||27 day(s)||0.1803||70.2||220 m – 490 m||11.54 km/s||41544 km/h|
|4581 Asclepius||16th August 2012||29 day(s)||0.1079||42.0||220 m – 490 m||13.48 km/s||48528 km/h|
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
NASA has released still images of a red sprite which Expedition 31 Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured April 30, 2012:
“‘Red sprites are short-lived, red flashes that occur about 80 kilometers (50 miles) up in the atmosphere. With long, vertical tendrils like a jellyfish, these electrical discharges can extend 20 to 30 kilometers up into the atmosphere and are connected to thunderstorms and lightning.”
These images of a red sprite were captured with a digital camera by Expedition 31 astronauts on the International Space Station as they traveled southeast from central Myanmar (Burma) to just north of Malaysia. The still images are part of a time-lapse movie collected from 13:41 to 13:47 Universal Time on April 30, 2012. View the footage here.
The sprite occurs about 6 seconds into the video, above a bright, wide lightning flash in the upper right quadrant.
Red sprites are difficult to observe because they last for just a few milliseconds and occur above thunderstorms-meaning they are usually blocked from view on the ground by the very clouds that produce them. They send pulses of electrical energy up toward the edge of space-the electrically charged layer known as the ionosphere-instead of down to Earth’s surface. They are rich with radio noise, and can sometimes occur in bunches.
For decades, pilots reported seeing ephemeral flashes above storms, but it was not until the 1990s that scientists were able to verify the existence of these electrical discharges. A sprite was first photographed by accident from an airplane in 1989, and observers on the space shuttle captured several more images with low-light cameras in 1990 and in subsequent missions. Viewers on the ground can occasionally photograph sprites by looking out on a thunderstorm in the distance, often looking out from high mountainsides over storms in lower plains.”
Information and photo courtesy of NASA.
Comet 96P/Macholz has a leading comet!
Published on Jul 17, 2012 by SunsFlare
It was only after I had reviewed the images of comet 96/P Macholz under zoom, image adjustments, and grey scaled that I spotted a leading comet!
Biological Hazards / Wildlife / Hazmat
|17.07.2012||Biological Hazard||Taiwan||County of Taoyuan , Taoyuan|
|Dozens of pet birds smuggled from southern China into Taiwan tested positive for the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus and were destroyed, Taiwanese authorities said Tuesday. The smuggler bought the 38 birds in the Chinese city of Guangzhou and was caught at the Taoyuan international airport in northern Taiwan when he returned via Macau earlier this month, said the Centers for Disease Control. The birds later tested positive for the H5N1 virus and were killed, it said, adding that nine people who had contact with the birds had not shown any flu symptoms during a ten-day screening. Taiwan has no recorded cases of the deadly H5N1 strain, although in 2005 health authorities said eight pet birds smuggled from China tested positive for the strain and destroyed. The island has reported several outbreaks of the H5N2 bird flu, a less virulent strain of the virus, in recent years. China is considered one of the nations most at risk of bird flu epidemics because it has the world’s biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.|
|Biohazard name:||H5N1 – Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus|
|Biohazard level:||4/4 Hazardous|
|Biohazard desc.:||Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.|
|17.07.2012||Biological Hazard||USA||State of California, [Leucadia and Encinitas, Encinitas beaches]|
|San Diego County area lifeguards reported a surge in the number of beachgoers stung by jellyfish on Sunday. One-hundred thirty people were stung at six beaches in Leucadia and Encinitas, Encinitas lifeguards said, while state lifeguards reported that 30 people were stung at Torrey Pines State Beach. Jellyfish follow plankton, their main source of food, as they move closer to shore during the summer, said Fernando Nosratpour of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. As they get closer to beaches, strong currents from along the coast push the fragile jellyfish to shore and break them up into little pieces. The most common types of jellyfish found around San Diego are the moon and the purple-striped jellyfish, Nosratpour said. The moon jellyfish is about 10 inches long and has short tentacles, while the purple-striped jellyfish is about 12 inches long and has long, thick tentacles, he said. Even after breaking up and dying, the purple-striped jellyfish’s tentacles can sting people, Nosratpour said. The moon jellyfish’s sting cells do not work after the jellyfish dies. Jellyfish generally do not attack people. People usually get stung when they rub up against them in the water or touch them once they’ve washed up on the beach. A small rash will appear where the sting occurred. Lifeguards recommend that people keep on eye out for jellyfish pieces in the water and sand. Sting rashes can be treated with diluted vinegar and usually disappear in an hour, although some people may have stronger reactions. Fresh water and sand can aggravate the rash. No one was hospitalized.|
|Biohazard name:||Jellyfish invasion|
|Biohazard level:||0/4 —|
|Biohazard desc.:||This does not included biological hazard category.|
|17.07.2012||HAZMAT||USA||State of Texas, Canyon|
|Eight firefighters along with two others were transported to the hospital for evaluation after a hazardous material fire south of Canyon Monday evening. According to the Canyon Fire Department, firefighters arrived to the fire at about 7 p.m., Monday and discovered there was a hazardous material involved. The Amarillo Hazmat Team, Amarillo/Potter/Randall EOC and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality all responded to help ensure the hazardous materials stayed inside the fire scene. Fire officials said the 10 people were transported to the hospital only as a precaution. There was no risk to the general public and the scene has now been neutralized. All 10 people taken to the hospital are fine, officials said.|
|17.07.2012||HAZMAT||Australia||State of Queensland, Brisbane [Port of Brisbane]|
|Four people have been taken to hospital after being exposed to a chemical leak at the Port of Brisbane. The four wharf workers were treated by ambulance paramedics at the Patrick Container Terminal on Port Drive for headaches and nausea after being overcome by chemical fumes about 6am. They were taken to hospital for precautionary reasons only. A 150-metre exclusion zone has been established around 10 containers understood to have been unloaded from a Chinese vessel. It is understood six containers have been tested and cleared, but firefighters are assessing four more containers. ‘‘Firefighters in breathing apparatus are also conducting atmospheric testing in the area,’’ a Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said. Business and traffic at the Port of Brisbane has been largely unaffected.|
Articles of Interest
|17.07.2012||Technological Disaster||Egypt||Governorate of Alexandria, Alexandria|
|Search teams pulled the bodies of 10 people from the rubble of four buildings that collapsed yesterday in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria, as efforts to find other missing people continues, the official Middle East News Agency reported today citing a health official. Five casualties found so far by Civil Defense forces were hospitalized with injuries ranging from fractures to bruises and suffocation, Ahmed Al-Ansari, chairman of Egypt’s Ambulance, said according to the news service. An 11-story building collapsed yesterday afternoon, toppling three adjacent properties.|
Sinister clouds hang low over Virginia as tens of thousands lose power in destructive thunderstorms
Sinister shelf clouds have been looming over Virginia for the past couple of days as thunderstorms continue to plague the region.
The huge formations were hanging low over the state capital, Richmond, on Sunday afternoon, as shown in these images collected by WTVR.
While shelf clouds are not dangerous, their threatening appearance is hardly conducive to a cheery atmosphere.
Scroll down for video
Moreover, they are a reliable indicator that a thunderstorm is nearby and could be arriving soon.
[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes 'FAIR USE' of any such copyrighted material.]