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Thai attacked over coronavirus ‘Asian prejudice’ in London #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382279?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Thai attacked over coronavirus ‘Asian prejudice’ in London

Feb 17. 2020
By The Nation

A Thai man was attacked and poked fun at over the Covid-19 coronavirus in London, leading to Royal Thai Embassy officials taking him to hospital after he sustained a broken nose, Foreign Ministry spokesman Cherdkiat Atthakor said today (February 17).

The man, identified as Pawat Silamattakul, works as a tax adviser. He has already contacted London police.

The assault may have come from racism and prejudice against him, an Asian.

While local police are investigating, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said it appreciated Pawat’s post warning Thais and other Asians to be aware of such a situation in Britain.

Cherdkiat added that if anyone experiences such an incident, he/she can contact the Thai Embassy, which has officers ready to offer immediate help.

WHO team in China as death toll rises to 1,770 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382266?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

WHO team in China as death toll rises to 1,770

Feb 17. 2020
By The Nation

Chinese authorities reported on Monday (February 17) that the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country had risen to 1,770, while the number of people infected had crossed 70,500.

China’s National Health Committee (NHC) reported that in Hubei province, 105 deaths had been reported with 1,933 new infections, higher than on Sunday.

The latest figures were released after the director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that an international team of experts on the WHO-led mission had arrived in Beijing and held their first meeting with Chinese public health officials.

“We are looking forward to seeing a tremendous partnership in strengthening our understanding of the Covid-19 epidemic,” the WHO director said.

NHC spokesperson Mi Feng said on Sunday that the slowing down in the number of new patients nationwide showed that China had begun to control the spread.

However, Ghebreyesus warned that it would be “impossible” to predict whether the epidemic would be contained or it would get worse. He called on the Chinese authorities to reveal more details about the method used in the diagnosis.

Taxidriver first person in Taiwan to die of Covid-19 #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382260?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Taxidriver first person in Taiwan to die of Covid-19

Feb 17. 2020
By The Nation

A taxi driver who had not travelled abroad in recent months became the first person to die in Taiwan after being infected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The 61-year-old is considered the fifth victim outside mainland China, Taiwan’s Ministry of Public Health said on Sunday (February 16) of Covid-19.

The victim had a history of diabetes and hepatitis B which might have caused his death.

Public Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung said the deceased had not travelled abroad in recent months. However, his customers mainly came from China, Hong Kong and Macau. A member of the family of the deceased was also found to be infected with the Covid-19.

As of Sunday (February 16), the number of Covid-19 cases in Taiwan had reached 20.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Public Health said on Monday (February 17) that Taiwan will begin to examine all patients who have symptoms similar to the Covid-19, including those who have travelled abroad recently.

Close contacts not allowed in – Malaysian Deputy PM #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382258?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Close contacts not allowed in – Malaysian Deputy PM

Feb 17. 2020
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaking to the media as Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (centre) and Health director-general Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah look on.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaking to the media as Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (centre) and Health director-general Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah look on.
By LOH FOON FONG
The Star/ANN

PUTRAJAYA: The remaining passengers on the MS Westerdam cruise ship in Cambodia will not be allowed to enter Malaysia after an 83-year-old American woman on board the ship tested positive for Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) after flying into Malaysia.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the passengers were all considered in close contact with the American woman.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is the Disaster Management Centre Committee chairman, said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights had been chartered to bring some of the cruise ship passengers from Sihanoukville, Cambodia International Airport to various destinations via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“MAS planned four chartered flights to bring passengers to land in KLIA from Friday to Sunday but since a case was detected, MAS has decided to cancel the other chartered flights, ” she said at a press conference to provide updates on Covid-19 here yesterday.

The Health Ministry said it did not have the number of those who were left behind.

Dr Wan Azizah said the government had also decided not to allow any cruise ship that had left China or transited there to enter Malaysia.

She said all the first batch of 145 passengers of the cruise ship were screened when they landed in KLIA on Friday and the 83-year-old woman and her husband, both US citizens, were detected to have symptoms while going through the thermal scanner.

They were sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh for further examination and the following day, the woman tested positive.

She had a cough but no fever or breathlessness while X-ray results did not show any inflammation.

Dr Wan Azizah said based on the results, MAS cancelled the rest of the chartered flights since the other passengers were considered in “close contact” with the woman.

She said the woman was tested twice and both results were positive, and Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had shown the test results to his Cambodian counterpart.

“The wife tested positive twice. The first one, they said that maybe we were not following protocol.

