Category Archives: Community News

Could Global Warming be solved by Regreening the planet ?

By: Reuters

Planting forests and other activities that harness the power of nature could play a major role in limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement, an international study showed on Monday.

Natural climate solutions, also including protection of carbon-storing peatlands and better management of soils and grasslands, could account for 37% of all actions needed by 2030 under the 195-nation Paris plan, it said.

Combined, the suggested “regreening of the planet” would be equivalent to halting all burning of oil worldwide, it said. 
“Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought,” the international team of scientists said of findings published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

The estimates for nature’s potential, led by planting forests, were up to 30% higher than those envisaged by a UN panel of climate scientists in a 2014 report, it said.

Trees soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they burn or rot. That makes forests, from the Amazon to Siberia, vast natural stores of greenhouse gases.

Overall, better management of nature could avert 11.3bn tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year by 2030, the study said, equivalent to China’s current carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use.

The Paris climate agreement, weakened by US president Donald Trump’s decision in June to pull out, seeks to limit a rise in global temperature to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial times.

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Californians Evacuated as Fires Grow Exponentially In Northern and Southern California 

By: Anh Do, Victoria Kim and James QueallyContact Reporters

Orange County fire officials have evacuated at least 1,000 homes as a fast-moving fire in the Anaheim Hills spat smoke into the air and scorched several structures early Monday afternoon, according to fire officials and television footage.

The fire raced up a ridge and hit a tract homes at the top of a hill. Several caught fire, and firefighters were trying to prevent the fire from spreading further into the subdivision.
Canyon fire No. 2 broke out around 9:20 a.m. near the 91 Freeway and Gypsum Canyon Road, and quickly leapt the California 241 toll road, according to Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Fire Department.

As of 2 p.m., the fire had grown to approximately 2,000 acres, fire officials said. In a video posted to the Anaheim Fire Department’s Facebook page, Wyatt said he had received “unconfirmed reports” of one firefighter suffering a minor injury and five structures sustaining fire damage.

At least 200 firefighters from multiple fire task forces are battling the blaze. Television footage showed several homes on fire early Monday afternoon.

Evacuations were ordered south of the 91 Freeway, west of the 241 toll road, north of Nohl Ranch Road and east of Serrano Avenue. The eastbound 91 Freeway was closed, with small spot fires reported along the roadway.

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What To Do In Active Shooter Incidents

First, our sincere condolences and prayers go out to the families who have been impacted by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1st, 2017.

This domestic terrorist attack by an Active Shooter is now the largest mass shooting incident in United States history.  Unfortunately, this will not be the last time this kind of threat happens to communities across the US and around the world.

Do you know what to do if you find yourself confronted by an Active Shooter or in a Domestic Terrorist attack?  Have you discussed this with your family and friends?

The US Department of Homeland Security advises to “Run – Fight – Hide” in Active Shooter events.  If you can run and get to safety  – do it.  If you can’t run then hide until the event is over.  If you are cornered and unable to run or hide, then fight for your life.  Many may remember during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the people on United Flight 93 found themselves in this very predicament.  They could not run because they were in the air on a plane, they could not hide because everyone was confined in the same cabin space.  Then a group of passengers got together to fight, uttering the now famous words, “Let’s Roll” as they combined forces and overtook the terrorists.  Although the plane crashed in a rural field in Pennsylvania claiming the lives of everyone on board, it is agreed by many that the passengers heroic efforts may have saved the lives of thousands by fighting the terrorists and causing the plane crash in a field instead of hitting a populated target.

This video from the FBI talks about what to do if you are threatened by an active shooter:

More information is available on the FBI Active Shooter Resource Website  and on the UCIT.tv & TRN.tv  DAPP (#911, Disaster Awareness, Preparedness & Planning) Channels.

Please take a moment to discuss this with your family and friends and do the best you can to prepare for how you could respond if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

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Federal Response Teams Assisting in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Compliments of FEMA.gov

WASHINGTON – In the wake of Hurricane Maria, life, personal safety, and access to safe shelters for disaster survivors remain a priority of local responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the entire federal family.

To aid in life sustaining missions, six FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) task forces are deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and are working in tandem with numerous federal partners to rescue and render aid to distressed survivors in the region.  Additional FEMA US&R task forces are arriving today to expand operations, as areas become accessible. FEMA US&R task forces currently conducting operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands include Virginia Task Forces 1 and 2, Florida Task Forces 1 and 2, and California Task Forces 6 and 7. Components of New York Task Force 1 and Massachusetts Task Force 1 are on the ground providing logistics support.

