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  • December 2011
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    • A&E data 'shows fall in violence' April 22, 2014
      Violent crime is continuing to fall in England and Wales, according to a major annual project examining injury data gathered from NHS hospitals.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      One person is arrested after three children are found dead at an address in south London.
    • US threatens more Russia sanctions April 23, 2014
      US Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington will impose further sanctions on Russia if it does not de-escalate tensions in east Ukraine.
    • Breast cancer drug price cut urged April 22, 2014
      Campaigners urge pharmaceutical giant Roche to lower the cost of a pioneering breast cancer drug as the NHS prepares to rejects its use on price grounds.
    • UK non-Christian claims 'absurd' April 23, 2014
      The UK is a Christian country and those who deny it are "deluding themselves" and ignoring "reality", say two senior Conservative MPs.
    • Survivor's regret over ferry students April 23, 2014
      A survivor of the South Korean ferry that capsized last week says he saw students trapped inside the vessel's cafeteria as it capsized.
    • Blair warns West over radical Islam April 23, 2014
      Tony Blair will warn Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.
    • Dancer's death sparks Rio clashes April 23, 2014
      Violent protests break out in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro following the death of a young man allegedly beaten by police.
    • Renewable energy projects approved April 23, 2014
      Eight renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, are given the green light by the government.
    • 'High violence rate' at youth prison April 22, 2014
      A damning report into a young offenders institute finds violence levels too high, inefficient security and drug usage three times above targets.
    • Referendum pleas on St George's Day April 23, 2014
      Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron use the English feast day of St George to make their Scottish independence referendum appeals.
    • 'Irresponsible' holiday ad banned April 23, 2014
      A television advert for Center Parcs is banned for "irresponsibly" encouraging parents to take holidays during term time.
    • Adams 'gave IRA bomb orders' - claim April 23, 2014
      A former IRA member makes new allegations about Gerry Adams, claiming the Sinn Féin leader ordered him to transport explosives to Great Britain for a bombing campaign in 1980.
    • Spotlight stays on Man Utd - papers April 23, 2014
      The papers continue to focus on Manchester United following the sacking of manager David Moyes, while there is interest in figures suggesting violent crime has fallen and the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
    • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad April 23, 2014
      William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
    • Mystery of 'ocean quacks' solved April 23, 2014
      The mystery of a bizarre quacking sound often heard in the Southern Ocean has finally been solved, scientists report.
    • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea April 22, 2014
      Chelsea hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in Spain to leave their two-legged Champions League semi-final evenly poised.
    • Cech & Terry out for league run-in April 22, 2014
      Chelsea captain John Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech will miss the rest of the domestic season with injuries suffered in Madrid.
    • Higgins suffers shock loss to McManus April 22, 2014
      Four-time champion John Higgins is out of the World Snooker Championship after a 10-7 first-round defeat by Alan McManus.
    • Man Utd begin hunt but Giggs not in race April 22, 2014
      Manchester United begin their search for a successor to David Moyes but temporary boss Ryan Giggs is not under consideration to be the next full-time manager.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • California GOP hopeful wants free college for science, math students April 23, 2014
      BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools.
    • California congressman woos Sriracha pepper sauce factory after odor complaints heat up April 23, 2014
      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from a Los Angeles community is seeking to lure the factory that makes the bestselling Sriracha-brand hot pepper sauce to his district after residents in its current location complained about the smell.
    • Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China ahead of visit April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China's rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies - as Chinese state media greeted his imminent arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to "cage" the emerging superpower.
    • Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact April 23, 2014
      TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman arrived in Japan earlier than expected on Wednesday, Japanese media said, for a last ditch push for a two-way deal seen as crucial to efforts to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts.
    • New Jersey governor's press aide subpoenaed in 'Bridgegate' probe April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - A New Jersey legislative panel investigating the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal subpoenaed the press spokesman to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and three other officials on Tuesday.
    • Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo April 22, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America's commitment to their defense without hurting Washington's vital ties with a rising China.
    • U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.
    • Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws April 22, 2014
      DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said on Tuesday.
    • Florida Senator holds Miami Beach hearing on rising sea level April 22, 2014
      MIAMI BEACH (Reuters) - Climate change is already impacting south Florida coastal communities, which could see a three-foot rise in sea level by the end of the century, a panel of officials and scientists testified at a Senate hearing on Miami Beach on Tuesday.
    • Georgia joins other U.S. states facing gay marriage lawsuits April 22, 2014
      ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal lawsuit was filed in Atlanta on Tuesday, challenging the constitutionality of a Georgia law banning same sex marriage, the first such case in the southern U.S. state.
    • Missouri mayor quits after anti-Semitic remarks tied to Kansas killings April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The mayor of a southwestern Missouri town resigned on Tuesday in the wake of community anger over anti-Semitic comments he made in reference to recent killings at two Jewish community facilities in Kansas.
    • Senator Boozman undergoes heart surgery in Arkansas April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - Senator John Boozman of Arkansas was recovering from heart surgery on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.
    • U.S. official responsible for reforming Medicare is leaving post April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced the departure of the top health official responsible for reforming Medicare under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.
    • Supreme Court hears challenge to ban on 'false' campaign speech April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced doubts on Tuesday about a state law that prohibits false statements during a political campaign.
    • IRS's summons power faces test in Supreme Court April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the way it enforces its power to issue legal summonses to obtain sensitive documents from taxpayers who refuse to cooperate with audits.
    • Detroit bankruptcy judge taps consultants for city's plan April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case tapped a top restructuring official at Phoenix Management Services on Tuesday to help the court determine if the city's plan to adjust its $18 billion of debt is feasible.
    • UAW suddenly retreats from fight at Tennessee VW plant April 21, 2014
      CHATTANOOGA, Tenn./DETROIT (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers, surprising even its supporters, on Monday abruptly withdrew its legal challenge to a union organizing vote that it lost at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.
    • Court orders U.S. to release memo on drones, al-Awlaki killing April 21, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government's targeted killing of people linked to terrorism, including Americans.
    • U.S. court signals narrow bondholders win in Argentina subpoena case April 21, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday indicated that creditors should be able to seek limited information about Argentina's non-U.S. assets in a case about bank subpoenas in decade-long litigation over Argentina's obligations to bond investors.
    • Supreme Court refuses to hear Florida appeal over worker drug testing April 21, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review an executive order issued by Florida Governor Rick Scott that had required all state employees take random drug tests.
  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
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      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
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      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
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      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
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      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
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      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
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      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
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      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
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Philippines among top five countries most at risk – Identifying disasters