“But Dr Noor Hisham said we showed everything to them and they agreed that our protocol was actually world class. So, whatever that we did was right.

“So it was not a false positive. It was a positive, ” she added.

The Cambodian Health Ministry had asked its Malaysian counterpart to review the test results after the woman tested positive for the virus, Reuters reported.

According to the Health Ministry, tests on the woman were done 12 hours apart on the same sample.

The tests carried out were nasopharyngeal swab and oropharangeal swab.

Dr Wan Azizah said the MAS flights were chartered by Holland American Line, a unit of Carnival Corp which operates MS Westerdam.

Among the 143 others who landed, screened and did not have symptoms, 137 had continued with their journey while six more were waiting for their connecting flights.

The remaining six passengers, Dutch and US citizens, currently waiting for their flights will have to go through the Covid-19 test.

“If they are found negative, they will be allowed to continue with their journey.

“But if they test positive, they will be brought to the hospital for observation, ” said Dr Wan Azizah.

She also said that MS Westerdam carried 2,257 people – 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members.

The ship docked in Hong Kong for a day before going on a 14-day East Asia cruise on Feb 1.

The ship was not allowed to dock in several countries such as Japan and Thailand before it received

permission at Sihanoukville on Feb 13.

Chinese churches offer counsel amid coronavirus outbreak #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382257?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Chinese churches offer counsel amid coronavirus outbreak

Feb 17. 2020
A few hundred people gather to listen to the sermon of the Rev. Hugo Cheng, given almost entirely in Mandarin, at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville on Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

A few hundred people gather to listen to the sermon of the Rev. Hugo Cheng, given almost entirely in Mandarin, at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville on Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey
By The Washington Post · Rebecca Tan · NATIONAL, HEALTH, RELIGION

On Sunday, the Mandarin-speaking congregation at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland started the service, as it has for weeks, with a seven-part prayer for those affected by the coronavirus.

In a white-walled sanctuary, worshipers prayed for the sick, and for the doctors and nurses treating them. They prayed for the government leaders working to contain the epidemic, which has infected 69,000 people and killed more than 1,600, nearly all in China. They prayed for congregants whose relatives have been infected, and finally, they prayed for themselves.

Luke Gao, right, bows his head during the Mandarin service at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville, Maryland, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. It was his first Sunday back at church after self-quarantining for two weeks after returning from China. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

Luke Gao, right, bows his head during the Mandarin service at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville, Maryland, on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. It was his first Sunday back at church after self-quarantining for two weeks after returning from China. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

“For people with their hearts filled with fear, give them faith,” said elder John Lei, 58, from the pulpit. In a yellow booklet distributed to attendees, church leaders made their plea more explicit: “Pray that the false information spreading via social media will stop and not be trusted, and that the spread of unwarranted fear, anxiety, panic, and prejudices outside China will stop.”

Chinese Bible Church of Maryland elders Tao Jen, left, and John Lei talk about how the congregation has dealt with the Coronavirus on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

Chinese Bible Church of Maryland elders Tao Jen, left, and John Lei talk about how the congregation has dealt with the Coronavirus on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

The Chinese Bible Church is located in Rockville, Maryland, which has the largest population of Asians in the state, including several thousand born in China. With about 1,000 congregants, the church is among many in Chinese communities in the United States that have felt strong ripple effects from fears about coronavirus.

Of the six congregations at the church, the two Mandarin-speaking ones have been most affected, said senior pastor Hugo Cheng. In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable drop in attendance at Mandarin services, from about 280 attendees at Sunday worship to about 200, he said. Some members have canceled events or meetings, and a handful have called to withdraw participation in church activities “indefinitely,” Cheng said.

A few hundred people gather to listen to the sermon of the Rev. Hugo Cheng, performed almost entirely in Mandarin, at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

A few hundred people gather to listen to the sermon of the Rev. Hugo Cheng, performed almost entirely in Mandarin, at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland in Rockville on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

Other churches have seen even greater fallout: At the Grace Chinese Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, attendance is down 50%, said pastor Carter Tan.

Part of this decrease is expected, Tan said. Many Chinese in the United States have recently visited China for the Lunar New Year, and church leaders have advised those who just returned to avoid services for two weeks as a “courtesy” to other attendees. There are also, however, some congregants who have not left the United States in months but are nonetheless fearful of visiting the church.

“People are trying to take extra precautions and not show up, which I can understand,” Tan said. “They ask themselves, ‘Where should I avoid going?’ The Asian grocery store is on that list, the Chinese church is on the list.”

