Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Oath of Office to Colon-Lopez

With Colon-Lopez is his wife, Janet
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley administers the oath of office to Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Dec. 13, 2019. With Colon-Lopez is his wife, Janet.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro, DOD

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019: A year in review

11:37 (UTC) on Mon 23 Dec 2019
2019 has been a year of extremes
Author: Press Offic
2019 has been a year of extremes: record-breaking heat and rain, along with notable spells of cold and windy weather have all been prominent.

As we approach year-end, we’ve highlighted the most notable climate features of the year, including two all-time temperature records: 

Warmest winter day on record: 21.2 °C recorded at Kew Garden on 26 February 

Hottest day on record: 38.7 °C recorded at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens on 25 July 
Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre. Commenting on 2019, he said: “2019 will be remembered as an exceptional year for weather records, as it is unusual to get both the UK summer and winter high temperature records within the same calendar year. But this continues a pattern of high-temperature records in the UK over the last few decades, as a result of our warming climate.”
January got off to a cold start, with the coldest January night for seven years recorded on 31 Jan with -14.3 °C in Braemar, in Scotland. In parts it was also dry, with one of the driest Januarys on record for Clackmannanshire with 23.1mm of rain (just 15% of the expected average), East Lothian with 9.9 mm of rain (15% of the expected average) and Fife 12.1 mm (15% of the expected average). 

No one could have missed that February was record breaking. Despite starting with snow and freezing temperatures, the warmest winter and February day on record was recorded at Kew Gardens with 21.2 °C on 26 February with temperatures exceeding 20 °C in London, west Wales and as far north as Rochdale making this a more widespread event than the previous record set in February 1998. The   Daily minimum temperatures were also well above average, but not record breaking.  

 Scotland and Wales also broke national records for warmest winter and February days with 18.3 °C recorded at Aboyne in Abderdeenshire on 21 February, and 20.8 °C recorded in Porthmadog, Gywnedd on 26 February. 

 In total 21 locations in the Met Office observing-network broke previous national (England, Scotland, Wales) records, some of these on multiple days. Overall It was the seventh warmest, sixth sunniest, and twenty-third driest winter in series from 1910.  

With a mean UK temperature of 6.8 °C (1.3 °C above average), March 2019 provisionally came in as the 10th warmest March on record. A number of records were broken including the hottest Easter Monday on record in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Even though Easter fell relatively late this year, it was notably warm for the time of year and over the Easter weekend many weather stations across the UK broke their local April temperature records. 

Through April, England saw particularly low levels of rainfall, especially in the east. East Anglia received just 25% of its average monthly rainfall. Essex was the driest county, with just 9.2mm of rain through the whole of April. 

June was a significantly wet month for some parts of the UK. Notably, Lincolnshire received 230% of the rainfall expected for the month, compared with the average between 1981-2010. Leverton in Lincolnshire, recorded 101.2 mm on 10th June. 

Across Lincolnshire, the rainfall wasn’t sufficient to break the June county rainfall record of 181.9 mm in 2007, but with 128.9 mm it was in fourth place in a series stretching back to 1910. New records were set for two-day and three-day total rainfall in Lincolnshire on 10-11 and 10-12 June respectively. 

July will be remembered for the hottest day on record ever recorded in the UK. A maximum temperature of 38.7 °C was recorded at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 25 July. This figure exceeded the previous record of 38.5 °C recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.   

The exceptionally high temperatures gripped large parts of central and western Europe, with Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands breaking national temperature records.  

Also during July, Cheshire received more than twice the average rainfall for the month (219%). Other counties in central and northern England, including Lancashire, Staffordshire Derbyshire and Leicestershire, also received more than one-and-a-half times the month’s typical rainfall for July. Thunderstorms and intense rainfall caused flooding across parts of northern England on 30th and 31st July.

Overall Summer 2019 was the twelfth warmest on record since 1910 across the UK, but unusually this summer was also relatively wet. Previous hot summers have been largely dry, but this summer was seventh wettest overall in the UK in a series dating back to 1910. Scotland was very wet overall as it recorded its second wettest summer, only surpassed by summer 1985.

Many people in England will remember Autumn 2019 as a very wet season, with significant flooding in parts of the Midlands and days of prolonged rainfall. But this wasn’t the case across the whole of the UK. 

There was been a marked difference in rainfall amounts between eastern parts of England and north western Scotland. Autumn rainfall records were broken for South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire, with the previous records set in 2000. England as a whole has had its fifth wettest autumn with 348mm. These areas had also experienced a wet summer, so that the rain was falling on already wet ground.

South Yorkshire was the wettest county compared to the long-term average (1981-2010) with more than double its average rainfall for the season (425.4 mm compared to an average of 208 mm).  

Sheffield was a notably wet location, breaking its autumn record weeks before the end of the season. In total it recorded 474.8mm, breaking its previous record of 425.2mm also set in 2000. 