Posted by African Press International on December 22, 2011

Philippines among top five countries most at risk

JOHANNESBURG,  – A new disaster risk index launched by the UN University Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn could help donors and aid organizations better understand why some countries are more at risk of calamity than others, and shape their responses when disaster strikes.

The World Risk Index (WRI), explained Jörn Birkmann, scientific head of the WRI project at the UN institute, is unique in defining risk as the interaction between a natural hazard and the vulnerability of a particular community. It helps plan not only short-term responses but also long-term interventions.

WRI takes into account social, political, economic and ecological factors to determine the capacity of an affected community to respond. It looks at four main components, which in turn take into account at least 28 variables.

1. Exposure to a natural hazard (sudden as well as slow-onset natural disasters like droughts).

2. Susceptibility, which is understood as the likelihood of society and ecosystems to be damaged should a natural hazard occur. Existing economic, infrastructure, nutrition and housing conditions are taken into account.

3. The capacity to cope, which looks at the state of governance, disaster preparedness and early warning systems, medical services, and social and material security levels. “Governance is a critical issue as it is politically sensitive which is why it is overlooked by many similar indices, but the fact is you need a stable government that has the capacity to deliver to help people become resilient,” said Birkmann. He illustrated his point by contrasting the impact of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. “Owing to higher coping and adaptive capacities, such as building laws, there were significantly fewer victims in Japan.”

4. Adaptation strategies – implying the capacities and strategies which help communities address the expected negative consequences of natural hazards and climate change.

The five most vulnerable countries                   Vulnerability (%)
Afghanistan 76.19
Niger 75.8
Chad 75.14
Sierra Leone 73.50
Eritrea 72.88

“Information on coping capacities is relevant for short-term responses, but where long-term programmes and planning is concerned, it is useful for NGOs to know about the area’s adaptation capacity,” said Peter Mucke, managing director of Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft (Alliance Development Works), a consortium of five German NGOs which worked with the UN University on the study. “So while we come to know which countries need short-term responses like food, at the same time we need know where we have to provide food-for-work programmes or strategies to provide water in the long term.”

Afghan example

Afghanistan, which according to the WRI has the world’s poorest adaptive capacity and the second lowest coping capacity, tops the list of countries most vulnerable to disasters.

The tool is uncomplicated. “The index gives you all that information at a glance – showing the strength of a particular area’s capacity to adapt or cope in percentages, which is useful to communicate the strengths and weakness of a particular area when you are seeking funding from donors,” said Birkmann.

For instance, Afghanistan’s lack of capacity to cope is shown at 93.4 percent; its adaptation capacity 73.55 percent; and vulnerability 76.19 percent. WRI uses the various percentages, and also factors in sea-level rise predictions, to calculate an overall risk figure: The Pacific island of Vanuatu comes out as the country most at risk of a disaster.

No risk index can be flawless: In the case of Vanuatu, people will only be at risk of a metre-rise in sea level in 100 years – by which time the country’s population may have changed considerably from the 2005 figures used by WRI.

WRI is dependent on the availability and quality of the data it uses. It covers 173 out of 192 countries. Somalia is not included.

WRI’s methodology could be used to focus in on any community of any size in the world.

jk/cb
source www.irinnews.org

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