Cheng, the Rockville pastor, said that a majority of congregants have been levelheaded about the crisis but that a small group of “alarmists” have found it difficult to differentiate between Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, and the United States, where 15 cases of the infection have been confirmed – none in the Washington area.

“Even though they’re in the U.S., their mind-set is as though they are in China,” Cheng said.

At the same time, there are several congregants from Wuhan who still have family there. Last week, two congregants reported that their parents had died of the virus; because the city is still in lockdown, neither of them has been able to return.

“In this way, it’s not far from here at all,” said Lei.

According to public health experts, the coronavirus is the first epidemic that has fully unfolded in the age of social media. Facebook, Instagram, and the popular Chinese apps WeChat and Weibo have allowed users across the world to tune into constant, live updates on the spread of the virus. It has amplified feelings of anxiety, says the Massachusetts Technology Review, and fueled the spread of misinformation.

Working with large tech firms, the World Health Organization has launched a global campaign to fight this “infodemic.” At local churches, pastors are taking things into their own hands.

In Richmond, Tan has sent emails urging congregants to resume regular church activities. In Rockville, church leaders have assembled a “medical advisory task force” to sift through information from national and international bodies, and provide accurate updates on the virus to the community. A congregant who is an epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health has given two informational sessions. And two weeks ago, Chang gave a sermon in Mandarin, calling on members to not “let their fear control their actions.”

“His message was not to fear in blindness,” Lei remembered. “We’re here, we’re singing songs without a mask because we know who’s in control.”

At Sunday morning’s Mandarin service, attendance was up, Chang observed. There were still pockets of empty seats in the sanctuary, but some longtime members had returned: a couple who had just finished their period of self-quarantine after visiting Taiwan, one of the elders who had gone to China for business, and an usher who had flown home to see his mother.

Standing in front of a blue-stained window, Chang held up the paper booklet with church news for the coming week. “Look at the activities we have,” he said in Mandarin, smiling. “I know some churches have canceled events, but not us.”

“I’m grateful,” he continued, “that we’re not intimidated by fear.”

Europe is watching U.S. presidential campaign, holding its breath about Trump and Sanders #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382256?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Europe is watching U.S. presidential campaign, holding its breath about Trump and Sanders

Feb 17. 2020
President Trump/ Syndication Washington Post

President Trump/ Syndication Washington Post
By The Washington Post · Michael Birnbaum, Loveday Morris, John Hudson · NATIONAL, WORLD, POLITICS, EUROPE 

MUNICH – Deep into President Donald Trump’s convention-busting presidency, Europeans who once found his approach to the world unbearable are grappling with the possibility that a more inward-looking America is here to stay.

A year after former vice president Joe Biden told Europe’s gloomy foreign policy elite that America would bestride the globe just as soon as Democrats take back the White House, that audience is now bracing for four more years of Trump. Even should the president lose, many here watching the Democratic primaries see Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., topping the field and say Washington’s old embrace of free trade and a muscle-popping military may be a thing of the past.

“The Americans say, ‘We are not the sheriff to provide security in your neighborhood,’ ” French President Emmanuel Macron told attendees of the annual Munich Security Conference, a Davos of the global security elite. He prodded his fellow Europeans to do everything they could to free themselves from dependence on Washington.

A year ago, Biden pushed policymakers to hold tight. Given a choice, many Europeans would embrace him over his Democratic opponents, simply because he would be a predictable president on foreign policy after years of Trump’s tweet-lashing. But U.S. political news is just as easy to read on the eastern side of the Atlantic, and they have watched the former vice president’s struggling candidacy with concern.

“They’re all doing invocations,” a senior NATO diplomat said in an interview at the three-day conference that ended Sunday. “They’re all praying for Biden. They’re all of the hope that this is a parenthesis, and then we get back to normal.” The diplomat spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about the private chatter at the NATO canteen.

Compared with Biden’s bold promises, chastened post-impeachment Democrats were much more modest this time around about what was in store for the U.S. relationship with Europe.

“We’ve had a tough 20 years in foreign policy in the United States,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., a moderate Democrat from a district that Trump carried in 2016, who added that few of her constituents knew the function of the NATO military alliance. What little they understood, she said, came from absorbing Trump’s complaints that Europeans aren’t spending enough on their own defense.

“It is not our public’s job to figure out why your work is important,” Slotkin, a former CIA and Pentagon analyst, told policymakers. “It is your job to make your work important to the average person.”

Many European leaders were fretting about the U.S. role in the world even before Trump took office, with many wringing their hands about President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia and his seeming disinterest – at least until 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula – in investing in friendly relations with Europe.

