Why don't you ask him what's going on?

 

Why don't you ask him who's the latest on his throne?  ...

 

 

 

'Tusk', Fleetwood Mac [1979]

 

 



France 24 [12/7/15]:


… "I have cancelled EUCO (the European Union summit) today," European Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet, adding that a summit of 19 eurozone leaders will be held at 1400 GMT and "last until we conclude talks on Greece."

The move came after divided eurozone finance ministers held "very difficult" talks on Greece late into the night on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

I made a new best friend this week. Constantinos Polychronopoulos, Kostas for short, is an inspirational man. And a dynamo and magnet all in one at the same time. He’s a source for hope and change and dignity for literally countless people around him in the city of Athens. ... [The Automatic Earth - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Shock! Oil and gas lobby slams Katter's proposed reserve policy



North West Star [12/7/15]:


Australia's oil and gas lobby group says Rob Katter's calls for a gas reserve policy to be immediately introduced will stifle exploration and development.

The Member for Mount Isa says a reservation policy must be implemented as the Queensland government reviews the petroleum and gas industry.

"Through a gas reserve policy, we can ensure the Queensland industry has access to competitively priced gas and while remaining a viable participant in the gas export market," Mr Katter said.

"Demand is rising and we need to be sure sufficient allowances are reserved for the benefit of Queensland."

But a report into the domestic gas debate from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association said gas reservation policies actually "impaired local gas supply and affordability, rather than improve it".

"Exploring for gas and developing gas projects are expensive and high-risk activities,"  the report stated.

"Gas companies undertake exploration and development on the understanding that they will receive commercial returns for their investment.

"Laws that dictate where and how gas can be sold will inevitably deter the very investment needed to develop Australia's abundant gas reserves.

"Introducing gas reservation policy would do nothing to stimulate the exploration and development needed to deliver the new gas supplies and new infrastructure that would put downward pressure on prices.

"In an advanced economy underpinned by competitive markets, such as Australia, one industry should not be required to subsidise the activities of another.

"In all sectors of the economy – not just oil and gas – maintaining access to open and competitive markets is in Australia's best interest.”

APPEA Eastern Australia chief operating officer Paul Fennelly said the state government's plan would be a winner for Queensland if it encouraged the ongoing growth of an industry that was already delivering major benefits for the State.

"With commitment and determination, we can achieve the right policy settings to ensure the natural gas industry continues to power the Queensland economy for decades to come,"  Mr Fennelly said.

"It is essential that the plan focus on policies that will substantially enhance the industry's global competitiveness and encourage investment in new exploration and production.

"That means continuing to reject unworkable intervention policies, such as domestic gas reservation, that will deter investment and only create adverse economic outcomes in the longer term.”

Mr Fennelly said the investment of more than $70 billion worth of new gas infrastructure in Queensland since 2010 would help Australia become the world's leading liquefied natural gas exporter by in the next few years.

"With domestic and global demand for gas forecast to increase, Queensland can attract further investment and growth in the industry if we get the policy settings right,"  he said.

Mr Katter said with supply expected to be under pressure, as explosives and fertiliser producer Incitec Pivot has suggested, Queensland should move quickly to reserve a set percentage of its gas supply for domestic use.

Western Australia is the only state with a gas reserve policy, reserving 15 per cent of the gas produced to ensure continued supply is available.

"We should expect that a finite resource should go back to benefit the very state from which it came,"  Mr Katter said.

"It seems madness that we should sell everything and let our own people go short."

With the ability to prevent the resource from competing on the international stage prices can be controlled, putting the national interest over the interest of oil and gas producers.

"The insulation of the market will be used to help keep electricity at a price our pensioners, young families and our industries can afford," Mr Katter said.

A proposal for a gas pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa, linking Northern Territory gas to the East Coast, is likely to be made official in coming weeks with a proponent chosen to build the connection.

Mr Katter said a gas reserve policy wouldn't affect the gas pipeline despite concerns from some industry groups it would stifle exploration.

"There is room for both projects, this will help ensure energy prices in the North West are in line with the rest of the country,"  he said.

