Mount Tungurahua, in Ecuador, Erupts.

August 24, 2012  Mount Tungurahua Erupts:  Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano spews large clouds of gas and ash near Banos, about 178 kilometers (110 miles) south of Quito August 23, 2012. The authorities are encouraging residents living near the volcano to evacuate due to increased activity, according to local media. The Tungurahua volcano has been in an active state since October 1999. Pictured above, Mount Tungurahua bellows smoke, in preparation for another eruption.

Pictured above, ash and steam billow from the Tungurahua volcano, seen from Huambalo, Ecuador, as the sun rises early Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.

Pictured above, Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano spews a large cloud of ash to the nearby town of Bilbao, August 21, 2012.

Areas in Ecuador’s Quito region (see map) have been evacuated as the Tungurahua volcano continues to erupt. Authorities have been forced into making plans to evacuate residents of Ecuador’s Banos region as the Tungurahua volcano continues to vent. Local cities and farms have been covered in volcanic ash as the massive eruptions show no signs of abating.

Pictured above, Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano spews large clouds of gas and ash near Banos.

The Master of Disaster

Record drought may leave more Americans hungry

Severely damaged corn stalks due to a widespread drought are seen on a farm near Georgetown, Indiana on August 15, 2012. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Severely damaged corn stalks due to a widespread drought are seen on a farm near Georgetown, Indiana on August 15, 2012. (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

TAGS: Global warmingNatural disastersUSA

 

This summer’s record-breaking drought may force millions of Americans to skip meals next year, as the cost of groceries is expected to rise.

The worst drought since the 1930’s Dust Bowl is taking a toll on US-grown crops, particularly corn, soybean and wheat harvests. More than 80 percent of agricultural land has been affected by the heat wave. It takes 10-12 months for these products to reach supermarket shelves, causing the shortage to be felt most severely in 2013.

More than 18 percent of Americans are already struggling to afford food, and a spike in grocery store food prices could worsen their already dismal situations, making hunger an even greater epidemic. One in six Americans already skip food for long periods of time, sometimes staying hungry for days.

Poorer Americans are also spending larger percentages of their income on food, with high-income earners allocating 11.7 percent on food and low-income earners spending more than 16 percent.

A Gallup study found that in some states, nearly a quarter of the population does not have enough money for food. Mississippi holds the record, where 24.9 percent of citizens are too poor to put enough food on the table.

World leaders say there is enough food to feed both the US and the world.

“We are not saying that we anticipate a major crisis at this point,” said Juergen Voegele, director of the  World Bank’s Agricultural and Rural Development Department.

But aside from the rising cost of food, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) also found that Americans are throwing away 40 percent of all food in the country. That’s more than 20 pounds (9 kg) of thrown away food, per person per month.

Fruits and vegetables are thrown away at an even higher rate, with 52 percent of them ending up in the garbage.

“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path – that’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said NRDC project scientist Dana Gunders. “With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeaopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better.”

If 15 percent less food were wasted, 25 million more Americans would be able to secure food on their tables, and the post-drought food shortage would take less of a toll on the wallets of the poorest citizens.

SOURCE

New deadly flood hits Russia’s south: 4 killed, over 1,500 affected (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

TAGS: Natural disastersRussia

 

Four people have died, three more are missing and over 1,500 have been affected by a devastating deluge that inundated the region, already severely battered by the deadly disaster in July.

Three of the dead have already been identified, Emergency Ministry says. They are reported to have been tourists.

The overall number of those affected by the disaster currently stands between 1,500 and 1,800 people, according to different sources.

The heavy rainfalls battering the area in the last 24 hours – in some places the average monthly falls – triggered the flooding.

As a result, the Novomikhailovsky, Tenginka and Lermontovo settlements in Russia’s southern Krasnodar Region were flooded. The level of water was up to 2.5 meters high, according to local officials.

The waters have damaged over 600 households in the area, plus a school and a hospital, from where 150 patients had to be evacuated.

A state of emergency has again been introduced in the area. Over 1,300 rescuers are currently working at the scene alongside volunteers.

With the water level gradually receding, people have begun to return to their homes, battered by the disaster.

The flooding has caused massive electricity disruptions. Local residents also report food shortages via Twitter. It has been reported more than 11,000 people are still without electricity.

Witnesses also post on Twitter that there’s currently a 5-kilometer traffic jam on the road to Novomikhailovsky.

Image from Twitter/@emashkarin
Image from Twitter/@emashkarin
Image from Twitter/@ElizaTadevosyan
Image from Twitter/@ElizaTadevosyan

ALERT CRITICISM

Emergency officials say the sirens and loudspeakers were used to alert the local population and tourists, and the state of emergency was introduced as early as 1am local time.

However, some of the residents point out they couldn’t hear anything because of the rain, and that mobile communication has also been disrupted.