But the unhappiness went into overdrive when Trump won the 2016 election. The president has taken a baseball bat to one European priority after another, pulling out of the Paris climate accords, zapping U.S. involvement in the Iran nuclear deal and slapping tariffs onto European trade.

Still, more than three years into the Trump era, what once shocked no longer does. Diplomats know to check Trump’s Twitter feed for the latest on policy. They admit, with some chagrin, that they will stay silent about behavior they would condemn by the leader of a developing country, such as pushing the courts to go after political opponents.

The one part of Europe that might be happy with Trump is in the east, where right-wing leaders in Poland and Hungary have taken heart from Trump’s tacit support as they consolidated control over the courts and their opposition. Separately, countries on NATO’s front line with Russia appreciate the growth in U.S. military spending on Europe during the Trump era, despite the president’s grumbling about the alliance overall.

“Of course there are some countries and leaders that say another Trump administration could be a problem,” said Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. “We don’t see a problem.”

Another senior European diplomat said, “I wouldn’t say that we would all be cheering a Democratic victory. It depends on the Democrat.” The diplomat, who cited nervousness about Sanders’ attitudes toward the U.S. military presence in Europe, spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being seen as meddling in U.S. domestic politics.

In Western Europe, though, many policymakers fear that in a second term, the final guardrails on Trump – for example, a bipartisan push by Congress to keep the U.S. inside NATO – could fall away.

A Trump reelection would present “serious challenges” for Europe, said Norbert Röttgen, a center-right Christian Democrat and the chairman of the German parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. “Given that it will be an unconstrained Donald Trump, we would quite likely see not just more of the same but also an intensification.”

And for those who have tried to console themselves that Trump’s electoral college victory was a one-time fluke, a reelection would affirm that Americans saw everything Trump had to offer and chose it all again.

“It would be qualitatively different. It would change European perceptions of America, of American democracy,” said a senior European official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear Trump would take aim at the country of any policymaker who spoke against him.

Most European policymakers say they prefer any Democrat to another four years of Trump. But some say Sanders’ success is a signal that American voters have taken a clear turn inward.

“There’s little illusion that with any Democratic president, we’d go back to previous times,” said Daniela Schwarzer, the director of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Sanders – unlike other front-running Democrats – appears to hold foreign policy views that could lead to a bigger divergence from Democratic Party orthodoxy in recent years. As mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he promoted an anti-interventionist foreign policy. He opposed the Eastern European expansion of NATO in the 1990s, saying it was needlessly provocative to Russia. He advocates a speedy withdrawal from the Middle East and Afghanistan, saying the United States has no business waging endless, expensive wars there. He supports sanctions against the Kremlin for its actions in Ukraine but says he wants to dramatically slash military spending.

In Munich, one Sanders surrogate said a Sanders foreign policy would dispense with the notion of “the West” that tends to be the focus of European policymakers when they talk about their alliance with Washington.

“Bernie Sanders would, in the beginning, take a view of America as a multiracial, multicultural democracy,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a Sanders national campaign co-chair.

Unlike Trump – and unlike Obama, Biden and other more centrist Democrats – “Sanders is not going to push countries to be increasing defense spending,” Khanna said.

Khanna said the United States could cut back on military activity in the Middle East and Afghanistan to lessen burdens on NATO.

“We would say that we want the Europeans to pay their fair share of the cost of troops in Europe to defend against invasion or attacks on the European continent,” Khanna said. “But the entire military spending of the world potentially could be reduced by de-escalating in Afghanistan and in the Middle East and Africa in responsible ways.”

He said that although NATO “has to have some deterrence in terms of Russia,” there was still room to prioritize diplomacy as a way of managing relations with the Kremlin rather than military might.

“There’s no room for negotiation in backing off the view that the annexation of Crimea is immoral and wrong and a blatant violation of international law,” he said. “But there is room in shaping the posture towards Russia.”

But even centrist Democrats played down the likelihood of a radical shift in U.S. foreign policy under a Sanders presidency. “I don’t think that from a Democratic perspective, there is this whole recalibration of what our foreign policy is,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I think it’s still rooted in the very same core essence of democracy, human rights, rule of law, international organizations, and working for nuclear nonproliferation.”And he said Congress would temper any big changes.

“At the end of the day, you still need congressional approval for many of these things,” Menendez said.Some Europeans, cautioning calm, point out that Sanders’ policies align with those of most social democratic parties in Europe – not radical, but rather the European center-left.

