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End Time News – Updated 3 August - 7 stories
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earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

6.5 earthquake, aftershock strikes off Solomon Islands

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.5, shortly followed by a 5.3 aftershock has struck off the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, according to the US Geological Survey. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The quake, initially reported at magnitude 7.0, struck at 4:12 GMT some 165km west of the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, at a depth of about 20 kilometers. Shortly after 4:20 GMT it was followed by a similarly shallow 5.3 magnitude aftershock.

There was no immediate tsunami warning issued for the area, with the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center saying the US territories were in no danger. “Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records the earthquake was not sufficient to generate a tsunami,” the US National Tsunami Warning Center said.

There have been no reports of damage or casualties on the Solomon Islands so far.

The latest natural disaster comes a week after Cyclone Raquel swept through the country damaging houses and crops across Choiseul, Isabel, Malaita, and the Western Provinces.

Thousands of people in remote areas of the Solomon Islands now require emergency assistance after some 10,000 people were affected by the cyclone and the subsequent heavy rains.

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earthquake headlines             6.0 quakes            7.0 quakes            quakes in diverse places          quake map

China Earthquake: 6.4 Magnitude Quake Kills 4 in Uighur Muslim-dominated Xinjiang Province
by Mugdha Variyar

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck China's Xinjiang province on Friday, killing four people and injuring several others.

The earthquake shook China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which is home to most of China's Uighur Muslims.

The China Earthquake Networks Center reported the earthquake to be 6.5 on the Richter scale, while the US Geological Survey stated it was 6.4.

According to China's Xinhua news agency, four people were killed and more than 40 people were injured, as 50 aftershocks were felt in a span of two hours in the province.

Photos showed damages to houses in the region in northwest China.

China's Seismological Bureau put its response mechanism on a level-2 emergency, news reports said.

Several parts of western China, especially Tibet, were affected during the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April.

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New Estimates Indicate Bird Flu Losses are Approaching $650 Million
by Tyler Berg

The University of Minnesota Extension now estimates that losses in the poultry industry are approaching $650 million in the state.

The extension's latest figure is nearly twice the estimate made in May. The loss of turkeys and chickens has now surpassed 9 million. The bird flu is even impacting an annual tradition at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.

Jeff Maday, director of media relations at Canterbury Park, said Extreme Race Day will be without ostriches on Saturday. After a ban was implemented this spring, Maday said the ostriches were outlawed.

"The fans have grown to expect big things at Canterbury on Extreme Day and we're going to deliver," Maday said. "Ostriches or no ostriches, this is going to be a great day."

Zebras and camels will still hit the track Saturday, so Maday still expects 15,000 to 20,000 people. Maday said the loss of ostriches this year is the least of his concerns.

"I mean, people's lives were devastated," said Maday. "We're not going to have ostriches. The two are not even close on the scale of disasters."


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Dengue returns to haunt Delhi, 30 cases already
by Hindustan Times

Nearly 30 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi till last week this year, the highest number for the period in the past six years, according to a municipal report on the vector-borne disease.

The number of cases during January 1 till July 18 for the earlier five years were – 16 (2014), 14 (2013), 8 (2012), 11 (2011), 28 (2010).

Out of the total number of cases in 2015, 12 have been reported in July only.

In Delhi out of the total 29 cases, the maximum number of them was reported from north Delhi, at 10, while east Delhi recorded the lowest number with six cases.

Nine cases were recorded in south Delhi during the period, a recent report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said.

Two cases were reported from areas outside the jurisdiction of the municipal corporations in the city while a case each was reported from Uttar Pradesh and one other state from January 1 till July 18.

A senior official of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Tuesday said, though this is beginning of the monsoon season, the figures are a "not a reason for worry".

"While dengue cases are being reported, its number this year is expected to be lower this year by the end of the season, as we have taken all precautionary measures to ward off the vector-borne disease. Besides, between intermittent rains, one dry spell with sunny weather reduces breeding.

"So, further number of cases will depend on how the weather plays out from here on," the senior official said.

All three corporations – North, South and East – have their own anti-dengue drive to create awareness and penalize people and institutions if water stagnation is found in coolers and other areas.

Besides, a dengue month is also marked by the civic bodies to intensify the drive and create greater awareness among the people.

In 2014, the city had reported three deaths and recorded nearly 1,000 cases. In 2013, over 5,500 cases were reported, while six people had died due to the disease.

The Capital had witnessed a large number of dengue cases in 2010 with over 6,000 cases reported in the city.

In 2008, over 1,300 cases were registered, 1,153 in 2009, over 1,100 cases in 2011 and 2,093 in 2012.

The SDMC compiles the dengue and malaria report on behalf of all civic bodies in the city.

According to the medical health officer (MHO), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), KK Chaudhary, there are 33 hospitals for diagnosing dengue, out of which six hospitals are in east Delhi.