“The road turned into a wild torrent, bridges were destroyed by the floodwaters. Some of the neighbors say that the sirens were wailing, but we heard nothing: the patter of the rain covered it all,” one of the witnesses reports, according to Interfax.

novorossiysk

The disaster comes a month after catastrophic flooding destroyed the city of Krymsk, also in the Krasnodar Region.

Over 170 people lost their lives in that disaster, with 35,000 people having been affected by the worst flooding to hit the region in decades.

The deluge took the greatest toll on the city of Krymsk, but also inundated the cities of Gelendzhik, Novorosiisk.

Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag
Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag
Screen shot of YouTube video, courtesy user TheStanag
Screen shot of YouTube video, courtesy user TheStanag
Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag
Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag
Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag
Screen shot of YouTube video / The Stanag

Explosive activity increases at Ecuador’s Tungurahua Volcano

August 22, 2012 – ECUADOR – Tungurahua’s eruption continues. This morning, a tall ash plume was rising to 32,000 ft (ca. 10 km) altitude and drifting west. A slight decrease in tremor is visible on the latest seismograms. So far, effects of the eruption have been limited to ash fall. In canton Quero, the ash fall during the past days has damaged more than 5000 hectares of plant cultivations and hit about 2.000 families. In the meanwhile, scientists from the volcano observatory have made an over flight of the volcano and posted the following interesting update (freely translated) for 20-21 Aug: The volcano emits a near constant eruption column, associated with explosions, that reached a maximum height of 5 km and an average height of 1.5 km above the crater, with moderate ash content, drifting to the west. There were no new reports of ash fall. An increase in the number and size of the explosions was observed since 15:00 local time on 20 Aug. Until 16:00 on 21 Aug, there were 16 large explosions producing strong cannon-shot noises heard in villages near the volcano and in cities as far away as Ambato, Riobamba and Miracle. The seismic activity at Tungurahua shows a constant tremor signal associated with steam, gas and ash emissions. Otherwise, the roaring noises have decreased in intensity and duration with respect to the previous days. In the evening observatory staff observed constant expulsion of hot material in jets. Lava blocks landed outside the crater and rolled up to 1.5 km from the top of the volcano’s flanks. An explosion at 14:11 on 21 Aug generated an ash column rising 4 km above the crater that produced a small pyroclastic flow that descended approximately 2.5 km along the Achupashal creek. Thermal images show near continuous explosive activity from the inner crater, ejecting incandescent material onto the upper flanks of the volcano, where temperatures ranged between 116 and 150°C. About 110 families living within close proximity of the volcano have been evacuated. –Volcano Discovery

Obama Announces Meat Purchase to Help Farmers Through Drought “way too little, too late.”

 

 

(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama, campaigning in Iowa today, announced $170 million in government meat purchases to help farmers struck by drought, helping to send hog prices to a one-week high.

The purchase of as much as $100 million of pork, $50 million of chicken, and $10 million each of lamb and catfish come on top of $30 million in assistance announced last week. Farmers and ranchers are struggling with the worst combination of heat and dryness since the 1950s, the administration said.

Obama said he also directed the Defense Department to speed up purchases and hold the meat for later use. The buying will help farmers, and the government will get a better price on products than if they were bought later, he said.

“We’ll freeze it for later — but we’ve got a lot of freezers,” Obama told supporters in Council Bluffs as he kicked off a three-day visit to Iowa, a swing state that is also the country’s leading producer of pork, soybeans, corn and ethanol. “That will help ranchers, you know, who are going through tough times right now.”

More than half the counties in the U.S. have been declared natural disaster areas by the Department of Agriculture, and 69 percent of the Midwest last week had moderate to exceptional drought, government data show. The price of corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, has surged 57 percent since mid- June, reaching an all-time high of $8.49 a bushel on Aug. 10 on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Livestock Producers
Cattle prices are falling as producers slaughter more animals to avoid the higher feed costs, Cody Jensen, 32, who has a 120 head cow-calf operation in Plainfield, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. Jensen said he’s slaughtering a few more cattle than normal to avoid the rising feed costs.

As producers are “putting more and more live animals to kill, that is putting more meat on the table, which is driving the price down,” Jensen said in a telephone interview.

Livestock producers may be at greater economic risk from the drought than growers of grains and oilseeds because they receive less federal support, said Bill Lapp, a former chief economist for ConAgra Foods Inc. For cattle, the drought may further thin a national herd that at the start of the year was the smallest since 1952, as meatpackers including Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc. boost short-term slaughter, he said.

Later, as he visited a farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, Obama called for Congress to pass a five-year agriculture policy bill that the White House said would “provide short-term relief and long-term certainty” to farmers and ranchers.

“The best way to help these states is for Congress to act,” Obama said.