"Currently the North West isn't connected to the national grid so we are completely reliant on the cost of gas – assurance in the market can only be a good thing."

An environmental group wants a cost-benefit analysis be undertaken on the coal seam gas industry in light of the Queensland government's "misleading statements" about its benefits.

The Lock the Gate Alliance accused the state government of being misled by mining giants.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Australia's financial system is ill-prepared for the impacts of climate change, an issue ignored in the Abbott government's inquiry led by David Murray.

That's the view of the Climate Institute in a new discussion paper that warns of the threats to Australia's banking, insurance and superannuation sectors. ... [Yahoo - 12/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

What if we create a better world for nothing?

 

 

 

 

 

Suspicious house fire, Greenslopes



QPS Media [12/7/15]:



Detectives are investigating a suspicious fire which destroyed a house in Greenslopes last night.

Around 7.30pm police and emergency services responded to reports of a house on fire on Ceder Street.

The house was completely destroyed by the fire.

An 83-year-old woman was at home at the time of the blaze but managed to escape without injury.

The fire is being treated as suspicious and a crime scene has been established.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.



 

 

Suspicious house fire, Allenstown



QPS Media [12/7/15]:


Detectives are investigating a suspicious fire which damaged a house in Allenstown overnight.

Just after midnight police and emergency services responded to reports of a house on fire on Upper Dawson Road.

The house was damaged as a result of the fire.

Two men, aged 49 and 61 were inside the home at the time of the blaze but managed to escape without injury.

The fire is being treated as suspicious and a crime scene has been established.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.





Fatal traffic crash, Jondaryan



QPS Media [12/7/15]:


Police are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on Jondaryan Evanslea Road, Jondaryan.

Initial investigations suggest that just before 4am a single vehicle has rolled along the road. Five people are believed to have been in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

A woman believed to be in her thirties was pronounced deceased at the scene. Two men were transported to the Toowoomba Base Hospital in a critical condition. One man and the male driver sustained minor injuries.

The Forensic Crash Unit investigations are continuing. There is no further information at this time.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.

 

 

 



Hit-and-run incident in Kalamunda leaves cyclist injured [WA Today - 12/7/15]



 

Update: Armed Robbery, Logan Central



QPS Media [12/7/15]:


Detectives investigating the robbery of a woman and theft of her vehicle at Logan Central on Friday night have released a comfit image of a man who may be able to assist with their inquiries.

Around 11.30pm, a woman was sitting in her vehicle parked in the carpark of a Wembley Road fast food outlet when she was confronted by a man armed with a firearm.

The man made demands for the 17-year-old woman to exit the vehicle and leave her handbag on the seat.

The woman complied with his demands before the man drove off, ramming several parked cars as he exited the car park.

The vehicle, a black Mitsubishi Lancer sedan, was located in Logan Central yesterday morning .

The man is described as being Caucasian in appearance, aged in his 30s, about 185cm tall with a fair complexion.

Anyone who may recognise the man depicted in the comfit image or has any other information regarding the matter is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 

 

 

"Appalling"? .... "Nasty"? ...

 

 

Anyone seen any actual Coalition, ALP, Greens and human rights establishment CONDEMNATION of Gary Johns' genocidal remarks and/or calls to boycott all of Murdoch's incendiary platforms?

 

 

 

SBS [12/7/15]:

 

 

A former Labor MP has labelled Aboriginal women ‘cash cows’ who are deliberately kept pregnant for welfare money.

Gary John’s who used to hold the Queensland federal seat of Petrie made the comments on the program of right wing [fascist] News Corporation commentator Andrew Bolt, The Bolt Report, this morning.

“A lot of poor women in this country, a large proportion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows,” he said.

“They are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now, that has to stop.”

He made the comments while discussing statistics on the higher incidence of domestic violence faced by Aboriginal women.

He also said that changing the constitution to recognise Indigenous Australians would have no impact on their quality of life and said Indigenous leaders like Noel Pearson needed to “start thinking about fundamental issues that affect his people”.

Johns has previously been in the news for saying welfare should only be given to people who are on contraception.