Federal partners assisting with Search and Rescue (SAR) missions include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service.

Collectively, these federal agencies have rescued 180 individuals and searched more than 45 structures in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Rescue Families
Family Rescues

 

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How Nestlé Makes its Billions

By: Caroline Winter of Bloomberg 

Inside, workers wear hairnets, hard hats, goggles, gloves, and earplugs. Ten production lines snake through the space, funneling local spring water into 8-ounce to 2.5-gallon containers; most of the lines run 24/7, each pumping out 500 to 1,200 bottles per minute. About 60 percent of the supply comes from Mecosta’s springs and arrives at the factory via a 12-mile pipeline. The rest is trucked in from neighboring Osceola County, about 40 miles north. “Daily, we’re looking at 3.5 million bottles potentially,” says Dave Sommer, the plant’s 41-year-old manager, shouting above the din.

Silos holding 125 tons of plastic resin pellets provide the raw material for the bottles. They’re molded into shape at temperatures reaching 400F before being filled, capped, inspected, labeled, and laser-printed with the location, day, and minute they were produced—a process that takes less than 25 seconds. Next, the bottles are bundled, shrink-wrapped onto pallets, and picked up by a fleet of 25 forklifts that ferry them to the plant’s warehouse or loading docks. As many as 175 trucks arrive every day to transport the water to retail locations in the Midwest. “We want more people to drink water, keep hydrated,” Sommer says. “It would be nice if it were my water, but we just want them to drink water.”

Nestlé SA started bottling in 1843 when company founder Henri Nestlé purchased a business on Switzerland’s Monneresse Canal. “Ever the curious scientist, [he] analyzed and experimented with the enrichment of water with a variety of minerals, always with a singular goal: to provide healthy, accessible, and delicious refreshment,” reads Nestlé’s website. Today there are thousands of bottled water companies worldwide—there’s even Trump Ice—but Nestlé is the biggest globally in terms of sales, followed by Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo, according to Euromonitor International. Nestlé Waters, the Paris-based subsidiary, owns almost 50 brands, including Perrier, S.Pellegrino, and Poland Spring.

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In this Turkish Town No One Goes Hungry

By: Zeyneb Varol of The Middle East Eye 

Under the glaring sun of a Saturday afternoon in August, a restaurant in a small eastern Turkish town welcomes its “most valuable customers”.

It is only one of the many establishments across the town where those in need are invited to eat free of charge. This well-preserved tradition has been carried down from generation to generation for decades.

Karakocan, a 70-minute drive north of the centre of Elazıg province, has attracted attention in recent years for its tradition of offering free food to those in need. For locals, the custom is a way of fulfilling their responsibility to assist the less fortunate.

Mehmet Ozturk, 55, the owner and manager of one of Karakocan’s busiest restaurants, Merkez, for nearly 35 years, says he always keeps at least three tables reserved for those in need, even during rush hour when his eatery is cramped. According to Ozturk, “the poor never fail to come”. 

On any given day, Ozturk says at least 15 people come to his restaurant to receive a free meal. According to residents, around 100 people eat for free each day across the whole town, which is home to around 28,000 people, according to official statistics.

Galip is one of the familiar faces at the restaurant who has eaten there every day for the last 10 years. “He was here for breakfast and he will probably come for dinner as well,” a young waiter says.

Suffering from mental illness, Galip doesn’t share much.

“The Merkez is my favourite place in town, because the food is great,” he says.

The restaurants offer Galip and others their pick from a variety of choices listed on their menus including kebabs, chicken, soup, rice and salads.

Ozturk says: “The tradition has always been here, even 70 years ago. For us it was a natural thing to do, something we learned from our elders.”

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German Teenager Who Ran Away To Join Isis Faces The Death Penalty 

By: Julian Robinson 

A German teenager who ran away to join ISIS may yet face the death penalty, Iraq’s Prime Minister has warned.

Linda Wenzel was dragged from the rubble in Mosul as Iraqi forces liberated the city in July and is now being held in Baghdad where her fate rests in the hands of the country’s court system.

The 16-year-old, who left her home in Pulsnitz, eastern Germany, last year to join the terror group, is desperate to return to Europe amid fears she could spend years in jail.

But Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has now said Iraq’s judiciary will decide if the teenager will face the death penalty.

