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Archive for July 3rd, 2014

1 Mn More Brits Bite Poverty, as Govt Spends $12 Billion on Obsolete White Elephant

Posted by feww on July 3, 2014

Sent by a reader [edited by TM]

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Britain splashes $12 billion on HMS Queen Elizabeth, as one more million working Britons fall below breadline

At least a million more working Britons plunge into poverty  as housing costs continue soaring, while wages remain stagnant, according to a UK government report.

The number of working age adults living in “absolute poverty” soared by at least one million, from 7.7 million in 2010-11 to 8.7 million in 2012-13, says a report published by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Meanwhile, the number of children living below the breadline rose from 3.6 million to 4.1 million during the two-year period, said the Child Poverty Action group, citing the Department of Work and Pensions’ report.

“Today’s figures clearly show why living standards are falling. While wages have stagnated, and benefits and tax credits have been cut, prices have been rising—especially the cost of housing,” said Britain’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) secretary General.

“Since the last election a million more adults and half a million more children fell into absolute poverty when housing costs are taken into account. Without a major affordable home building program and action to secure fair wages, this type of poverty will continue to grow.”

QE Aircraft Carrier Class

HMS Queen Elizabeth is said to be a major milestone for the Royal Navy, and the defense of Britain, coming at a mere inflated price tag of £7bn ($12 billion).

The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in 2017 and will be followed by sister ship Prince of Wales, which by then would probably cost over $24 billion.

The new aircraft carrier comes more than 100 years after the concept was invented, and at a time when many experts argue that they are strategically obsolete for the UK.

But a few still idolize the white elephants.

“If we’re not secure at sea we risk starvation. Out of a population of more than 60 million we can probably feed 25 million ourselves,”  says a “war-is-peace” military historian.

However, the fact remains that you can’t have your aircraft carriers and enough money to feed everyone, too.  And there are about 9 million Britons mired in abject poverty as the “living” proof!

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Massive Wildfire in California’s Wine Region Threatens Hundreds of Homes

Posted by feww on July 3, 2014

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Butts fire in Napa County grows to 4,300 acres

  • Acres burned: 4,300
  • Structures Threatened: 380
  • Structures Destroyed: [at least] 2 residences, 7  outbuildings
  • Fire started: Date/Time Started: July 1, 2014 12:08 pm
  • Location: Napa & Lake Counties
  • Evacuation: At least 2,000 people evacuated [FEWW estimate]

The fire is burning in a mix of grass, brush, oak and pine trees in steep, rugged terrain in a rural area of Lake and Napa Counties amid  extreme conditions, high heat, humidity, with the potential for erratic winds, said  Cal Fire.

U.S. Recent Wildfires

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Another Genocide in Europe

Posted by feww on July 3, 2014

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Cossack settlement of Luganskaya devastated by Kiev airstrikes

At least two airstrikes by Ukraine government forces have devastated densely-populated residential areas in the Cossack settlement of Luganskaya (population: ~15,000), residents say.

Ukrainian authorities deny the accusations and instead blame the pro-Russian separatists.

Meanwhile, Kiev has admitted that 279 people have been killed in Donetsk region since the start of fighting, including 160 civilians. The death toll for Lugansk has not been revealed.

Residents flee for their lives after their homes the village of Luganskaya after airstrikes by Ukrainian air force left dozens dead or wounded. (Image credit: RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)

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Drought Destroys Crops in 11 States

Posted by feww on July 3, 2014


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Crop Disasters Declared for 62 Additional Counties across 11 states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 62 counties in 11 states as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by the worsening drought.

The disaster designations are as follows:

  • Arizona: Apache County
  • California: Del Norte County
  • Colorado: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Conejos, Mineral, San Juan, Hinsdale, Rio Grande and  San Miguel counties
  • Idaho: Blaine, Camas, Canyon, Fremont , Minidoka, Ada, Custer, Jefferson, Owyhee, Bingham, Elmore, Jerome, Payette, Butte, Gem, Lincoln, Power, Cassia, Gooding, Madison, Teton, and Clark counties
  • Montana: Beaverhead, Gallatin and Madison counties
  • New Mexico: Rio Arriba and San Juan counties
  • Oregon: Coos, Curry, Douglas,  Josephine and Malheur counties
  • Texas: Matagorda, Brazoria, Calhoun, Jackson and Wharton counties 
  • Utah: San Juan County
  • Washington: Ferry, Kittitas, Chelan, King, Pierce, Douglas, Lincoln, Stevens, Grant, Okanogan and Yakima counties
  • Wyoming: Teton County

Crop Disasters 2014

Beginning January 10, 2014 USDA has declared at least 2,081 separate crop disasters across 29  states. Most of those designations are due to the worsening drought.

  • Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington, Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The total number of counties designated as agricultural disaster areas includes both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Counties may have been designated crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on July 2, 2014.

California Drought Disasters

Other Drought Disaster Links

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