A livestock-assistance program in the current farm bill expired last year. The U.S. Senate and the House Agriculture Committee have approved bills to replace the current law which contain livestock relief provisions. House Republican leaders have not set a vote on their legislation. The House on Aug. 2 approved a $383 million stopgap measure to reinstate the livestock aid, while the Senate took no action. The current farm bill was passed in 2008 and expires in September.
‘Trying Situation’
The pork purchase will be a “small shot in the arm to help us through a real trying situation here,” said Bill Tentinger, 63, who markets about 10,000 hogs a year from his farm near Le Mars in northwest Iowa.

“With a purchase like that, I can’t help but think it’s going to help us through somewhat,” said Tentinger, who said he’s been considering liquidating his herd because of high feed costs.

In a statement, R.C. Hunt, the president of the National Pork Producers Council, echoed Tentinger’s remarks, adding that the group “will continue to work with the USDA to help pork producers through this current crisis.”

‘Too Little’

Dennis Smith, a senior account executive at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, disagreed, calling the planned purchases “way too little, too late.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Obama-Announces-Meat-Purchase-to-Help-Farmers-3785147.php#ixzz24DSCmtOo

A Blood Bath Comes Our Way, PLEASE WAKE UP!

 

Published by brother Gary Gardner

I wish to inform all my brothers & sisters of an upcoming disaster, because very few know or want to know, that a blood bath of epic proportions is fast approaching for every livestock producer in the United States. I know many will say, “So what! What has that to do with me?” It has everything to do with anyone who eats beef, chicken, pork, goat, lamb, eggs, ANY KIND OF MEAT or drinks milk, it will affect you, your family, our country, the world.

Because of the two years of drought that many parts of our country has experienced, and the worst drought in 56 years our Country has experienced this past summer, farmers, ranchers, dairy men have been culling their livestock back which in itself will cause food prices to soar.

Drought Raises Prime Stakes Droughts often mean higher prices for prime meat a season or more down the road, when smaller herds means fewer calves.

But what is going to put many livestock producers out of business completely is the perfect storm that has developed to cause the highest feed costs this country, and for that matter the world, has ever seen. The perfect storm is not only drought in this country and the Mississippi River drying up where most of the bulk grain is shipped world wide, but also the floods in other parts of the world that has destroyed vast amounts of crops. All the while the world population keeps increasing, with little stored back to feed people and livestock in bad times.

Milking parlour

I just called my feed supplier today that my wife and I have used for years to feed our herd of meat goats we raise to ship to San Angelo, Texas to the big livestock auction barn. Last winter livestock producers were scrambling to find feed for $300 a ton. Theton price I was just quoted, and I want to remind you it is still summer, the ton price depending on what supplier I want for my breeders cubes, some call it cake, ranges from a low of $506 a ton to a high of $526 a ton!!! Winter is always the time of high prices. What I am trying to relay to you is many livestock producers will not be able to operate with this huge price increases for feed. And the ones who do survive will have to pass the cost along to the consumer or they cannot stay in business!

Bottom line, if you like milk, eggs, meat in your diet, be prepared to pay huge price increases at the store for your food. It is coming, prepare now. Take this warning seriously from someone who may not be a huge commercial operation, but is a small family rancher, that a blood bath comes our way for the producer and the consumer. May God have mercy on our country and its people. Amen

Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction

 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

 

 

DEBKAfile DEBKA Video August 21, 2012, 5:57 PM (GMT+02:00)

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cheered by half a million demonstrators in Tehran shouting: Death to Israel! Death to America! when he declared Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be finished off in the new Middle East. He called “the Zionist regime’s existence an insult to all humanity.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:  “The fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,”

And although both were severely rebuked by world leaders for their violent invective, it continued to pour out of Tehran in a comment by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hajizadeh who said an Israeli attack would be welcome “as a pretext to get rid of Israel for good.”

Israel’s new Home Defense Minister Avi Dichter laid it out in plain language: While Syria, Lebanon and Gaza confront Israel with a strategic threat, Iran imperils our very existence.”

Certain Western intelligence sources were reminded of a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006 when he quoted a Holocaust survivor as saying:  “My main lesson from the Holocaust is that if someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him. And I add to that. Believe him and stop him!”
Six years later, those sources now suggest, after America’s top soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey offered the opinion that Israel can no longer destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity – only delay it , that Netanyahu may be willing to go further: Not only to stop them, but kill them.
They are quietly using the term “decapitation.”

They point to the Israeli Mossad’s long record of targeted covert operations for dealing with past and would-be annihilators: In the fifties, the Mossad captured the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in Operational Finale.

In the seventies, Golda Meir ordered Operation Wrath of God to hunt down and pick off one by one the Palestinian Black September murderers of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In February 2008, Iran’s senior terrorist operations commander, Hizballah’s Imad Mughniyeh, was liquidated in Damascus, so ending a bloody career of assassinations, terrorism and abductions against US and other Western targets as well as Israel.
Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah knows the score: He has spent six years hunkered down in a fortified bunker, taking care never to  broadcast his inflammatory speeches calling for Israel’s destruction live, only by video.
It cannot be ruled out that this point, Israel may decide to disable Iran’s nuclear program by going for its leaders.