World News Briefs For Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Howdy Australia!! - Health officials connect the dots on a rapidly emerging threat - A landmark ruling for climate refugees - CSIRO loses years of work to bad weather - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
Chinese health officials are confirming two cases of human-to-human transmission of that new coronavirus that has been blamed for three deaths and for sickening hundreds. The UN World Health Organization has scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday to discuss it. Respiratory specialist Dr. Zhong Nanshan says two people in the southern province of Guangdong caught it from family members who had traveled to Wuhan City, where the bug is believed to have first crossed from animals to humans weeks ago. Other travelers to Wuhan carried it to Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Thailand where a British tourist is believed to become infected.
Governments cannot send climate refugees back to their home countries ravaged by the impacts of man-made global warming, says a first-of-its-kind ruling from the United Nations Human Rights Committee. "The decision sets a global precedent," says Kate Schuetze of Amnesty International, "It says a state will be in breach of its human rights obligations if it returns someone to a country where - due to the climate crisis - their life is at risk, or in danger of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment triggered." But the ruling is non-binding, and doesn't help the original plantiff Ioane Teitiota of Kiribati in his quest to remain in New Zealand. In a 2018 report, the World Bank predicted that 143 million people in South Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa could become climate migrants.
The hail storm that wreaked havoc in and around Canberra also damaged or destroyed several important CSIRO projects on creating crops that cam withstand the rapidly oncoming challenges of man-made climate change. "Unfortunately, most of those projects will be totally lost," said Chief Operating Officer Judi Zielke after the blocks of ice crashed through the glass roofs of 65 greenhouses run by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Although she predicts the agency will overcome this disaster, Ms. Zielke notes the multi-year experiments were "largely focused on environmental research - how to reduce the amount of water, chemical and fertiliser use" on necessities like wheat, barley, legumes, and cotton. Meanwhile, the Insurance Council of Australia says the storm resulted in more than 15,000 damage claims from people in Canberra, VIC, and NSW.
The Australian branches of World Vision, Oxfam, Save The Children, and Plan International are demanding that the Federal Government take major action to deal with the undeniable reality of man-made climate change. After the hail storm, the fires, the drought, and every other sign that's being ignored, plus the increasing likelihood of climate refugees from the Pacific and beyond, the groups note that "climate crisis has well and truly arrived at our door". The say more drastic cuts must be made to Australia's carbon emissions to hold global warming to 1.5 C Degrees above pre-industrial levels. "The time for debate about climate change is over, it is now time for action. We cannot afford to waste any more time," the groups said.
Ivory Coast is clearing out slums and shanties surrounding the country's main airport after a teen from one of the neighborhoods tried to hitch a ride to France in the undercarriage of an Air France flight. The youth did not survive. To prevent this from happening again, the military is creating a 200 meter safety zone around Abidjan Airport to thwart trespassers. In the process, officials are forcing more than 200,000 people to pick up what they can and leave - without making any provisions for where the people will make their new homes.