Friday, February 1, 2008

Events this week Jan. 26 - Feb. 1

This entry is a new feature I'm trying out to provide a summary of what happened in the world this week. Of course, it would be impossible to cover EVERYTHING that went on, so consider this the "highlights". My goal is to stick to the top 10, but as you see I went a little over that this week!

Looking at the past week's headlines, weather is the dominating theme. In the Northern Hemisphere, severe winter weather reared its ugly head:
  • Major storms hit North America, but also the Middle East (Jordan, Israel, Iran, etc).
  • China continues to suffer from the heaviest snowfalls in years during its busiest travel weekend, and hundreds of thousands of people were stranded or had their plans seriously disrupted.
  • In Tajikistan, icy temperatures and a lack of resources has created an energy crisis which could lead to virtual blackouts for most of February.
  • Three ships ran aground in or near the UK due to severe storms.
  • Heavy rains caused severe flooding in Indonesia, killing three people, displacing about 7000, and affecting flights and transportation.
  • Other parts of Europe were hit with wild weather.
South of the equator, three tropical cyclones were on the loose:
  • Fame reappeared off the cost of Madagascar. Last I heard, the death toll was up to 12.
  • Gene made its way across Fiji and Vanuatu, reaching CAT 3 strength at some points in its journey.
  • Gula spun by Mauritius and and the French island of Reunion.
Of course, this is just a sampling of all the weather-related stories (otherwise I would be writing a ten page report!)

Ongoing situations:
  • Unrest continues in Kenya following the death of two opposition MPs this week. By Friday, everyone seemed to be talking and agreeing on the fact that the violence has to end (it's a start!)
  • More people were killed in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq. Sad to say, but I see news about deaths in these countries on almost a daily basis.
  • Floods continue in many parts of Africa, including Mozambique.
  • More people died from avian flu in Indonesia, which currently has the highest mortality rate for the disease so far (102 deaths in 124 cases). Other outbreaks are still ongoing, including in India and Bangladesh.
  • Kosovo continues on it's path to independence, and neighbouring countries are nervous, but no official declaration has been made yet.
For more news that may have affected your travel plans, see the Breaking News section at AllSafeTravels.

No comments: