http://www.youtube.com/v/RMKGjJ_zva4?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Originally posted here: Libyan armed groups refuse to cede power
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Doctors Without Borders says life is getting worse… 13/02/2013 19:42 CET
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So many Syrians are fleeing the war in their country that it has put a severe strain on neighbouring Lebanon’s infrastructure – the power grid, hospitals, transportation and other services.
Rents in Lebanon have soared along with food prices.
But several economists point out there are benefits from the influx of refugees, saying their spending is helping – particularly in deprived rural areas.
Some Syrians are even taking the opportunity to start businesses.
Ahmad Naasrani has opened a restaurant and butchers in Tripoli, in the north of Lebanon, were thousands of his countrymen now live.
Naasrani’s businesses not only provide him with a source of income, it’s also a way to help other Syrian refugees who work at his restaurant.
He said he is being treated like any other businessman. He has had no trouble getting work permits and all his employees are Syrians.
However, the wave of refugees comes just as Lebanon’s economic slowdown has hit government finances.
It is suffering from years of domestic political turmoil and plummeting tourism revenues. Inflation is around 10 percent and the budget deficit is rising.
The Lebanese economy is under pressure from the crisis in Syria. More than half a million Syrians have fled to Lebanon in search of safety. Some Lebanese consider them a burden, while others see them as a powerful positive influence on the economy. To learn more, we spoke to Lebanese former finance minister Georges Corm.
Shaden Ellakkis, euronews: “What’s your economic analysis of the influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon?”
Georges Corm: “There are two points of view in Lebanon. The first is economic, saying that the arrivals are a stimulus for various markets, especially housing, especially with well-off Syrians. On the other hand, some people are asking a lot of questions about how much influx Lebanon can bear. This point of view reflects a political and social vision about immigration. One of the reasons – with the rise in the total number of inhabitants – is the Lebanese fear that they will represent a shrinking proportion of the population.
euronews: “What effect has there been on the Lebanese economy from the increase in investments and Syrian manpower?”
Corm: “Syrian workers, especially in the construction sector, have brought their families to Lebanon, and have also registered them as refugees. This is why we see this rise in the number of refugees. But Syrian manpower is a key element in the economic system of Lebanon.”
euronews: “Has the refugee influx had a negative impact on the tourism sector?”
Corm: “On the contrary: for instance, in Beirut or some of the tourist regions there are furnished apartments for rent, and well-off Syrian refugees have replaced tourism tenants who before came from the Gulf countries.”
euronews: “Some people say that the Lebanese government isn’t capable of controlling Lebanon’s economy. What’s your view on this absence of control?”
Corm: “It’s a chronic failure and it’s not recent. The government has asked various Arab and international players to help it take care of the Syrian refugees, but it seems that the Lebanese government has not received what it asked for.”
euronews: “What’s the solution?”
Corm: “The solution is that things calm down in Syria, so the Syrian refugees can go back to their country.”
Copyright © 2013 euronews
A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of “smart grid” technology. …
http://www.youtube.com/v/HKX4WZHsasA?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata View original post here: Inside Story Americas: Is the US intimidating the media?
