SOLYMONE BLOG

MILLIONS OF MALAYSIAN FORCED TO RATION WATER

Friday, February 28, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia said Friday it will expand water rationing in and around its capital, in a move affecting millions as drought continues to scorch a tropical country usually synonymous with torrential rain. 
The national water commission said in a statement over 300,000 households in Kuala Lumpur and nearby Selangor, Malaysia's most populous state, will experience cuts for the whole of March, after a two-month dry spell depleted reservoirs.
Some 60,000 households in Selangor - a central state which is the nation's economic hub - have already been hit by rationing since Tuesday.
According to the commission, another 50,000 premises in the southern state of Johor have also undergone rationing last week as much of Malaysia suffers under bone-dry conditions and high temperatures.
"The hot weather and lack of rain in catchment areas have caused all reservoirs in Selangor to recede," said the commission's chairman Ismail Kasim.
Kuala Lumpur shares its water supply with Selangor, where the reserve level of dams have dipped below 50 per cent.
  • A spokeswoman from the state's private water company also told AFP about 2.2 million people would be affected.
  • Malaysia tends to experience dry weather early in the year, but the current spell has been unusually long, sparking bushfires and protests from communities whose taps have run dry.
  • The Malaysian Meteorological Department said in a statement to AFP Wednesday that 11 out of 40 weather stations have in the past two months experienced their longest-ever recorded dry spells and warned that the dry patch could last another month. 
The state of Negeri Sembilan, adjacent to Selangor, last week declared a water crisis, mobilising to supply treated water to thousands of households.
The Malaysian economy remains reliant on agriculture - it is the world's second-largest producer of palm oil and a major exporter of rubber - although no alarm has been raised yet on the potential impact of the drought on upcoming harvests.
The hot spell has also contributed to more cases of dengue fever, as it speeds up the life cycle of the aedes mosquito that carries the virus and enhances replication of the pathogen, experts say.
Deaths from the flu-like illness have risen to 29 this year, nearly triple the same period in the last year, according to reports citing the Health Ministry.

Source: AFP
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MILLIONS WITHOUT POWER IN MINDANAO PHILIPPINES

Thursday, February 27, 2014
MANILA, Philippines - Millions of people were left without electricity in the southern Philippines on Thursday after a massive power breakdown, officials said, as repair crews worked to determine the cause of the outage.
The power cuts began before dawn and affected heavily populated areas in Mindanao, home to a quarter of the country’s nearly 100 million population.
“Reports indicate that the Mindanao grid experienced a disturbance at 3.53 am... (We are) still determining the cause and extent of the disturbance,” the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said in a statement.
Mindanao, the nation’s main southern island which relies mostly on hydroelectricity, has been grappling with chronic power shortages for years.
  • The NGCP said at least 12 of Mindanao’s key cities and provinces - including major trading hubs - were affected, although limited power was restored in some parts a few hours later. 
  • Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said repair crews were working to trace the cause of the interruption, stressing that he was confident power would return to all areas within the day. 
  • “So far, there are no reports of damaged power plants,” Petilla told DZBB radio in Manila. “They are ready to come back online to the grid, we just have to turn them (on) one by one.” 
  • “We are trying to figure out where” the source of the interruption was, he said, adding the outage was likely caused by a tripped transmission line. 
  • An electricity shortage last year forced the NGCP to ration off supply in Mindanao, resulting in up to 12 hour daily blackouts which damaged the local economy as factories slowed production.
The power cuts on Thursday hit islanders just as they were getting ready for work.
“I had to keep using my lighter because the shops were still closed and we didn’t have candles,” said market vendor and mother-of-two Mary Villasenor from the southern Davao City. 
“The kids had to go to school with wrinkled clothes because we couldn’t plug in the flat iron,” she said.

Source: Agencies
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CATHOLIC PRIEST DEBUNKS PUTERAJAYA'S EXPLANATION ON ALLAH BAN?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Catholic Church has once again reiterated that its weekly newspaper, Herald, is a "controlled" publication, meant only for distribution in Catholic churches, dismissing Putrajaya's allegation that it is widely circulated.
Herald editor Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew(photo) brushed aside Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala's claims that the newspaper's "potentially wide circulation" could make it a tool of Christian propagation.
"This is not true at all. Our circulation is controlled. It is sent only to Catholic churches for distribution among our members.
"If anyone wants to challenge this, they can and should provide evidence if they claim otherwise," he added.
In his latest column in the Star, Idris, referring to the court case involving the Herald, said the Home Minister had exercised his discretion to prohibit the use of the word "Allah" on grounds of public order and security although Putrajaya's 10-point solution allows the Malay-language Bible containing the word.
The Court of Appeal, he added, had ruled that the use of the word "Allah" in the Alkitab (pic, left), the Malay-language Bible, is different from its use in the Herald, which has a wider distribution and readership.