‘You know teenagers under certain laws, they are accountable for their actions especially if the act is a criminal activity when it amounts to killing innocent people,’ al-Abadi said.

Iraqi intelligence officials told the Associated Press that the teenager allegedly worked with ISIS’s feared police force.

The German is being held in a prison at Baghdad’s airport together with other foreign women found in Mosul, including citizens from Belgium, France, Syria and Iran. 
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Philippine President’s Son Linked to $125 Million Drug Ring 

By: Karen Lema of Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s son on Thursday told a Senate inquiry he had no links to a seized shipment of $125 million worth of narcotics from China, dismissing as “baseless” the allegations of his involvement in the drugs trade.

Opponents of the president, who has instigated a fierce crackdown on a trade he says is destroying the country, say they believe his son Paolo may have helped ease the entry of the drug shipment at the port in Manila, the capital.

On Tuesday, Duterte said he had told Paolo to attend the senate investigation if he had nothing to hide, besides advising him not to answer questions and invoke his right to keep silent.

“I cannot answer allegations based on hearsay,” Paolo Duterte, the vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, told the Senate.
“My presence here is for the Filipino people and for my fellow Davaoeños whom I serve,” he added, referring to the people of Davao, where his father served as mayor for more than two decades before being elected president in 2016.
The Philippine leader has repeatedly said he would resign if critics could prove any members of his family were involved in corruption.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes, a staunch critic of the president, displayed to the Senate panel photographs of Paolo Duterte beside a businessman who was behind the shipment in which the drugs were found.
The president’s son-in-law, Manases Carpio, who has also been accused of links to the May drug shipment from China, told the hearing he had no involvement.

Duterte unleashed his bloody campaign the day he took office on June 30 last year, after promising Filipinos he would use deadly force to wipe out crime and drugs.

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Facebook Offering Hefty Sums Of Cash To License Music On Their Platform

By: Lucas Shaw and Sarah Frier

Facebook Inc. is offering major record labels and music publishers hundreds of millions of dollars so the users of its social network can legally include songs in videos they upload, according to people familiar with the matter.

The posting and viewing of video on Facebook has exploded in recent years, and many of the videos feature music to which Facebook doesn’t have the rights. Under current law, rights holders must ask Facebook to take down videos with infringing material.
Music owners have been negotiating with Facebook for months in search of a solution, and Facebook has promised to build a system to identify and tag music that infringes copyrights. Yet such a setup will take as long as two years to complete, which is too long for both sides to wait, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing details that aren’t public.
Facebook is eager to make a deal now so that it no longer frustrates users, by taking down their videos; partners, by hosting infringing material; or advertisers, with the prospect of legal headaches.

New Home

The latest discussions will ensure Facebook members can upload video with songs just as it’s rolling out Watch, a new hub for video, and funding the production of original series. Facebook is attempting to attract billions of dollars in additional advertising revenue and challenge YouTube as the largest site for advertising-supported video on the web.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call that for the next few years video will drive Facebook’s business and determine how well the company performs. He told investors to expect the company to continue to increase its investment in the format, as it sees video sharing overtaking text and photo sharing in the future.
While Facebook can still pursue professional music videos, the company chose to prioritize clearing user-generated material. Most of the videos being uploaded to Facebook are by individuals (as opposed to media companies). Tamara Hrivnak, a former YouTube executive, has been leading negotiations for Facebook since joining the company earlier this year. Also a former executive at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, Hrivnak is well-liked by her former peers.

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Category 5 Hurricane Irma Heading Towards The Carribean

From: Nicole Chavez 

Category 5 Hurricane Irma has become one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic, and is threatening to slam into Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with “potentially catastrophic” force on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

It’s too early to tell whether the storm will affect the US mainland, but current forecast tracks show it could turn toward Florida over the weekend.

Irma was churning west Tuesday evening in the Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph — well above the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5 — about 130 miles east of Antigua and Barbuda, the hurricane center said.

The last storm with sustained winds that strong in the Atlantic was 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, which weakened before it brushed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, turned right and crossed Florida. Irma’s Atlantic wind speeds are behind only 1980’s Hurricane Allen, which peaked at 190 mph at sea.

Irma’s forecast track currently has it near or over Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla by early Wednesday, and the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon.

Preparations to protect life and property in those areas “should be rushed to completion,” the hurricane center said in a 5 p.m. ET advisory.

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