Four significant X-class solar flares left the Sun in just 48 hours, sending powerful bursts of radiation into space, according to Space Weather website.The first burst of solar energy was detected on Monday at 2:00 GMT. Fourteen hours later the Sun emitted a stronger X2.8-class flare, peaking at 16:05 GMT, according to NASA.The third flare occurred in under 24 hours, peaking at 2:11 GMT and was classified as an X3.2 flare, the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far. The latest X1.2-flare occurred on Wednesday at 01:52 GMT.All of the flares were tens of times the size of Earth, originating from an AR1748 sunspot, an active region just out of sight over the left side of the Sun.The flares were associated with a solar phenomenon, called a coronal mass ejection (CME). Although the sunspot is not directly facing Earth, the last flare produced a CME with an Earth-directed component, the Space Weather website reports.If the flares associated with CME are directed at Earth they can cause long lasting radiation storms, according to NASA.When CME occurs it propels bursts of billions of tons of solar particles and electromagnetic fluctuations that can reach Earth’s atmosphere and harm satellites, communications systems, and even ground-based technologies and power grids.The March 1989 CME produced by a X15-class solar flare resulting in a geomagnetic storm that caused the collapse of Hydro-Québec’s electricity transmission system in Canada.The latest 2013 flares were of X-class that denotes the most intense flares. The smallest ones are A-class, followed by B, C, M and X. The number that follows the class provides information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, and so on.According to NASA the most powerful flare measured by modern methods occurred on November 4, 2003 during the previous solar maximum. It was so strong that the sensors were cut off when estimating the burst of radiation at X28.Solar activity is currently ramping up toward what is known as solar maximum, which is expected in 2013. The solar maximum occurs approximately every 11 years.“However, this same solar cycle has occurred over millennia so anyone over the age of 11 has already lived through such a solar maximum with no harm” said NASA in a statement.The coming solar maximum explains the increased numbers of flares. The largest X-class flare in this cycle so far was an X6.9 on August 9, 2011.The solar cycle was discovered in 1843 and scientists have been tracking it ever since. …
The report by the panel of five seismologists advising the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is the first issued on its investigation into active fault lines at the Tsuruga plant, which is located on the Japan Sea coast. The Tsuruga plant – which has been operating for 43 years – has two reactors, with the fault line having been discovered directly under the idled No. 2 reactor.”Safety levels [at Tsuruga] have been low and it is really just a matter of luck that there hasn’t been an accident,” Reuters cites Kunihiko Shimazaki, the head of the panel and a commissioner of the NRA, as saying after the report was finalized. “We are taking the first steps to correct the situation.” The NRA is set to determine the Tsuruga plant’s fate at its regular meeting scheduled in a week’s time. The experts’ finding is likely to kill any chance the reactor will ever be reactivated, as government regulations prohibit the construction of reactor buildings directly above any active fault line. NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka has previously said that no evaluation for the resumption of operations at the Tsuruga plant would be conducted if an active fault was found, Japan’s Asashi Shimbun reported. Japan Atomic Power Co., which operates the two-reactor Tsuruga station, reacted to the findings with disbelief, accusing the panel of bias.”We deeply regret that they made such a conclusion this time and it is absolutely impossible for us to accept it,” the company said in a statement.”We hereby ask the panel of experts to come to a fresh conclusion after reviewing existing data with a neutral and fair point of view, with discussion on a strictly scientific basis and clarification of the grounds of understanding.” The mayor of Tsuruga Kazuharu Kawase said on Monday he was worried nuclear regulators were rushing “towards a conclusion” regarding the atomic plants fate, adding that Japan Atomic Power had yet to finish its own investigation.“I want the NRA to cautiously deliberate the matter from a broad viewpoint, reflecting the outcome of the operator’s investigation and various opinions in and outside the country,” the Japan Times cites him as saying. Japan Atomic Power has claimed the fault is inactive based on its analysis of volcanic ash, which they say shows no signs of recent movement. The panel has dismissed the claim as unreliable. The experts determined that the fault, a zone of pebbles and sediment dubbed D-1, could shift simultaneously with two others: one known as K and the other an active major called Urazoko. The K fault, which has apparently moved within the past 130,000 years, is therefore considered to be technically active. They further say that the D-1 fault is also active as it is a part of this structure, while the Urazoko fault is located some 200-300 meters from the reactor buildings.Japan’s nuclear operators have faced massive losses following an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which caused three reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.Currently, 48 of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors are suspended from operations, although the country’s nuclear industry had expected early restarts based on past experience with regulators.”It is no longer business as usual. This is the beginning of a long-term restructuring of the nuclear power business in Japan,” a senior adviser on atomic policy told Reuters on condition of anonymity.The experts will conduct a total of six studies on faults at six locations near nuclear plants.With the atomic industry faltering, last week Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) promised to bring the country’s nuclear reactors back into service once they had been verified as safe.The country’s public remains ambivalent about the government’s nuclear plans, according to a poll published in the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper in March.While 79.6 per cent of those questioned were at least moderately in favor of parting with nuclear power eventually, 69 per cent said they would support the restarting of some nuclear reactors to fulfill the Japan’s current power needs.The same month the poll was conducted, some 13,000 people gathered in Tokyo to protest the continued use of nuclear power in Japan nearly two years after the Fukushima disaster. …