 

 

 

 

... TAMS ranger Adrian Brown, who is also a Ngunnawal custodian, said the incident probably was not vandalism but rather a naive attempt at preserving the site.

"Somebody's obviously come up and given them a bit of a clean, and in doing that they've destroyed the cultural integrity of the site," he said.

"It's important to remind ourselves that we are on sacred ground, and that this is a place of the Ngunnawal people, and we're really working hard to maintain our cultural values, and also our cultural integrity."

The ACT's 2015 NAIDOC Caring for Country winner Dean Freeman agreed that damage to the site was likely unintentional.

"I think to vandalise something you have to have a pretty hard case against [Indigenous people], to actually want to destroy that. So we don't actually get a lot of it that is knowingly destroyed," he said. ... [ABC - 12/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Top blokes, totally out of character: when five white men beat an Aboriginal man to death [Overland - 14/5/10]

 

 

 

 

Kyrgios gives old geezers a serve

 

 

Canberra Times [12/7/15]:


Nick Kyrgios has fired a shot at Pat Rafter in defence of fellow player Bernard Tomic, accusing him of being "negative" after Rafter returned serve to Tomic's verbal outburst following his exit from Wimbledon.

Kyrgios took offence at Rafter's comments in News Corp papers on Sunday and took to Twitter to voice his disappointment.

"Another negative comment out of Rafters mouth," Kyrgios tweeted. "Does this guy ever stop #everyoneisaworkinprogress."

The tweet has since been deleted.

It comes after Rafter responded to Tomic's criticism of him and Tennis Australia following his loss to Novak Djokovic in the third-round defeat at Wimbledon.

"It's about opportunity, not entitlement," Rafter told The Sunday Mail. "It's a principle I believe in and feel really passionate about. The philosophy has always been in place within Tennis Australia, but when I came in there, I made it quite clear and quite strong.

"My big philosophy is trying to take away that sense of entitlement and make young players hungry (to succeed). I hope that, in time, the Tomics (Bernard and father John) would see what we're trying to achieve in terms of helping the culture within our sport."

At no point did Rafter mention Kyrgios in the story, but the 20-year-old's feisty response in defence of Tomic shows an underlying sense of bitterness between two of Australia's most precocious tennis players and Rafter.

Tomic took aim at Rafter and Tennis Australia one week ago, claiming he had been deserted by the organisation.

"Pat is a nice guy," Tomic said at a fiery Wimbledon post-match press conference. "If the Australian public don't know Pat, he's a good actor, he's well‑spoken, always prepared and knows what to say."

"There has been [a] lack of support towards me. There has been no respect I think towards me. It's been difficult, you know, been good player the last three, four years coming up, and, you know, people expecting a lot from you. All of a sudden, things started changing after I had that surgery."

Tennis Australia has been contacted for comment regarding Kyrgios's tweet.

 

 

 

 

 

A Massachusetts district attorney plans to bring state murder charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has been sentenced to death in a federal trial for a deadly bomb attack on the 2013 Boston Marathon, her office said on Saturday. ... [Reuters - 11/7/15]

 


 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria

 

 

 

Reuters [11/7/15]:

 

 

The United States and its allies carried out 34 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq on Friday, the U.S. military said.

Various Islamic State targets near the city of Hasaka were hit in 12 of the 17 strikes in Syria, a military statement said on Saturday.

The allied forces also carried out 17 air strikes near eight cities in Iraq, including four near the northern city of Mosul, it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Yemenis killed in Saudi airstrikes after UN truce [Tasnim - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

Two missile strikes by unmanned American drones in southeastern Yemen have killed 10 suspected members of Al-Qaeda, including three local chiefs, an official said Saturday. ... [France 24 - 11/7/15]

 

 

 



US drone strike kills “top IS leader” in Afghanistan [GEO.tv – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Bomb kills 3 children in south Afghanistan: officials [Daily Star - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide blast in Kabul leaves a child wounded [Khaama - 11/7/15]

 

 


 


Car bomb near Italian Consulate in Cairo kills one [Al Jazeera – 11/7/15]

 

 

 



Israeli drone crashes in Lebanon for second time in three weeks [Naharnet – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest clashes between Libyan soldiers, Islamists in Benghazi kill 19: Medics [Ahram - 11/7/15]

