Kenneth claims 5, villages wiped out and thousands made homeless – AIWA! NO!
A powerful cyclone has smashed into Mozambique, flattening thousands of homes and flooding low-lying areas; BBC News
Cyclone Kenneth has ‘entirely wiped out’ some villages in Mozambique, after making landfall on Thursday, according to a UN official.
One aid worker said it looked like areas had been ‘run over by a bulldozer’. It comes just a month after Cyclone Idai killed 900 people across three countries, including Mozambique.
A powerful cyclone has smashed into Mozambique, flattening thousands of homes and flooding low-lying areas. Cyclone Kenneth struck with winds of 220km/h (140mph) barely a month after a previous cyclone killed hundreds and devastated large areas – BBC News
Heavy rain continued to fall on Friday, raising fears of more floods. Authorities have advised people to move to higher ground amid concern that thousands may be trapped in remote villages.
Mozambique was still recovering from Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 900 people across three countries in March.
Cyclone Kenneth had already killed three people on the island nation of Comoros.
In celebration of Earth Day – From lush African forests to vast Latin American deserts, watery Balkan paradises to ancient Middle Eastern cities, here are our picks for the world’s top breathtaking, beautiful destinations.
The world’s a spectacular place, full of hidden and overt beauty in every corner. But beauty’s also subjective. It’d be impossible to get a unanimous decision on the most beautiful places around the world — but we think this list is a good start to plan your travels and destinations; CNN
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Dense, lush and otherworldly, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the last redoubts of the mountain gorilla. Over 400 call this UNESCO-protected national park home, with the chance for visitors to trek to and meet habituated groups. Its biodiversity extends far beyond its most famous inhabitants, however; 348 bird species and 220 butterfly species can be found within its 331-square-kilometre expanse.
Thanks to its relative inaccessibility, Samburu, in the heart of Kenya, is a haven for some of Africa’s most beguiling wildlife. The grassland and acacia-dotted landscapes of its national reserve are home to the endangered reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra, as well as the pioneering Elephant Watch Camp, run by conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton.
Mount Toubkal, Morocco
At 4,167 meters, Mount Toubkal lays claim to the title of “the roof of North Africa.” The path to its summit zigzags across empty valleys, past holy shrines and up steep snowfields before emerging onto a ridge that falls away to give climbers unrivalled views across the Atlas Mountains. It’s a peaceful world away from the buzz of nearby Marrakech.
Significance of Earth Day 2020 Earth Day 2020 is an event observed annually on April 22. It is a day held to demonstrate and promote environmental awareness and calls for the protection of our planet. Today, Earth Day, 2020 is celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.
History of Earth Day The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that point in time (not a whole day) when the Sun is directly above the Earth’s equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year.
The history of Earth Day 2020 dates back to 1970 when it was first celebrated in 1970. It was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and the respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. The first Earth Day celebrations took place in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States … Calendar – 365.com
South African police have intercepted 167 rhino horns believed to be destined for China, in one of the biggest such hauls ever in the country.
JOHANNESBURG, April 15 (Reuters) – South African police have intercepted 167 rhino horns believed to be destined for Southeast Asia, in one of the biggest such hauls ever in the country.
Two suspects, aged 57 and 61, were arrested with the horns on Saturday, police said on Sunday. They had been tipped off about the suspects’ vehicle.
“The value has not been determined — it’s one of the biggest hauls in the country,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, a police spokesman, said by text message on Monday. The case was still being investigated, he said.
Johannesburg’s bustling O. R. Tambo International Airport is an easy place to get lost in a crowd, and that’s just what a 29-year-old Vietnamese man named Xuan Hoang was hoping to do one day in March last year—just lie low until he could board his flight home. The police dog sniffing the line of passengers didn’t worry him; he’d checked his baggage through to Ho Chi Minh City. But behind the scenes, police were also using X-ray scanners on luggage checked to Vietnam, believed to be the epicentre of a new war on rhinos. And when Hoang’s bag appeared on the screen, they saw the unmistakable shape of rhinoceros horns—six of them, weighing more than 35 pounds and worth up to $500,000 on the black market … By Richard Conniff//SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
Nearly 80 per cent of the world’s rhinos lives in South Africa. More than 1,000 rhinos were killed in the country each year from 2013 to 2017, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.
That figure fell below 1,000 in 2018, but it still means more than two rhinos were killed each day of the year. Two rhino species have fewer than 80 animals left in the wild.
Poaching is driven by demand for rhino horn – consisting mostly of keratin, found in human nails and hair – in countries like China and Vietnam, where it is used in traditional medicine and also increasingly seen as a symbol of success and wealth.
The government and international donors have poured money into anti-poaching measures and securing national parks.
The two suspects were due to appear at a magistrates court near Pretoria on Monday. (Reporting by Emma Rumney, editing by Larry King)
One Planet Summit showcases Africa’s role against climate change – Maria Macharia
While Africa is responsible for merely 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of the continent’s estimated population of 1,3 billion people is considered to be directly impacted by climate change.
It is against the backdrop of this irony that global leaders, entrepreneurs, international organizations, and civil society meet in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Thursday next week to help accelerate focus and attention on climate investments in line with the Paris Agreement objectives.
The stakeholders will meet under the auspices of the One Planet Summit (OPS), which also focuses on promoting renewable energies, fostering resilience and adaptation and protecting biodiversity in the continent.
“OPS, which is in its third edition, is the French initiative to engage states and global ministers to implement climate policies,” said Mr Lõhmus. Nairobi will be the first first regional host of the OPS.
One Planet Summit (OPS) is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development
French President, Emmanuel Macron, and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights of the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) running from March 11-15.
Ado Lohmus, a UNEA special envoy, this week confirmed Macron will be in the East African country next week.
“On the 14th, he (Macron) will open the OPS, which will also be meeting here in Kenya alongside UNEA,” Lohmus said in Nairobi this week.
More than 2000 delegates from around the world have registered to attend UNEA-4 and are to be a key part of OPS proceedings.
OPS is one in a series of some climate events this year leading up to the UN 2019 Climate Summit and to the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In December 2018, the World Bank Group announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.
Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions
The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.
Ahead of the OPS, Kenya government officials assured preparations for the OPS were progressing well, with the country having previously held international events of this nature.
Last year, Kenya co-hosted the first-ever global conference on the sustainable blue economy, alongside Canada.
OPS is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development.
Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s Ambassador to France, and French State Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson, recently held meetings to finalise plans for the OPS and UNEA-4.
Macron has previously spoken of his government’s goal to be a strategic partner to Africa in the field of climate change adaptation.
France is the largest financial contributor to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), alongside Germany and followed by the Council of the European Union.
At the Africa-France Summit held in Mali in 2017, the French president announced that financing for renewable energy in Africa would be increased from €2 billion to €3 billion, implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) over the 2016-2020 period.
“Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions. It can succeed where Europe has not always been able to,” Macron prominently said during a state visit to Burkina Faso in late 2017.
This week, the World Bank, a partner for the OPS, stated cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nairobi, could inform global action on climate change.
Nairobi already has a strong private sector presence as the eighth most attractive city in Africa for foreign direct investment, according to the global institution.
“As such, it can share important lessons learned with other cities in the region and around the world. The One Planet Summit provides the perfect space to do just that by actively inviting new partners to collaborate and launch new initiatives,” the World Bank stated.
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.
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.