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BANGKOK ATTACK TOLL RISES

Monday, February 24, 2014
Thailand's political crisis has become increasingly violent since mass protests began in November.
On Sunday, an apparent grenade blast near an anti-government protest site killed a woman and a four-year-old boy.
Doctors said on Monday that the little boy's sister died later of brain injuries.
Twenty-two people were hurt in Sunday's blast, including a nine-year-old boy who is in intensive care.
  • Sunday's attack came hours after gunmen opened fire on an anti-government rally in eastern Thailand, killing a five-year-old girl.
  • Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has condemned the attacks, describing them as "terrorist acts for political gain".
  • UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon has also spoken out, calling for violence "from any quarter" to end immediately. 
There has been continued speculation that the military might step in after three months of protests in Bangkok, the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok reports. 
However, on Monday, army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said that the military would not intervene with force. Instead, it would deploy troops to provide protection to people.

Source: BBC...More...
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UN WARNS OF GRAVE FOOD SHORTAGE IN AFRICAN SOMALIA

Thursday, February 20, 2014
More than 850,000 people in Somalia are in desperate need of food and are living "in crisis and emergency conditions", the director of UN humanitarian operations has said.
John Ging, who just returned from a three-day visit to Somalia, said on Wednesday that another two million Somalis out of a total population of 10 million were considered to be "food insecure".
  • "These figures are very, very large," he told a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York. "They tell us a simple message which is that the situation in Somalia for Somalis on the humanitarian side is very grave. It's also very fragile."
  • Ging said the UN World Food Programme's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit reported this month that 857,000 Somalis were in acute crisis conditions and required urgent humanitarian assistance.
  • This is "a modest improvement" from the previous six months when 870,000 Somalis desperately needed food, he said.
  • In recent years Somalia has made some strides in security and governance, particularly since August 2011, when al-Shabab fighters were forced out of the capital, Mogadishu.
  • But the rebels have not been defeated and the government controls only small parts of the country and is struggling to keep a grip on security and battle corruption.
The food security unit said a majority of needy people have been displaced from their homes, largely as a result of fighting, insecurity and lack of food.
The UN appealed for $933m for the humanitarian crisis in Somalia this year, but Ging said so far it had received only $36m.
In 2011, the UN appeal for Somalia was 86 percent funded, but in 2013 it was just 50 percent funded, he said.

Source: AP. Al Jazeera
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CHILD PORN OPERATION RAIDED IN PHILIPPINE SCHOOL

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
MANILA - Philippine government agents have raided an alleged Internet child porn operation based in a school and arrested its president and eight other people.
Cybercrime investigation head Ronald Aguto says the suspects used a room at the Mountaintop Christian Academy in Metropolitan Manila to post images and video on the Internet for foreign consumption.
Aguto said on Tuesday more than 40 computers were seized as evidence.

  • Aguto said the school had 2,000 elementary and high school students. He says authorities were still investigating, but it didn’t appear that children at the school were being abused.

  • Its licence was revoked in 2006 for unknown reasons but it had remained open.


Source: Agency
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VIOLENT CLASHES IN UKRAINE LEAVE MANY DEAD

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
KIEV, Ukraine: Ukraine’s festering political crisis has turned deadly, with at least nine people reported killed and scores injured in violent clashes between anti-government demonstrators and police in Kiev.
The government shut down subway stations in the centre of the capital and threatened to restore order, but an evening deadline passed Tuesday with no immediate police action.

