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Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Global Response to Violence ‘Shameful’ —Amnesty

Posted by feww on February 26, 2015

2014 a “catastrophic” year for millions of people around the world

World governments failed to protect civilians against violence perpetrated by states and armed groups, said Amnesty International, calling the global response “shameful and ineffective.”

The “human rights watchdog” called 2014 a “catastrophic” year for millions of people around the world in its 424-page annual report.

“As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting,” said Amnesty secretary general.

Millions of civilians suffered horrific violence and human rights violations from Syria to Ukraine, Gaza to Nigeria, while the number of displaced people globally  exceeded 50 million last year, for the first time since the end of World War II, said the report.

It criticized the European Union’s response to the world’s worst refugee crisis in Syria. Of the more than 4 million Syrian refugees displaced by conflict only 150,000 were living in EU states as of December 2014.

“It is abhorrent to see how wealthy countries’ efforts to keep people out take precedence over their efforts to keep people alive,” said the secretary general, adding that the United Nations Security Council had “miserably failed” to protect civilians.

Armed groups committed abuses in at least 35 countries—out of 160 surveyed—in 2014, aid the report, raising particular concern about the rise of the Islamic State (formerly ISIL) terrorist group.

The Islamic State terrorists committed wide-scale war crimes, said the report, including mass summary killings and abductions that targeted minorities, and sexual abuse of women and girls.

Massive volumes of arms were delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria in 2014, despite the likelihood of these weapons being used against civilians, it said.

“Violent attacks on grounds of religious and ethnic identity continued on a significant scale. The failure of governments to address rising religious and ethnic intolerance was evident. The Myanmar and Sri Lankan governments failed to address ongoing incitement to violence based on national, racial and religious hatred by Buddhist nationalist groups despite violent incidents.
The government of Myanmar also failed to allow equal access to full citizenship to Rohingyas. In Pakistan, Shi’a Muslims were killed in attacks by armed groups; Ahmadis and Christians were also targeted. Sri Lanka also saw violence against Muslims and Christians carried out by armed groups, and police failed to protect them or to investigate incidents.”

Director of Amnesty International UK said Britain “is going in the wrong direction on rights, protections and fairness.”

She asserted the importance of public safety, but said it should not be achieved at the cost of fundamental civil liberties.

“The UK talks the talk on the global stage on human rights but this year’s summary shows they need to tend to their own garden,” she said.

“Twice this year GCHQ spies have been rumbled breaking the law. We should be concerned about waking up in a surveillance state, without having a proper public debate about it first.”

Amnesty also urged the permanent members of the UN Security Council Britain, China, France, Russia and the US, also known as the Permanent Five, to discard their veto power in cases where atrocities are being committed.

The outlook for 2015 was “bleak,” the group said.

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2014 Hottest Year on Record: NOAA

Posted by feww on January 16, 2015

UPDATED January 17, 2014

2014 Hottest year on record at 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average

The December 2014 average combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest on record since record-keeping began 135 years ago, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F), making 2014 the warmest year on record, according to the latest State of the Climate report released by NCDC/NOAA.

January–December 2014 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius


Selected Highlights

  • The December 2014 globally-averaged temperature for land and ocean surfaces combined was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F), the highest on record for December since records began in 1880.
  • The January–December temperatures were warmer than average across the vast majority of the globe during 2014, resulting in  record warmth for 2014, at 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average.
  • The 2014 average global ocean surface temperature was also the highest on record, at 0.55°C (0.99°F) above average.
  • The highest temperature anomalies (more than 5°C / 9°F above the 1981–2010 average) were observed in parts of Alaska and Siberia.

December 2014 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for December 2014, published online January 2015, retrieved on January 16, 2015 from

The latest data show that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred this century.

2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record.

The Atmospheric Temperatures

Two different analyses examined NOAA satellite-based data records for the lower and middle troposphere and the lower stratosphere.

  • The 2014 temperature for the lower troposphere (roughly the lowest five miles of the atmosphere) was third highest in the 1979-2014 record, at 0.50°F (0.28°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), and sixth highest on record, at 0.29°F (0.16°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).
  • The 2014 temperature for the mid-troposphere (roughly two miles to six miles above the surface) was third highest in the 1979–2014 record, at 0.32°F (0.18°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and sixth highest on record, at 0.25°F (0.14°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by RSS.
  • The temperature for the lower stratosphere (roughly 10 miles to 13 miles above the surface) was 13th lowest in the 1979–2014 record, at 0.56°F (0.31°C) below the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and also 13th lowest on record, at 0.41°F (0.23°C) below the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by RSS. The stratospheric temperature is decreasing on average while the lower and middle troposphere temperatures are increasing on average, consistent with expectations in a greenhouse-warmed world. [NOAH]

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2014: The Year of Massacre

Posted by feww on January 2, 2015

SCENARIOS 911, 808, 606, 600, [500,] 444, 411, 202, 201, 080, 070, 069, 04, 03, 02

76,000 Killed in Syria’s deadliest year yet

Some 76,021 people were killed in the war on Syria last year. A total of 33,278 of the victims were civilians, including 3,501 children, according a UK-based group that calls itself “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.”

[NOTE: Neither, the group’s credentials and their special interests, if any, nor their figures can be independently verified.]

The total number of casualties since the beginning of the 4-year attempt to destroy Syria is over 190,000, according to the UN figures.

More than 10 million people have been displaced, including 3.3 million who have fled to neighboring countries.

At least 50% of the Syrians live in extreme poverty.


Meantime, the Iraqi government has released its figure for the ongoing casualties of George W. Bush’s war on Iraq (episode 2014):

  • Killed violently:  15,538 people
  • Wounded:  22,000+

Iraq Body Count (IBC), another UK-based NGO, has released its higher figure of 17,073 civilian deaths.

IBC says the number of civilians killed in Iraq in 2014 doubled from 9,743 in 2013, and almost quadrupled compared to 2012 (recorded violent deaths: 4,622).

However, the IBC figures “do not include combatant deaths, which even by the most cautious tallies have also seen a sharp rise in 2014,” said the group.

“During 2014 Iraq Body Count (IBC) recorded 17,049 civilian deaths from violence. This is the third highest civilian death toll after 2006 and 2007, and some months exceeding even those years’,” said IBC.


The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan violence  during the first eleven months of this year was 9,617, with 3,188 people  killed and 6,429 others wounded, said the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“Children civilian casualties increased 33 per cent compared to 2013, with casualties among women up 12 per cent […] current projections indicate that 2014 will be the first year that the [reported] civilian casualty count will pass 10,000,” said the UN.

At least 4,634 Afghan police and military personnel were also killed in 2014, and thousands more wounded.

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