‘Nasa warning’ of super flood a super hoax, says weather office chief

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June 02, 2017 01:00
By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION

 

Source : nationmultimedia.com

Abhisit downplays Democrat divisions following return of ex-PDRC members

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DEMOCRAT PARTY leader Abhisit Vejjajiva

June 02, 2017 01:00
By THE NATION

 

Source : nationmultimedia.com

Four civilians killed and injured in two blasts in Anbar’s Hit

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Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Four civilians were killed and injured in two separate IED blasts in Hit city, in Anbar province, Sputnik quoted Iraqi news source as saying.

According to the source, two civilians were killed, while two others were seriously wounded in two IED blasts in al-Suwaib village in Hit, western Anbar. One of the injured lost his leg in one of the blasts.

Iraqi troops liberated Hit from Islamic State militants in mid-April 2016.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

According to a monthly count released on Thursday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, violence and armed conflicts left 824 Iraqis dead and wounded during the month of May.

Nineveh came on top of the most affected governorates with 354 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 470 injured. Baghdad came in second place with 86 victims and 22 injured. Anbar came third with a total of 136 casualties (47 killed and 89 injured)

The total number of victims marked a rise from 317 Iraqis in April. In March, the victims reached 1115, according to UNAMI.

Islamic State is believed to have begun escalating attacks outside the city of Mosul, where the group has been losing ground and personnel since October.

 

Source : Iraqi News

Airstrike destroys IS oil warehouse and 12 tanks in Hawija

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Airstrike destroys IS oil warehouse and 12 tanks in Hawija

Hawija (IraqiNews.com) A security source in Kirkuk Province revealed, on Thursday, that coalition air strike destroyed an oil warehouse and 12 tanks belonging to the Islamic State group in Hawija Province, west of the province, Alsumaria News reported.

The source said that the international coalition aircraft bombarded, today, the Islamic State’s crude oil market area, in al-Shameet area in Hawija District.

The air strike destroyed 12 oil tanks and one of the group’s largest crude oil warehouses, the source added on condition of anonymity.

Noteworthy, Hawija District and the areas of al-Zab, al-Rashad, al-Riyad and al-Abbasi, southwest of Kirkuk, are still controlled by the Islamic State group, since 10 June 2014.

 

Source : Iraqi News

Dubai has grand plan for cleaner air

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Dubai Municipality will develop advanced monitoring systems, as well as ‘Smart Air Quality Stations’

Dubai residents concerned about the future can soon breathe can soon breathe a sign of ‘clean’ relief – the Emirate’s ambitious Dh500 million plan to improve air quality will, in the long run, lead to better health for us all.

Air Quality Strategy 2017 is designed to turn Dubai into a city with world-class standards for air purity, according to Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, the Director General of Dubai Municipality, who unveiled the plan last week.

As part of the project, Dubai Municipality will develop advanced monitoring systems, as well as ‘Smart Air Quality Stations’ which should help raise public awareness of the importance of clean air.

Eng. Alia Al Harmoudi, the Director of the Municipality’s Environment department, explained that the preliminary stages of the project included analysing data from the last several years to create over 300 digital maps pinpointing the locations in which pollution levels increase, their sources, and how they spread, taking into account various climactic factors such as variations in temperature and humidity and the speed and direction of winds.

The monitoring systems “will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience the most important air quality issues in a unique and modern manner that leaves the greatest impact on the visitor’s imagination and enhances their environmental awareness,” Harmoudi said.

Officials noted that local air quality has conformed to international standards even before the launch of Air Strategy 2017.

In September 2016, for example, Dubai Municipality statistics gathered from 13 smart stations across the Emirate revealed that Dubai’s air quality had improved 88 per cent by the end of 2015, higher than the target level of 85 per cent.

The health risks of contaminated air

In an interview, Dr. Trilok Chand, one of the UAE’s top experts on the harmful effects of air pollution, noted that it is a global problem that must be curbed by government policies such as those now being taken in the emirate.

Dr. Chand, a specialist in respiratory medicine at Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Hospital, said “the quality of air depends on many things, such as particles and (the presence of) chemicals such as carbon monoxide. These particles and chemicals increase health risks.”