 

 

 



Chadian capital hit by deadly suicide attack [France 24 – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man dies in Alabama police custody after being pepper sprayed [ABC New - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

... “These are the medals given to me for the sick dichotomy of keeping the peace and waging war. They are trinkets, pseudo payments. But really all they represent is the self interest of those in there, who hold power.” Said John Boulton who then discarded his medals. ...  UK:  War veterans discard medals in rejection of militarism and war [Veterans For Peace – 11/7/15]

 

 

 


... 'If you are against saving lives at sea then you are a bigot and you don’t even belong in our community,' Catrambone, 31, said of the operation.



'If you allow your neighbour to die in your backyard, then you are responsible for that death.' ...

 

 



How one American entrepreneur spends his summers rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean sea  [Daily Mail – 12/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?

 

 

 



20 years after Srebrenica, the Rohingya are the Bosnians of today [New Statesman – 11/7/15]



 

 

The Rohingya crisis: Why the name matters [Ahram – 11/7/15]

 

 



Open letter to Obama from ASEAN parliamentarians for human rights highlights hypocrisy of US trafficking rankings [Malaysiakini – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Navy vessel arrives in Fiji for a nine-day "seabed mapping operation" [RNZI - 11/7/15]:

 

An Australian Navy vessel has arrived in Fiji for a nine-day seabed mapping operation -- the first visit by an Australian Navy ship in eight years.

The HMAS Leeuwin will conduct seabed mapping operations with the Fiji Hydrographic Office as well as various activities with the Fijian military.

The Australian High Commission in Suva says the visit builds on talks between Fiji's Defence Minister and the Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force to build a renewed maritime partnership.

It will be the first visit by an Australian vessel since military ties between the two countries were renewed last year.

Last month, a delegation led by the Fiji military chief of staff, Captain Viliame Naupoto, travelled to Canberra for a week of defence cooperation talks.



 

 

 

 

Australia hasn't been accepting ANY UNHCR refugees since October 2014.

 

 

 

Who are these funds being raised for?



 

 

Labor supports detention bill giving government unfettered power to run offshore detention with no oversight [Greens Media Release - 25/6/15]:

 

The Abbott Government and Labor Party have voted together to ram through laws that will keep asylum seekers and refugees indefinitely detained in centres on Nauru and Manus Island despite serious concerns about the inhumane conditions inside the camps.

"The Abbott Government has rammed through laws in order to scuttle a high court case assessing the legality of these detention centres. It's not refugees who are illegal, it's the Government detention of them that's been unlawful," Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Today the Parliament had an opportunity to fix some of the worst and most harmful aspects of offshore detention but since Labor sided with Tony Abbott, children will continue to be sent to detention camps on Nauru.

"It is extremely disappointing that the Labor Party did not have the courage to stand up for decency today. As a result children and women remain indefinitely detained in the unsafe and squalid Nauru camp.

"It is shocking that neither the Government nor the Labor Party could support the Greens amendments that would require mandatory reporting of child abuse and assault to police and child protection agencies.

"The four Greens amendments were simple and straightforward:

 

1 // A 3 month time-limit on the length of detention

2 //  No further children being sent to detention in Nauru

3 //  Mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse and assault.

4 //  Access to offshore detention camps for the Human Rights Commission, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and journalists.

 

"If Australian taxpayers are going to spend billions of dollars funding these camps they should be run properly, humanely and without secrecy. These amendments would have helped clean up the conditions inside these camps and provide much needed transparency.

"Many Australians will be ashamed that rather than doing something to restore decency in how we treat refugees, particularly children, both the Labor and Liberal parties voted together to continue the cruelty on Nauru and Manus Island.”


 


Wilkie only member to vote against offshore processing [Media Release - 24/6/15]:

 

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, was the only Member of the House of Representatives to vote against the Bill that legalises offshore immigration detention.

The Government received the support of Labor to ram the Bill through the House.

“Labor and Liberal seem to be locked in a race to find the cruellest possible policy on asylum seekers,” Mr Wilkie said.

