The Greenpeace and AirVisual analysis of air pollution readings from 3,000 cities around the world found that 64% exceed the World Health Organization’s annual exposure guideline for PM2.5 fine particulate matter – tiny airborne particles, about a 40th of the width of a human hair, that are linked to a wide range of health problems.

90% of people breathe polluted air; New Delhi is world’s most polluted big city, Beijing eighth

Beijing ranks #122 on the list of the world's most polluted cities
Beijing ranks #122 on the list of the world’s most polluted cities

As temperatures fall, air quality worsens in the Indian capital – AIWA! NO!

New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital city in 2018, two groups monitoring air pollution said on Tuesday in a study of the amount of fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 in 61 capital cities around the world. 

The Indian capital, home to more than 20 million people, was followed by the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka and Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, according to the study by IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air-quality data globally, and Greenpeace.

FILE PHOTO: Men walk in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
PHOTO: Men walk in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The Indian capital, home to more than 20 million people, was followed by the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka and Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, according to the study by IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air-quality data globally, and Greenpeace.

New Delhi’s toxic air is caused by vehicle and industrial emissions, dust from building sites, smoke from the burning of rubbish and crop residue in nearby fields.

The city’s average annual concentration of PM2.5 in a cubic meter of air was 113.5 in 2018, the groups said in their report, more than double the level of Beijing, which averaged 50.9 during the year, making it the eighth most polluted in the world.

FILE PHOTO: A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
FILE PHOTO: A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

PM2.5, or particles of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, is so dangerous because it lodges deep in the lungs.

The World Health Organization sets a daily mean air quality guideline of 25 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter of air.

China struggled for years to enforce environment rules and crack down on polluting industries, but it has benefited in recent years from vastly improved legislation and greater political will to combat poor air quality.

“In mainland China, in particular, this has led to significant improvements in year-on-year reductions in PM2.5 levels,” the groups said in their joint study.

India is home to 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, they said.

“The question which remains to be answered is whether there is enough political will to aggressively fight the health emergency India faces today and move away from polluting fuels and practices,” said Pujarini Sen, spokeswoman for Greenpeace India.

Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani


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Elephants have very large and complex brains. At an average of 4.8, kg the elephant brain is the largest among living and extinct terrestrial mammals. Elephants have the greatest volume of cerebral cortex available for cognitive processing of all land mammals. The neocortex, which in humans is the seat of enhanced cognitive function such as working memory, planning, spatial orientation, speech and language, is large and highly convoluted.

Betty The Learned Elephant, Make the world better – #BehaveMoreElephant

We feel deep gratitude to ELEPHANTS, for what they have taught us and for what they mean to us.

We feel deep gratitude to ELEPHANTS, for what they have taught us and for what they mean to humankind – Crimson Tazvinzwa, AIWA! NO!

May 25th is solemnly recognized as “Elephant Day” in Chepachet, for it was on May 25, 1826 that Betty, The Learned Elephant, was shot and killed in the village.

Betty’s first appearance in Chepachet was July 31, 1822 and she won the hearts of amazed onlookers with her intelligence and size. People here, as well as those up and down the eastern seaboard, were seeing the elephant from Calcutta, India for the very first time. Betty, or Little Bett as she was affectionately called by her owner, was only the second elephant to walk on the North American continent.

The first Indian elephant was Big Bett, who arrived aboard Jacob Crowninshield’s ship, America, at New York Harbor during 1796. Soon she was purchased by Hakaliah Bailey, the predecessor of the Bailey of the famous Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was yet to be created many years later. In those early days, Big Bett was displayed in coastal cities and towns by a keeper who might lease her for the season, then return her to Hakaliah Bailey at his home in Somers, New York to winter over in the shelter of his enormous barn.

Elephants are very long-lived and exhibit a high degree of social complexity. Their social network is unusually large, radiating out from the natal family through bond groups, clans, and independent adult males and beyond to strangers. The close and enduring cooperative social relationships operating between in dividuals and families within this fluid multi-tiered society is rare in the animal kingdom.

ELEPHANT VOICES

Exotic animals from foreign lands across the ocean became a tremendous attraction and drew people away from church-going. Such diversion from the study of the Scriptures was considerred by the religious community as the work of the devil. And still the crowds came to see these marvelous creatures.

In the summer of 1816, Big Bett and her keeper were in Alfred, Maine and made the mistake of walking across the farmland of a religious fanatic on a Sunday. The farmer shot her. Poor Mr Bailey was heartbroken and, in Big Bett’s memory, he erected an elephant statue in his home town of Somers, New York which stands today in front of Elephant Hotel.

Mr Bailey’s determination to have a replacement for the precious pet he had lost resulted in the arrival of a ship from India with his Little Bett, who became well known from Charlestown to Portland as the fabulous Learned Elephant, also known as Betty.