“From a European perspective, Sanders is definitely not far-left,” said Röttgen.

“We could welcome him as a member,” he joked.

Experts predict near to above average tornado activity this spring #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382251?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Experts predict near to above average tornado activity this spring

Feb 16. 2020
Tornado damage in Westminster, Md., on Feb. 7. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Doug Kapustin

Tornado damage in Westminster, Md., on Feb. 7. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Doug Kapustin
By The Washington Post · Matthew Cappucci · NATIONAL, SCIENCE-ENVIRONMENT

Every day that passes, the calendar draws nearer to spring – peak tornado season for much of the central and eastern United States. And atmospheric scientists have cast their predictions for tornado season 2020, calling for a near to slightly more active season than average.

There are also signs that peak periods of storminess could ramp up earlier in the year than during some previous seasons.

Victor Gensini, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University, said he gently leans toward an above average tornado season.

Genisini rose to prominence in the field of seasonal forecasts for severe weather in recent years, most recently predicting 2019′s record tornado onslaught nearly four weeks in advance. He specializes in determining how “teleconnections,” or the presence of distant and seemingly tangential atmospheric features, can have impacts on weather closer to home.

This year, he’s forecasting bouts of severe weather to begin increasing in frequency and intensity during March and April. May looks to be a busy month as well.

“If the current pattern doesn’t change significantly, we could be up for … periods of intense activity, followed by shutdowns,” he explained. Predicting exactly when those busy spurts will line up is a bit more challenging. “It’s going to coincide with where we are in the sub-seasonal cycle.”

Gensini alludes to smaller-scale, shorter-duration atmospheric disturbances that can bolster or inhibit storminess over the Lower 48. In past years, there have been larger, more obvious ingredients in place. But not so much this year. The atmosphere will be a bit more fickle.

“Last year it was very obvious when the stars would align,” said Gensini. “I think usually by March 1, things become pretty clear. Are there any sort of ‘big players?’ I kind of think of (the atmosphere) as a big orchestra … all the instruments playing together in an ensemble. Some years, you have some instruments playing louder than the others and controlling the narrative and the tune.”

John Allen, a professor of meteorology at Central Michigan University, says that the “big player” is usually from El Niño or La Niña.

“If you think about how these systems are connected, we’re thinking here about a cascade of scales,” said Allen, discussing the link between large-scale climate systems and the comparatively fleeting nature of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. “El Niño interacts on a scale of several thousands of (miles), with interactions going through a middle man.”

That middle man? The jet stream.

In order for supercells – rotating thunderstorms – and tornadoes to form, two ingredients must be present in the atmosphere: instability, and wind shear.

An unstable atmosphere, caused by vertical temperature contrasts, results in lifting motion that can give rise to thunderstorms. To get those storms to spin, you need wind shear – a change in wind speed and direction with height. And when the jet stream is nearby, there’s usually plenty of wind shear present. The jet stream is a swift current of rapidly-moving air in the upper atmosphere. Jet stream speeds can occasionally top 150 mph.

As winds near the ground generally don’t approach speeds of that magnitude, there’s a significant change of wind speed with height in the vicinity of the jet stream generating wind shear.

Disturbances embedded within the jet can trigger bouts of severe weather, since jet stream meanderings usually carry cold air aloft. That’s a key factor in thunderstorms. The wind shear imparted by the jet, meanwhile, can encourage storms to rotate.

Long-range severe weather forecasts don’t start in Tornado Alley. In fact, they don’t even start in the United States. The first place to look? The Pacific Ocean.

Water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean can have enormous bearings on our weather. Water temperatures there fluctuate in response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. During an El Niño, water temperatures over the eastern equatorial Pacific run anomalously warm; those same seas are atypically cool during La Niña.

ENSO, sort of like a pendulum, can swing irregularly between the two states every few years. Knowing a bit about the status of El Niño or La Niña generally offers insight as to how the jet stream will behave.

The warm East Pacific waters that occur with an El Niño help steer moisture from the subtropics across the Baja Peninsula, and eventually over the northern Gulf of Mexico. That can increase low cloud cover and lower temperatures. Meanwhile, the energized polar jet stream is diverted far to the north, where it’s far removed from the key zones for severe weather. Without the polar jet’s added wind shear, hail and tornado chances on the Great Plains decline. Allen and his team showed this in 2015.

La Niñas, on the flip side, bring warmer and drier conditions to the southern U.S., and colder weather to the north. That temperature clash can brew severe storms. And a polar jet lurking nearby can help spin up tornadoes – especially in the eastern Plains.