Source: Agency
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KIM JONG ACCUSED ABUSING HUMAN RIGHT AND COULD END UP IN INTERNATIONAL CRIME COURT

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has been warned that he could face prosecution for crimes against humanity after a United Nations inquiry accused him of some of the worst human rights abuses since the Second World War.
In some of the harshest criticism ever unleashed by the international community against the Pyongyang regime, a UN panel branded it “a shock to the conscience of humanity”.
Michael Kirby, a retired Australian judge who has spent nearly a year taking testimony from victims of the regime, said much of it reminded him of atrocities perpetrated by Nazi Germany and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
Yesterday his team published a 374-page report detailing allegations of murder, torture, rape, abductions, enslavement, and starvation, describing North Korea as a dictatorship “that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world”. 
In a bid to put pressure on Kim Jong-un, 31, Mr Kirby has taken the unusual step of writing to the North Korean leader to warn him that both he and hundreds of his henchmen could one day face prosecution.  

Source: The Telegraph
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CROWDS HIKE ACROSS FROZEN SUPERIOR TO SEE ICE CAVES

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Special Edition
Evocative photos of Lake Superior ice caves blocked for five years




Picture: REUTERS/Eric Miller

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SNAKE-HANDLING PASTOR DIES FROM POISONOUS SNAKE BITE IN KENTUCKY

Monday, February 17, 2014
 
MIDDLESBRO, Kentucky, USA -  Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” died on Saturday after being bitten by a snake.
Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten, another preacher, Cody Winn said.
“Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand ... within a second,” Winn said.
When an ambulance arrived at the church at 8.30pm, they were told Coots had gone home, the Middlesboro Police Department said in a news release. Contacted at his house, Coots refused medical treatment.
Emergency workers left about 9.10pm. When they returned about an hour later, Coots was dead from a venomous snake bite, police said.
In January 2013, Coots was caught transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads through Knoxville, Tennessee. Wildlife officials confiscated the snakes, and Coots pleaded guilty to illegal wildlife possession. He was given one year of unsupervised probation. 
Coots said then he needed the snakes for religious reasons, citing a Bible passage in the book of Mark that reads, in part: “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. 
They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Source: Agency
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S. KOREAN MP SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS FOR TREASON

Monday, February 17, 2014
SEOUL - A South Korean court on Monday sentenced an opposition legislator to 12 years in prison after a rare treason trial saw him convicted of plotting an armed revolt in support of North Korea.
Prosecutors had demanded 20 years for Lee Seok-Ki, 52, who was tried along with six other members of his left-wing United Progressive Party.
Lee was the first member of the National Assembly to face treason charges since the country's transformation from a military-backed autocracy to a fully-fledged democracy in the 1980s.
As well as his prison term, the court ordered Lee deprived of his civil rights for 10 years following his eventual release.
After parliament voted to lift his immunity from arrest, Lee was charged last September under the 65-year-old National Security Law, which rights groups have accused past administrations of using to stifle debate and silence political opposition.
The charges related to meetings Lee held with his supporters in May last year, at a time of surging military tensions following the North's third nuclear test.
The court was played tapes of Lee telling members of his group to prepare attacks on South Korea's communication lines and railways in case of a full-scale conflict breaking out with the North.
"We see sufficient evidence that (the defendant) plotted a revolt and planned collective actions to carry it out," said the court ruling.
Lee steadfastly denied all the charges, saying he was the victim of a "witch hunt" by South Korea's spy agency aimed at deflecting public attention from a scandal involving a number of its agents meddling in the 2012 presidential election.
Lee has been in trouble for his political views before. In 2002 he was sentenced to two and a half years for anti-government activities. He received a presidential pardon later the same year.

Source: AFP, Agencies
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16 MOST AMAZING PICTURES

Sunday, February 16, 2014
From the frightening to the humorous to the bizarre and enlightening, among the most amazing, popular and interesting 16 pictures taken alll over the world;

1)Asperatus Clouds Over New Zealand

2)The Town Where Everyone Wears A Gas Mask where the heart is finds its true meaning in Miyakejima

3)McDonalds In America Heatmap


4)Behind frozen waterfall at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota,USA

5)The end of the earth at the Nullarbor Cliffs in southern Australia.

6) Dragon Fall Churun Meru, is an incredible natural formation in Venezuela.
 
 

8)The Design Of Example, Barcelona, Spain

9)The Near-Extinction Of The American Bison


10)The Grandeur Of The Grand Teton in Wyoming USA

11)The Buzludzha Monument Of Bulgaria

12)The US-Mexican Border

13)The World’s First Underwater Hotel At the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

14)The Ugliest Cats Ever in Toronto, Canada

15)A Sunset In Sweden

16)The Amazing Ryugyong Hotel Of Pyongyang, South Korea

Source: Agency

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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