Tom's Feed
Nov 9, 2015

CO2 levels hit record high for 30th year in a row -WMO

GENEVA, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Greenhouse gas levels in the
atmosphere reached a record high in 2014 as the relentless
fuelling of climate change makes the planet more dangerous for
future generations, the World Meteorological Organization said
on Monday.

“Every year we say that time is running out. We have to act
NOW to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have a chance
to keep the increase in temperatures to manageable levels,” WMO
Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

Nov 5, 2015

U.S. pushes for spectrum for 5G, civil drones, flight tracking

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States wants a global deal to reallocate parts of the radio spectrum for the next “5G” generation of mobile devices, a boom in civilian drones and a worldwide flight tracking system, senior U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, told a news conference that world powers would have to decide whether to follow the U.S. example in allocating more of their spectrum to mobile telephony.

Nov 3, 2015

From Libya to El Nino, U.N. experts warn: there’s worse to come

GENEVA (Reuters) – A group of U.N. experts tasked with forecasting the next disasters likely to require billions of dollars in humanitarian aid has warned of deepening crises in global hotspots from Burundi to Afghanistan over the next six months.

In an unusually frank assessment for a U.N. publication, the six-monthly “Alert, Early Warning and Readiness Report” said Libya could fall apart, Burundi could see another coup, Islamist militants would gain territory in Afghanistan and Mali, and Ethiopia would not have enough food to cope with its drought.

Nov 2, 2015

October’s migrant, refugee flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014

GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of migrants and refugees entering Europe by sea last month was roughly the same as that for the whole of 2014, United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday.

The monthly record of 218,394 also outstripped September’s 172,843, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said.

Oct 31, 2015

UN and ICRC chide states for ‘paralysis’ in face of conflict

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer made what they called an “unprecedented joint warning” on Saturday for states to stop conflicts, respect international law and aid refugees.

“In the face of blatant inhumanity, the world has responded with disturbing paralysis,” they said in a statement. “This flouts the very raison d’etre of the United Nations.”

Oct 31, 2015

Don’t let issue of Assad’s fate hold up Syrian peace: U.N.’s Ban

GENEVA (Reuters) – Disagreements over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad should not hold up a humanitarian ceasefire or a wider deal to end the war in Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday.

Ban spoke after issuing a call with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, for states to stand up for international law and stop wars.

Oct 30, 2015

Extremely rare cyclone threatens floods, damage in Yemen and Oman

GENEVA (Reuters) – Cyclone Chapala, a storm gathering in the Arabian Sea, is heading for Yemen and Oman and may cause floods, landslides and infrastructure damage in countries that are ill-prepared for such weather, the U.N. climate agency said on Friday.

The tropical cyclone has strengthened very quickly in the past day and is expected to become a super-cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours, with sustained winds of up to 230 kmh (143 mph), equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.

Oct 29, 2015

U.N. climate agency says “Don’t panic!” as ozone hole gets wider

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N.’s weather and climate agency said on Thursday there was no cause for alarm about a record-size hole this month in the ozone layer, that shields life on earth from the sun, as it should shrink again.

The ozone hole that appears over Antarctica fluctuates in size, normally reaching its widest in the polar spring as extreme cold temperatures in the stratosphere and the return of sunlight unleash chlorine radicals that destroy ozone.

Oct 28, 2015

You probably have herpes, the WHO says

GENEVA (Reuters) – Two-thirds of the world’s population under 50 have the highly infectious herpes virus that causes cold sores around the mouth, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, in its first estimate of global prevalence of the disease.

More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 suffer from the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), usually after catching it in childhood, according to a the WHO study.

Oct 27, 2015

U.N.’s Zeid says politicians’ anti-migrant rhetoric can be deadly

GENEVA (Reuters) – Politicians who use derogatory language about refugees and migrants may ultimately be responsible for causing violence, racism and bigotry, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein warned on Tuesday.

“Once you classify people along lines such that they pose a threat – that these are ‘hordes’, that we are being ‘invaded’, that there are ‘swarms’ of people coming, you have started the process of dehumanizing them as we know from history,” he said.