This year, however, ENSO looks to be “close to neutral” according to Allen.

“ENSO is a dominant mode for most seasonal forecasts,” explained Allen. “(This season) you don’t have the main predictor that’s pulling the strings.”

With no dominant ENSO influence, the focus shifts to other features.

Those more subtle features are a lot more finicky and tougher to predict. Plus, they’re much more difficult to spot from a distance. Gensini, however, already has his eyes on something.

“There’s a lot of convection anchored near the equatorial international date line,” said Gensini, referencing a batch of showers and thunderstorms in the central Pacific. It’s tied to a region of above-average water temperatures. “If that warm pool continues into the spring, I’d have reason to consider an average to an above-average season.”

The warm pool could influence the position and strength of the jet stream enough to shape the Lower 48’s severe weather season.

“The positioning of the jet stream across the U.S. is vital for springtime severe weather frequency,” said Gensini.

Gensini and Allen alike hope these predictions will help emergency managers better plan and prepare for dangerous bouts of severe weather.

“FEMA could benefit in moving around assets or resources,” said Gensini, on the benefits of seasonal tornado forecasts. “Insurance companies could model potential losses. These forecasts are targeted toward educators, administrators, (emergency managers) – the folks that are sort of spreading the message and creating a weather-ready nation.”

Sanders steps up attacks on Bloomberg at candidates event in Nevada #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382249?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Sanders steps up attacks on Bloomberg at candidates event in Nevada

Feb 16. 2020
By The Washington Post · David Weigel · NATIONAL, POLITICS

LAS VEGAS – Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sharpened his criticism of Mike Bloomberg on Saturday night, telling an audience of Democrats here that the billionaire former mayor of New York City would bring fatal weaknesses to a general election.

“Mayor Bloomberg, with all his money, will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump,” Sanders said. “We will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for, and enacted, racist policies like stop-and-frisk, which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.”

File Photo: Mike Bloomberg/Getty Images

File Photo: Mike Bloomberg/Getty Images

Those were the only comments made about Bloomberg, who is not competing in this state’s caucuses, during a gathering of Clark County Democrats. Other candidates largely focused on President Trump, while the Vermont senator spoke as if Bloomberg was his only real challenger for the Democratic nomination.

Former vice president Joe Biden, looking for a comeback after weak showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, was an exception. He repeatedly went after Sanders, without using his name.

Biden referred to unnamed candidates who had voted to give legal immunity to gun manufacturers – only Sanders had done so – and repeatedly attacked Medicare-for-all, warning that it lacked support from congressional Democrats and that it would replace popular union health plans.

“How in God’s name do you expect to pass it?” Biden asked. “I’ll be damned if we’re going to erase the union’s effort!”

Other Democrats, like Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, avoided attacking their rivals at all. Former South Bend., Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg said that Democrats did “not have to choose between a revolution or fidelity to the status quo,” a shorter version of a criticism he sometimes makes of Sanders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, battling a cold, delivered her stump speech and warned that “small ideas” would not win the election. Earlier in the day, she had told CBS News that Bloomberg’s campaign, which had already spent hundreds of millions of dollars, would struggle to make a contrast with Trump in a general election.

“I don’t even think it’s a deal with the devil,” Warren said. “A deal with the devil implies that you’re actually getting something for it. We’re not better off putting up a billionaire. That does not increase the odds that we win.”

She did not make that argument in the room, while Sanders spent the end of a 10-minute speech attacking Bloomberg.

“We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who in 2015 stated, and I quote: ‘I, for example, am not in favor, have never been in favor of raising the minimum wage,'” Sanders said. “We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who opposed modest proposals during Barack Obama’s presidency to raise taxes on the wealthy, while advocating for cuts to Medicare and Social Security. We will not defeat Donald Trump with a candidate who, instead of holding the crooks on Wall Street accountable, blamed the end of the racist policies such as redlining for the financial crisis.”

Shackled and locked up, Cambodia’s mentally ill languish in limbo #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382246?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Shackled and locked up, Cambodia’s mentally ill languish in limbo

Feb 16. 2020
The Kandal Stueng health center, about 15 miles outside the capital, Phnom Penh, is Cambodia's first mental rehabilitation facility. It opened last year and houses 48 patients. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski

The Kandal Stueng health center, about 15 miles outside the capital, Phnom Penh, is Cambodia’s first mental rehabilitation facility. It opened last year and houses 48 patients. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski
By  Special to The Washington Post · Leonie Kijewski · WORLD, HEALTH, ASIA-PACIFIC

SIEM REAP, Cambodia – The slender 15-year-old shifts restlessly from one knee to the other on the wooden floor of his family’s houseboat. He has just finished a dinner of rice and fish, but he can’t play with the other children: His ankle is shackled, and he can move only within a three-foot radius.

