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The Big Wobble Headlines: Quick Read



World Pandemic: Coronavirus

The global number of daily Covid-19 infections has levelled off in August, the graph is no longer rising, however, the average number of infections per day is still more than 250,000, or, 1 million new cases every four days and the number of deaths from the virus is fast approaching 1 million globally since Jan the 1st 2020.

In the US the total number of people infected will hit 6 million today, however, their graph is steadily falling from the peak number of daily cases on the 16th of July when almost 80,000 became infected down to 46,000 two days ago. The number of cases dropped to 37,000 of the 24th of August, the lowest number in a day since the 24th of June. The number of people dead from the virus is "reportedly," 183,000 in the US.

In many ways, the 1960s was a precursor to what is happening to the world in the early stages of the 2020s. The term "the Sixties" is used by historians, journalists, and other academics in scholarship and popular culture to denote the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends around the globe during this era, we are of course addressing the same issues today BLM, Antifa, MAGA, White Supremecy to name just a few.

Some use the term to describe the decade's counterculture and revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, dress, sexuality, just look at the LGBT movement of today and the sexualising of schoolchildren and the #MeToo movement. Still, others used it to denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess, flamboyance, and decay of social order, we have had enough social order decay in 2020 to last us a lifetime.


Migratory locusts, not to be confused with the larger desert locust. Credit Wikipedia 

Authorities in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are scrambling to control titanic swarms of migratory locusts, which have put 7 million people in the southern region at risk of famine. The four countries have launched pesticide spraying efforts to combat the invasion, as the United Nations warns that up to 7 million people risk experiencing food insecurity.

Smallholder farmers in Botswana lost their entire harvest at the start of the southern outbreak in May, with the growing region of Pandamatenga and its key sorghum crops at risk. Namibia's initial outbreak in the Zambezi plain has spread to key farming regions, while locusts in Zambia are spreading rapidly and affecting both crop and grazing lands.


Volcanoes
The Sinabung volcano on Indonesia's Sumatra Island erupted Saturday spewing ash and smoke 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above its crater. A worrying statistic which is never mentioned by the mainstream media is Mount Sinabung itself sits just 20 miles north of Lake Toba which is a massive supervolcano and is capable of plunging the Earth into a year without summer.
The Sinabung volcano, file photo 

The Sinabung volcano on Indonesia's Sumatra Island erupted Saturday spewing ash and smoke 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above its crater. The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazar Mitigation (PVMBG) warned residents should not have any activity near the volcano, with official Muhammed Nurul Assori de Naman urging those in the Teran, Berastagi, Simpang and Merdeka regions are being warned to wear masks to shield against ash rain. The volcano reactivated for the first time in four centuries in 2010. A total of 23 people were killed in 2014 and 2016 from eruptions.


Major quakes
Chile is rockin'-and-a-rollin' with 5 major quakes this week, (mag 6 or higher) and some very large aftershocks: 3 major quakes this morning with a magnitude 6.6 Mid-Atlantic Ridge being the strongest: First six days of September has delivered 6 major quakes. The total for the year is 90
Chile rockin' and rollin', credit USGS. No tsunami warning advisory or threats from the quakes today.

We have had an incredibly seismic few hours with three major quakes, (mag 6+) happening across the globe and a rather busy beginning to September as well. A magnitude 6.6 rocked the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with a powerful, shallow quake just 10 km deep.

Earlier, a magnitude 6.2 struck NW of Port Villa, Vanuatu with another powerful and very shallow quake at just 8 km deep. Another powerful and shallow quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit NW of Ovalle Chile. A mag 6.8 rocked the same area earlier in the week along with a 6.5 and two 6.3's.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Saturday updated data of human and financial losses caused by the rains and floods during the recent monsoon season, raising the death toll to more than 300, including over 100 children.

The NDMA said the countrywide death toll stood at 310 – 135 men, 107 children and 70 women. The report said that Sindh was worst affected province with 136 fatalities, followed by 116 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 16 in Punjab, 21 in Balochistan, 12 in Azad Kashmir and 11 in Gilgit-Baltistan.


Hurricanes and cyclones
The Remnants of Sally affecting the Carolinas

LOXLEY, Ala. (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power Friday along the Alabama coast and the Florida Panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally as officials assessed millions of dollars in damage that included a broken bridge in Pensacola and ships thrown onto dry land. While the cleanup pressed on, the record-shattering hurricane season notched another milestone: Forecasters ran out of traditional names for storms after three new systems formed in about six hours. That forced them to begin using the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.


Spaceweather

Solar Cycle 25 has arrived and Solar Cycle 24 was officially the 4th-smallest intensity since regular record-keeping began with Solar Cycle 1 in 1755. It was also the weakest cycle in 100 years. But was Solar Cycle 19 the one which sealed our fate on this planet?

Solar minimum - the period when the sun is least active - as seen by the Solar Ultraviolet Imager aboard GOES-East on Dec. 15, 2019. We are now in Solar Cycle 25. Credit: NOAA

September 15, 2020 - The solar minimum between Solar Cycle 24 and 25 - the period when the sun is least active - happened in December 2019, when the 13-month smoothed sunspot number fell to 1.8, according to the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, co-chaired by NOAA and NASA. We are now in Solar Cycle 25 with peak sunspot activity expected in 2025, the panel said.

Solar Cycle 24 was average in length, at 11 years, and had the 4th-smallest intensity since regular record-keeping began with Solar Cycle 1 in 1755. 