By 1822 a broadside proclaimed the arrival of the talented 12-year-old pachyderm in Rhode Island and Betty lumbered into Chepachet under cover of darkness on July 31. Her keeper and guards raised the tent sides so that, by morning’s early light, the 6,000 pond elephant was concealed from view. To see the wondrous celebrity there was an admission fee of 12 1/2 cents – children under 12 half-price.

Following the warmth of the spring sun northward, Little Bett walked for four more years, satisfying the curiosity of villagers from the Carolinas to Maine.

Upon Betty’s reurn to Chepachet, cruel fate dealt her a lethal blow on May 25, 1826 at the old wooden bridge that spanned Chepachet River. Hakaliah Bailey had lost yet another marvelous elephant.

Then the realization began to dawn among those with exotic animal traveling shows that they must improve their public image and unify to protect themselves and their valuable animals. Circus Fans of America now recognize this incident nearly 200 years ago as the deciding factor that led to the formation of the American circus as we know it today.

On the 150th anniversary of Betty’s death, Chepachet’s historian decided that it was time for the village to honor the Learned Elephant. After convincing the Rhode Island General Assembly to proclaim May 25, 1976 “Elephant Day,” the citizens of Chepachet placed a commemorative plaque on the bridge to mark the spot where Little Bett had fallen. Commemorative ceremonies of one sort or another have been held each year since.

Edna M. Kent
Glocester Historian
www.glocesterhistorian.com

(Danish Ismail/Reuters) Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for ‘restraint’ after Pakistan shoots down Indian fighter jets amid rising tensions in Kashmir

 Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.
(Danish Ismail/Reuters)  Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.

Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear powers –
Guy Davies , abc

AIWA! NO!|Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “restraint” after two Indian jets flying in Pakistani territory were shot down Wednesday morning by the Pakistani military. Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear powers over the disputed region of Kashmir.

After speaking to both the Indian and Pakistani ministers for foreign affairs earlier in the day, Pompeo said in a statement that he “expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost.”

Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for Pakistan’s military, confirmed on Twitter that Pakistan Air Force’s shot down the jets.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor@OfficialDGISPR

In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.105K6:19 AM – Feb 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy71.1K people are talking about this

 Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar on Feb. 27, 2019.
(Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)  Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar on Feb. 27, 2019.

One of the aircraft fell inside Pakistani territory and the other was grounded in Indian-controlled territory, Ghafoor said. One Indian pilot was arrested and taken into custody and is “being treated as per norms of military ethics,” the military spokesman said.

The Indian aircraft entered Pakistani airspace after the Pakistan Air Force undertook “strikes” across the Line of Control, the border between Pakistani and Indian-controlled Kashmir, according to the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These airstrikes were launched against “non-military” targets, which were mostly empty areas, Asad Ali, a senior analyst for IHS Markit, told ABC News.

Dr Mohammad Faisal@ForeignOfficePk

#Pakistanstrikesback #PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm#PakistanZindabad8,5266:19 AM – Feb 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy3,359 people are talking about this

Mohammad Faisal of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on Twitter that the “sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.”

Pakistan’s ministry of information also released a video which appears to show the downed jets and a number of military personnel on the scene.

Information Ministry@MoIB_Official

Wreckges of Indian fighter planes burning. Well done Pakistan Air Force. The entire nation is proud of you.1,0096:59 AM – Feb 27, 2019522 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Conflicting reports

The escalation in tensions comes after the Indian Air Force said it carried out an airstrike on Jaish-e Mohammad militants in Pakistani territory this week. The Indian government has blamed the militant group for a suicide bomb attack that killed 40 Indian security personnel in Kashmir on Feb. 14. India has accused Pakistan of harboring the militant group, a claim Pakistan denies.

In a meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia and China, India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the airstrike on Monday was carried out “in the light of continuing refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory.”

“The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly,” the Indian government said in a statement. “In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.”

The conflict between the two sides is characterized by contradictory official reports. On Tuesday, India claimed it had killed a “very large number” of Jaish e-Mohamed militants while the Pakistani military spokesperson said there were no casualties and the jets were successfully scrambled.

“This kind of misinformation, backed up by each country’s noisy media, is a useful strategy that allows both sides to claim victory,” Elizabeth Chatterjee, a lecturer in regional and comparative politics at Queen Mary University in London, told ABC News.

This is the first aerial battle between the two nations since their war of 1971. Since then both Pakistan and India have become nuclear powers.

Pakistan’s minister of finance, Asad Umar, accused Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “a mad attempt to pitch two nuclear nations in a conflict.”

“I hope there are no questions left about Pakistan’s capability and will to defend itself now,” he posted on Twitter. “Hope the sane voices in India will be able to stop narendra modi’s mad attempt to pitch two nuclear nations in a conflict that no sane person can want.”