“Our boy has a mental problem,” said his mother, Seam, a shy woman in her early 40s with long hair and a broad smile. “We put him in chains because he likes to smell gasoline, and when he does that too much, he damages his health. So we need to keep him from getting out.”

Reach Seila, left, and Nguon Kosal oversee the clinic, which is designed to house 200 people once it is fully operational, but resources are lacking. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski

Reach Seila, left, and Nguon Kosal oversee the clinic, which is designed to house 200 people once it is fully operational, but resources are lacking. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski

With seven other children to manage and no mental health clinic in their area, Seam, who asked not to be identified by her full name or her son’s for fear of retribution from the community, said she had no other choice.

Her son’s fate is not an isolated case. The few mental health facilities in Cambodia, a nation plagued by poverty, are poorly funded and ill-equipped, leaving patients languishing at home without adequate treatment.

People with mental disabilities are often chained up by relatives because their families don’t have the resources to care for them, said Chhim Sotheara, director of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Cambodia, adding that a lack of treatment options and reliance on traditional healing methods compound the problem.

A consultation room for individual therapy at Cambodia's first mental rehabilitation facility. Financial constraints mean individual therapy can take place only once a week. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski

A consultation room for individual therapy at Cambodia’s first mental rehabilitation facility. Financial constraints mean individual therapy can take place only once a week. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Leonie Kijewski

His organization is working with dozens of families to treat mental health problems and has unchained more than 100 individuals over recent years, he said. His team recently received eight cases in one week.

Last year, the government opened the Kandal Stueng health center, the only facility in Cambodia that provides housing, treatment and rehabilitation for people with mental illnesses. But it lacks resources, and patients’ freedom is severely restricted.

“We have the rule that the people who have a mental problem cannot go out from this center by themselves,” said Nguon Kosal, the center’s director. “We do that because we want to protect them.”

Designed for 200 patients, the center, located about 15 miles from the capital, Phnom Penh, is housing 20 men and 28 women during an indefinite trial phase; most were brought in from the Prey Speu detention center, where they had been held untilJuly.

Five patients are locked in each 200-square-foot room. The windows are barred, and there are no mattresses on the iron bed frames. Thick padlocks hang in front of beige doors.

The Washington Post interviewed some of the patients, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the center’s officials were concerned about possiblereprisals and patients’ privacy.

One resident, a 32-year-old man who said he was from the coastal city of Sihanoukville, said he had tried to escape dozens of times since he came to the facility several months ago, an account confirmed by Kosal and Reach Seila, the center’s deputy director.

“I want to leave because they try to strangle me,” the man said, placing his hands on his neck. “They hit me and they grab my legs,” he added, without naming his purported tormentors. The Post could not confirm this account, but Seila said it was possible “other patients teased him.”

The 32-year-old said there was nothing to do but sit on the bed. He wants to work and do something with his life, he said. Maybe study at a pagoda or go to Thailand.

His roommate, a shy man also in his early 30s, expressed similar sentiments. After two years at Prey Speu, which houses homeless people swept up in authorities’ urban “beautification” initiatives,he said he could not bear life at the new center.

“I don’t like staying here,” he said. “I’m not happy.”

Kosal said patients would be allowed to leave only when a doctor had certified they were ready.

– – –

Mental health issues are prevalent in this Southeast Asian nation, where years of war and conflict didn’t fully come to an end until the 1990s. Under the autocratic Khmer Rouge regime, from 1975 to 1979, millions worked in slavery-like conditions, and an estimated 1.7 million people were killed or perished from malnutrition, starvation and disease.

Fighting in that era and beyond left the nation further traumatized and with a legacy of unaddressed mental health issues, Sotheara said.

“With the survivors of the Khmer Rouge, they don’t express their problems straightaway. But when we start digging into the problems, we can see a lot of them have depression and trauma,” he said.

Some studies have found that trauma can be passed on through generations and that hardship and violence can potentially alter the expression of a person’s genes. Although little analysis has been conducted on the topic in Cambodia, Rachel Yehuda, director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and her colleagues have found that stress experienced by Holocaust survivors before the birth of their children had an impact on their children’s genes, and that trauma, in short, could lead to detrimental alterations.