At least 500 hundred drinking water wells that serve up to 9 million Californians have potentially dangerous levels of a highly toxic family of chemicals and some of the worst are right here in the Bay Area. Surrounded by lush green fields, Pleasanton often makes the top ten list of desirable places to live. But a new list just out is nothing to boast about. "I was just floored," said Pleasanton resident Jill Buck when she found out her town made the top ten for dangerous drinking water

Pleasanton relies heavily on groundwater for tap water but stopped using one of its wells last fall after state-mandated testing found it contained potentially unsafe levels of two chemicals that are part of a family called per and polyfluorinated chemicals or PFAS. 



Climate Change
If you thought climate change would be a slow phenomenon well, think again. Climate change arrived like a thief in the night and by 2020 had reached "WHAM-BAM-THANK-YOU-MAM" proportions: Joking aside, 2020 has been the year when even the most stoic optimist would have begun to see the glass half empty.

If you thought climate change would be a slow phenomenon well, think again. Climate change arrived like a thief in the night in the late 50s and early 60s and by 2020 had reached "WHAM-BAM-THANK-YOU-MAM" proportions to put it lightly. However, joking aside, 2020 has been the year when even the most stoic optimist would have begun to see the glass half empty.

The whole year so far reads of the devastation of record-breaking weather events across the entire globe, costing governments billions. Every continent on our planet has suffered record weather devastation in 2020. Unfortunately, most of the weather news this year didn't make it to your TV screens because of other huge events happening around the world, Covid-19 for instance with 13 million people infected and almost 1 million deaths.


Disease
A frightening new outbreak of viral pneumonia much deadlier than Covid-19 is causing concern for citizens of Kazakhstan. The situation is described as very grim: Meanwhile, an unknown disease has killed 130,000 Saiga antelope.
A frightening new outbreak of viral pneumonia much deadlier than Covid-19 is causing concern for citizens of Kazakhstan.  Since the start of the year, 1,772 people have died of pneumonia in the country. In June alone, there were 628 fatalities, including Chinese citizens, a statement on the embassy’s website.

Between Covid-19 and the pneumonia outbreak, the diplomats described the health situation in Kazakhstan as “very grim.”

While the Chinese embassy described the illness as “unknown pneumonia”, Kazakhstani officials and media have only said it is pneumonia. It was not clear why the Chinese embassy had described the illness as “unknown” or what information it had about pneumonia. The embassy’s website, citing local media reports, said the provinces of Atyrau and Aktobe and the city of Shymkent have reported significant spikes in pneumonia cases since the middle of June. 

Animal Die-Offs
351 sea turtles found dead on the same coastline where 137 sea lions mysteriously died earlier this month: In 2019, 331 loggerhead turtles were found dead in the area, and in 2018 the figure stood at 459.
351 sea turtles have washed up dead on the same coastline as mass sea lion beaching  The main reason behind the deaths is thought to be the use of nets and line fishing around this area of the coast.

351 loggerhead sea turtles have been found dead on the same stretch of coastline where 137 sea lions were found deceased earlier this month. TBW  The loggerhead sea turtles and sea lions were found on the Baja California coast, in northwestern Mexico. The Mexican Centre for Environmental Law and the Centre for Biological Diversity have both said the death of the sea turtles highlights the need for net and line fishing to be banned in this area of the Pacific coast. 

Environment
The 3,500-mile-long, (5,600 km) cloud, dubbed the “Godzilla dust cloud,” travelled 5,000 miles (8,047 km) and has now arrived in the southern US where COVID-19 cases have recently spiked causing concern among doctors.
On June 23, 2020, the GOES-East satellite viewed the Saharan Air Layer (or SAL) over Cuba, while a storm erupted through its dusty haze. During this time of year, the SAL often blows westward from Africa’s Saharan Desert and can travel thousands of miles away. The SAL’s activity usually results in reduced severity--- or in some cases entirely inhibits the formation of---Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes.

'The Godzilla dust cloud' which left the Shara earlier in the month has arrived over the U.S. Southeast, raising health concerns. Forecasters are expecting a thick brown haze raising more health concerns in states where the coronavirus crisis is worsening.

Wildfires
San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid and Salesforce Tower are seen amid daytime smoke from wildfires on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Risberg/AP

Weeks of dry, hot weather have fueled historic wildfires along the West Coast that have killed more than 34 people and reduced thousands of homes to embers. Firefighters have been battling blazes in the region, which have consumed more than 4.7 million acres, as dry grass and high winds have created tinderbox conditions. But rain this week could bring much-needed relief to some parts of the Northwest, giving firefighters time to gain headway against the deadly flames. Red flag warnings are still in place from northern California into Southern Oregon, where fire danger remains high but air conditions are improving.
California wildfires kill 25 people

Religion
Did you ever wonder who the two witnesses were in, A Revelation To John 11:3? 

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

These two witnesses are to be given special powers by God to witness Him for 1,260 days (3 and a half years) when they will be killed by the antichrist and left in the street for all to see for three and a half days before being called up to Jehovah. These two witnesses will breathe fire out of their mouths consuming people who are against the Lord and will have special powers to control the weather and bring plagues and pestilence.


Photo of the day
A letter from Holland: Unusual skies this week in the Amsterdam region as the world enters lockdown: Libertine, tolerant and free Amsterdam is at this moment just like the rest of the world, empty as the Covid-19 threat takes hold
This time of the year where I live, just north of Amsterdam on the Dutch West Coast we are usually inundated with tourists from all over Europe but not this year. Libertine, tolerant and free Amsterdam is at this moment just like the rest of the world, empty. The cannabis selling coffee shops, sex-shops and bars have all been closed down due to the coronavirus, these places are only used by tourists anyway.

As I walk my dog every day I come across only occasional other dog walkers or runners who are only too ready to distance themselves from me, eying me with caution. Empty busses pass me by as do the occasional automobile, however, Holland wouldn't be Holland without bicycles and scooters and, this is the mode of transport at the moment, especially for the kids.