Australia defies climate warning to back coal – BBC News

Australia defies climate warning to back coal – BBC News

Australia defies climate warning to back coal 9 October 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Coal provides about 60% of Australia’s electricity The Australian government has backed coal-fired power, despite the recommendations of a major report on climate change.
Phasing out coal is considered crucial to limiting global warming to within 1.5C, as set out in the UN report released yesterday.
Australia’s deputy prime minister has said the country should “absolutely” continue to use and exploit its coal.
But China remains the world’s biggest coal consumer.
The Guardian reports that Michael McCormack, Australia’s Deputy PM, said his government would not change policy “just because somebody might suggest that some sort of report is the way we need to follow and everything that we should do”.
He added that coal provided 60% of Australia’s electricity, 50,000 jobs and was the country’s biggest export.
Australia’s Environment Minister Melissa Price told ABC radio that the IPCC was “drawing a long bow” by calling for an end to coal by 2050, and touted new technologies as a way of saving the polluting fuel.
The climate report was produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It warned that “unprecedented” changes would be required to limit the Earth’s temperature rise, and predicted that catastrophic species loss and extreme weather would result if the target was exceeded.
It said that coal-fired power generation had to end by 2050 in order to avoid devastating changes to the planet.
The coal lobby is pushing a technology known as carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a solution. CCS involved capturing CO2 produced through the burning of fossil fuels like coal and trapping it deep in the ground. How years compare with the 20th Century average 2017 is on course to be fourth warmest year 10 warmest years

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Hurricane Michael: ‘Monstrous’ storm set to hit Florida – BBC News

Report End of Twitter post by @lavozsandinista
According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.
Images on social media showed evacuating families wading through water to get to safety. Image copyright EPA Image caption Western Cuba, including Havana, was struck by Hurricane Michael on Monday
Parts of western Cuba, which was hit by the storm on Monday, were forecast to receive up to a foot of rain.
Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting nearly a fifth of daily production.
Five drilling rigs have been moved out of the storm’s path, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Ask a question Hurricanes
A guide to the world’s deadliest storms
Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses.
Hurricanes develop from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters. Warm air rises into the storm.
Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.
The storm rotates due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it builds.
When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.”Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Hurricane Irma (2017)
The central eye of calmer weather is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it.
A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land. These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.
“Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”Tweet from the National Hurricane Center
The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.
Winds 119-153km/hSome minor flooding, little structural damage. Storm surge +1.2m-1.5m
Roofs and trees could be damaged. Storm surge +1.8m-2.4m
Houses suffer damage, severe flooding Storm surge +2.7m-3.7m
Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York
Winds 209-251km/hSome roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses. Storm surge +4m-5.5m
Hurricane Ike (2008) hit Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for at least 195 deaths
Winds 252km/h+Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland. Storm surge +5.5m
Hurricane Irma (2017) caused devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless
“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.”Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008 Click arrow to proceed

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Hurricane Michael: ‘Monstrous’ storm strengthens to category two – BBC News

Report End of Twitter post by @lavozsandinista
According to the Associated Press, six people were killed in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.
Images on social media showed evacuated families wading through water to get to safety. Image copyright EPA Image caption Western Cuba, including Havana, was struck by Hurricane Michael on Monday
Parts of western Cuba, which was hit by the storm on Monday, were forecast to receive up to a foot of rain.
Offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated workers, halting nearly a fifth of daily production.
Five drilling rigs have been moved out of the storm’s path, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Ask a question Hurricanes
A guide to the world’s deadliest storms
Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses.
Hurricanes develop from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters. Warm air rises into the storm.
Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.
The storm rotates due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it builds.
When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.”Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Hurricane Irma (2017)
The central eye of calmer weather is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it.
A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land. These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.
“Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”Tweet from the National Hurricane Center
The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.
Winds 119-153km/hSome minor flooding, little structural damage. Storm surge +1.2m-1.5m
Roofs and trees could be damaged. Storm surge +1.8m-2.4m
Houses suffer damage, severe flooding Storm surge +2.7m-3.7m
Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York
Winds 209-251km/hSome roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses. Storm surge +4m-5.5m
Hurricane Ike (2008) hit Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for at least 195 deaths
Winds 252km/h+Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland. Storm surge +5.5m
Hurricane Irma (2017) caused devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless
“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.”Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008 Click arrow to proceed

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China Uighurs: Xinjiang ‘legalises’ Muslim internment camps – BBC News

On Monday Communist Party leaders in the regional capital Urumqi led cadres in swearing an oath to fight the “pan-halal trend”, AFP reported.
New regulations also make it clear that Muslim women are banned from wearing veils.
Communist party members and bureaucrats have been told to speak Mandarin Chinese in public and not local languages. What are the camps like?
Former prisoners of the camps have told the BBC of physical as well as psychological torture there. Entire families had disappeared, they said.
In July, a former teacher at one of the camps who fled to Kazakhstan told a court there that “in China they call it a political camp but really it was a prison in the mountains”.
The New York Times quoted former detainees as saying that they were forced to sing songs such as “Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China” and those who could not remember the words were not given breakfast .
“In the end, all the officials had one key point. The greatness of the Chinese Communist Party, the backwardness of Uighur culture and the advanced nature of Chinese culture,” former detainee Abdusalam Muhemet told the newspaper.
The World Uyghur Congress said in a report that detainees were held indefinitely without charge, and forced to shout Communist Party slogans.
It said they were poorly fed, and reports of torture were widespread.
Most inmates have never been charged with a crime, it is claimed, and do not receive legal representation.
However China’s state-run English-language Global Times newspaper maintains the tough security measures in the region have prevented it from turning into “China’s Syria” or “China’s Libya”. Who are the Uighurs?
The Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims mostly based in Xinjiang. They make up about 45% of the population there.
They see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations, and their language is similar to Turkish.
In recent decades, large numbers of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) have migrated to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.
Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south. Related Topics

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Prime Minister appoints minister for suicide prevention – BBC News

Prime Minister appoints minister for suicide prevention 10 October 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images A minister for suicide prevention has been appointed in England by the prime minister as the government hosts the first ever global mental health summit.
Theresa May said the appointment of Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price to the new role will help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.
While suicide rates are falling, 4,500 people take their own lives every year.
The appointment comes as ministers and officials from more than 50 countries assemble in London for the summit. Can suicide rates be reduced to zero?
Wednesday’s meeting – hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – coincides with World Mental Health Day.
Ms May said: “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.”
Alongside the announcement, the prime minister pledged £1.8m to the Samaritans so the charity can continue providing its free helpline for the next four years. Image copyright Department of Health Image caption Jackie Doyle-Price will lead a national effort to reduce the number of suicides
Manchester University’s Prof Louis Appleby, one of the country’s leading experts on suicide, said it was an “important” move to have a minister for suicide prevention.
He said suicide was not just a health issue, but cut across numerous government departments.
He said having a minister would help “open doors” and make it easier to have conversations about suicide and the role of everything from benefits to online gambling.
But others criticised the government’s record on mental health.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane, said: “While we applaud the intention, it is striking that the UK should be hosting such a summit when we hear daily about people left untreated due to a lack of nurses and doctors.
“This failure of psychiatric services has huge social and economic implications.
“Two years ago, Theresa May announced a comprehensive plan to tackle the ‘hidden injustice’ of mental illness in our country, yet in recent weeks there have been disturbing reports that people are being detained in police cells for up to six days for the lack of NHS beds, children referred to specialist services being turned away and lives being damaged due to long waits to get treatment.
“The prime minister must examine our own mental health system before addressing other countries.” Related Topics

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