Studies on Cambodia have shown trauma can be perpetuated by a lack of educational measures to address past horrors. For some people with anxiety disorders caused by the war, Sotheara said, poverty has exacerbated the issue.

Sotheara said younger people often come to him with anxiety about their education, job prospects and family issues, while older people feel more isolated. Many Cambodians emigrate because of a lack of job opportunities at home, interrupting traditional caretaking patterns in which children are expected to look after aging parents.

Kosal said anxiety disorders and schizophrenia are common among patients at the new center.

Women living there seem more at ease than their male counterparts, he said, and their doors are kept unlocked more often because they are less likely to try to escape.

Over bowls of rice at the center’s canteen,several women – all with short hair after their heads were shaved at Prey Speu – told The Post they were happy at the center.

“If they provide sweets after lunch,” one of them said with a big smile, referring to mango and other fruits, “I don’t want to leave.”

Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said while it could be legal in some instances to detain a person suffering from a mental illness, it should not be the default solution.

Patients should be detained inside a facility only when doing so is the least restrictive treatment option for their health needs, she said.

Officials from the Health Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

– – –

Yim Sobotra, director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the state-run Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh – whose clinic with 16 doctors receives 600 to 800 patients daily but does not provide residential care – said stigmatization and discrimination often keep patients from seeking early treatment.

“People think it’s not acceptable to have a mental disorder. They call us the ‘crazy hospital.’ So they take time to come here, and only when their moderate anxiety becomes severe, they come,” he said.

Back at the houseboat near Siem Reap, Seam is all too familiar with the difficulties of caring for someone with a mental disability.

“It’s hard to pay for the medicine, so I have no choice but to borrow money,” she said.

Sotheara said his organization has seen cases nationwide of people selling their property or going into debt to pay for medicine.

Care at the Kandal Stueng center is theoretically free, but a lack of resources means health workers cannot provide all the services they would like. Individual therapeutic consultations take place only once a week, said Seila, the deputy director. And with barely any money for teachers, classes in sewing and other skills are irregular.

To make ends meet, Kosal said, the staff introduced a new rule. When families come to visit relatives at the center, “they need to buy things for all the other patients as well,” he said.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill more than 30 Yemeni civilians, says U.N., as fighting intensifies #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published February 17, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30382245?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes kill more than 30 Yemeni civilians, says U.N., as fighting intensifies

Feb 16. 2020
File Photo of UN headquarters/Getty Images

File Photo of UN headquarters/Getty Images
By The Washington Post · Sudarsan Raghavan · WORLD, MIDDLE-EAST 

CAIRO – A Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen killed more than 30 civilians, according to U.N. officials late Saturday.

The airstrikes targeting Yemen’s northern Al-Jawf Province came a day after the country’s rebel Houthi movement claimed they had shot down a coalition warplane in the same area. Saturday’s attacks were widely seen as a retaliation for the downing of the fighter jet.

In a statement, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official said that preliminary reports indicate that as many as 31 civilians were killed and 12 others injured in the strikes that targeted the Al Hayjah area of the province.

“So many people are being killed in Yemen – it’s a tragedy and it’s unjustifiable,” said Lise Grande, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. “Under international humanitarian law, parties which resort to force are obligated to protect civilians. Five years into this conflict and belligerents are still failing to uphold this responsibility. It’s shocking.”

The violence was the latest sign of the war’s intensification after months of relative quiet amid efforts between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis to pave a way to end the conflict. Since mid-January, fierce clashes have broken out in several areas in three provinces, forcing at least 4,700 families to flee their homes, according to the U.N.

The American-backed coalition, a grouping of Sunni Muslim countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, entered Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 after the Houthis seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, forcing out the country’s international recognized government.

While the coalition says it seeks to restore the government, the war is also widely viewed as a proxy war between the Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, that is aligned with the Houthis, who also follow the Zaidi branch of Shiite Islam.

The war has deepened what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s 24 million people are in need of assistance and protection. At least 10 million Yemenis are on the edge of famine, with another 7 million suffer from malnourishment, according to U.N. statistics. More than 3.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

Saturday’s death toll included women and children, according to the Houthi-run Al Masirah television network. While the Houthis claimed to have shot down the coalition’s war plane, a coalition spokesman disputed that assertion.

In a statement carried on Saudi Arabia’s state news agency, Col. Turki Al-Malki said that the jet had crashed. He described the war plane as a Tornado, which is made in Britain, Italy and Germany. Malki said the plane’s two-member crew ejected before it crashed, but that the rebels fired at them.

Malki did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday’s airstrikes and civilian casualties.

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