He said the department has a team of 710 domestic breeding checkers for creating awareness and detecting mosquito breeding.

The NDMC official said, "We have about 1300 DBCs, and as soon as monsoon season approaches, we intensify our drive to ward off any disease outbreak situation due to mosquito breeding."

Over 34,000 households have been found positive during a check for mosquito breeding in SDMC areas.

For NDMC, the corresponding figure was 12,375 and for EDMC it stood at 12,046, as per the report.

Union health minister JP Nadda has been carrying surprise inspection of various hospitals to check their preparedness to deal with a dengue outbreak.

He also directed them to increase the blood platelets storage at hospitals to meet any exigencies.


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Wars and Rumors of Wars

Western nations plot fresh military intervention in Libya: Report
Middle East Eye

A new military intervention will be launched in Libya once a unity government has been put in place according to multiple sources

A group of Western nations are planning to send ground troops into Libya to train local authorities and launch attacks against a branch of the Islamic State group, military sources have told The Times of London.

The United Kingdom, United States, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany will work together with the United Nations and European Union to “rebuild organs of the state and train security forces,” The Times reported on Friday.

The mission will be launched once a unity government is agreed by warring parties in Libya, which the unnamed military sources said will be put in place imminently.

Libya is in the throes of a brutal civil conflict, with rival cities, tribes, militias, and even parliaments fighting for control of the country, which is home to Africa’s largest oil reserves.

The North African nation was plunged into chaos after a 2011 revolution overthrew long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi, in an uprising that was backed by a NATO intervention involving a campaign of air strikes against government military installations.

Air strikes will be necessary in the latest military intervention, military sources said, adding that the mission will move swiftly once a unity government is in place.

“You might see movement towards the end of August,” the source told The Times. “Things will then start to move very quickly.”

A British government source said the UK will not take part in air strikes against Libyan targets because of a prior commitment to bombing campaigns against IS in Iraq.

As part of the planning for another military intervention in Libya Special Forces from the UK, France, US and former colonial power Italy will launch operations against IS-linked militants that have gained a foothold of power in Libyan territory.

Sources from the EU and Libya confirmed to The Times plans for a “stabilisation” mission.

“Some friendly countries have informed us there will be training of Libya security forces to combat ISIS,” an unnamed Libyan source said, using an alternative acronym for IS.

IS has been reported as having a growing presence in lawless Libya. The group’s most high profile attack was earlier this year when a video was released purporting to show the executions of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach.

The United Nations has been working to broker an agreement to end fighting in Libya and an agreement was signed last month by many of the key players, however, there remains much skepticism among regional analysts that a unity government will be put in place soon.


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Millions at risk of starvation in Malawi
by DPA

Blantyre - About 2.8 million people in Malawi are at risk of starvation, local daily Nation reported a committee of experts as saying on Friday.

The figure is the highest in a decade and is equivalent to 20 percent of the population of the southern African country.

According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, floods and drought have destroyed crops in all but three of the country’s 28 districts.

The committee comprises representatives from the government, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations.

Shortages have affected maize, which makes up more than 60 percent of Malawi’s food production, as well as rice and sorghum.

Experts say Malawians’ excessive reliance on maize makes them more vulnerable to malnutrition.

“There are plenty of other foods, which can serve as alternatives, but the majority of Malawians opt to stick to a monodiet of maize. For 51 years, the government has done little to change the mindset,” said Billy Mayaya, a social commentator and human rights activist.

Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hamilton Chimala said the government was devising measures to make sure no Malawian died of hunger


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Pakistan headed for water, food and energy disaster, NA committee told
by Staff Report

The Ministry for Climate Change on Tuesday warned that in the next five years there will be serious complications regarding water scarcity, food shortage and energy crisis, if precautionary measures are not taken to tackle climate change in Pakistan.

“It will not only have an impact on human health but will also affect the country politically and economically,” Federal Secretary for Climate Change, Arif Ahmed Khan told the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Climate Change.

Khan said that the costs of environmental degradation is six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — Rs 365 billion per annum. However, the government is spending seven per cent of its GDP on climate related expenditures.

“Pakistan has suffered significant losses because of floods owing to climate change during 2010,” Khan added.

During the discussion, committee members strongly recommended monitoring the forest system along with checks and balances to strictly enforce laws in coordination with provincial governments.

The Senate committee assured their full support in addressing the rapid climate change and environmental degradation.

Pakistan has been ranked eighth in climate change-hit countries and its temperatures will have risen to 2.8 degree Celsius in day timings by 2070, which will heighten the food insecurity threat. This was echoed last year at a seminar titled “Climate Changes Adaption Strategies to Ensure the Food Security” organised by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in collaboration with the Agriculture Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project.


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