“This is a shameful moment. “Australia is a fortunate country and we have a legal and ethical responsibility to give protection to those fleeing persecution, not lock them up.

 “This is not a border security problem, it is a global humanitarian crisis.

“I oppose mandatory detention, especially of children, offshore processing, temporary protection visas, the excision of territory from the migration zone and tow-backs.

“Any credible policy on asylum seekers must look at issues in source countries, countries of first asylum and transit countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. All policies must be co-operatively developed at a regional level and fully sanctioned by the United Nations.”

“This Bill puts the Government beyond the scrutiny of the High Court, thereby trashing one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy, that the courts should have final oversight of all legislation.”


 



Schaeuble determined to expel Greece



Keep Talking Greece [11/7/15]:


Grim as always and unable to hide his real intentions, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reiterated his determination to let Greece go bankrupt and expel it from the eurozone.

Arriving at the Eurogroup meeting on Saturday, Schaeuble said the proposal submitted by Greece for a new bailout program was “far from being sufficient”.

In one more effort to humiliate Greece, he said the figures submitted were “not believable” and that a haircut on Greek debt was not possible, adding he expected “exceptionally difficult negotiations.”

“The Greek government will have to do a lot more than just say it wants to reform if it’s going to get the three-year bailout it requested for earlier this week.”

“We will definitely not be able to rely on promises.

Schaeuble put the blame for the current crisis firmly on the shoulders of the radical left Syriza government that was elected in January.

The “hopeful” situation regarding Greece at the end of last year has been “destroyed by the last months,” he said.

Schaeuble went so far to troll the previous ND/PASOK government and said “we have a situation that was hopeful in the past, but now it is difficult.”

Troika’s negotiations with Samaras’ Finance Minister broke down in November 2014, when the Greeks offered austerity measures that were €1.5 billion below the Troika’s demands.

Schaeuble reportedly told Greek Finance Minister Tsakalots: “We did everything, you did nothing.”

Today’s Eurogroup Finance Ministers’ song is “a problem of trust” with the Greek government. PAH! The whole time I was thinking it was a problem of numbers and budgets and billions cuts and fiscal targets.

PS Watching the EG FinMins statements today, a neighbor told me: “I’d love to go inside the eurogroup and start slapping their faces. ” – She is grandmother to three children and no radical at all.


 

 



A workable reform programme for Greece [Social Europe – 11/7/15]





Revolution by proxy [Ekathimerini.com – 10/7/15]

 

 

 




Toshiba president to resign over accounting scandal [Japan Today – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan calls on US to expand beef imports under TPP framework [Japan Times - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The United States, frustrated over the lack of progress with Canada over new rules for agriculture trade, is weighing "contingencies" that could include completing a Pacific Rim trade pact that excludes Canada, according to two sources familiar with the issue.

One official familiar with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiation said Canada is not coming forward with plans to lower its barriers to agricultural trade.

Meanwhile, several U.S. senators who met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Thursday urged him to "move forward on TPP without Canada unless a serious offer on dairy, poultry, and agriculture market access" was made, a U.S. Senate aide said. ... [CBC - 10/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Five workers have died and dozens suffered burns after a fire engulfed a cosmetics factory in Cibitung, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, on Friday morning.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion from the plant in Bekasi, owned by manufacturer Mandom Indonesia.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr.Cmr. Mohammad Iqbal said five people died and at least 50 were injured in the blaze. ... [Jakarta Globe - 10/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Hedge fund moguls who played role in Puerto Rico's money woes will be greeted by protesters at swanky fundraiser for Gov. Cuomo [New York Daily News - 9/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Battlelines drawn as rich Liverpool Plains put on the coalmining map [Canberra Times - 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctor who gave hundreds of healthy patients chemotherapy jailed for 45 years after making millions from insurance companies



Independent [11/7/15]:


A doctor from Detroit, Michigan who misdiagnosed patients with cancer, giving them unnecessary chemotherapy treatment in order to claim millions in health insurance has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Around 553 patients received unnecessary infusions or injections from Dr Farid Fata. In September, the 50 year old haematologist-oncologist pleaded guilty to giving cancer treatments to misdiagnosed patients, telling some that they had a terminal blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

Feta also pleaded guilty to 13 counts of Medicare fraud, one count of conspiracy to receive payments and two counts of money laundering.

