Avian Flu Strikes 40 Percent of Vietnam
Avian flu epidemic outbreaks have struck at least 22 of Vietnam’s 58 provinces, so far this year, forcing the authorities to destroy tens of thousands of chickens.
The Animal Health authorities in Vietnam plan to import 60 million doses of H5N1 vaccine, according to reports.
Extreme Weather Events Impacted U.S. Economy in Early 2014: FED
New York and Philadelphia experienced a decline in economic activity, which was mostly attributed to the “unusually severe weather” experienced in those regions, said the Federal Reserve in its latest Beige book report.
“Agricultural conditions softened since the previous report. Severe winter weather affected several Districts with some crop damage being reported by Richmond and Atlanta, while Chicago noted disruptions in the flow of agricultural products. Both Kansas City and Dallas cited dry conditions adversely affecting wheat crops, while San Francisco reported concerns about water shortages and water costs.”
Manufacturing was affected in multiple regions including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and St. Louis due to extreme weather utility outages.
Although the word “weather” appeared 119 times in the report, as noted by Reuters, economists say the report unhelpful because it did not clarify the extent to which weather was responsible for the soft economic data.
Crimean parliament votes to join Russia
“The Supreme Council of the Crimea on its session has made a fundamental decision for the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea to join Russia as a federal subject,” reported Itar-Tass.
First Deputy Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea announced on Thursday the legislature had approved in principle the republic’s accession to Russia. A referendum to ratify the vote is scheduled for March 16.
The Crimean parliament has [unanimously] resolved “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation,” he said, and has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin “to start the procedure.”
“This means we have reunited with our motherland which we have been a part of for so long,” said Crimea’s deputy parliamentary speaker.
Ukraine’s interim Economy Minister has called the Crimea vote to join the Russian Federation “unconstitutional.”
However, Crimea’s Deputy PM has dismissed the suggestion, saying Crimea views the new government in Kiev as illegitimate.
Guided Missile Destroyer
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy reveled that a guided missile destroyer, the USS Truxton, was heading to the Black Sea, as part of a long-planned training exercise.