Contaminated air, he explained, can harm both people who already suffer from pre-existing respiratory conditions and those who don’t. “If they (people with pre-existing respiratory problems) stay in a city with bad air quality, they can be affected …for example, if they already have asthma, problems can increase.”

“The problem is that diseases can be caused by carbon monoxide and other materials in the air. People can face bronchitis, or even pneumonia.”

Children, older people, and unborn babies are at particular risk, he added. “If we improve air quality, the number of respiratory problems (will) come down.”

Poor quality air: a global scourge

Around the globe, millions of people continue to suffer the negative health effects of poor quality air.

A study released by UNICEF in October 2016 found that an estimated 300 million children – most of them in South Asia, Africa and the East Asia-Pacific region, live with outdoor air so polluted it can cause serious physical damage, including harm to their young brains.

Across the globe, air pollution was found to be a significant contributing factor in the deaths of 600,000 children every five years.

Another report, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in September 2016, found that an alarming 92 per cent of the world’s population live in regions that exceed the WHO’s recommended limits, with an estimated three million deaths a year – most of them in lower and middle income countries – linked to the effects of air pollution.

Of the deaths stemming from air pollution, 94 per cent are due to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.

“Air pollution continues to take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children, and older adults,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, the WHO’s Assistant Director General. “For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last.” – bernd@khaleejtimes.com

What the plan entails

– Dubai Municipality will soon receive a mobile station for air quality monitoring.

– The station, a first-of-its-kind in the region, includes 20 devices to monitor about 100 components and composites that pollute the air

– Dubai Municipality already has 13 smart air stations in different locations across the Emirate

– Data from 300 digital maps showing polluted areas and other factors

– Deadly gases and particles

– Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone – These gases irritate the airways of the lungs, increasing the symptoms of those suffering from lung diseases

– Particles – Fine particles can be carried deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of heart and lung diseases

– Carbon Monoxide – This gas prevents the uptake of oxygen by the blood. This can lead to a significant reduction in the supply of oxygen to the heart, particularly in people suffering from heart disease .

 

Source : Khaleej Times

Residents react to Abu Dhabi taxi fare hike

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Taxi fares in Abu Dhabi have gone up from Thursday, with the minimum charge set at Dh12. The new flag-fall rate is Dh5 from Dh3.5 for day trips and Dh5.5 for night trips.

The waiting fee is 50 fils for both day and night trips. The taxi booking rate is now Dh4 for day trips and Dh5 for night trips. With this Abu Dhabi’s minimum charge is similar to Dubai.

The new rates were announced on May 1 and took effect a month after publication in the Official Gazette.

Taxi drivers, largely, welcomed this move.

“The new rates have started today. I can’t say this is good or bad for us but surely my company will be happy by the end of this month,” Farhad Hussain, a taxi driver, said.

Hussain isn’t sure if there will be new targets given to him now.

However, some cars had software update of new billing not in place by evening.

“By Friday, all taxis will have the same fare. It’s not just my taxi but others too will get updated soon. the process started from Thursday 12 am,” Krishna Prasad, a taxi driver, said.

Drivers are optimistic that despite the hike passengers will continue to use taxis.

Teg Bahadur said most of the passengers are Filipinos and he has full faith they will continue to pay then walk in blazing summer.

“Indians will be doubtful but I can count on Filipinos,” he said.

However, Reyes Michelle, a Filipino, working at a shop on Muroor Road said she had to pay Dh5.5 or Dh6 and now the fare got doubled.

“I have to seriously rethink about using public transport,” Reyes said.

Another Filipino said such a move was best implemented after the summer season.

Sajeev Sahadevan, a regular taxi user, said the fare hike is an issue for those who take short distance trips.
“Now we may see more cycles on road. Most Indians walk small distance or use public buses. I was under the impression this was a proposal but shocked by such a huge hike. This means you travel a distance of Dh5 and yet pay Dh12.”

Announcing the new fares last month, Abu Dhabi Integrated Transport Center had said the revision was part of efforts to enhance the quality of service provided to taxi riders.

 

Source : Khaleej Times