The location with the highest total through the autumn was Holne - on the southern edge of Dartmoor, in Devon - with 899mm. The driest spot was Shoeburyness, in Essex, with 148mm. 

Conversely, northern and western Scotland have been much drier than average, with our north Scotland climate region having just 69% of the seasonal average (364.1mm). 

In comparison to the rainfall distribution in 2000 - when many autumn records were set - this season’s highest rainfall accumulations were focused in the East Midlands. In 2000 the highest totals affected much of England and Wales, with just parts of Scotland ending the season below average. 

The full end of year statistics, as well as those for December 2019, are due to be published on January 2nd 2020.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Jasmine Strait Practicing on An Machine Gun

During training at Camp Geiger
Marine Corps Pfc. Jasmine Strait practices clearing procedures on an M240B machine gun during training at Camp Geiger, N.C., Dec. 17, 2019.
Photo By: Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Brian Bolin Jr.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Centre will soon come out with an updated National Water Policy

Posted On: 28 SEP 2019 6:51PM by PIB Delhi
National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency is being mooted
New Delhi: 28th September 2019: (PIB)::
Government of India will soon come out with an updated version of  National Water Policy to effect key changes in Water Governance Structure, Regulatory Framework, besides setting up of a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency. Speaking at the valedictory session of the 6th India Water Week-2019 here, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said that hydrological boundaries rather than administrative or political boundary should become part of the water governance structure in the country. He said, for this consensus building among the states within the Constitutional framework is a necessary pre-condition.

Shri Shekhawat said said that water conservation along with water-harvesting and judicious and multiple use of water are key to tackle the water challenges in India. Calling for rejuvenation and revitalization of the traditional water bodies and resources through the age-old conservation methods, the Minister underlined the need for dissemination of modern water technologies in an extensive fashion. Dwelling on the idea of Water Trade, Shri Shekhawat said that water surplus states like Chhattisgarh can gain by sharing the resource with the deficient ones. He also asked the States to collect data on water resources and to share the same with others with an open mind.

In his address, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that demand side management of water should get priority over the supply side management and called for massive conservation of the scarce resource. Underlining the need for recycle and reuse of water, he said that Integrated Water Management is a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri U.P Singh said that National Water Policy of 2012 needs major updation in the light of new challenges especially the ill-effects of climate change. Batting for policy changes for giving incentive to crops using less water, Shri Singh said that Participatory Ground Water Management should be promoted in a big way to maintain quality and sustainability.  

India Water week was inaugurated by the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind on 24th of this month with a theme of “Water cooperation: Coping with 21st Century Challenges”. Japan and European Union were associated as partner countries for this mega event.

Ministry of Jal Shakti has been organizing India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Five editions of India Water Week have been organized so far.  Water Resources Ministers of various States have attended the Inaugural Function. About 1500 delegates from India and abroad participated in this event, which included about 63 delegates from 28 countries.

The event was divided into Seminars (15 nos.), Brainstorming Sessions (4 nos,), Panel Discussions (12 nos.) and Special Session (6 nos.). Apart from this, an Exhibition showcasing the technologies and solutions in water resources sector was also organized at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).  About 62 organizations displayed their work in the exhibition. Many reputed National and International Organizations, Research Institutes, Educational Institutions and NGOs from water resources, agriculture, power sectors participated in the event to share their knowledge and experience in the sector.
(Release ID: 1586567) Visitor Counter : 50

Threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship

Posted On: 28 SEP 2019 11:29AM by PIB Delhi
It is Not a statesmanship

India’s Right of Reply in 74th​ Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debat
Mr. President,                                                                     

I take the floor to exercise India’s right of reply to the statement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.                       
Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. ​Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put-“hate speech”.      

Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect. Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st ​ century vision.

Prime Minister Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.

Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolized the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary.           

For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman’s game, today’s speech bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel.                                 
Now that Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited UN Observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan, the world will hold him to that promise.

Here are a few questions that Pakistan can respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification.                                               
Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN, as of today?

Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only Government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al Qaeda and Da’esh Sanctions list!

Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank, the Habib Bank had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing?

Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters?

And would Prime Minister Khan deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?
Mr. President,                                                                                                        

Having mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the newfound champion of human rights.

This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.

Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy hunting of the endangered mountain goat - markhor.

Pogroms, Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies. We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971 and the role played by Lt. Gen A A K Niazi. A sordid fact that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh reminded this Assembly about earlier this afternoon.                                      
Mr. President,

Pakistan’s virulent reaction to the removal of an outdated and temporary provision that was hindering development and integration of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stems from the fact that those who thrive on conflict never welcome the ray of peace.

While Pakistan has ventured to upstream terrorism and downstream hate speech there, India is going ahead with mainstreaming development in Jammu and Kashmir.

The mainstreaming of Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India’s thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly underway. Irreversibly so.

Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate.

I thank you, Mr. President.
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