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Sat, 24 Oct 2020
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Snowman

Bus crash on icy road in China kills 25

GUANGZHOU - Some of the worst winter weather to hit southern China in decades took 25 more lives Tuesday when a bus plunged off an icy road, adding to the chaos the snow storms have caused during the nation's peak travel season.

Numerous cities suffered blackouts as heavy snowfalls caused power lines to snap and hampered the delivery of coal, used to generate most of China's electricity. Around 50 deaths so far have been blamed on the weather.

Arrow Down

Western Canada facing this winter's coldest temps.

Canadians from British Columbia to Manitoba are being warned to batten down the hatches, bundle up or just stay inside Monday night as bitterly cold winds sweep across a significant swath of western Canada.

Winds up to 80 kilometres an hour are set to make already cold temperatures feel like -50 C and could cause white-out conditions on roadways, turning minor snowfalls into major headaches for drivers.

Bizarro Earth

New Fault Found in Europe; May "Close Up" Adriatic Sea

A newly identified fault running under the Adriatic Sea is building more of Croatia's Dalmatian Islands and bulking up the Dinaric Alps, a new study says.

Both the islands and the mountain chain - which runs along the upper western coast of the Balkan Peninsula - were believed to have stopped growing 20 million to 30 million years ago.

©Dario Mitidieri/Getty Images
A previously unknown active fault off the coast of Croatia is creating new additions to the Dalmatian Islands, according to a new study. The fault lies northwest of the southern town of Dubrovnik, seen above at sunrise with several of the islands in the distance.

Stop

WWF calls for supermarkets to boycott bluefin tuna

The environmental group WWF on Monday called on supermarket chains around the world to take bluefin tuna off their shelves, saying overfishing, driven by the craze for sushi, threatened to wipe out the species.

Praising several retail chains that have taken the lead in refusing to sell bluefin, WWF said it was time for "retailers around the world to emulate their courageous decision... until this fish is out of danger."

Cloud Lightning

China issues severe weather warning amid fuel shortage fears

China issued a severe weather warning on Monday for large swathes of the country already reeling from transport havoc and power shortages caused by the heaviest snowfalls in decades.

The forecast of further severe snowstorms came as hundreds of thousands of travellers remained stranded in airports, train stations, and on highways as they struggled to join their families for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Even before the new weather warning, Premier Wen Jiabao called late Sunday for "urgent" action to combat blackouts and the mounting transport chaos caused by what has been described as the heaviest snow in China in half a century in places.

Snowman

China counts cost of snowy winter chaos

Beijing - Brutal winter weather across China on Monday stranded hundreds of thousands of people and choked energy flows, claiming a rising human and economic toll that pummeled local stock prices ahead of Chinese New Year.

At least 24 people had died in two weeks of accidents due to snow, sleet and freezing cold across central, eastern and southern China, regions used to milder winters, Xinhua news agency said.

Bizarro Earth

Benin's Cotonou - a city slowly swallowed by waves

Gilbert Adikpeto remembers the night he lost much of his shorefront home, literally washed away by the sea.

"We were asleep with the children when there was a deafening noise from the living room. I got up in a panic and the whole room had disappeared under the waves," said the 62-year-old retired railway worker, still in shock two months later.

Adikpeto's story could become all too common, experts warn.

©Unknown

Cloud Lightning

Snow causes chaos in China as millions head home for Lunar New Year

The worst snowfalls in a decade caused traffic chaos across much of China Saturday as millions of people tried to head home for the important Lunar New Year holiday, state media reported.

Tens of thousands of travellers were left stranded as transport in several regions across the centre, east and south of the country ground to a halt due to the bad weather.

Cloud Lightning

California avalanches leave two dead, two missing

Two skiers were killed and two were missing as rare avalanches struck mountains near Los Angeles after a severe winter storm pounded the region, authorities said Saturday.

The two fatalities were reported in separate avalanches at the Mountain High Ski Area in the San Gabriel Mountains, around 31 miles (50 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, police and ambulance officials said.

Frog

China's Unquenchable Thirst

Freshwater is the resource most strained by China's staggering growth over the last 20 years.

In June 8, 1988, I boarded a midnight train bound for Zhengzhou from Beijing, where my trip to research China's land and water challenges had begun just three days before. My senses were already brimming with the sights and sounds of the capital city and its surroundings -- horse-drawn carts piled high with bricks, waves of wheat awaiting harvest, bustling markets along dirt roads, and bicycles, bicycles everywhere.

Under China's "responsibility system," farmers were now allowed to sell whatever they harvested above their quota to the state. Colorful roadside stands laden with melons, fruits, vegetables, and meats were sprouting like weeds after a long winter. Many farmers suddenly had money to build new houses, and signs of a construction mini-boom were unmistakable.

This, of course, was just the tip of the iceberg: soon enough China's cities would catch the market-economy wave and ride it head-long into the globalized world of the 21st century. It was clear even then, nearly 20 years ago, that the availability of freshwater posed a major challenge to China's future. China was home to 21 percent of the world's people but only 8 percent of its renewable water supply. Most of that water was in the south, making the north even more water-short than the national figures suggested.