He was forced to forfeit $17.6 million that he had amassed from Medicare and private insurance companies.

Fata delivered an emotional apology in court as he was sentenced to over four decades in prison.

According to CNN Fata turned to face those who were at his sentencing and apologised saying: “I have violated the Hippocratic oath and violated the trust of my patients. I do not know how I can heal the wound. I do not know how to express the sorrow and the shame.”

Federal prosecutors called the doctor the “most egregious fraudster in the history of this country” saying that for Fata “patients were not people. They were profit centres.”

Fata, who lived in a large mansion in the upmarket area of Oakland Township ran seven clinics across Eastern Michigan.

The court herd that Fata administered “stunning” doses of the strong and expensive drug Rituximab to his patients exposing them to life threatening conditions.

According to Dr Dan Longo, a Harvard medical professor, the drug can weaken the immune system if overused.

The drug, which is usually given up to eight times for aggressive lymphoma was given to one patient 94 times and another 76. Overall there Fata gave out over 9,000 unnecessary injections.

Robert Sobieray, who was given chemotherapy treatments for two and a half years from Fata despite never having the form of rare blood cancer he was diagnosed with told NBC that the expensive treatments caused his teeth to fall out and his body to twitch uncontrollably.

“I have so much hatred towards Fata. His name causes an instant headache,” he said, “He gets my stomach turning.”

Other victims developed brittle bones and fried organs, while others lost their homes and jobs and were forced into bankruptcy.

Fata is expected to serve at least 34 years of his sentence, possibly in a low-security prison in Michigan.



 

 

 

 

... “Only the mother can decide on whether or not to breastfeed her baby, the appropriate time, the necessary care and other circumstances of the act of breastfeeding,” reads the text of the newly approved legislation. ... Rio de Janeiro enshrines women's right to breastfeed in public [teleSUR – 11/7/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Wildfires in Canada and Alaska drive thousands from homes

 

 

NPR [11/7/15]:


"Extreme." "Unprecedented." "Historic." Those are just a few of the words being used to describe the start of this year's fire season in North America.

The wildfires are centered in the northwest of the continent, but their consequences are far-reaching. Thick smoke has blanketed parts of Wisconsin and North Dakota. It's triggered air alerts in Minnesota and Montana and muddied skies as far south as Tennessee and Colorado.

And, of course, things are even worse at the source.

In Canada thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes because of air quality and actual flames, as the country deals with an unusually devastating start to its fire season.

Thousands of wildfires have been burning in the conifers and spruce of Canada's boreal forests — some big, some small, most in rural, hard-to-reach places.

In British Columbia, many of the fires are only being monitored, seen from above by aircraft or with satellite imagery, which shows about half of the province covered in white smoke.

In Saskatchewan, the fires are more threatening. They're growing into each other and combining as fire crews and aircraft work through the thick clouds of smoke that have forced more than 10,000 people to evacuate.

In total, more than 10,000 square miles — roughly the size of Massachusetts — have burned in Canada.

"The situation is Canada is extreme right now, specifically in Western Canada," says Kerry Anderson, research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. "Western Canada has seen about three times the area that's normally burned for this time of year."

The fires have stretched firefighting resources thin.

"Pretty much all of the resources in Canada are tapped out," Anderson says. "They're all on the fireline, and now we're bringing in resources internationally, from Mexico, Australia, New Zealand."

The forest service has made more recent requests for help to South Africa, France and the U.S.

The Canadian government has even scrambled its armed forces to help, putting several battalions' worth of soldiers through a crash course on fire suppression and sending them out to the fireline.

"That's what we have to do in these sorts of situations," Anderson says.

Fires are not just afflicting Canada. Alaska's fire season is off to a historic start as well. Record high temperatures in much of the state, combined with a three-day lightning storm, sparked more than 300 fires late last month. Those have since grown to burn more than 3 million acres.

...


 

 

 

12 July 2015

HOME