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Sun, 08 Dec 2019
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Germany's oaks 'could die out'

Germany's once magnificent forests are feeling the effects of climate change, with one in every two oak trees officially sick, researchers said yesterday. A report says the state of the nation's forests has improved marginally since last year but that oaks are dying off at an alarming rate.

One in two of all Germany's oak trees is thinning. In Baden-Württemberg three-quarters of the oaks are showing damage. The phenomenon of Waldsterben, or forest death, is nothing new, but the latest annual report by Germany's agriculture ministry is likely to raise fears that pollution and climate change are taking a heavy toll. "The forest has recovered a bit [since 2004]. But there is still no clear recognisable trend," said Peter Paziorek, the junior agriculture minister.

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11 of 12 Miners Reported Alive Are Dead

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. - Jubilant family members celebrated news early Wednesday that 12 miners were pulled alive from the scene of an underground explosion, only to learn nearly three hours later that they had been misled and just one miner actually survived.

The chief executive of the mine blamed the stunning error on a misunderstood conversation overheard between rescuers and the command center overseeing rescue efforts.

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Big Island shaken by 4.7 earthquake

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake that jolted the Big Island during afternoon rush hour yesterday was felt from Ka'u to South Kohala and Hilo, but there were no reports of damage.

The quake at 4:04 p.m. was the largest since a magnitude 4.7 temblor beneath the undersea volcano Lo'ihi on Dec. 7.

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High Winds in Northeast Blamed in 2 Deaths

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - High winds knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in the Northeast on Wednesday and wreaked havoc for commuters, blowing trees across railroad tracks, overturning tractor-trailers, and making for wild ferry rides.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses lost power, and several airports reported delays of two hours or more. The wind was blamed for at least two deaths when trees fell on cars.

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Horn of Africa facing famine

Countries in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, are facing a famine because a drought is killing livestock and stunting crops.

The United Nations, aid agencies and the countries themselves are warning about a potential disaster affecting more than five million people.

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Russia deep freeze to last, energy concerns grow

MOSCOW - Russia may remain locked in a deep freeze for the rest of the month, forecasters said, as another seven people died overnight in Moscow and concerns over energy supplies in Russia and Europe grew as the bone-chilling cold forced cutbacks.

"Only two such deep freezes have occurred in the past 100 years" in the western, "European" portion of Russia, the daily Gazeta said. "Once in 1940 and once in 1979, when the temperature fell to minus 40 degrees C" (minus 40 F).

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Augustine Volcano: Interpretation and Hazards

Site Includes webcam and latest updates.

Based on our current understanding of Augustine's past eruptions and our analysis of the current episode of unrest, AVO considers the following future scenarios as possible:

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Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for Augustine Volcano, Alaska

"Augustine Volcano is a 1250-meter-high stratovolcano in southwestern Cook Inlet about 280 kilometers southwest of Anchorage and within about 300 kilometers of more than half of the population of Alaska. Explosive eruptions have occurred six times since the early 1800s (1812, 1883, 1935, 1964–65, 1976, and 1986).

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Augustine erupts sending plume 8 1/2 miles high

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Augustine Volcano erupted Tuesday morning, sending an ash plume 8 1/2 miles into the air, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said.

Comment: Comment: Oddly enough, the following headline "Officials say explosive eruption of Alaska volcano is more likely" (dated 17 Jan 06) shows up on a yahoo news search, but clicking the link leads to a 404 error. Going to the root of the linked site and searching for "volcano" gives us only the story above as the "latest" on the volcano.


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Big Freeze Death Toll Grows in Russia

At least eight people across Russia have died from the frigid weather as Arctic cold from Siberia descended on western Russia, sending night-time temperatures as low as minus 36 Celsius and prompting warnings of power cuts.