Friday, January 21News That Matters

World

A Trove of Old Photos Could Reveal the Future of These Arctic Glaciers

A Trove of Old Photos Could Reveal the Future of These Arctic Glaciers

Technology, World
The mammoth, ethereally beautiful glaciers of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, near the North Pole, bear the scars of climate change more than almost anywhere else on the planet.Over the past three decades, Svalbard has warmed twice as quickly as the rest of the Arctic region and seven times the global average. That is causing the islands’ glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, threatening polar bears and other wildlife, and adding to rising sea levels around the globe.For a long time, though, predicting how quickly future warming might cause the ice to retreat took guesswork. In Svalbard and other places, most field measurements started only in the mid-20th century, and satellite observations even later.Now, advances in computing are helping scientists bring old ice back to life in a...
New Zealand aid flight on way to Tonga, images reveal devastation

New Zealand aid flight on way to Tonga, images reveal devastation

Breaking News, World
Australia also sending relief flight as recovery effort accelerates in wake of eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai.The first flight carrying supplies is on its way to Tonga after the runway at the Pacific island nation’s main airport was cleared of ash and debris from last weekend’s devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. Like many other parts of the country, the runway at Nuku’alofa was blanketed in ash after the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, an undersea volcano, which sent giant plumes of ash, volcanic debris, and smoke into the air. The aircraft, an air force Hercules C-130 transport plane from New Zealand, took off from Auckland at about noon (23:00 GMT) for the four-hour flight, the country’s foreign and defence ministries said in a joint statement on Thursday. “The airc...
Oil hits fresh 7-year peak as demand proves resilient to Omicron

Oil hits fresh 7-year peak as demand proves resilient to Omicron

Breaking News, World
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery, which expires Thursday, rose $1.53 to settle at $86.96 a barrel in New York.By Julia FanzeresBloombergPublished On 19 Jan 202219 Jan 2022Oil touched its highest level since October 2014 as the International Energy Agency said the market looks tighter than previously thought, with demand proving resilient to omicron. Futures in New York closed up 1.8% on Wednesday, with the IEA saying in a report that oil demand is on track to hit pre-pandemic levels. The agency also said global stockpiles are falling rapidly as demand remains robust and the OPEC+ coalition struggles to revive output. That’s a further indication that production could be lower, or consumption could be higher, than the market estimates, it said. “The market has already...
Johnson lifts COVID rules in England as Omicron wave ‘has peaked’

Johnson lifts COVID rules in England as Omicron wave ‘has peaked’

Breaking News, World
British PM says face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and COVID passes will be dropped for big events.Face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and schools in England and COVID-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in large parts of the country, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday that the restrictions were being eased because government scientists believed it was likely that the surge of infections prompted by the highly contagious Omicron variant “has now peaked nationally”. While hospitals in northern England are still under pressure because of high caseloads, Johnson said hospital admissions and patients in intensive care units elsewhere in England were stabilising or falling....
New Research Shows How Health Risks to Children Mount as Temperatures Rise

New Research Shows How Health Risks to Children Mount as Temperatures Rise

Technology, World
It is well established that days of extreme heat are dangerous for adults and can lead to excess deaths, particularly in vulnerable populations like older people. When temperatures rise, people can become severely ill or die if they are unable to effectively sweat and cool off. This can lead to an increase in internal body temperature.Understand the Latest News on Climate ChangeCard 1 of 3In addition to temperature-related illnesses like heat strokes or heat exhaustion, adults can also suffer cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. Last summer, a New York Times analysis found that the deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest resulted in 600 more deaths than would have been typical.“We know that, due to climate change, days with extreme heat are going to be more frequent and more intense...
Italy’s Fetus Graveyards | Close Up

Italy’s Fetus Graveyards | Close Up

Breaking News, World
From: Al Jazeera Close UpUnauthorised burials of aborted fetuses shed light on stigma women face, as well as barriers to reproductive rights.“Finding myself crucified has been the last step of the torture a woman had to endure to have a therapeutical abortion in Rome,” says Francesca. In 2019, Francesca was six months pregnant and needed an abortion for medical reasons – because the baby she was carrying had a malformed aorta. First, the Italian pro-abortion rights activist had to scour Rome to find one of only five doctors in the city who perform abortions. During the procedure, she was left in active labour without any anaesthesia. Afterwards, clinic staff refused to tell her what happened to the aborted fetus. It was only a year later that she found a cemetery where a cross, with her ...

Here’s What Scientists Know About the Tonga Volcano Eruption

Technology, World
While residents of Tonga struggle to recover from a devastating volcanic explosion that smothered the Pacific island nation with ash and swamped it with water, scientists are trying to better understand the global effects of the eruption.They already know the answer to one crucial question: Although it appeared to be the largest eruption in the world in three decades, the explosion of the Hunga volcano on Saturday will very likely not have a temporary cooling effect on the global climate, as some past enormous eruptions have.But in the aftermath of the event, there may be short-term effects on weather in parts of the world and possibly minor disruptions in radio transmissions, including those used by global positioning systems.The shock wave produced by the explosion, as well as the unusua...
French education minister criticized for announcing Covid-19 measures while on vacation abroad

French education minister criticized for announcing Covid-19 measures while on vacation abroad

World
"I regret the symbolism" of Ibiza, Jean-Michel Blanquer told lawmakers on Tuesday. However he did caveat his regret. "In winter it's not at all like in summer," he told French TV channel TF1 Tuesday, "I was just outside, in contact with the government."Blanquer announced the measures in a telephone interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, published on January 2, the magazine's editor said on Twitter, although reporters did not know he was in Spain at the time. The measures included increased testing for school-age children following a classmate testing positive, to avoid closing classes. "There's really a break between what Ibiza represents and what colleagues were living daily the day before this return to school," Guislaine David, spokersperson for teaching union SNUipp-FSU told Fren...
UAE calls for UNSC meeting as coalition renews Yemen air raids

UAE calls for UNSC meeting as coalition renews Yemen air raids

Breaking News, World
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels has renewed air raids on the capital, Sanaa, following a drone and missile attack on coalition partner the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier in the week.The Houthis’ attack on Monday targeted a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi, killing three civilians, and started a separate fire at the UAE capital’s international airport. The UAE vowed a tough response and, on Tuesday, local media and Sanaa residents said at least 20 people, including civilians, were killed in overnight coalition air raids, the heaviest in years. The Houthis’ Saba news agency reported that the head of the group’s aviation academy Abdullah Qassim al-Junaid was killed along with his wife, 25-year-old son, family members and other unidentified people. Later on Tue...
Sri Lanka’s dilemma: Pay off debt or pay for milk, meds and gas

Sri Lanka’s dilemma: Pay off debt or pay for milk, meds and gas

Breaking News, World
Colombo, Sri Lanka–A lone bullock cart carrying a barrel of Kerosene, a symbol of life in Sri Lanka in the 1970s, is once again a common sight on the streets of Sri Lanka’s commercial capital as dwindling foreign currency reserves have hampered the imports of everyday essentials including cooking gas.At the root of the problem is Sri Lanka’s enormous debt. The Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led government must service $7.3bn in foreign debt this year or default on its debt, an option that could hurt its reputation, making it harder to borrow money in international markets in the future at affordable rates — a possibility that could, in turn, precipitate a severe economic crash. In December, the country’s foreign reserves teetered to a historic low of $1.6bn as income from foreign tourists, the key sou...